The Dallas Stars have been absolutely decimated by injuries this season, mostly when it comes to their forwards.
Now they have to deal with one at a position where they really can not afford one: Defense.
The team announced on Sunday evening that veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya has been placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury.
He was injured in the Stars’ 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
To help replace Oduya in the lineup the Stars have recalled defensemen Esa Lindell and Julius Honka from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.
Honka, the Stars’ first-round pick (No. 14 overall) in 2014, has been off to a great start offensively this season in the AHL with 12 points in 16 games. Given the way he has produced at that level over the past three years he was probably getting ready for a promotion to the big club anyway.
Oduya, 35, was signed by the Stars as a free agent before the start of the 2015-16 season. Before this injury he had played in every game for the Stars since signing with the team. In 19 games this season he has averaged more than 18 minutes of ice-time per game and scored one goal to go with four assists. Most of his ice-time has come on a pairing with Stephen Johns.
Defense and goal prevention has been a huge issue for the Stars this season (even bigger than it was a year ago) currently sitting 29th in the league with 64 goals against. They have already surrendered four goals or more in eight of their first 19 games.