The Dallas Stars’ off-season injured list has included top-six forwards, depth players and a few talents who could be ready to make the full-time NHL jump. With the regular season approaching, though, injuries have started to heal, but the most important player who the Stars are still hoping will get the go-ahead for opening night is Tyler Seguin.
Only one week remains before the 2016-17 campaign officially opens, and the Stars have still yet to get Seguin into pre-season action. It sure doesn’t seem like he’s going to be seeing the ice before puck drop at Dallas’ home opener on Oct. 13, either. As it stands, the Stars have only two exhibition tilts left — Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche and Friday against the Los Angeles Kings — before the start of the season, and Seguin has only just gotten back to practicing.
However, even with Seguin just starting to push himself, the Stars are preparing him to be ready for Game 1 of the new season.
"His level of practice is going to start ramping up [Tuesday]," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said, according to NHL.com’s Sean Shapiro. "I know he was ready a month ago playing in the World Cup, but now he's got to restart the engine. He's been off again for a good three, four weeks.”
As for Seguin’s health, there’s been no further update on what exactly the timeline is. Opening night might be the target date, but when Seguin was forced to leave Team Canada during the World Cup’s pre-tournament with a fractured heel, the Stars only offered that Seguin would be sidelined on a week-to-week basis. Nothing has changed in that regard, and he’s been out of action since Sept. 10.
The Stars offense won’t necessarily be crippled without Seguin, but the 24-year-old winger is as serious a loss as Dallas could possibly suffer up front. The only player whose absence might hinder the Stars more is Jamie Benn, and he himself is only just returning to action following off-season surgery to repair a core muscle injury.
Seguin netted 33 goals and 73 points during the 2015-16 campaign, and he has scored 107 goals and 234 points in 223 games since coming over to Dallas ahead of the 2013-14 season. Only Benn, Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby have put up more points over the same span.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.