The Colorado Avalanche are already sitting at 154 man games lost for the season, a mere 50 from where they sat at the end of the 2013-14 season. Considering that defenseman Ryan Wilson is out for the entire season, the team is certain to pass last year's mark, as there are still 52 games to be played.
Here's the latest update on the long list of injured Avalanche players, starting with the good news (well, the good news aside from the return of Dennis Everberg):
Brad Stuart, John Mitchell, and Patrick Bordeleau:
All three are hopefully set to return as per Patrick Roy's recent comments to the Denver Post:
The Avalanche will soon see some of its myriad injured players returning, starting with Brad Stuart, John Mitchell and Patrick Bordeleau, Colorado coach Patrick Roy said Friday. "They're going to be part of the trip to Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Detroit," Roy said. "And we hope they'll play somewhere in there at some point."
The return of Stuart to the lineup is a particular relief. Even though he seemed to struggle early on in the season, he was playing well when he was injured on November 4th. Stuart has been practicing and looked 100% or very close to it at the Avalanche's most recent practice.
Mitchell is likewise another player who contributes in a solid, dependable way to the roster. He hasn't played since November 29th and before that was on and off IR due to migraines.
Bordeleau may make the least impact upon his return as he hasn't played all season. After undergoing back surgery this off-season, he missed the entirety of training camp and all 30 games so far.
According to Coach Roy, McGinn underwent successful back surgery. He suffered the injury on November 15th. Roy told the Post:
"It went really well," coach Patrick Roy said. "But I would not be surprised if he's out for the season. We're certainly not going to push him on it."
As of today, the much-loved winger is expected to miss all 52 returning games. This is hard news for the Avalanche, as McGinn is one of the team's underrated work horses.
The goaltender has only played in 15 games this season, on and off IR due to groin strain problems. This is one of the most difficult injuries a goaltender can face, so hopefully the team rests Varlamov as long as necessary.
At the moment, rookie goaltender Calvin Pickard is posting a .927 save %% over 10 games. While those numbers are difficult to maintain in the long term, Pickard is buying the Avalanche time.
Varlamov is expected to miss at least a couple weeks.
The winger, who was picked up as a free agent, was a pleasant surprise in training camp until he was concussed in a preseason match in early October.
Winchester has practiced with the team on and off since his concussion. He was originally slated for a late October/early November return, but ongoing issues have prevented him from returning to play.
His long road to recovery was heartbreakingly detailed in the Post:
But when he skates at the Pepsi Center, or walks down an aisle at a grocery store, he's never far from being reminded of the blow.
His head spins when skating at the Pepsi Center, with the seating, aisles and other landmarks making him "just not right." He has the same problem walking in grocery store aisles and at other colorful and confined spaces. But he said he feels fine at the Avs' practice facility.
Winchester is still out indefinitely.
The call-up injured his hand on November 30th and was expected to miss 7-10 days. He has returned to practice with the team in a red no-contact jersey.
The former Badger is expected to miss at least another week or two.
Wilson underwent successful shoulder surgery in November, but he's out for the season.