The Ottawa Senators can’t catch a break. Today the team announced that star rookie Brady Tkachuk will be out “about a month” with a torn ligament in his leg. Tkachuk was off to a tremendous start this season with six points in four games, but will now have to head to injured reserve and work his way back from his first professional injury. The teenager barely seemed injured in his previous game, but obviously more damage was revealed afterwards.
Nothing seems to be going right for the Senators, despite their respectable start to the season. The team is 3-2-1 through six games, but have already placed Cody Ceci, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ryan Dzingel and Alex Formenton on injured reserve. With Tkachuk likely joining them there, the team’s core has been devastated through the early part of the year and will need to rely even more heavily on Mark Stone, Thomas Chabot and Matt Duchene going forward. That’s a tough situation to put those players in, especially when two of them are still scheduled for unrestricted free agency next summer.
Tkachuk and Formenton especially were looking like core pieces that could be built around to compete for the playoffs as soon as next season, but now with a tendon injury and concussion will miss key development time in their young careers. In the meantime, the team will try to keep their heads above water and not let the locker room devolve into a losing culture. The Senators are trying to turn the page on the Erik Karlsson chapter of their history, and a player like Tkachuk performing so well was the easy headline every night.