Only three games remain on the Blackhawks schedule but one of the biggest reasons to tune in for those broadcasts has been taken away after the team announced on Thursday that center Kirby Dach will be held out for the final three games of the 2021 season.
MEDICAL UPDATE from team physician Dr. Michael Terry:— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 6, 2021
“After aggravation of his right wrist injury, Kirby Dach continues to have some post-operative discomfort. We elected with Kirby to rest him for the final three games of the season.”#Blackhawks https://t.co/wscjhLIbxX
It’s been a rough 5-6 months for Dach, starting with the injury he suffered last December. While playing with Team Canada against Russia in a pre-tournament game prior to the start of the World Juniors, Dach collided with an opponent, fracturing his right wrist. Dach underwent surgery five days later, with the timeline for his return to “hockey-related activities” set at 4-5 months. His progress blew that timeline away, though, as Dach was back on the ice on March 27 when the Hawks faced the Predators.
Dach played in 18 games this season, notching two goals and eight assists while averaging 18:34 of ice time. That follows a rookie season when Dach played in 64 regular season games with 8 goals and 15 assists with an average TOI of 14:16.
But in the 2020 postseason, Dach had what’s likely the best stretch of his young career.
In nine games he had one goal and five assists with a 19:24 TOI average, contributing in all areas of the game as Chicago upset Edmonton during the qualifying round to reach the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
He didn’t repeat that level of performance in 2021 although, given Thursday’s news, it’s fair to wonder if Dach was ever 100 percent healthy.