Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin has a torn labrum in his hip that likely will force him to miss the start of next season, while captain Jamie Benn and goaltender Ben Bishop now have time to fully recover from surgeries they had during an extended season that ended in the Stanley Cup Final.
General manager Jim Nill said Thursday that Seguin will need about four months to recover after he does have surgery, which would keep him from being available for the anticipated start of the season around Jan. 1.
Ten days after the Stars lost Game 6 to Tampa Bay, and between the end of the draft and start of free agency, Nill revealed a lengthy list of injuries the team was dealing with during the playoffs while inside the NHL bubble in Edmonton for more than two months.
Nill also said the plan is for 65-year-old Rick Bowness to return after serving as interim head coach since December. The GM and coach are planning to meet next week, following one meeting already when they discussed players.
"The plan is I think he wants to come back. We want him back. He's earned that," Nill said. "When we were in the bubble, you watched how our team played. ... You can tell that they play for the coach and the coach loves to coach them. So my plan is that Rick Bowness is our coach moving forward."
Nill said all of the assistant coaches are under contract and would return.
As for the injured players, Bishop didn't play after the first round against Colorado because he never fully recovered from a previously undisclosed knee surgery in May, a procedure that was delayed because the early stages of the pandemic limited hospital access. Bishop has three years left on his $29.5 million, six-year contract.
Unrestricted free agent Anton Khudobin, the 34-year-old journeyman goalie who took over for Bishop, had surgery Wednesday to address a nerve issue that was causing numbness in his stick hand. Nill said there will be no long-term issues for Khudobin, who plans to test the free-agent market after going 14-10 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in the postseason.
"He should be fine in four or five weeks. The surgery was successful," said Nill, who has spoken with Khudobin's agents about re-signing him.
Benn played in all 27 playoff games but was still affected at times from shoulder surgery he had right before the season was paused in mid-March because of the pandemic.
"It bothered him a little bit in the playoffs, but Jamie doesn't complain too much," Nill said. "I thought he had a great playoff performance for us. ... I can't say it was 100%, but it's got time to heal now and should be fine."
Forwards Radek Faksa (broken wrist in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals), Blake Comeau (separated shoulder) and Roope Hintz (fractured ankle, hip injury) were out at the end. Defensemen Esa Lindell (hand), John Klingberg (shoulder) and Miro Heiskanen (hip), their leading scorer in the playoffs, managed to stay on the ice, as did center Jason Dickinson (foot, ankle).
Defenseman Stephen Johns returned in January after 22 months away from hockey because of headaches. Johns appeared in four games early in the postseason, but Nill said Johns didn't feel comfortable playing the rest of the playoffs. It's not clear whether Johns will try to return next season.