Stars Coach Makes Big Statement On Roope Hintz's Status For Opening Night

With back-to-back 37-goal seasons, the Dallas Stars could ill-afford to be without their sizeable center, Roope Hintz, for long. The star pivot hasn't played in a preseason game yet due to an upper-body injury—and might not. But head coach Pete DeBoer says that will not hold him back from being ready for Opening Night on October 12th.

“I don’t need to see him in an exhibition game. If he gets in one, great. If he doesn’t, I’m sure he’ll find a spot in our opening lineup. We’ll make some room for him," said DeBoer in a snide comment.

Not surprising that the bench boss doesn't need to see what Hintz can do. The first-line center recorded a career-high 75 points last season, and his second consecutive 37-goal effort. He also registered a robust plus/minus of plus-31. In addition, he finished tied for 3rd in Stanley Cup playoff scoring, with 24 points in 26 games for the Stars.

It's not ideal for a player's first game of the season to come on Opening Night without any preseason buildup, but the Stars seem pretty confident that won't be a problem for Hintz.

Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports