Andrew Cogliano has a fractured neck, as first reported by Elliotte Friedman. The injury came in the second period from a dirty hit from Jordan Eberle to the back of Cogliano, knocking him out for the rest of the period.
Cogliano somehow managed to finish the game in the third period and pull out the win, but a fractured neck is a horrifying injury. Therefore, his indefinite injury and return to action make sense and unfortunately at his age, could spell trouble.
But, damn, what a warrior he is. Also damn, how in the world did this go by without any other sort of action taken?!
The NHL Department of Player Safety (DoPS) decided to not have a hearing for Eberle throwing the hit. It met all the criteria of calling for a hearing, with a player in a dangerous position hit badly into the boards. But apparently, because he finished the game unlike the hit Cale Makar was suspended for on Jared McCann, there was no suspension to be faced.
The hit was let go. The precedent has been set. Unbelievably so. DoPS has failed at its job in this instance for this disastrous hit and injury setback Cogliano now faces.
This also leaves a very interesting and rather unamusing question of who the Colorado Avalanche will fill in his place. Darren Helm has already been confirmed out for Game 7, as has Josh Manson. The Colorado Eagles are in California facing the Coachella Valley Firebirds (also the affiliate of the Seattle Kraken) in their own playoff series. Therefore, likely no one will be called up but instead having to use someone within the Avs squad now to fill his slot.
Josh Manson and Darren Helm are out for Game 7 of #Avs vs. Kraken.— Bennett Durando (@BennettDurando) April 29, 2023
Enter Kurtis MacDermid. It seems all but likely he would come in for Cogliano and play forward or either as a seventh defenseman and Colorado would play 11 forwards. Regardless of how it plays out, the Avs would likely not have wanted to be put in this scenario to play MacDermid in the biggest game of the year.
It’s far from ideal. It makes the task that much harder. We can only hope the best for MacDermid on the ice in his performance on Sunday, and Cogliano’s recovery from a nearly-broken neck off the ice.