Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Jere Lehtinen ponders 15th NHL season
By Mark Stepneski
Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said there is still no decision from winger Jere Lehtinen, who is evaluating if he wants to play a 15th NHL season.
"I met with him the other day and I don't think he's really made up his mind," Nieuwendyk said.
The 37-year-old Lehtinen, who has battled injuries the past three seasons, has spent the summer contemplating if he wants to put his body through the rigors of another campaign.
A Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, reported Monday that Lehtinen is giving serious consideration to not coming back. The newspaper noted that Lehtinen has worked out less this summer, and that's a sign that he's not returning.
"I don't think he's worked out as much as he usually does, but he has had a few workouts lately," Nieuwendyk said. "He hasn't really made up his mind, and we haven't put a ton of pressure on him."
Nieuwendyk acknowledged that Lehtinen might not be in attendance when the Stars begin training camp in less than three weeks, but he added that doesn't mean Lehtinen would be out of the picture. Nieuwendyk left the door open that Lehtinen could miss camp and join the team some time down the road.
"I think there's a chance of that. That option is there," Nieuwendyk said. "Right now it's up to Jere. I think now that's he back and his kids are in school, he'll be able to get a better sense of what he wants to do in the next few weeks."
Mark Stepneski covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag.