Because the Dallas Stars are apparently contractually obligated to have at least one high-dollar player miss every game this season, the return of Jamie Benn for tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks is somewhat dampened by the probable loss of Jason Spezza to a bout of back spasms.
Benn missed one game with an eye injury (referred to by Lindy Ruff as a scratch, so I’m going to guess something like a corneal abrasion, which heals in 24-48 hours if it’s minor) after being hurt at some point in the game against the Vancouver Canucks. Spezza left practice early on Sunday after his back tightened up. He is officially doubtful for tonight.
Spezza’s likely absence means that Tyler Seguin shifted back over to the center position at morning skate. He was between Remi Elie and Brett Ritchie on what passes for the Stars second line these days.
Jamie Oleksiak and Greg Pateryn split time skating next to Dan Hamhuis, indicating that one of them is likely the defensive scratch. While Jim Nill mentioned on the radio that Julius Honka is likely to be called up for the final 8-10 games of the season or so, there is no sign of him yet.
There was a bit of good injury news that came from both Mattias Janmark (knee) and Antoine Roussel (hand) participating in the morning skate. Neither are expected to play this season, but seeing Janmark especially, given the nature of his knee condition, is a good sign.
On the back end, Kari Lehtonen was the first goalie off while Aaron Dell will try to repeat his frustration of the Stars from last week.