Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin said his injured right knee is healing and he expects to open training camp without a brace.
"I want to go free," Seguin told The Dallas Morning News on Monday. "I'm sure you can use a smaller brace or a lighter brace, but they say that once you start relying on them, you never get off. I like skating without one, and I want to keep it that way."
Seguin, 23, missed 10 games in February and March, then had eight goals and 10 assists in 16 games after his return. In 55 games prior to the injury, he had 29 goals and 59 points, and was among the NHL's leading scorers.
Seguin won a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic and scored a tournament-high nine goals in 10 games.
"[The knee] is good," he said. "I wore the brace in Europe, but when I got back and started skating here, I took the brace off. I'm just getting different movements back."
The Stars finished seven points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, but won seven of their final 10 games. Forward Jamie Benn won the scoring title with 87 points (35 goals), and the Stars traded for forward Patrick Sharp and signed defenseman Johnny Oduya this offseason.
"I think we need to have a quicker start than last year, but I think it's more about how we're approaching things," Seguin said. "Last summer, we were so excited about the additions of [Ales] Hemsky and [Jason] Spezza that we felt we were going to be an all-out offensive team, and I think we forgot about playing defense or just playing what is probably normal hockey.
"Then, after the slow start (4-6-4 with a seven-game losing streak), we spent the next 60 games trying to catch up, and we were never able to do that. The start is important, obviously, there are too many good teams to try to fight through a bad start. But I think it's just about playing good hockey. If we do that, I think the rest will take care of it."