Monday was locker cleanout day for the Dallas Stars and the team's decision to go in a new direction as far as a head coach and bouncing back next season were hot topics. But there were some other items of interest as well, including updates on Mattias Janmark, Patrick Sharp, and Antoine Roussel. And Stars GM Jim Nill also talked about the status of Valeri Nichushkin, who played in Russia this past season.
Mattias Janmark update
The status of forward Mattias Janmark, who missed the entire season following knee surgery, is still up in the air. Janmark underwent surgery in late September to correct a joint issue in his knee called osteochondritis dissecans. According to the Mayo Clinic, it's an issue "in which bone underneath the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow. This bone and cartilage can then break loose, causing pain and possibly hinder joint motion."
At the time of the surgery, in which doctors reattached a segment of that bone, the chances of a full recovery were put at 80 percent. Nill was asked Monday if Janmark would be ready to return next season.
"We're in uncharted territory with Mattias. There's been no other athlete that's had this before. He's doing a great job. He feels good about himself," Nill said. "He has two screws that were put in place. Those come out [Tuesday], and then he's going to be shut down for four to six weeks after that. No heavy training. After that, he can get back to training. If there's anybody that can come back, I think it's him."
Janmark skated with the team late in the season and went through some practices, but didn't push the knee too hard. Getting the screws out is the next step as he tries to work his way back to playing.
"It's going to be nice to have the surgery and get it over with," Janmark said. "It's kind of the final step, and then I can start to really work to getting back."
As for playing in the NHL next season, Janmark said time will tell.
"I don't know. I am going to do all I can," he said. "There are other circumstances, like how the body reacts and stuff like that. I feel good, and I have a strong belief that I will, but there is only so much I can do, and the rest will take care of itself."
Video: Janmark gives a health update
Sharp focused on getting healthy
It's been about two weeks since Stars forward Patrick Sharp underwent hip surgery, and he said everything went as expected. The recovery period is four to six months from the time of the surgery.
"Nothing out of the ordinary as far as that procedure," Sharp said. "It's nothing we haven't seen here in Dallas a few times before. No reason I shouldn't be healthy and ready to play in training camp."
Sharp, who missed 34 games this season due to injury issues, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"It feels different," Sharp said. "It's going to be new for me. It's a situation that I've never been in. You talk about free agency and contracts, and I am not concerned with it. I am just more upset and frustrated with how things played out this year with the Stars and me personally. It's an empty feeling. What lies ahead? I don't know. I just want to make sure I use this summer the best I can, get healthy in the mind and the body, and regroup."
Video: Sharp updates his health status
Roussel hoping to play in World Championship
Stars forward Antoine Roussel missed the final 18 games of the season due to a broken thumb, but he's hoping to be ready for the 2017 World Championship which gets underway in early May.
"Yeah, I think so," Roussel said. "Just a few more weeks of rest and it should be fine. It was eight weeks of recovery from the time of the injury. I am not sure yet. It's a team decision, too. I've got to talk to them."
Roussel has played for France at the World Championship before, but this one would be special since it will be played in both Paris and Cologne, Germany.
"I am sure it's going to be a lot of fun," Roussel said. "It is important. I grew up not wanting to play in the NHL but wanting to play for Team France. That was doable. I just want maybe a young kid to look at me, and he'll say maybe he can do the same thing. So, it's important for me to go out there and do my best."
Stars defenseman John Klingberg said Sweden contacted him about possibly playing at this year's tournament. Defenseman Julius Honka joined Finland's national team Tuesday in hopes of making that country's World Championship roster. Team Canada has inquired about a couple of Dallas players as well.
Video: Roussel on upcoming off season
Valeri Nichushkin status
A lot of fans have wondered about the status of forward Valeri Nichushkin, the team's first-round pick in 2014 who left the Stars last offseason to play in Russia's KHL. Stars GM Jim Nill has said in the past there is an interest in bringing back Nichushkin, who signed a two-year contract in Russia's top league.
"Val has another year left [on his contract]. I've been talking to his agent. I don't know whether there's an out or not. You never know with the Russian Federation," Nill said. "Don't know if this Olympic decision (the NHL not going to South Korea in 2018) is going to come into play there also. We'll be in touch with his representation and just kind of see where that goes from there. Right now he's playing for the national team trying to make the World Championships. They're playing some exhibition games."
The 22-year-old Nichushkin played three seasons with the Stars before heading back to Russia. This season, he recorded 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 36 regular season games and five points (one goal, four assists) in nine playoff games in the KHL.
This story was not subject to 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.