DALLAS — Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel was a popular media target on Wednesday morning.
As the only French-speaking player on the Stars, he was swarmed by a horde of cameras and French-speaking reporters that follow the Montreal Canadiens.
Roussel also grew up a Canadiens fan, which he said is the unofficial NHL team for France.
And Roussel may or may not play against Montreal tonight. He hasn’t played since sustaining an upper-body injury in practice on Dec. 21 and is a game-time decision Wednesday.
Roussel, who didn’t take part in an optional morning skate, will take warmups before his status is determined for the game.
“It’s really just up to him,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He’s got the type of thing where he’ll know if he can play or not. Totally out of my hands.”
Roussel said on Tuesday that he’s been feeling pretty good and it’s been a learning process to work his way bak from what he called a frustrating injury.
“I did take my time,” Roussel said. “First couple skates I just skated, didn’t really shoot the puck. I felt my body, one step at a time. I ramped it up, ramped it up. And now it’s a step to physical (play).”
Roussel felt he was 100 percent in practice on Tuesday.
“It’s not easy, but if you go 100 percent in practice, that’s the only way you’ll know you are 100 percent on the ice,” Roussel added. “Got to test it to.”
If Roussel plays the Stars will have to make an interesting roster decision. Dallas will have to make a roster move to stay at 23 skaters. Dallas could put Jamie Benn on injured reserve, who will miss Wednesday’s game with a foot injury, but would then lose the captain for Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. The Stars could also send Devin Shore to the AHL to open up a roster spot since he’s waiver exempt.
Stars projected lineup:
Patrick Sharp — Jason Spezza — Tyler Seguin
Curtis McKenzie — Radek Faksa — Brett Ritchie
Jiri Hudler — Cody Eakin — Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel — Devin Shore — Lauri Korpikoski
Esa Lindell — John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya — Jordie Benn
Dan Hamhuis — Stephen Johns
Scratched: Patrik Nemeth, Adam Cracknell, Jamie Oleksiak
Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jamie Benn (foot)