Dallas’ season might essentially be over, but that doesn’t mean players don’t have something to strive for.
Like Ales Hemsky, for example.
Hemsky, who’s appeared in just one of Dallas’ 63 games this year due to a hip ailment, appears likely to play for the first time since Oct. 22 when the Stars host the Isles tonight at American Airlines.
The 33-year-old’s injury is just one of the many that have, in part, derailed Dallas’ season. Mattias Janmark hasn’t played at all due to knee surgery, while the likes of Cody Eakin, Patrick Sharp, Jiri Hudler and the now-departed Johnny Oduya all missed at least 20 games with various ailments.
As mentioned above, Dallas heads into tonight’s action seven points back of St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, needing to jump three teams (the Blues, Kings and Jets) to get there.
So they’re pretty much done.
But as also mentioned above, Hemsky has quite a bit on the line.
In the last of a three-year, $12 million deal with a $4M average annual cap hit, he has plenty to play for over the 19 games. The most obvious thing is a new contract, given he’ll be a UFA on July 1, so he’ll need to show he’s 1) healthy and 2) still able to contribute offensively.
That last part is huge, given it came into question even before this hip injury. Hemsky had largely been a disappointment in Dallas prior to getting hurt, scoring just 11 goals in his first campaign and 13 last year.