Stars Notebook: Oettinger, Heiskanen Update, Wyatt Johnston Staying Put
There is a lot happening with the Dallas Stars this Halloween. How are Jake Oettinger and Miro Heiskanen feeling? Will we see Anton Khudobin in the NHL? What about the 19-year-old Wyatt Johnston’s future? Answers here.
There was a lot for Stars fans to watch for on Halloween day. Luckily for them and the media, Jim Nill gave some big updates at practice in Frisco.
Jake Oettinger will miss at least one week.
The biggest storyline was the health of starting goaltender Jake Oettinger.
For the first time in his young career, the 23-year-old pulled himself from Saturday's game against the New York Rangers due to an injury. Although he did return to the bench for the third period, that remained concerning.
Nill announced Monday that Oettinger would miss at least one week and would be re-evaluated at that time to determine the next step. He is expected to remain in Frisco when the team heads out on a three-game road trip to Arizona, Edmonton, and Winnipeg.
While that hopefully means the injury Is minor, it does complicate things quite a bit in the crease.
Scott Wedgewood will be relied upon heavily in the meantime for Dallas. But who will back him up?
Anton Khudobin seems like the obvious call as he has NHL experience and appears to be healthy and waiting for his shot. But with his large salary cap hit of $3.33 million and the Stars being pressed against the cap, that makes it nearly impossible. That leaves two options: sign AHL goalie Matt Murray to an entry-level NHL contract, or call up one of Adam Scheel or Remi Poirier from the ECHL.
Note: The injury to Oettinger also forced Dallas to send down Matej Blumel, who otherwise was likely to make his NHL debut on Tuesday.
Wyatt Johnston will stay in Dallas.
This is huge news, though I doubt it comes as much of a surprise for anyone that has watched this team in 2022-23.19-year-old Wyatt Johnston played his ninth NHL game on Saturday, which put the Stars in a position to either send him back to juniors or keep him around and start his NHL contract. With his performance and the confidence of his coaches and staff, the decision seemed relatively easy.
DeBoer: "I may have to hide him in my trunk so Jim [Nill] can't find him."
Nill confirmed on Monday that Johnston will be sticking around with Dallas.
Related: All Signs Point to Wyatt Johnston Staying in Dallas
Miro Heiskanen back on the ice.
Miro Heiskanen has not played since suffering a minor injury in Ottawa a week ago. Monday was the first time we have seen him back on the ice with the team and the coaches continue to show confidence that he is near returning.
Keeping Heiskanen out this long has been mostly precautionary. The defenseman finished the game in Ottawa and 'woke up sore' the following day. But Pete DeBoer let us know that if the past few games were playoff games, we would have likely seen #4 out on the ice.
Miro has been marked officially as a 'game-time decision' for Tuesday's home game against Los Angeles.