Avalanche Lose Logan O’Connor To Season-Ending Hip Surgery

Colorado Hockey Now

All the moves the Colorado Avalanche made to shore up their depth over the past week make a lot more sense now.

Before answering questions from the media on Sunday, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar made the announcement that Logan O’Connor’s season is over. The winger needs to have hip surgery and won’t be back this season, regardless of how far Colorado goes in the playoffs.

Bednar did say the moves Chris MacFarland made the other day might have had something to do with O’Connor’s status.

“We had an idea it wasn’t going well for him,” Bednar said. “Adding depth was important regardless, especially when you’re potentially getting bad news on a guy that’s played for us all year long.”

O’Connor had missed around 10 days in February because of the injury, but it’s not something that just popped up one day. It sounds like it’s been lingering all year.

“You can kind of see a decline in his game, post-break. All injury related,” Bednar said. “He’s been a real good contributor to our team for a long time, really dialed in on what he has to do…he’s (been) gradually getting worse and worse, and episodes are getting more frequent. There’s too much hockey yet to be played to have him not at his best. If he’s not as his best, then he can’t help us.”

Terrible news for O’Connor, who was having the best season of his NHL career. With 25 points in 57 games, he was just one point away from a career high, and had already surpassed his previous best in goals with 13 on the year. The Avalanche will really miss his speed in their bottom six. If we’re being honest, he’s probably the bottom six forward they could afford to lose the least.

As for who will replace him in the lineup, the best guess would be Zach Parise, but he’s currently out and listed as day-to-day. It also could be any of the new guys like Yakov Trenin and Brandon Duhaime.

The other wild card is Nikolai Kovalenko. Bednar said he didn’t have a timeframe on when Kovalenko would arrive to North America to play for the Avalanche (“hopefully sooner rather than later”), but did discuss a potential plan.

“Just depends. We’ll see (on how they’ll work him in),” Bednar said. “See what he looks like. Hasn’t been over here before, so see what he looks like with our group and then we’d like to get him integrated and playing if he looks good and looks like he can handle it. It just gives us another piece to be able to utilize and move around however we see fit. We can start him with practicing and bring him up to speed.”

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