Decimated Front-Runners – Serious Injuries for NHL Contenders to Start the 2020-21 Season


The long-delayed 2020-21 NHL season will start off with several of the top teams missing important players. Nova Caps looks at the significant injuries affecting each of those teams. Only injuries expected to impact a player’s ability to start the regular season are included.

Boston Bruins: Right wing David Pastrnak underwent right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on September 16. Expected recovery time would be five months, which translates to a mid-February return. Left wing Brad Marchand underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia on September 14, with his recovery time estimated to be four months, meaning the Bruins will be missing one of their key forwards for training camp and some early regular season games.


Dallas Stars: Goaltender Ben Bishop had surgery to repair a torn meniscus on October 21. A five-month recovery was anticipated prior to surgery, which would allow him to be available to the team by mid-March. Forward Tyler Seguin had right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on November 2 and is expected to be out for five months, which puts him on track to return in early April.

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St. Louis Blues: Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko had surgery on his left shoulder in September and will be re-evaluated in early February.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Right wing Nikita Kucherov (above) will miss the entire 2020-21 regular season due to a hip injury that required surgery. Lightning General Manager Julian BriseBois, however, is reportedly optimistic he can return for the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Forward Zach Aston-Reese had shoulder surgery in August and was expected to be out for six months, with an estimated return in February.

Colorado Avalanche: While the Avalanche dealt with numerous injuries during the “playoffs in the bubble” including both their main goaltenders (Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz) along with Gabriel Landeskog, Erik Johnson, Matt Calvert, Joonas Donskoi, Conor Timmins, their players are apparently healthy at the moment. After a strong showing last season, it will be interesting to see how the Avs fare to start the 2020-21 season.


Chicago Blackhawks: While the Blackhawks are not a contender at the time of writing and heading into the regular season, the team lost promising young forward Kirby Dach at the beginning of the World Junior Championship with a fractured wrist and Alex Nylander for 4-6 months due to knee surgery.

By Diane Doyle


About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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