The Dallas Stars announced today that forward Antoine Roussel will miss six to eight weeks after breaking his hand in last night’s loss to the New York Islanders. Given the standings and the eight points out of a playoff spot they find themselves staring down, the injury and recovery timeline effectively means Roussel is shut down for the remainder of the season.
It’s just another blow in a disappointing — and frustrating — season in Big D.
Many fans are naturally turning their attention to the summer, waiting for the end of the season that can’t come soon enough. Contemplating free agent signings or trades that could provide the Stars with new players that can improve the team for next year.
Part of the offseason discussion will be the expansion draft. Some posited that maybe Roussel’s injury will allow the team to protect him from the expansion draft without counting towards the maximum protected players allotted for each team.
I’ve done some digging into the NHL expansion draft rules, and I’m here to burst all of your bubbles: Roussel’s injury is unlikely to be of the career-threatening variety, which means that he will still need to be protected by the team if they wish to keep him from being drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights. At least, if I’m reading the rules right it won’t impact whether he can be drafted or not.
Here’s the only rule that addresses injuries in terms of the expansion draft:
If you’re interested, you can read the full expansion draft rules here.
The Stars will continue to have tough decisions to make as they work through their protection list. The end of the season will likely provide the Stars with some clarity on which player they feel most comfortable losing to Vegas and whether they have replacements for the skillset lost in the system with young players such as Remi Elie, Devin Shore, and others.