The Dallas Stars announced that Ben Bishop and Tyler Seguin are expected to need about five months to recover from recent surgeries.
Bishop underwent right knee surgery on Oct. 21, so that would place the big goalie’s approximate window of availability at late March. Meanwhile, Seguin went under the knife to repair his right hip on Nov. 2, so he’ll be expected back around early April.
Stars injury updates: Bishop, Seguin out five months after surgery
Naturally, with any injury situation — especially significant surgeries — these windows can change. Sometimes that means for the better (“hockey players are tough); sometimes issues linger.
As much as there was a way to spin Seguin’s situation somewhat positively, this is worse news than expected.
Bishop’s window of recovery also makes Anton Khudobin‘s re-signing that much more important. Looking forward, it’s fair to wonder about Bishop’s future. By undergoing knee surgery, maybe Bishop will be able to shake off a long stretch of injuries. Then again, Bishop turns 34 on Nov. 21. While age already increases the odds of recurring injuries, Bishop’s towering size also isn’t easy on the joints.
If the 2020-21 NHL season kicks off around early February, the Stars will likely lean not just on Khudobin, but also Jake Oettinger. Being that the 21-year-old is a first-rounder (26th in 2017), maybe he’ll show something?
Speaking of younger players stepping up, Seguin’s substantial window of recovery could shove players like Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz into the spotlight. (In particular, that might be true of Hintz, who often lines up at center.)
For more on the silver lining of young guns stepping up while Seguin being out, read this post.
Overall, it was easier to see the bright side if Seguin only missed, say, a month or so. Possibly missing two months could put a strain on a Stars team that wants to build on a surprise appearance in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.
Then again, if the Stars can hang in there and remain in playoff position, maybe they’d be that much more formidable with a healthy Bishop and Seguin?
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.