Chad Starling is healthy and coming back.

Chad Starling’s goal in his fourth season with the Ontario Reign is simple.

“I want to play every game,” he said. “Last year was the first year I got hurt. The year before that I played every game but one. The year before that, I played every game. In Cincinnati, I didn’t miss many games [11 in two years]. In Utah, I played every game. That’s the first goal.”

The team announced Monday that Starling has re-signed for an unprecedented fourth season in Ontario. He might be the only player from the inaugural team who returns but, ironically, the 30-year-old defenseman has a little something to prove.

Starling did not play a game after November of last season because of groin injuries, and underwent two surgeries in January. Starling almost made it back — and said he would have played if the Reign made the playoffs — but ultimately wound up playing just 14 games, easily the shortest of his 10 pro seasons.

Starling said he’ll be healthy to start the season and plans to resume skating in 2-3 weeks.

Since David Walker is playing in Germany and Jon Francisco’s return from knee injury is no sure thing, Starling could be the last player from the original Reign squad still in Ontario. That could make him the logical choice for team captain, a role he held from 2006-08 with the Cincinnati Cyclones.

More on Starling’s health, his thoughts on the captaincy, and what the Reign needs to do to get back on the playoffs, in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • IE Sports Fan

    Yaaaaawn…. still waiting to see if we bother to sign any talent and/or get any descent prospects this season.

    I’m sure Chad is a nice guy, but his signing does very little to excite the fans. I look at his signing as only taking an important roster spot away from someone with much more youth/talent/drive than the big slow lumbering defenseman.