Is Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger ready to return to action this week?

Jake Oettinger has been out the last month due to an undisclosed lower-body injury. With the Stars sending Matt Murray back to the Texas Stars today, is Oettinger ready to back up Wedgewood? Here is the latest update on Oettinger and his return to the ice.

Dec 15, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) motions to the Stars
Dec 15, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) motions to the Stars / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Stars fans see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it might be good news. Matt Murray was sent back to the Texas Stars today. We've seen this before, as the Stars sent him down to accrue salary cap space. However, with Jake Oettinger back with the team and practicing, he could be ready to back up Wedgewood for two games at least. Let's look at the two scenarios we could expect to see tomorrow night.

Jake Oettinger Return: Cap Space Move

This could be just a simple move of trying to get more cap space for a move later this year. Murray was sent down before during a day off and was called back the next day. Oettinger could need a couple more games before he backs up Wedgewood. With the Stars playing the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night, Murray could get another start tomorrow to give Wedgewood another game off. Pete DeBoer might want to see if Murray can shut them out again.

Jake Oettinger Return: Jake Oettinger is back

The other scenario is that Oettinger is back from his injury and will back up Wedgewood before he starts again. If you saw the interview with the media after practice the other day, Oettinger is eager to get back to playing hockey again. He will look to improve on his 11-7-2 record this season once DeBoer gives him the nod to start. It's probably not the start to the season Oettinger wanted, but he can improve his stats in the second half this year.

Jake Oettinger Return: Conclusion

I know Stars' fans are eager for Oettinger to get back so they can get back into the Central Division race. However, they need to let Oettinger ease back into the game. The last thing that needs to happen is Oettinger gets ambushed in his first game back, and his confidence is shot. He wants to play again this season, but Oettinger wants to ensure he's ready first. It's time to regain first place in the Central Division, and Oettinger will help us with that shortly.

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