Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech left yesterday’s game against Ottawa with an upper-body injury and it will keep him out for a while as the team announced (Twitter link) that he has been placed on LTIR. This means that he will miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days, pegging his earliest possible return date as December 19th against Edmonton.
Pelech was injured on his second shift of the game on Friday, playing less than a minute in total. It hasn’t been a great start to the season for the 29-year-old as he missed three games earlier this month with a lower-body injury and has been a bit quieter than usual when he has suited up. Through 16 appearances, he has just three assists along with 28 blocks and 15 hits while averaging a little under 20 minutes a night, a number that’s skewed somewhat with his early exit yesterday.
Pelech is in the third season of an eight-year, $46MM contract (a $5.75MM cap charge), making him the second-highest-paid Islander blueliner behind Ryan Pulock. Even with his slower start, any sort of long-term absence will sting for New York, a team that has won just eight of their first 19 contests so far this season.
Part of the impetus for the particularly quick LTIR placement is the fact that defenseman Sebastian Aho was also injured early against the Sens yesterday. These two injuries leave the Isles with just five healthy rearguards on the active roster heading into tonight’s game against Philadelphia. Unless Aho is able to suit up, a blueliner will need to be brought up from AHL Bridgeport but without Pelech’s LTIR placement, they would not have had enough money to do so.