After an off day Sunday, the Dallas Stars were back on the ice Monday morning in Frisco as they begin preparations for their first-round playoff series with the Minnesota Wild. Among those on the ice was forward Tyler Seguin, who practiced with the team for the first time since going out with a cut to his Achilles tendon.
Seguin, who started skating on his own last week, has been out with the injury since Mar. 17.
“It felt good being around the guys and out there around bodies,” Seguin said. “I said to our trainer after the first five minutes, my eyes are a little watery seeing so many bodies around here. I was definitely excited to get back out there, being around the guys in the locker room and seeing how it felt.”
His teammates were excited to see him as well.
“It’s great to see him,” said Stars center Jason Spezza. “He’s a big part of our team. It’s good to see him on the ice. We know he’s been making some progress. Hopefully, he continues to make progress and when he decides he can come back and help, he is going to be a big boost for our club.”
Seguin was injured late in the game against Tampa Bay when he was cut by the skate of Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman. Seguin underwent surgery the next day, and the Stars put the timeframe for his return at 3-4 weeks. Four weeks would be Friday. Whether he will be ready Thursday is still up in the air.
“It’s not fully up to me. I am doing everything I can to be prepared. Obviously, I want to be playing, and I am trying to get there,” Seguin said.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said it was too early to tell if Seguin would be ready for game one.
“I thought he got through [practice] okay. It’s hard to tell. It was a light skate. I don’t think he was at full speed, but it was good to see him back out there,” Ruff said. “We just go day to day. Not going to rule him out but I can’t tell you he is in right now.”
But Seguin’s return to practice was a step in the right direction.
“Today was the next step,” Ruff said. “When he can go 100 percent, go full out then we’ll know where he is. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Wednesday. Today was a good step in the right direction.”
*Stars forward Mattias Janmark, who missed the final three games of the season with an upper-body injury, practiced Monday. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he is close to being ready for Thursday’s playoff opener.
“Janmark did well, too,” Ruff said. “He’s right on the cusp of being able to play. I think he could be available for Thursday also.”
*Right wing Brett Ritchie, who missed the final seven games with a lower-body injury, did not practice Monday.
The Stars went through a light skate Monday morning, practicing for about 45 minutes.
“The day was a little bit more about hands, feel the puck a little bit,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “There was nothing too intense. Just getting back after a day off and getting a feel for getting going again.”
With the Stars currently carrying nine defensemen, Jamie Oleksiak skated as a forward Monday, playing left wing on the fifth line with Mattias Janmark and Tyler Seguin. Here’s how the practice lineup looked:
Jamie Benn – Cody Eakin – Patrick Sharp
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Spezza – Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Ales Hemsky
Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Jamie Oleksiak – Mattias Janmark – Tyler Seguin
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Stephen Johns
Kris Russell – Jason Demers
Patrik Nemeth – Jordie Benn
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.