The Lincoln Stars bolstered its 25-man roster Monday in two trades that involved 10 pieces, but more postponements hit the team over the weekend.
With new directed health measures in Lancaster County, the first Stars home game at the Ice Box will not be until Dec. 11 against the Des Moines Buccaneers. This Friday's contest against Waterloo and a Nov. 28 game against Tri-City were postponed with no makeup dates announced.
Lincoln's home opener Nov. 13 against the Buccaneers also was postponed, putting the Stars on the road for the next five games. Tickets for the postponed home games will be honored when future dates are announced.
When the Stars do take the ice, they will do so with a couple of new faces. The organization acquired Nikolai Mayorov and Nick Nardecchia, both from Tri-City, in two separate trades.
Nardecchia returns in a Stars uniform in exchange for a 2021 Phase II eighth-round pick. The dominant goal-scorer Mayorov was acquired by the Stars for picks in the 2021 Phase I fourth round, 2021 Phase II first round, 2022 Phase I third round and 2022 Phase II second round. Lincoln also gains 2021 Phase II and 2022 Phase I 10th-round selections and a 2022 Phase II eight-round pick from Tri-City.
"It's always going to be difficult to come to an agreement when you are talking about a high-caliber player," Stars head coach and general manager Chris Michael said. "We don't want to sit here and give away on our future, but it's our job to win now. With what we went through in the preseason and kind of what we went through in our first regular-season game, we've addressed an issue that we believe that we needed to address."
Mayorov finished 10th in goal scoring in the USHL last season for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders with 24 goals before being selected in the dispersal draft by Tri-City. Cedar Rapids announced it will take the 2020-21 season off while its arena is repaired following the August derecho in Iowa. Mayorov scored in both games against the Stars last season for Cedar Rapids and also in the preseason against Lincoln for Tri-City.
"When you are watching him (Mayorov) you can feel the dangerous presence that he is," Michael said. "To get a kid like that, we are lucky, we are privileged, and watching him on the ice he fit right in."
Nardecchia returns to Lincoln after serving as a two-game replacement player in the 2019-20 season. The Macomb, Michigan, native scored his first USHL goal in the Stars 5-3 triumph over Waterloo in Waterloo, Iowa. He went on to play two regular-season games for Tri-City before being selected by the Storm in the 2020 Phase II draft.
"He (Nardecchia) was a kid that fit us," Michael said. "He fit Lincoln and what we are looking for as far as off the ice and on the ice. We found out he was available and we acted quickly on it. ... He's a guy we want in our culture."
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