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Calf injury kept Seguin out in playoffs, was close to returning

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars forward Tyler Seguin said he didn’t know he had a calf muscle until he injured it in Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Wild. It happened on one particular shift in the game.

“It was terrible,” Seguin said. “I didn’t tell [coach Lindy Ruff] about it at the time because I hadn’t been in the lineup, so I kind of kept it to myself. I just wanted to finish the game. I never felt anything like that.”

Stars GM Jim Nill called it a severe calf injury. Seguin said in an interview on The Ticket he had a tear in the calf muscle. But the bottom line was he would be out at least one month.

“He severely injured that calf muscle and we knew that was going to put him out 4-6 weeks,” Nill said. “He was getting close to coming back, just feeling good the last week. We were hoping to have him for the next series.”

Seguin injured the calf after just returning from an injury to his Achilles tendon, which was cut by the skate of Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman on March 17. Seguin had surgery on the Achilles the next day and missed the final ten games of the regular season and Game 1 against Minnesota.

“[The Achilles] was fully healed, he came back, and he had an injured calf muscle,” Nill said. “Is that a result of the Achilles? We don’t know. We think it is just because of the way everything heals up, different dynamics, the muscle’s firing different.”

“I was told hips, knees, calf, this could all be caused from the Achilles,” Seguin said. “I think with the calf, I didn’t have the strength yet when I was coming back, and it was another fluke thing that happened, a weird step that made fireworks go in my leg.”

Seguin was asked if things might have turned out differently if he had waited a couple more games before he returned in the Minnesota series.

“You can speculate all you want if I could have waited a couple more games, but I am a competitive athlete,” Seguin said. “I see my team working hard the last ten games of the season with me hurt, and I get a chance to be back in the lineup for Game 2 against Minnesota, I am not going to pass that up. It was unfortunate with what happened.”

EXIT INTERVIEWS

       Jim Nill
          
       Lindy Ruff
          
       Jamie Benn
           
       Tyler Seguin
          
       Kari Lehtonen
          
       Jason Spezza
           
       Patrick Sharp

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Seguin wanted to play Game 1 against the Wild, but Ruff didn’t think he was ready. So, the Stars gave Seguin a couple more days.

“It’s a tough one to explain,” Ruff said. “I guess it’s related to the Achilles, maybe one area compensating for the other, but even with the two extra skates I thought he looked dynamic in practice the next couple days, and it’s unfortunate what happened, but he was medically cleared well before we even played him. But that’s just stuff that happens.”

Seguin would likely have played in the Western Conference Final had the Stars been able to get past the St. Louis Blues in the second round of the playoffs. He was shooting for Game 2 or Game 3 of the series. But he still wouldn’t have been 100 percent.

“It will probably take the offseason to get my Achilles fully healed and get my calf back working,” Seguin said. “I’ll be working very hard on that, probably starting next week and get back to 100 percent.”

In the end, Seguin played in just one of the Stars’ 13 playoff games. The Stars missed him, especially in that second-round series against the Blues when they struggled to score.

“I’m going to tell you if you give Tyler a couple of those opportunities that some of our players had, he doesn’t miss,” Ruff said. “That’s just what he is, he’s a dynamic goal scorer, and he doesn’t need five chances to score one. I don’t want to use any excuses, we didn’t have him. We had to play without him and I still think we had a chance to beat them without him. Would he have helped? I think the answer’s yes.”

And Seguin missed being on the ice with his teammates.

“Toughest time of my career. Two months of trying to find the fine line of supporting the guys and also not being a distraction so they could do their jobs. Being injured, timing sucks. So it wasn’t fun,” he said. “I’m very proud of my teammates and how they were down the stretch and in the playoffs. We know we were a couple of inches away and something that we’re going to build on for next year.


Injury Notes: Sharp, Roussel battled through injuries

Stars GM Jim Nill revealed a few more injuries the Stars dealt with during the playoffs.

*Forward Patrick Sharp suffered a separated shoulder in the St. Louis series.

*Forward Antoine Roussel played through an abdominal strain during the playoffs.

*Forward Travis Moen suffered a broken wrist that kept him out the final two games against St. Louis.


Benn extension talks

Stars captain Jamie Benn will be in the final year of his current contract next season and Stars GM Jim Nill said he will get to work soon on an extension for Benn.

“I’ve got to meet with Jamie over the next week or 10 days,” Nill said. “Going to start discussing that and then I’ll get hold of his people. It’s something we’d like to start up, if it’s something we can get done in July, August. So that’s the closest I can get you to that.”

Benn would like to get a deal done as well.

“Going into the last year of your contract, you don’t want it to be a distraction for your team,” Benn said. “I’ll let Jim – and I’ll have a lot of input on it – and my agent figure that one out. … This is where I want to play, this is where I want to be, and I don’t think it is going to be a problem.”


Faksa headed to Russia for World Championship

Stars center Radek Faksa packed up his gear Friday and was getting ready to head to Russia, where he will play for Czech Republic at the World Championship. He is the only Dallas player expected to head to the World Championship. Dallas defense prospect Esa Lindell is playing for Finland at the tournament.


Quotable

“That last game isn’t a reflection of our team. I just talked to the players, and we are flushing that down the drain. It is part of the game, but our season overall was a great season. We didn’t make the playoffs the year before. We talked about how we had to make so many changes. They bought into those changes. We ended up winning our division, winning our conference. We go through a lot of adversity in March with injuries. Overall, the message here is it was a great season. We’ve got to get better. We are going to get better. The future is very bright for the Dallas Stars.”

- Stars GM Jim Nill assessing the 2015-16 season

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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