The Dallas Stars troubles have just gotten worse. With Mike Ribeiro expected to be out until February at some point, the Stars will be without their lone All Star representative for one to three weeks. Center Jamie Benn had an appendectomy Sunday according to Mike Heika.
Benn, who leads the Stars in points, assists, and scoring chance differential isn't expected to be replaced on the active roster for the time being. The Stars recently recalled Francis Wathier, and Heika speculates that the Benn situation could ultimately lead the Stars to recall Travis Morin from Texas. However, Glen Gulutzan has made it known that they're at least going to wait until after the meeting with St. Louis on Tuesday.
Some combination of Tom Wandell, Steve Ott, Toby Petersen, Jake Dowell, and Vernon Fiddler will be the Stars group of centers until (and if) they decide they need to add an extra center from the AHL. Coach Gulutzan isn't panicking though:
`` I'm excited about the challenge,'' Gulutzan said. ``I've been dealt worse hands than this before and we came through just fine in those situations. Hopefully we'll be a better team in February for having gone through this.''
The timing of this news probably couldn't have been worse. The Stars have been scraping by lately without Ribeiro in the dogfight at the bottom of the conference for the final playoff spots. Benn has been their leader offensively all season, and now the Stars are desperately going to need Brenden Morrow, Loui Eriksson, Steve Ott, and Michael Ryder to step up to keep things together. Godspeed, gentlemen.