As reported by Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic Tuesday night, Colorado Avalanche star center Nathan MacKinnon is expected to miss roughly four weeks with an upper-body injury suffered last night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The report comes after head coach Jared Bednar told reporters this morning that MacKinnon was “going to miss some time” with the injury.
It appears that ghosts of Vegas Golden Knights past are coming to haunt the Avs this season, with an injury list that alone rivals the core of a playoff-contending team. Mikko Rantanen and J.T. Compher are now the team’s only healthy forwards with double-digit points, pushing the Avs to use even the fringes of their minor-league depth.
The pure length of the injury list is compounded by the quality of players, none higher than MacKinnon. The freshly-minted highest-paid player in the league is already living up to his future contract extension, leading the Avalanche with 34 points in 23 games.
Colorado now turns to Rantanen, a natural winger playing center on the second line with some other depth pieces out, to be their first-line pivot in all likelihood. They’ll also need much more out of players like Alex Newhook, who has nine points in 23 games.
Jean-Luc Foudy, Evan Rodrigues, Artturi Lehkonen, Shane Bowers, Valeri Nichushkin, Gabriel Landeskog, Darren Helm, Bowen Byram, Josh Manson, and Kurtis MacDermid comprise the team’s injury list. Out of all of them, Foudy, Nichushkin, and Lehkonen appear the closest to returning.