Dallas Stars Daily Links: Valeri Nichushkin Says Rehab Progressing Well

Val hopes to be up and at 'em as soon as superhumanly possible. Also, everything is about the Stars, Sabres or Jets. Also, Rich Peverley helped Julius Honka with one-timers.

At the end of January, we got a present on what would have been Jacques Hznidovsky's 100th birthday: It was a video of Nichushkin actually skating on real hockey skates and doing real hockey things for the first time since November.

Yes, yes, it's still just as beautiful as it was then. Anyhow, that was the first visible progress we'd seen from Big Val in quite a while, and it was a sight for sore eyes. But we have even better news today, and once again, it's straight from #43 himself. Well, it was an interview that was written up and posted on a Russian website, but that's still nowhere near Kevin Bacon separation.

The original interview was published on sports.ru, and there are pictures of Val along with a video from I think the World Juniors or something, so it's worth a glance. The original interview is also in Russian, and since I am a dumb American who hasn't tried to read Russian since that time I was hanging out with my buddy and his Russian girlfriend, I will turn to Alessandro Seren Rosso of The Hockey Writers for the translation of a few salient points:

[Nichushkin]: All is good, the leg looks a lot better now. I’m slowly getting back into the right condition. The first few weeks I simply moved my legs, then I started working on my balance. Now I’m already working on the gym with weights. And of course, since day one my program includes a lot of [exercise] bike. At the start of January I flew to New York to undergo a planned examination. I have been inspected by the physician who performed the surgery. He asked me where it hurts, where it does not hurt, and then he said that all is going on very well and I can increase the load during the practices.


At the start of the season you indeed tried to play. When did you realize your hip wasn’t working right?

I felt that something was wrong already in August. We did something that I shouldn’t do, but it was only because we didn’t know what exactly was going on. This is why I underwent a surgery only once I got the right diagnosis. But at that time I already had two strained muscles and had some other problems from the old inguinal hernia surgery I had on summer 2012.

But the problem with your hip was more serious, correct?

Yes, of course. Inguinal hernia is a simple surgery and it is performed not only on athletes. These hip problems are much worse. The problem here is that the thigh bone, with the natural physiological grow and practice loads destroyed the capsule and joint.

Your agent Mark Gandler said that your recovery is going according to the plan. When will we see you on ice?

I lived at Mark’s place for one month after the surgery and he and his family helped me a lot. Just like my family. I don’t want to jinx myself up, but the doctor praised me last time. We have another examination planned on February 13th, and if everything goes well I can hit the ice in February already.

[The Hockey Writers]

February 13th is tomorrow, in case you're one of those calendar-hating folks I love so dearly. While it's not completely clear what "hit the ice" means, we do know that Nill said both Nuke and Nemeth were "three to six weeks away" just last week, so there's still reason to temper the enthusiasm.

If you have had more than enough of reason, however--and who could blame you after this year--then go nuts and mark March 1st at home vs. Anaheim on your calendar. That's just a tick over three weeks from Nill's estimate last week, but in all optimism we'll have an Instagram photo from Val when he's stepping on the ice for a "real" practice before then. Certainly Val is optimistic, and that's cause enough for celebration of the cautious sort.

Finally, here's one more quote I really enjoyed. Again, there's a lot more there, so give it a read:

In November Dallas traded Gonchar to Montreal. Is it boring without him?

Of course! I can only repeat what I said earlier: he’s a great man. He helped me a lot during my first year [in North America], he explained me everything, how it works here, how should I get ready for things, when should I wear a suit, and so on.

I dearly hope that this resulted in at least one instance of Nichushkin showing up for a team barbecue wearing spats. You cannot tell me you would not do the exact same thing were you in Sergei Gonchar's shoes or spats.

* * * *

Quick Thursday junk food plug for Haribo Juicy Gold Bears. Let me stress to you the importance of 1) not eating candy because it's terrible for you, 2) choosing to eat delicious candy if you're ignoring point one, and 3) trying Haribo Juicy Gold Bears. Seriously, these things are the American Giant hooded sweatshirt of gummy bears. That black currant flavor will make you call your parents and apologize for not telling about these sooner. Maybe send some to Roussel after his hearing today just to remind him that he is loved.

Okay, let's do some quick news before we get into the trades: Brett Richie has been reassigned to Texas, and Curtis McKenzie has been recalled. [Stars]

Jim Nill says a Jhonas Enroth extension is something they will consider, and that the team will need both goalies down the stretch. Mike Heika has more. [DMN]

Puck Daddy thinks the #1 job in Dallas's net is now up for grabs (although NHL.com called Jhonas Enroth the new backup, for what it's worth). [Puck Daddy]

CBS thinks that Enroth will be a good "stopgap," not the solution. [CBS Sports]

Dave Lozo supposes that the Stars need to be more consistent and win and stuff. [Bleacher Report]

Craig Custance says the Stars will probably be sellers at the deadline. Jhonas Enroth says, "Oh yeah?" Also the rest of the organization. [ESPN]

Rich Peverley skated yesterday, albeit as a volunteer coach for the Texas Stars. He took some faceoffs and stayed late to help a certain recent draft pick with one-timers. It's great to see Pevs using a hockey stick again. Sean Shapiro has photos and details. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]

Adam Proteau is placated now, so that's good, I guess. If you want to talk about it more, please go over to the other thread from yesterday and do it there. [THN]

Mike Heika thinks that Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have learned a lot after this latest thing. Seriously, if you want to talk about it more, please go over to the other thread from yesterday and do it there. [DMN]

Meanwhile, another minor trade happened in Buffalo, as a really tall defenseman named Tyler Myers was traded to Winnipeg for a really unhappy left wing named Evander Kane. Other players were involved, too. Is Buffalo trying to jump-start their rebuild a bit too early, though? [Puck Daddy]

Sean McIndoe says the Sabres won the Evander Kane trade. He also says a lot of other things that are neat. I think he is a good writer. [Grantland]

Minnesota didn't acquire anyone, but they have lost their second-leading scorer Jason Zucker for three months with a broken clavicle (been there, done that) and Ryan Carter for at least a month with an upper-body injury (technically have also done this). [Pioneer-Press]

Taylor Hall will miss a month or more with a leg injury of some kind. If you're the Oilers, any loss is your friend these days, so not sure they're quite as broken up about this news as they would normally be. Best wishes to Taylor. [Edmonton Journal]

One of the many new California AHL teams unveiled its new logo. I am planning to go to some Ontario Reign games when Texas is in town. I will just chant "quack, quack, quack" all the time until someone gets really annoyed at me and asks me to leave. [Fox Sports West]

Finally, here are your standings after the Canucks won in overtime last night because Chicago decided to turn the puck over forty-six times per shift. There's still way more ground to make up then you'd like to see at this point. [NHL]