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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Return of Mattias Janmark

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After an uncertain year, Mattias Janmark has been lights-out for the Dallas Stars this season. Plus player interviews, trade speculation, and more.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After a solid rookie season in 2015-16 that saw him score 29 points in 73 games, Mattias Janmark didn’t even get a chance to suffer through a potential “sophomore slump”. Instead, the Dallas Stars forward was out the entire 2016-17 season with osteochondritis dissecans, “a joint disorder where bone underneath the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow”.

To put that into layman’s terms, there were serious doubts about whether Janmark would ever be able to get back on the ice.

“It was a freakish injury, and I think the fact you’re unsure if you’re going to play again is more fearful than anything,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. “If it’s an ACL, you know the time frame, but this was a question mark of whether you’re going to play again.”

But Janmark was able to make a full recovery, and has already matched his numbers from his rookie year in 20 less games. In fact, he is one of only seven Stars’ players to play in every game this season.

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” teammate Jason Spezza said. “What he did is not easy, there’s doubt in your mind as a player. I think he was a little tentative in camp, but he has been great.”

...

“He’s a great skater and he’s good on his edges, and I don’t think people know how strong his legs are,” Spezza said. “I like playing with him because he has really high hockey IQ. He sees the same thing I see in a game, and then we’ll have three really good shifts in a row. You don’t have to wait until intermission to hash things out, it just comes naturally.”

I doubt he would win the Masterson Trophy, and I imagine he’s not very well known in the national media, but it would be a tragedy if Janmark wasn’t at least a finalist for the Masterton Trophy this year.

You can read more at Mike’s place here.


Stars Stories

Is Monday’s game still fresh in your mind? No? Well let’s fix that with Scott Burnside’s 5 Takeaways: [NHL]

This... this is pretty impressive:

That’s not the only impressive stat-line from the Stars:

Scott Burnside sat down with Kari Lehtonen in his latest “On the Fly” interview. [NHL]

In celebration of 1,000 career games, Dan Hamhuis takes a little trip down memory lane:


Around the League

It was a busy night in the league yesterday, including five Central Division teams hitting the ice:

Speaking of Winnipeg, it seems like Patrik Laine isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon (dang it):

The trade deadline is growing ever closer. Here’s your roundup on the latest rumors and speculation: [Sportsnet]

We’ve already discussed Dallas as a potential landing place for Rick Nash, but what about some other teams that could pull the trigger? [The Hockey News]

All this talk about trades makes me think of the GMs who make them, which leads me to this interesting tweet:

Valeri Nichushkin is one of 32 Russian athletes appealing their ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics. [Associated Press]

After struggling for some time following his trade, Matt Duchene is finally finding his groove with the Ottawa Senators. [FanRag Sports]

Meanwhile, Connor McDavid is having another phenomenal season, and the Edmonton Oilers are arguably wasting it:

If the playoffs ended today, what would the best and worst matchups be? Greg Wyshnyski says he wouldn’t take his eyes off the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars. [ESPN]

And if we decide to peak a bit further into the crystal ball, here are Matt Larkin’s Top 30 UFA’s entering the offseason: [The Hockey News]


Finally...

Marc-Andre Fleury was finally back in Pittsburgh last night, and the goaltender was welcomed with wide open arms:

(His homecoming was bittersweet, however, as the Penguins beat the Golden Knights 5-4.)