Tag: Valeri Nichushkin

Jamie Benn

Stars’ Benn undergoes second hip surgery


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.

Dallas has really cornered the market on hip surgeries

Jamie Benn

The Dallas Stars are quickly becoming experts in the field of hip surgery.

Captain and Art Ross winner Jamie Benn had his first last week, and is now resting up before undergoing another. Alternate captain Trevor Daley had his on Thursday, Ales Hemsky had his on Monday — and these came after a regular season in which Valeri Nichushkin went under the knife in November (granted, he had groin problems in addition to hip issues.)

Oh yeah, last April defenseman John Klingberg had double hip surgery.

But it’s not like the Stars are freaking out or anything.

“There is concern whenever you have surgery, but we feel good about the timing and about the time that each will have to rehabilitate properly,” GM Jim Nill said, per the Dallas Morning News. “If you have to deal with these during the season, then you miss almost all of the season.

“If you take care of it now, then you’re ready to go.”

The hope, of course, is that everybody will be rehabbed, healthy and ready to go for the start of next year, so Dallas can avoid the same slow start that derailed its playoff hopes in 2014-15. Injuries certainly played their role: Nichushkin missed almost the entire season with his ailment, Klingberg was slow getting out of the gate following his procedure and Patrik Nemeth was gone for months following a serious skate laceration.

As for Benn, Daley and Hemsky, Nill admitted all three were slowed this year by their respective ailments. Benn and Daley didn’t seem to show it — the former had a career-high 87 points, the latter a career-high 16 goals — but Hemsky was a major disappointment and looked out of sorts all season long.

“I think you look at all three, and all three were limited by the injuries,” Nill said. “I expect them to come back and be even better next season when they’re completely healthy.”

Remembering the now eliminated Sharks, Stars

Jason Spezza

As this is being written, the San Jose Sharks are playing against the Dallas Stars. It doesn’t matter much who wins.

Both teams long since handed their fate over to others and Winnipeg officially eliminated Dallas and San Jose tonight with a 2-0 victory over Minnesota. It’s an awkward end to a pair of campaigns that began with a lot of promise.

The Sharks had a controversial summer that a columnist at one point described as a “nervous breakdown.” They had a 111-point regular season in 2013-14, but blew a 3-0 series lead to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs. That would humiliate any team, but it was even worse for the Sharks because it played right into the popular narrative that they were a talented squad that collapsed under pressure.

That defeat could also be interpreted as the straw that broke the camel’s back because suddenly Sharks GM Doug Wilson was talking about them being a “tomorrow team,” although San Jose’s core didn’t change much from 2013-14 to 2014-15, with one of the more noticeable alterations being the ‘C’ removed from Joe Thornton’s jersey.

Indeed, the Sharks’ summer was seen as confusing, but the takeaway was that if they weren’t embracing a traditional rebuild, then it remained reasonable to expect this talented squad full of veteran players to make the playoffs for an 11th straight campaign. Obviously that didn’t happen though as the Sharks proved to be wildly inconsistent.

Dallas was a very different, but equally interesting story. The Stars had managed to squeak into the playoffs last year and their future seemed bright thanks to the young one-two punch of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Then they acquired Jason Spezza from Ottawa on July 1 and suddenly the conversation shifted to whether or not Dallas was a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Given that the Stars have missed the playoffs, it seems fair to call this season a disappointment, but there has certainly been a silver lining for them. The new-look Stars struggled initially, which didn’t surprise GM Jim Nill, but they are 28-18-5 following their loss to Winnipeg on Dec. 9 (not including the outcome of Monday’s game).

Dallas also saw the emergence of 22-year-old defenseman John Klingberg this season, adding to their hope for the future. If 20-year-old Valeri Nichushkin can stay healthy going forward too, maybe this season will eventually be looked back on as a growing pains campaign for Dallas on its way to bigger and better things.

For now though, San Jose and the Stars are in for a long summer.

Nichushkin expected to return to Stars’ lineup tonight vs. St. Louis

Valeri Nichushkin
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Valeri Nichushkin, who was recalled from his conditioning assignment on Thursday, is expected to return to the Stars’ lineup tonight when Dallas plays host to the St. Louis Blues.

Nichushkin has missed nearly five months after undergoing hip surgery in November.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff would not confirm Nichushkin’s return to the lineup, but Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News reports that it’s a safe bet the 20-year-old will appear in his first game since Nov. 6.

“He’s real excited to be back playing, to be back here and have the opportunity to play,” Ruff said.

Nichushkin had 14 goals and 34 points in 79 games during his rookie campaign last season while playing alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

He played in just four games registering a minus-3 rating this season prior to the surgery.

Ruff admits the club has missed the presence of the 6-foot-4, 205-pound forward.

“We’ve missed his size,” Ruff said. “For the most part, Seguin, Benn and Val were a good line. He was a guy who could hang onto the puck down low, physically dominate some teams, and even come off the wall in the offensive zone and make plays. And I really felt by the end of [last] year he was one of our best defenders coming back defending.”

Tonight concludes the five-game season series between the two clubs. Each team has won twice.

Stars recall Nichushkin for last-gasp playoff push


Dallas isn’t going down without a fight.

The Stars, six points out of playoffs with five games left, have recalled Valeri Nichushkin from his conditioning stint with AHL Texas.

Nichushkin, 20, has missed almost the entire regular season with a hip injury and subsequent surgery, appearing in just four games. It was a fairly significant loss for the Stars; in his rookie campaign, Nichushkin appeared in 79 contests and performed well, scoring 14 goals and 34 points while averaging just under 15 minutes per game.

The big Russian also played in all six of Dallas’ opening-round postseason games against Anaheim, scoring a goal and two points.

Should he shine in his return, Dallas will probably be thinking of what could’ve been.

After a slow start, the Stars have been one of the NHL’s top teams since Dec. 13 and made a strong playoff push in March, going 10-5-0. But for all the good they did, they also ended the month with a thud, losing 4-0 in Edmonton on Mar. 27 and 5-3 at home to Calgary on Mar. 30.

Dallas’ next game comes on Thursday, when it hosts the Blues.