Stephen Johns Will Play This Season, Coming to Texas Stars on Conditioning Assignment

(Credit: Texas Stars)

Defenseman Stephen Johns has been the player the Dallas Stars have needed in their lineup for much of the past year. A steady defenseman and ideal pairing with Miro Heiskanen, he has been out of the lineup with post-traumatic headaches. His last professional action at any level was March 29, 2018.  Nearly two years later, he is ready to return. His conditioning stint to Texas begins today.

Conditioning stints are relatively rare and carry special rules to ensure there is no abuse. The assignment may last no longer than fourteen days, given this is a regular conditioning assignment. 100 Degree Hockey has reached out to the Stars to determine if Bona-Fide Injury Exception rules apply here.

Because Johns is still on IR in Dallas, this is a Bona Fide Injury conditioning assignment. Per the CBA, this means the defenseman is assigned "for a period not to exceed up to the longer of six (6) days and three (3) games, solely for the purpose of determining whether the Player is fit to play." The Stars will need to file for an extension with Gary Bettman if they need longer than that. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Johns is no stranger to the Texas Stars. He played a total of 57 games with the club across two seasons, last suiting up in the 2016-17 season.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has loaned defenseman Stephen Johns to the Texas Stars on a conditioning assignment.

Johns, 27, missed the entire 2018-19 season and has yet to play in 2019-20 due to post-traumatic headaches. The defenseman registered 15 points (8-7=15) in 75 regular-season games with Dallas in 2017-18 and has posted 28 points (13-15=28) in 150 career regular-season NHL games, all in a Stars sweater. Johns has also appeared in 13 career postseason games, earning 41 hits and 10 blocked shots during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Ellwood City, Pa. was originally selected by Chicago in the second round (60th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and was acquired by Dallas via trade along with forward Patrick Sharp in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt on July 12, 2015.

The Stars continue a six-game home stint on Friday as they welcome the Toronto Marlies back to Cedar Park for the first time since the 2018 Calder Cup Final. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m.