“Not great,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said this morning, when asked how Lehkonen was doing. “We’re still gathering information, but he’s going to miss weeks. Can’t give you a timeline yet.”
The bench boss for Colorado did confirm it’s not a head injury, but didn’t give much more information. I had hinted this morning that Lehkonen was going to miss some time, so this news isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s an extremely tough loss for the Avalanche.
So, how do you replace him in the lineup?
“You don’t,” Bednar said.
Lehkonen went head-first into the boards on Thursday night against the Seattle Kraken and immediately left the game. He was transported to a local hospital afterwards for evaluation, but did have full movement and was alert.
The 28 year old winger is one of the more consistent forwards on Colorado on a night-to-night basis. You know exactly what you’re going to get from him in terms of effort levels, and he plays in all situations. Like Bednar said, replacing him will be awfully difficult, if not impossible.
Lehkonen currently has eight points through 12 games this season.
It’s a big opportunity for offseason additions like Jonathan Drouin and Tomas Tatar to prove their worth, as they will now get additional ice-time in Lehkonen’s absence. The two have combined for zero goals on the season to date.
In addition to Lehkonen, the Avalanche will be without Andrew Cogliano on Saturday night, but the team is hoping that will be more of a day-to-day injury.
Stay tuned to CHN for more news as it comes in.