The Dallas Stars apparently have an injury bug going around, or at the very least are cursed. When John Klingberg was injured on Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks, he joined a list of banged-up players that included Alexander Radulov, Brett Ritchie, Marc Methot, Connor Carrick, and Stephen Johns, as well as Gavin Bayreuther and Reece Scarlett in the AHL.
Thankfully for the Stars, it looks like their injury woes might be over soon. Well, at least on the forward front:
Radulov and Ritchie both practicing today— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 11, 2018
Radulov hasn’t played since October 30th against his old team, the Montreal Canadiens, and has only appeared in 7 out of 17 games this season for the Stars. It seems that the Stars believe he and Ritchie will be ready to play on Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, as the team has assigned rookie Denis Gurianov to the Texas Stars along with defenseman Dillon Heatherington:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned defenseman Dillon Heatherington and right wing Denis Gurianov to the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Heatherington, 23, recorded one assist (0-1=1) and a +4 plus/minus rating in five NHL games with Dallas in 2018-19. He’s also posted four points (1-3=4) in 10 AHL contests with Texas this season. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Calgary, Alberta was originally selected by Columbus in the second round (50th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. He was acquired by Dallas from Columbus in exchange for left wing Lauri Korpikoski on March 1, 2017.
Gurianov, 21, registered one goal (1-0=1) in two NHL games with Dallas this season. He has also tallied six goals, including two power play goals, and 12 points (6-6=12) in 11 AHL games with Texas in 2018-19. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound native of Togliatti, Russia was selected by Dallas in the first round (12th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Gurianov hasn’t looked out of place in Dallas, and he even scored his first career point and goal yesterday against the Nashville Predators. Him being sent down to the AHL is not about his play, but rather the team’s confidence that their injured forwards are ready to return to the lineup.
In the case of Heatherington, he was originally called up to fill in for the injured Connor Carrick, but quickly lost playing time to fellow rookies Joel Hanley and Ben Gleason. Hanley, who was called up to fill in John Klingberg’s roster spot, played 18:56 yesterday against the Predators, including time on the power play and penalty kill, compared to Heatherington’s 10:30. Gleason himself logged 18:13 and scored his first career point on an assist to Gurianov’s goal.
Gurianov and Heathington will rejoin their former teammates in Cedar Park, who also have a brand new teammate as of yesterday. Dallas traded a conditional 7th round pick in 2020 to the Buffalo Sabres in return for defenseman Taylor Fedun. Fedun was immediately assigned to Texas to give them some much needed defensive depth in light of all of these injuries and call-ups, and the Stars won’t have to send the pick to Buffalo if Fedun doesn’t play in 25 NHL games for them this season.
That’s a lot of roster moves over the past several days, so here’s a quick timeline to recap everything:
- Wednesday Nov. 7th — The Dallas Stars assign Justin Dowling to the the Texas Stars and recall Denis Gurianov from Texas.
- Thursday Nov. 8th — John Klingberg exits a game against the San Jose Sharks early. Montgomery tells reporters he will be out at least 3 weeks.
- Friday Nov. 9th — The Stars recall Joel Hanley from the Texas and place Klingberg and Radulov on IR (Radulov retroactive to October 30th). Klingberg undergoes hand surgery and is now reported to be out at least 4 weeks.
- Saturday Nov. 10th — The Stars recall Ben Gleason from Texas, who later plays against the Nashville Predators in place of Roman Polak, who is battling an illness. The Stars also trade a conditional 2020 7th round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Taylor Fedun, who is then assigned to the Texas.
- Sunday Nov. 11th — The Stars send down Gurianov and Dillon Heatherington to Texas.