Given the news out of Dallas Stars practice yesterday, where it was made public that Stars captain Jamie Benn would miss his first game due to injury in almost five years, it’s no surprise that the foot injury he’s dealing with after Saturday’s loss to the Florida Panthers is of the slightly more serious variety.
That was made official Wednesday as the Stars put Benn on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 31, meaning he will miss not only tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens but this weekend’s game against the St. Louis Blues as well.
The earliest Benn could return would be Monday for the front end of a road back-to-back against Los Angeles and Anaheim. But rest isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Benn has a habit of playing through pain and lingering injuries (see the hip problems for which he had surgery after the 2014-15 season), and forcing him into time off to recover is probably the best long-term decision.
On a logistical level, the Stars had to make a move at forward because Antoine Roussel and his upper-body injury have been cleared to play, though it’s unclear if he will actually be in the lineup tonight against the Canadiens. He did not participate in morning skate but will reportedly take warm ups and be a game-time decision.
Among the players who did skate, it looks like Stephen Johns is slotting back into the lineup while Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth skated late as the likely defensive scratches. Kari Lehtonen was the first goalie off the ice.
Once Benn is ready to return, the Stars will have to make some sort of roster move as they are currently carrying the maximum. Whether that will be from the overcrowded defense side of the roster or will be a forward like Devin Shore will be a very interesting decision.