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Johnny Oduya Injured As Holiday Roster Freeze Approaches

The Stars will be without their veteran defenseman for at least one game.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

To the surprise of no one, news out of Dallas Stars practice today is that Johnny Oduya is likely to be out of the lineup for Tuesday’s contest. The veteran blueliner missed part of Saturday’s contest versus the Philadelphia Flyers after he seemingly twisted his leg up during a play late in the second period. He did return to finish the game during the third period.

The Stars probably want to be cautious with Oduya’s injury since he had a lower body injury earlier this season that had him out a few games. With both Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak on the roster, it seems unlikely the Stars will make a call-up of anyone from the Texas Stars.

Which means that Dallas will head into the holiday roster freeze with seven healthy defensemen instead of their standard eight for a change. The roster freeze goes into effect at 11:59 PM CST tonight for Dallas and will lift at 12:01 AM CST on December 28th.

During the roster freeze, players cannot be traded, waived, or sent back to their minor teams. There are a few exceptions to the roster freeze, though, if the Stars need to make a move to address Oduya’s absence or other injuries during that time:

  • Players can be recalled to their NHL teams.
  • A player is activated off of IR and a player is returned to their AHL team in order to meet roster compliance.
  • Players on the roster under emergency call-up conditions can be returned to their AHL team during the roster freeze.
  • Any player claimed on waivers must report to their claiming team.
  • Players recalled after December 11th may be returned to their AHL team up until December 23rd at 11:59 PM CST.

In other injury news, Mike Heika reported out of practice this morning that Patrick Sharp is closer to returning from his concussion. That should help the forward corps even more on the power play if he returns during this home stand.

The Stars get the benefit of a lighter schedule this week with only two games (Tuesday and Friday). It’s a good chance for the Stars to get healthier and work on those systemic changes Lindy Ruff mentioned making prior to the game in Colorado a few weekends ago.

The team has gone 4-4-0 since those changes were integrated, but what is more promising are some of the numbers underlying that record:

2.00 Goals Against Average
2.63 Goals For Average (buoyed by a 6 goal outing vs Anaheim and a 5 goal outing vs Nashville)
.929 Save Percent (210 saves on 226 shots against)