It seems like it’s been all about hype and hip surgeries lately for the Dallas Stars.
Ales Hemsky ranked among those who underwent a procedure recently, joining a group that included Jamie Benn this offseason (while Carl Klingberg and Valeri Nichushkin also went under the knife). The 31-year-old raved about his decision to do so to the Dallas Morning News.
“I can already feel I have more motion,” Hemsky said. “It’s just been two months and I know I have a long way to go, but I can feel the difference.”
Injuries have been an unfortunately common issue during the skilled winger’s career, yet he seemed especially hampered in his first season with the Stars.
Despite playing in a respectable 76 games in 2014-15, he was limited to 11 goals and 32 points. Hemsky seems pretty sure that things will go more smoothly next season, at least physically speaking.
As a wild card for a team hoping to make a significant jump after all of those splashy additions, it’s intriguing to note that Hemsky actually welcomes the pressure for next season.
“It’s nice to have hype,” Hemsky said. “If you don’t have hype, you don’t have passion. I like having the passion and expectations.”
Considering his past as a long-suffering Edmonton Oiler, it’s probably a welcome change … but a healthy season would be a breath of fresh air, as well.
The Dallas Stars have been busy this summer. However, one of the players they seem to feel so optimistic about heading into the 2015-16 season comes from within their organization.
Valeri Nichushkin, 20, showed plenty of potential in his rookie season with the Stars two seasons ago, scoring 14 goals and 34 points in 79 games. But last season, he played in only eight games and recorded only a single assist.
A hip injury that required surgery greatly disrupted his sophomore season, keeping him out of the Stars lineup from early in November until the beginning of April, when he was recalled for a late push by Dallas to try and make the playoffs.
“We’ve got high expectations for him. He ended up playing in the last four games of the season and it was great to see the chemistry that him Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky,” said Stars GM Jim Nill, via the Dallas Morning News.
“They played together and it was amazing to watch. We’re excited. We think that they could be something special.”
Earlier this week, the Stars signed Johnny Oduya to a two-year deal worth $7.5 million. Prior to that, they acquired Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn had a second hip surgery done on Monday in New York and according to The Dallas Morning News, could begin skating in August.
Benn joins Trevor Daley, Ales Hemsky, Valeri Nichushkin and John Klingberg as Stars players who have undergone hip surgeries over the last year.
So what’s with all the hip surgeries in Dallas?
Mike Heika reports it’s part of a philosophical change the Stars are embracing.
Here’s more from his story:
Benn has suffered from femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), or bone spurs that form on the head of the femur. The spurs irritate and can cut the labrum in the hip socket, and that can cause pain. Benn battled through the pain with shots, off days and grit, but the surgeries should help prevent that going forward.
“They are starting to figure out a correlation between FAI, sports hernias, groin pain and labral tears,” said Stars’ head athletic trainer Dave Zeis. “There’s no doubt we’re concerned, and we’re researching everything we can. I think you can attack it aggressively, or you can bury your head in the sand and say they are manageable, organizationally.
“The question is when do you intervene? We feel we have more information, and we feel we’re going to learn even more going forward.”
If all goes well, Benn, who was named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award this week, could be ready for the start of the season.