Tyler Seguin (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Dallas Stars winger Tyler Seguin fought back from his Achilles injury only to injure his calf in Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild. Seguin said the calf injury was a “fluke thing” but being sidelined was incredibly tough on the 24-year-old.
The Dallas Stars came one win from advancing to the Western Conference final, but no one will ever know what could have been had star winger Tyler Seguin been healthy throughout the post-season.
Seguin, 24, battled back from an Achilles laceration before the post-season began and got back into the lineup in time for Game 2 of the first round series against the Minnesota Wild. However, after playing almost three full minutes less than his season average in that game, Seguin was back on the sideline with another lower-body injury, which was said to be unrelated to the Achilles. As the Stars met with media for the final time, it was revealed Seguin was battling through a calf injury.
“It was another fluke thing that happened,” Seguin said. “A weird step that made it go all fireworks in my leg…I’m a competitive athlete. I see my team working hard the last 10 games of the season with me hurt, and I get a chance for Game 2 against Minnesota, I’m not going to pass that up. It was unfortunate with what happened.”
Seguin said dealing with the pain of the injury was “terrible” and that he had “never felt anything” like it before in his career, but he admitted the most challenging part was sticking with things emotionally and mentally. Being forced to watch from the sidelines, Seguin said he started to feel distant from his teammates to the point that he felt as though it was a reunion of sorts when he finally saw them ahead of exit interviews.
“Toughest time in my career, I’d say, away from the rink,” Seguin said. “Two months of trying to find a fine line between supporting the guys and also not being a distraction and making sure they can do their jobs. Being injured plainly sucks. It wasn’t fun.”
Seguin said that even if the Stars would have won Game 7 and moved on to the Western Conference final, he likely wouldn’t have been cleared or able to play until at least Game 2 or 3 of the third round. He said it wasn’t until he got on the ice ahead of Game 7 that he finally got word that he could be as close as 10 days away from returning to action. But now the healing really begins for Seguin, who was one of the 16 players named to Team Canada’s preliminary roster for the World Cup of Hockey that begins in September.
Seguin’s recovery will be huge for the Stars, who came short of making it to the Western Conference final even as the Central Division’s top seed. Defending their Central crown will almost assuredly require a healthy Seguin. He was their second-highest scorer during the regular season with 33 goals and 73 points, and it might be best for his 2016-17 campaign that he has the additional weeks of an off-season to recover from the calf injury.
“This off-season is going to be a little different with the World Cup stuff happening and with being injured, continuing rehab,” Seguin said. “I got told by the doctors that even if I came back next round, I still wasn’t going to be 100 percent until probably next year. It’ll take an off-season to get my Achilles fully healed and get my calf back working. I’m going to be working very hard on that, probably starting next week, and getting it back to 100 percent.”