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Stars' Zuccarello to undergo surgery for broken arm

Nill says the forward has a 'very clean break' and his preliminary timeline for a return remains at four weeks

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars general manager Jim Nill confirmed Monday that forward Mats Zuccarello suffered a broken arm in Sunday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks and will undergo surgery Tuesday.

"It's a surgery to put a plate in place. It just helps it to heal faster. It's nothing major," Nill told "It was a very clean break and the surgery makes sure it stays in place so it heals faster."

Nill said the surgery helps keep the timeline for Zuccarello at four weeks.

"Four weeks and we'll re-evaluate after that," he said.

Video: Nill discusses trade deadline, status of Zuccarello

Four weeks would mean around March 24, which would be with two weeks and seven games left in the regular season.

Zuccarello, who was acquired in a trade from the New York Rangers Saturday evening, made his Stars debut Sunday against Chicago and had one goal and one assist in the game, but was injured late in the second period when he was hit in the right arm by a shot off the stick of Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy. Zuccarello did not return to the game and flew back to Dallas on Sunday night to be evaluated by doctors Monday. 

Nill had no update on Stars captain Jamie Benn, who left Sunday's game early in the first period with an upper-body injury. Benn is day to day.

With Zuccarello out and Benn's status up in the air, the Stars recalled forward Denis Gurianov from the Texas Stars of the AHL late Monday afternoon.


No more deals for Stars as trade deadline passes

The NHL trade deadline hit at 2 p.m. CT on Monday and there were no more trades for Nill and the Stars, who had made two deals on Saturday. They acquired Zuccarello from the Rangers for a conditional second-round pick in 2019 and a conditional third-round pick in 2020, and they also acquired defenseman Ben Lovejoy from New Jersey for defenseman Connor Carrick and a third-round selection in 2019.

"We sat pat today. We were in a lot of discussions, but in the end, we made a lot of our moves a couple days ago and some prior moves to that," Nill said. "So, we got to a point where we're comfortable where we're at and move forward from here."

The moves prior to Saturday were the acquisitions of defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from Pittsburgh for a fourth-round pick in 2019 on Jan. 28 and forward Andrew Cogliano from Anaheim for forward Devin Shore on Jan. 17.

Nill was asked if he thought he might need to make an additional move with Zuccarello going out for extended time with the broken arm.

"You'd like to always add, but there is only so much you can do after a while too," Nill said. "Injuries are part of the game; it's going to happen. We know we're going to hopefully get (Zuccarello) back in four weeks. You get to a point too where there's kind of a risk-reward thing, and you've got to be careful with assets and how much you give away."


Hintz staying in NHL for rest of season

The Stars could have used a paper transaction Monday to make forward Roope Hintz eligible to play with the Texas Stars in the AHL playoffs this season, but declined.

"No, we didn't," Nill said. "Roope his staying up here the rest of the year."

To be eligible for the Calder Cup Playoffs, players needed to be on AHL rosters at 2 p.m. CT Monday. Teams often assign players to be on the AHL rosters at the specified time and then immediately recall them in paper transactions to make them eligible for the Calder Cup Playoffs.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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