This is not the kind of news the Chicago Blackhawks wanted to get before the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.
The team announced on Monday that center Kirby Dach is going to be sidelined for four-to-five months after undergoing wrist surgery earlier in the day.
Dach was injured on Dec. 23 while playing for Canada at the World Junior Championship.
This is a significant loss for the Blackhawks this season.
For starters, Dach is the most exciting and promising young player on the roster and coming off a strong rookie season that saw him finish with eight goals and 23 total points in 64 games as a 19-year-old. Perhaps most impressive was his showing in playoff bubble where he took on a significantly larger role and never looked out of place, recording six points in the team’s nine games. This injury is going to wipe out a major chunk of his second NHL season, and maybe even all of it depending on his recovery. If he is not able to play this season, or only appears in a few games, that would be terrible news for his development at this stage of his career.
Those two injuries no doubt played a role in the recent signing of Carl Soderberg.
The Blackhawks are entering a rebuild with a thin roster that has no proven starting goalie. This already had the potential to be a long year, and the most important aspect of it may have been seeing how players like Kirby Dach develop (and if Nylander can be a part of their future). Now they will not even get that.