The Montreal Canadiens’ season-long battle with the injury bug continues, as the team has announced that center Christian Dvorak underwent season-ending knee surgery today. Per the announcement, a full recovery is expected before the start of next season.
While no announcement has officially been made, it’s likely that Dvorak will land on injured reserve following this news. When that placement officially comes, he’ll join a whopping eight Canadiens players on either regular or long-term injured reserve.
The Canadiens have been absolutely decimated by injuries this season, and their list of contributors who have missed significant time this season rivals that of any other NHL club. They have lost players such as budding superstar Cole Caufield and promising rookie defenseman Arber Xhekaj to their own season-ending surgeries, and now Dvorak joins that list.
The result of the slew of injuries the team has faced this season has been that coach Martin St. Louis has been forced to make do with an even more talent-depleted roster than the one the Canadiens entered the season with.
While some players such as longtime minor leaguer Alex Belzile and seventh-round pick Rafael Harvey-Pinard have seized the opportunities these injuries have provided them, it’s clear that the trouble the Canadiens have faced in the health department has cost them valuable development time for some key players.
For Dvorak, 27, this injury ends what has been an up-and-down season.
The former Arizona Coyotes center has always been the kind of player who is at his best when he can feed off of more gifted linemates, and in Montreal he has not been given that luxury.
As a result, his offensive production has declined as he’s settled into more of a defensive role.
He’s leading all Canadiens regulars in short-handed ice time per game and splits the task of handling the team’s hardest matchups with captain Nick Suzuki.
Dvorak, who makes $4.45MM against the cap through 2024-25, will finish his second season in Montreal with 10 goals and 18 assists in 64 games, which is a 13-goal, 36-point pace.
That’s a decline from the 48-point pace he posted last season, which is disappointing, but he has the type of consistency across his 422-game NHL career to suggest that he’ll have a chance to rebound next season.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
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