Late last week, it was reported that Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk had been sidelined with an injury. However, the team had not yet evaluated the injury or its severity. Head coach Rick Tocchet was tight-lipped about how it occurred, what type of injury it might be, or how long Galchenyuk could be out for. It seems now that the team has taken the proper time to consider Galchenyuk’s status and the results are not optimal. Arizona announced that Galchenyuk is “week-to-week” with a lower body injury and is expected to miss the team’s opener in Dallas on October 4th.
Missing just one game would be a best case scenario at this point, as there continues to be a lack of details or answers regarding this injury. As the Coyotes biggest off-season acquisition, there was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the young scoring forward entering this season. Beginning the season without him is less than ideal, but even hinting at a long-term injury would be a tough pill for fans to swallow before the season even begins. “Week-to-week” is a difficult time frame to estimate, especially for a player who has been rather resilient in his career. However, when Galchenyuk did suffer a serious knee injury in 2016-17, he had a tough time getting healthy and would up missing 21 games over two stints on the injured reserve. A similar outlook for this mysterious lower-body ailment would be disastrous for Arizona.
Early indications had Galchenyuk not at center, but at left wing for the Coyotes and certainly in the top-six. Until he returns, his spot will likely return to what it was last season – a revolving door of options including Richard Panik, Brendan Perlini, Mario Kempe, and Lawson Crouse. That lineup is even less appealing than last year, when Max Domi (traded for Galchenyuk), Jordan Martinook (also traded), Tobias Rieder and Anthony Duclair (free agency) were also in the mix. The ’Yotes have to hope that the rest of their forward corps can pick up the slack and could use a hot start from free agent addition Michael Grabner and rookie Dylan Strome. Either way, the team will need Galchenyuk back as soon as possible if they want to take a step forward this season.