It will be a little while yet before Christian Dvorak is able to make his 2023-24 season debut as GM Kent Hughes announced on Wednesday that the centre will be out for at least the first month of the regular season.
Dvorak suffered a knee injury in early March, undergoing season-ending knee surgery one week later. He was originally expected to make a full recovery before the start of the new season but reports surfaced over the summer that the timeline might have been a bit optimistic. Last week, Hughes indicated that Dvorak needed to see his surgeon for a follow-up appointment; clearly, it was recommended that he take a few more weeks to recover.
Last season was a tough one for Dvorak on the ice as well as his production dipped to just 10 goals and 18 assists in 64 games. While he was once again above-average at the faceoff dot, it’s fair to say that the Canadiens are counting on him for more than that after moving a first-round pick and a second-rounder to acquire him two years ago.
The injury at least temporarily helps to alleviate one of the logjams up front as there is room for one extra forward to break camp with the team (their cap crunch notwithstanding as they look to get out of needing offseason LTIR). One player to keep in mind for that spot is centre Lias Andersson, who inked a two-way deal with the Habs back in July while Owen Beck, if he has another strong training camp, could play his way into the mix as well.