If you thought it was ominous when the Islanders announced, just before game time Thursday night, that Adam Pelech was out with a lower body injury, your radar was well-tuned: Today the team announced the defenseman is done for the rest of the regular season with an achilles tendon injury that requires surgery.
General manager Lou Lamoriello wouldn’t go into details but called it a “freak accident” during warmups — but not on the ice — so perhaps it occurred during one of the circle activities every team does.
Lamoriello discussed an expectation of about four months — so till the start of the playoffs, basically — while acknowledging everyone’s recovery is different.
Regardless, this is big and unwelcome news, as Pelech was a key half of the Islanders’ most responsible and minutes-heavy defensive pairing with Ryan Pulock, and he shouldered a significant penalty kill load, averaging 2:47 per game.
Sebastian Aho Recalled
Rookie Noah Dobson played last night in Pelech’s stead, and the Islanders have also recalled Sebastian Aho from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. (For those wondering, former NHL regular Thomas Hickey is still injured down in Bridgeport.)
Coincidentally, Aho was also named to the AHL All-Star Game today, though he’ll surely hope to miss it (again) due to NHL duties.
Aho, who played last year but was up in the NHL the year before, will either be the second Sound Tiger to play in two all-star events (Wade Dubielewicz, 2004/2007) or the second to be chosen to but miss two (Ryan Pulock, 2015/2016). (Rick DiPietro played 2002 but missed 2003.) https://t.co/1mtqxcHlka— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) January 3, 2020
Obviously, this will require some adjustment for the Islanders. But it also provides a new opportunity to see how Dobson, a promising part of their future, and Aho — who had a promising stint with the club two seasons ago — might fit in.