The Dallas Stars' past year or so has seemed at times like a conga line to the operating room, as player after player went in for hip surgery between last summer and this one.
Ales Hemsky is the latest to go on record about his before-and-after experience with the procedure undertaken by so many current teammates (and recent Star Trevor Daley). Mike Heika was there to ask the questions you've been thinking, and Hemsky wasted no words with his answers.
"It was a no-brainer, really," said Hemsky, who signed a three-year free agent deal with Dallas last season after spending most of his career in Edmonton. "I knew there was something wrong, and I felt this would help. Now, I'm sure it will."
Hemsky also spoke candidly about his difficulties playing with pain and the personal and professional factors he considered before going under the knife.
"I had a lot of problems," he said. "I'm not 25, I'm 31, and it wears on you during the season. I also want a normal life after I retire, so I don't want it to get worse. This should help now and it should help long-term."
Now rehabbing in Frisco, Hemsky attended Patrick Sharp's Monday press conference and is suitably impressed with his new teammate:
"He's a great guy, he's got a lot of experience," Hemsky said. "He's shown all those years that he can play left or right wing. I think he will help us a lot. It's a new year, and he can score and play. It'll be fun."
And as for how all these moving parts will fit into an effective roster, Hemsky says he's up for anything.
...[A]dding Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Antti Niemi also feels different. Now, Hemsky is not the new guy in town. Now, he's helping others adjust. Hemsky is a right-handed right wing who rarely plays the left side. But with four righties in the top six forward group, he might have to log some time on the left side.
"I just want to do whatever I can to help the team, and I'll play wherever they tell me to play," he said. "I think we all feel that way. We'll do what we need to do to make it work."
Heika has much more at his DMN blog. [SportsDayDFW]
Speaking of Heika, he's having a live chat today (July 23) at 1 p.m. Central time. Ask your questions now. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars are oh so busy, busy busy right now, what with the blockbuster trades and the signing big-name free agents and the new show on FOX Sports Southwest tonight at 10. Here's a video preview of "On Headset: In-Game With the Dallas Stars Coaches." (SPOILER ALERT: Raptor Jesus sighting!)
Get a glimpse of what goes on behind the bench tomorrow night on 'On Headset' at 10pm on @FOXSportsSW. Take a peek-->http://t.co/h5rh3Z8Coj— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 22, 2015
Meanwhile, new defensive prospect Stephen Johns made his first team practice with Jamie Benn and Jason Demers Wednesday morning. What's his connection with current Texas Stars goalie Jack Campbell? You'll find out. [Stars Inside Edge]
What does it mean to be a professional athlete whose shoulda-been brilliant career has been derailed by one unlucky injury after another? American midfielder and Bolton Wanderers star Stuart Holden writes about his long recovery, and his hope for a return to the pitch. [The Players' Tribune]
Who are the 10 greatest players never to win a Stanley Cup? Bill Schoeninger of The Hockey Writers takes a shot at naming them. [The Hockey Writers]
Yes, there are still free agents out there. Sports Illustrated, with an assist from General Fanager, has posted a tracker for the players, their teams where applicable, and the cap space available. [Sports Illustrated]
With Sergei Zubov kind of everywhere this week, Stars Asylum has brought back that other eternal topic, retiring his number, and brought Jere Lehtinen into it as well. RT for yes, fave for also yes.
Make it Right! Hang Zubov and Lehtinen in the rafters! http://t.co/FPKd7hjP79 pic.twitter.com/pRuDrAM2SI— Stars Asylum (@StarsAsylum) July 22, 2015
Former Star Alex Chiasson and the Ottawa Senators are nearly $1.5 million dollars apart as they prepare for an arbitration hearing scheduled for today. [NBC Sports]
What will the NHL look like if Las Vegas and Québec City get their expansion teams? Jason Brough thinks up a possible eight-division realignment. [NBC Sports]
The DMN's @SportsDayHS account tweeted this Vine of Mark Cuban, owner of the Stars' AAC co-tenant the Dallas Mavericks, as the president of the United States in Sharknado 3. I'm just leaving it here.
SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BACK OUT OF A DEAL? https://t.co/Aulijwh4zM— SportsDayHS (@SportsDayHS) July 23, 2015
Meanwhile, Tyler Seguin continues to let us all live this summer vicariously through him.
Great day today at the @RBCCanadianOpen Pro-Am with the boys. Thanks @JeffOvertonPGA for showing the way pic.twitter.com/92Nv24p6Yz— Tyler Seguin (@tseguinofficial) July 23, 2015
And @SeguinProblems goes straight to the goofy facial expressions, because Tyler Seguin.
.@tseguinofficial never lacks in the facial expression department #forrrrrre? pic.twitter.com/vYhMEDDZUd— TylerSeguinProblems (@SeguinProblems) July 23, 2015
Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois, honored the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win with one of the most amazing corn mazes you'll ever see, until the Stars get theirs and then we laugh and laugh.
Farm designs Blackhawks-themed corn maze to celebrate championship: http://t.co/3uh23PzcBQ pic.twitter.com/SRPxTXWbPP— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) July 22, 2015
Elsewhere, Kimmo Timonen finally got his day with the Cup. This is how he spent it. [NHL]
10,000 fans come out to congratulate kimmo in his home town of Kuopio. #stanleycup @HockeyHallFame @NHLBlackhawks pic.twitter.com/oAKkMFUHcy— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 21, 2015
Finally: The @DallasStars have trolled a troll of their own troll photo. Which means this meme has just vanished into its own quantum singularity. Or something. Discuss.
.@wbpictures space jam 2: the light curve y/n think about it pic.twitter.com/vAScDqz53x— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 22, 2015