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Catching Up With Tyler Seguin

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars center Tyler Seguin is in some unfamiliar territory. Out for extended time with a knee injury, Seguin is having to watch instead of play the game.

“OK,” Seguin said Friday when asked how he was feeling. “It’s more spiritually right now, trying to stay positive. It’s very frustrating. It’s weird watching games. I’ve really never missed time during the season for injuries. I had a concussion last year and a few injuries that was I able to get surgery for in the offseason and luckily didn’t have to miss any time. This is new territory for me.”

Seguin was injured last Friday when Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov delivered a low hit at the Dallas center’s knees in the third period of the Stars-Panthers game at American Airlines Center. Doctors put the time frame for Seguin’s return at 3-6 weeks. He was at the Stars practice facility in Frisco today to get another round of treatment.

“I got my second knee injection of blood today. That was excruciatingly painful, but it should benefit,” Seguin said. “It’s only been a week, so there hasn’t been too much progress or setback. It’s just been how it is. Every night I go to sleep and in the morning I’ll wake up and see if it hurts at all, to see if I was cured overnight. Maybe I will get over that soon.”

Seguin said Kulikov apologized for the hit through Florida forward Shawn Thornton, Seguin’s former teammate in Boston. The NHL suspended Kulikov four games for the hit.

“Everyone, including him, knew it was a dirty hit,” Seguin said. “It’s a fast game. I don’t know if he intended to, but I don’t think he would. It’s really not in our game as much anymore. It’s not that league anymore. I was talking after the game to Shawn Thornton, who used to be in Boston, and he said [Kulikov] was choked up about it.

“The four games, I expected a little more but I know it was his first offense and he has no history. I am sure that played a part in it. They’ve got a tough job with suspensions. It’s just like refereeing; you have to respect it and let them do their job.”

Although he is not playing, Seguin is staying involved with the team. He exchanges texts with Stars video coach Kelly Forbes during games. Last night during the San Jose game he sat in the press box with Rich Peverley, who communicates with Stars assistant coach Curt Fraser.

“Trying to stay involved, giving another birds-eye view,” he said. “Sometimes it is positive looking from up top. My rookie year I was scratched a few times, could watch the games and learn a lot. I am trying to look at it that way.”

For now, the Stars No. 1 center said he has turned into the team’s No. 1 fan. Like any big fan, he said he can wear his emotions on his sleeves, especially with the Stars in a fight to climb into a playoff spot.

“I get a little emotional, more than I thought I would, especially last night” he said. “The Colorado game it was back-to-back and I knew the guys were tired. Last night I was yelling a bit at certain plays. I am definitely the team’s biggest fan right now, biggest supporter. This is a huge time for us. We’ve got to get things rolling.”

Friday practice notes

*Stars forward Ales Hemsky took part in Friday’s optional practice in Frisco and should be ready to play Saturday against Detroit. Hemsky has missed the past three games with a lower body injury.

“He should be good to go by all indications,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

*Forward Brendan Ranford is expected to stay with the team for the upcoming road trip to Minnesota (Sunday) and Winnipeg (Tuesday). Ranford made his NHL debut Thursday against San Jose.

“It was awesome,” Ranford said. “It was a dream come true. I would have never expected it ever in my life. I just enjoyed every moment of it and every shift I got was awesome.”

*The Stars held an optional practice Friday. The 11 players on the ice were forwards Ales Hemsky, Erik Cole, Ryan Garbutt, Colton Sceviour, Brett Ritchie, Curtis McKenzie and Brendan Ranford, defensemen Jordie Benn, Jyrki Jokipakka and David Schlemko and goaltender Jhonas Enroth.

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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