Montreal Canadiens forward Kirby Dach has sustained a “significant injury” and will be out for an extended period of time, the team announced Monday.
A spokesperson for the Canadiens did not provide more details on the injury, but confirmed that it was significant and that Dach would be out long term.
Sportsnet's Eric Engels reported that the fear is Dach tore both the ACL and MCL in his knee, which would certainly keep him out for the remainder of the season.
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Dach, a former first-round pick of the Blackhawks, was checked into the Chicago bench by defenseman Jarred Tinordi in the first period of Montreal’s home opener Saturday.
He headed to the locker room shortly afterward and did not return to the game due to a lower-body injury.
“It was a hockey play,” said Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis, who didn’t attribute any ill intent to Tinordi. “He hit Dacher (Dach), and Dacher got up to avoid getting crushed against the boards.
“I can’t say it was intentional.”
The team is continuing to evaluate the injury and is expected to provide more information in the coming days.
Dach has two assists in two games this season. He recorded 14 goals and 24 assists in 58 games last season, his first with the Canadiens.
St. Louis and teammates who had spoken with Dach since the injury said the 22-year-old was frustrated by the situation.
Dach missed 24 games late last season due to a lower-body injury, followed by an upper-body injury. In the 2020-21 season, while with the Blackhawks, he was limited to 18 games because of a wrist injury.
“That’s the worst part (of the game),” said Canadiens veteran Brendan Gallagher. “You really take care of yourself, you make a lot of sacrifices in the off-season to come in in your best shape. Kirby did that, he was excited for a new season, to have to deal with this is really frustrating for him.”