The Arizona Coyotes lost a big part of their young core on Friday when it was announced that Christian Dvorak, having undergone surgery to fix a torn pectoral muscle, will be sidelined indefinitely. The Coyotes are coming off just their second win of the season against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night and currently sit tied for last place in the Western Conference.
OFFICIAL: Dvorak Out Indefinitely https://t.co/XTCZ2kfbhy
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 19, 2018
Coyotes Christian Dvorak Out Indefinitely After Undergoing Surgery
History of Injury
Dvorak’s surgery comes just a week after he returned to practice for the first time since the conclusion of the 2017-18 season. The 22-year-old has spent all summer rehabbing a lower-back injury that kept him out of the Coyotes lineup in late March and early April last season. Dvorak missed the last four games of the season after suiting up in each of the 78 Arizona had played on the season up to that point. He had 37 points last season, a slight improvement on the 33 he notched in his rookie year.
The Coyotes also awarded Dvorak a new six-year(s)/$26,700,000 contract this summer with an average annual salary of $4.45 million for his consistent play over his first two seasons.
Arizona’s second-round pick from 2014 was trending upwards until Friday. After beginning the season on injured reserve, Dvorak rejoined the team at practice on October 12th but was still not cleared for contact. He then suffered a setback on October 15th which turned out to be the injury that will keep him out indefinitely.
The loss of Dvorak could not have come at a worse time for the Coyotes. So far in the NHL season, they have stumbled out of the gates and have a complete inability to find the net. Arizona ranks dead last in the NHL with only seven total goals (three total until Thursday’s game) on the heels of a lack of scorers up front. Aside from Clayton Keller, there are very few scoring options in the Coyotes top-six forwards and a thin group of centremen. Had Dvorak returned at this point, he would most likely be centring the Coyotes second line and receiving regular powerplay time.
The defence and goaltending have done their job for Arizona this season only allowing an impressive 2.00 goals per game. Still, without scoring and now missing a key piece of their offence, Arizona could once again find themselves at the bottom of the league come April.
Main Photo: GLENDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 25: Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak (18) gets into position before a face-off during the NHL hockey game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Arizona Coyotes on November 25, 2016, at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)