The Dallas Stars have had a tough off-season, and it just got worse. The team announced that young center Mattias Janmark is expected to miss up to six months as he recovers from knee surgery. It was first reported that Janmark had been seen on crutches and was then scratched from Dallas’ preseason match-up, but the extent of the injury was unknown. As it turns out, it wasn’t so much an injury, but a preexisting condition that has sidelined Janmark. Stars GM Jim Nill announced that Janmark has been diagnosed with Osteochondritis Dissecans, a structural issue in the knee joint that is present at birth. Although the condition is not considered career-threatening, after a promising rookie campaign, it is disappointing to hear that Janmark will be out until March or April at the earliest, and could end up missing his entire sophomore season. With Cody Eakin injured and expected to miss up to two months, and team leaders Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin both recovering from injuries, the Stars have had bad luck lately. Everyone will have to chip in to make up for the losses, as well as work hard to stay healthy, if Dallas wants any chance of repeating as Central Division champs.
One of their main competitors for that title, the St. Louis Blues, are having injury issues of their own. What seemed at first to be a minor upper body injury for young winger Jaden Schwartz, has now been announced as a serious elbow injury that will keep him out of the lineup through the first month of the season at least. Schwartz missed 49 games recovering from an ankle injury last season, and it off to a tough start in 2016-17. The 23-year-old has shown great scoring ability when healthy, but the Blues have to be worried about the durability of a player that they handed a five-year, $26.75MM deal to this summer. With Alex Steen recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and Robby Fabbri dealing with a day-to-day upper body injury of his own, the Blues depth at left wing may face some early challenges this season.