Dallas Stars D-Man To Undergo Surgery; Could Miss Start Of Season

At the team's end-of-season news conference, Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill revealed that key defenseman Jani Hakanpää was suffering from both knee and back injuries during the playoffs, and will now go under the knife to repair his knee.

The 30-year-old Finnish D-man missed four games in the postseason due to the injuries, and now the knee surgery will likely force him to miss at least the start of training camp in September, and possibly into the season. 2023-24 will be the final year of his 3-year, $4.5M contract signed with Dallas. He'll be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Hakanpää, a lockdown 6'6", 220-pound defensive defenseman, had six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in the regular season with a plus-minus rating of plus-18, while playing in all 82 games for the Stars. 

Nill also revealed that pending unrestricted free agent forward Evgenii Dadonov suffered a Grade 2 MCL strain in his knee during the Conference Final, and would not have been available if the Stars would have advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. 

The 34-year-old had a nice run after coming over from the Montreal Canadiens before the trade deadline, recording 15 points (on two goals, 13 assists) in 23 games with the Stars during the regular season. He was a strong postseason performer as well, with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 16 games.

Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports