The news on Stars defenseman Patrik Nemeth is not good. Nemeth is expected to miss at least the rest of the regular season due to an arm laceration suffered in Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.
“Patrik is done for the year. Maybe a possibility would be playoffs,” said Ruff. “It was a severe laceration.”
Nemeth was injured when he and Flyers forward R.J. Umberger got tangled up along the benches and Umberger’s skate came up and cut Nemeth. The Dallas defenseman underwent surgery on Sunday. Ruff said he couldn’t go into detail on the damage but said it was significant.
“I think it involved everything,” Ruff said. “When I said severe that was probably an understatement. I don’t want to go into detail because I don’t know exactly, but it involves everything. First and foremost, I hope for his sake that it is a full recovery.”
Nemeth, 22, made the Dallas roster out of training camp this season after a strong showing with the Stars late last season. He helped the Texas Stars win the AHL’s Calder Cup last season, scoring the Cup-clinching goal in overtime in Game 5 vs. St. John’s.
With Nemeth out, Jamie Oleksiak is expected to fill that spot in the lineup. Oleksiak, Dallas’ first round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has played in one game this season and has a total of 24 NHL games under his belt. He was a big part of the Texas championship team last season.
“He’s matured and with young players it takes time,” said Ruff. “I think them winning the championship last year was huge for him. I think he gained a lot of confidence going down there and playing a real big role for them. I think with a bigger role here now, the confidence will come.”
Oleksiak said he is ready to step in and help the team, but expressed concern about the injury to his teammate.
“It is tough to see what happened to Nemeth,” said Oleksiak. “It is just one of those freak accidents and we are wishing him the best. Hopefully, he gets back soon, gets rested up and everything is OK.”
The Stars have recalled defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka from the Texas Stars of the AHL to come in as the seventh defenseman. The 23-year-old Jokipakka had a strong training camp and preseason. This is Jokipakka’s first call-up to the NHL.
“I am so excited,” Jokipakka said after Monday’s practice in Frisco. “It’s a great opportunity for me. It’s the best league in the world, so I am happy to be here.”
Jokipakka also played on that Calder Cup winning team in Texas.
“Another guy that had a good preseason. Maybe a little bit different player, but defended really well,” said Ruff. “He’s a guy that definitely we will look at as an option.”
Seguin named NHL’s first star of the week
Stars forward Tyler Seguin was named the NHL’s first star of the week after posting eight points (four goals, four assists) in three games last week as the Stars went 2-0-1. Seguin had a hat trick in a 4-2 win over Columbus, scored the game-winning goal with 2.9 seconds left in regulation in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh and notched four assists in Saturday’s 6-5 overtime loss to Philadelphia.
“It’s well deserved. He’s played well,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He hit a crossbar the last game that when I watched the tape I still couldn’t see the puck. He’s shooting the puck that hard. The two plays he made to [Trevor] Daley were both special plays.”
Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen, who posted a 4-0-0 record and 1.22 goals against average, was second star. Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos, who scored five goals and added one assist in three games, was the third star.
Stars practice lineup
Here’s how the Stars lined up in Monday’s practice.
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Tyler Seguin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie – Vernon Fiddler – Ales Hemsky
Erik Cole – Shawn Horcoff – Patrick Eaves/Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Brenden Dillon
Kevin Connauton – Jamie Oleksiak/Jyrki Jokipakka
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.