Dallas Stars forward Ales Hemsky could be out for the reason after surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. The surgery was on Monday and the Stars announced that Hemsky could miss five to six months of action.
The 33-year-old injured himself playing on Team Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey, then missed the first four games of the regular season. He played 15 and a half minutes against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 22 and was back on the injured reserve list the following day.
“He wanted desperately to play but he was struggling,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “It’s really similar to what Jamie [Benn] went through [last offseason]. You deal with it and you move on.”
Dallas is contending with a lot of injuries up front, with Mattias Janmark set to miss the regular season with a knee injury. Cody Eakin is out another two to three weeks at least with a knee injury, while Patrick Sharp is only starting to work out again after sustaining a concussion on October 20. Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves are playing but playing hurt, while Jason Spezza missed two games but played Saturday.
The Stars are 3-4-0 and will play Columbus again on Tuesday, plus they’ve lost two straight.
They’ll have to make some adjustments in Hemsky’s absence, as he’s been a fixture on the team.
Last season, he played with Radek Faksa and Antoine Roussel. Hemsky had 39 points in 75 games in 2015-2016.
Ruff is looking at Spezza to fill that space for the time being, which means he’ll have to learn to play wing.
“My best stuff is coming from behind the play and trucking through the middle of the ice,” said Spezza. “So I’ve got to figure out how to do that as a winger, and there are lots of wingers that do that. If I’m with [Faksa], the onus is on us to figure out how to do that.”
In 824 career regular season games, Hemsky has 565 points – including 170 goals and 395 assists for the Stars, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers.