Stars will count on Turco, Lehtonen

Updated: February 24, 2010, 4:02 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars placed Alex Auld on waivers Wednesday and are content to go with Marty Turco and Kari Lehtonen in goal the rest of the season.

Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk acknowledged there's little chance of trading Turco, who played well the last six games leading into the Olympic break. Turco is 4-1-1 with a 1.15 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage in that stretch.

"He's obviously stepped his game up and has been very consistent for us the last six or seven games," Nieuwendyk said. "When we sit back and think about it, we have to decide what gives us the best chance in the month of March. Rather than put a lot of pressure on Lehtonen, we'll have Marty play the way he is."

Lehtonen, 26, has not played an NHL game since last April. The Stars traded for him earlier this month in an effort to fortify their goalie position going into next season. Lehtonen is a restricted free agent next season, while Turco and Auld are unrestricted free agents.

The Stars are one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot and have games every other day in March.

"We'll work Kari in there because we have so many games," Nieuwendyk said.

Assuming Auld clears waivers, the Stars would send him through recall waivers. That gives any NHL team a chance to pick him up for half of his remaining salary, which would be about $150,000.

Richard Durrett covers the Stars for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.