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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Behind The Scenes At John Klingberg’s Recovery

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“Now my season starts over,” says Klinger, and perhaps the same is true for the Stars. Plus, happy holiday roster freeze, World Juniors notes from USA Hockey camp, and more.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

John Klingberg is back. Finally. The Dallas Stars’ franchise defenseman returns on home ice tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks, and the moment can’t come quickly enough for either the player, the team or the fans.

Sean Shapiro’s new profile in The Athletic DFW goes behind the scenes at Klingberg’s six-week hiatus. From the surgery required to “rebuild” his hand and pointer finger, to the mindset required to watch games from the press box, to needing Stars skills coach Stan Tugolukov to help him tie his skates:

The last six weeks have gone on forever, from Klingberg’s perspective. He’s had injuries in the past and needed two hip surgeries, but this was the first injury that caused him to miss extended time during a season. Going all the way back to when he started playing organized hockey as a kid, through more than two decades of games, Klingberg had never been in a position where he was forced to regularly watch from the stands or press box.

“It sucks,” Klingberg said.

Another bit of good news is that the flukey nature of the injury seems to ensure that Klingberg is safe from further damage:

For Klingberg’s first game back, the mental side of things will be the biggest challenge. He trusts and knows that his body is ready, but admitted there are some slight nerves he’ll have to push aside once the game starts. There is confidence that he can’t hurt his hand any further, and he’ll wear a reinforced glove to protect against slashes.

“It can’t get any worse or re-injured by playing,” Klingberg said. “As long as there isn’t a shot to the exact same place at the exact same angle.”

“Nothing long term (to worry about),” Klingberg said. “It’s going to be exactly like normal, which is good, which makes it easy for me to just say I want to play tomorrow.”

Read the whole thing under the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]


Stars Stuff

I’ll just leave this here.

If you’d like more Sean content, his latest Stars mailbag is now up, in which he admits he was wrong about Denis Gurianov. [The Athletic DFW]

And here’s the practice update from Mark Stepneski.

Around the League(s)

The NHL was pretty quiet last night, but the Colorado Avalanche did bring home a #MurderDeathKill win against the Montreal Canadiens with the help of Mikko Rantanen’s goal and assist. [Mile High Hockey]

Just a reminder.

Edmonton Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira will watch the next couple of games from the press box due to this cross-check on the St. Louis BluesVince Dunn.

And here’s a Canada problem you may have thought about, thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ years in the wilderness.

Are the Los Angeles Kings in rebuild mode? Should they be? And should they start with trading Jeff Carter? Ken Campbell thinks so.

Hughes vs. Hughes and more: Mike Morreale has 2019 World Juniors notes from the USA Hockey select camp.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

How will Joel Hanley’s return help the Texas Stars? Stephen Meserve has more.

And there’s more Erik Condra love from the AHL’s official site, via 100 Degree Hockey’s Ryan Pennington.

Finally

I remember Dallas Cowboys players guesting as Russian Dancers, and here’s the Toronto version: Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner made their dance debut in the National Ballet of Canada’s holiday presentation of The Nutcracker. Enjoy. [NHL]