Stars center Tyler Seguin is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a 15 percent cut to his Achilles tendon, Stars GM Jim Nill announced Friday morning.
Seguin suffered the injury in the final seconds of Thursday night’s 4-3 win over Tampa Bay when he went to check Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman and was cut by the Lightning defenseman’s skate.
“They operated on him this morning and stitched him back up,” Nill said. “He will be out 3-4 weeks and should be back for the playoffs. It’s as good a case scenario as it could be considering where he got cut. Fifteen percent is a small-grade cut, which is good news. Another 1/8 of an inch it probably would have severed everything, so it was as good of news as it could be other than it’s just really time to heal now is the biggest thing.”
Three weeks from today would be the final weekend of the regular season and four weeks would be early in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we’re fortunate that it is diagnosed what it is. It shouldn’t be as tough to come back from,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It will be a tough time of year to come back, I can tell you that. It’ll be tough to catch up and get in playoff mode, it is a tough time of year.”
The Stars don’t plan on calling anybody up to cover the injury. They’ll rely on the forwards they have, and they are happy with the depth they have right now. Patrick Sharp just returned to the lineup after missing time with an injury. Mattias Janmark could be back for the upcoming road trip. And it will be an opportunity for others to step up.
“We’ve got the depth with Janmark and [Travis] Moen and [Brett] Ritchie. We’ve got good depth. At different times, we’ve had people out, and we've been able to survive,” Ruff said. “It’s a real good opportunity probably for five or six guys in different ways. For Sharp in a power play sense and bigger ice time, again for Jason [Spezza] who has been playing well, he’s going to have a little more ice time. And a guy like [Radek] Faksa has stepped up, and he’s going to have to play some bigger minutes too.”
Here’s how the Stars lined up at forward in Friday’s practice:
Jamie Benn – Cody Eakin – Patrick Sharp
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Spezza – Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Ales Hemsky
Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour/Brett Ritchie
Injury Notes: Klingberg a possibility for Saturday
Here are a few more injury notes. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said defenseman John Klingberg is a “definite possibility” for Saturday. Klingberg has missed six games with a lower-body injury.
“See how he made it through today,” Ruff said. “I thought yesterday was an option, which turned out not to be, so I would hope after today’s practice and some extra work today, a little bit more fitness in the gym afterward that he’d be close to being ready for us.”
Defenseman Jordie Benn, who has been out seven games with a lower-body injury, is close, but he is not expected to play Saturday.
“I’d put him in the day-to-day category. Not likely for tomorrow,” Ruff said.
Forward Mattias Janmark, who has missed three games with an upper-body injury, skated before practice on Friday.
“I hope to see him in the morning skate tomorrow,” Ruff said. “I think he’d be back [on the road trip].”
Defenseman Alex Goligoski did not practice Friday. Ruff said it was a maintenance day for Goligoski.
Stars sign Johns to two-year contract extension
The Stars signed defenseman Stephen Johns to a two-year, one-way contract Friday. The 23-year-old Johns was scheduled to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
“It’s a huge step,” Johns said. “Obviously, they think I am a big part of the future. I am humbled by that opportunity to be here for two more years for sure. I am just excited about the opportunity ahead.”
Johns, who was acquired from Chicago in the Patrick Sharp deal in the summer, was called up to Dallas last week. He’s played four NHL games and has played well. He scored his first NHL goal Thursday night. He’s had a solid season with the Texas Stars of the AHL as well, registering 24 points (4 goals, 20 assists) in 55 games.
“He’s had a great year for us,” said Stars GM Jim Nill. “He was a big part of the trade. We weren’t doing the trade unless he was part of it. We asked him to go down to [Cedar Park] and get used to our system. He’s gone down there and been one of our top defensemen. He’s gotten his opportunity up here, and he’s played the way he should play.”
The Stars recalled Johns on an emergency basis due to the injuries on defense to John Klingberg, Jordie Benn and Jason Demers. With Klingberg and Benn getting close to a return, the Stars will have to make a decision on whether Johns stays put or goes back.
"He's forcing us into an extremely hard decision with the way he's played. And that's what you want,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “You tell every kid, 'Make it hard for me to take you out of the lineup and make it hard for us as a team to send you down again.’ He's doing his part.”
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.