Dallas Stars forward Patrick Sharp will undergo season-ending hip surgery on Tuesday. The Stars revealed earlier this month that Sharp would need the surgery, it was just a matter of when, and the time has come with the Stars moving closer to mathematical elimination from the playoff race.
"It gets to a point where it affects your play, and you're not helping the team as much as you probably would if you were healthy," Sharp said. "It's tough to make that decision to sit out and get healthy, but I think it is the right thing to do."
The recovery process is expected to be four to five months.
"I've done a lot of research on it, and I know what to expect," Sharp said. "A lot of hockey players have gone through it, and a lot of my teammates have as well. I am confident I can get it done with the great staff here in Dallas and come back strong."
It's been a difficult season for Sharp on the injury front. He was sidelined twice by concussions and missed 26 games. He's also been dealing with issues off the ice. His father is battling leukemia.
"It's been tough," Sharp said. "I knew it was going to be a challenging year going into it with my father and what he is going through. Looking back on the season, I probably could have handled my emotions a little differently, a little better maybe. It doesn't help when you take an injury early on and then battle through that the rest of the way."
For battling through the difficult season, the Dallas Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association nominated Sharp as the Stars candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the 2016-17 season. The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
"He gave everything he had," said Stars GM Jim Nill. "He went through the bad times in Chicago and the good times. He came here, and there were some good times and bad times. This was a tough, tough year for him."
As for what next year may hold, Sharp said he is just focused on getting through Tuesday's surgery and going from there. But Nill said Sharp has given some thought to the future.
"We are going to get the surgery done and let him heal. He's going to train and let's take a look at him," Nill said. "We've had conversations. If he comes back, he wants it to be Dallas. He thinks he's a Dallas Star."
That's something Sharp showed as he played through the injury.
"It's easy to feel good about yourself when things are going good, and your confidence is high, and health is good," Sharp said. "I think you show your true colors when you're up against it as a team and as an individual, and that's something I probably learned from my dad this year more than anything."
Notes: Dickinson recalled
With Patrick Sharp now out for the season and Jiri Hudler expected to be out for Sunday's game in New Jersey with a lower-body injury, the Stars have recalled forward Jason Dickinson from the Texas Stars of the AHL.
Dickinson ranks sixth on Texas in scoring with 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in 55 games. The 21-year-old Dickinson, a first-round pick (29th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft, missed the first eight games of the season after undergoing offseason hip surgery.
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.