The Dallas Stars are still waiting for Tyler Seguin, Cody Eakin and Ales Hemsky to return to practice, and now they’ll have to wait until at least April to have Mattias Janmark in the lineup.
With a number of high-priced offensive players, the Dallas Stars forward group relies on young, talented and, most importantly, cheap players to fill out the bottom-six. One player who fits that bill to a tee is Mattias Janmark, but the Stars will be without his services for almost the entire season due to knee surgery.
Concern about Janmark arose Wednesday when he was mysteriously absent from the Stars’ roster for a pre-season game against the Colorado Avalanche, and the suspicion that Janmark had suffered an injury grew when he didn’t suit up for practice Thursday. Following the practice, Stars coach Lindy Ruff said that Janmark was indeed missing time due to injury and that an update would follow. However, few would have expected that update to be so dire.
Per DallasStars.com’s Mark Stepneski, Stars GM Jim Nill announced Friday that Janmark will be out at least five months following knee surgery, which is slated for Friday afternoon. It’s not a knock or a tear that Janmark is dealing with, but a joint disorder called osteochondritis dissecans.
While it’s not necessarily a season-ending injury for Janmark, it’s fairly close. A five-month timeline for return means Janmark would be healthy, if you can call it that, by February and possibly in line for a return by March. However, Stepneski reported that Nill isn’t expecting Janmark to make a return to the lineup until April at the earliest, which means he could only be healthy enough to skate in the final five games of the Stars’ season or make his real return come the post-season.
Janmark scored 15 goals and 29 points in his rookie campaign while logging 14:10 of ice time per game, but there was a very good chance Janmark was going to move into a full-time middle-six role this coming season. His ice time likely would have gone up, and the hope was his production would follow.
Losing Janmark is awful news for the Stars, but it’s even worse considering the list of injuries the club is already dealing with. Tyler Seguin, Ales Hemsky, Cody Eakin and Devin Shore are all on the shelf right now, and Jamie Benn, while healthy, is taking pre-season games off in order to rest up following core muscle surgery in the off-season. Ruff says things are moving in the right direction.
"Everybody is better, I can tell you that," Ruff said of the injuries Thursday, per Stepneski. "It's a process...Every day they are getting closer. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.