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Stephen Johns Recalled To Dallas Stars

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The defender remains on long-term injured reserve but is coming off a brief yet spectacular conditioning stint.

2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Nashville Predators v Dallas Stars
Howdy, Tex.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Dallas Stars have recalled Stephen Johns from their AHL affiliate in Cedar Park. The big blueliner is coming off a conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars in which he racked up four points and eight shots in two games – including a goal in his first game in 22 months.

Johns is still, technically, on long-term injured reserve due to the post-traumatic headaches that originally manifested during Dallas’ 2018 training camp. While it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see him in the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, the move may signal that the organization believes he’ll be ready to return to NHL action sooner rather than later.

The conditioning assignment included the January 10 game the Toronto Marlies forfeited due to a medical emergency involving assistant coach Rob Davison. The Stars organization had options to extend Johns’ stint in Cedar Park to up to 14 days, but they chose to bring him back to the big club instead.

Stars fans can be forgiven for forgetting during his absence just how talented Johns is. His brief return to Cedar Park provided some stunning reminders, like this:

Now comes the tantalizing prospect of potentially seeing him with Miro Heiskanen – a match straight out of Fancasting Central and one that may finally give the team two top defensive pairs along with the John Klingberg - Esa Lindell duo.

The full release, courtesy of the Dallas Stars:

FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Stephen Johns from the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL), where he was on a conditioning assignment.

Johns remains on long-term injured reserve (post-traumatic headaches).

Johns, 27, appeared in two games during his conditioning stint, recording four points (1-3=4), a +5 plus/minus rating and eight shots. It was his first game-action since March 29, 2018. The defenseman registered 15 points (8-7=15) in 75 regular-season games with Dallas in 2017-18 and has posted 28 points (13-15=28) in 150 career regular-season NHL games, all in a Stars sweater. Johns has also appeared in 13 career postseason games, earning 41 hits and 10 blocked shots during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Ellwood City, Pa. was originally selected by Chicago in the second round (60th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and was acquired by Dallas via trade along with forward Patrick Sharp in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt on July 12, 2015.