Bell Center injury curse claims former Canadian Artturi Lehkonen

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It seems that even former Canadiens players can’t escape the curse of injuries this season at the Bell Centre.

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The Colorado Avalanche’s Artturi Lehkonen suffered a broken finger during Monday night’s 8-4 win over the Canadiens. It was Lehkonen’s first game at the Bell Center since the Canadiens traded him to the Avalanche last March for defenseman Justin Barron and a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

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The Canadiens have 11 players on their disabled list.

Lehkonen had two goals and an assist against the Canadians before picking up the injury in the second half. Lehkonen has returned to Denver and will require surgery on his finger.

“It will be 4 to 6 weeks, maybe longer,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar told reporters covering the Avalanche on Tuesday in Toronto. “Its a big lost.

“The good thing is that it’s his finger,” added the coach. “It’s his best hand and he can continue training.”

Lehkonen has totals of 20-29-49 this season, setting career highs in goals and points. His second goal against the Canadiens was the 100th of his NHL career. The 27-year-old scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Avalanche last season and was rewarded with a $22.5 million, five-year contract last summer that has an annual salary cap of $4.5 million. of dollars.

The Canadiens selected Lehkonen in the second round (55th overall) of the 2013 NHL draft.

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To replace Lehkonen in the lineup, the Avalanche called up another former Canadian, Alex Galchenyuk, from the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. In 33 games this season with the Eagles, Galchenyuk is 15-18-33 overall. The 29-year-old was pointless in four games with the Avalanche this season. The Avs play the Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7:00 p.m., SN, TVA Sports).

The Canadiens selected Galchenyuk in the first round (third overall) of the 2012 NHL draft.

The Avalanche acquired another former Canadian, center Lars Eller, from the Washington Capitals before this season’s NHL trade deadline. In 60 games with the Capitals, Eller was 7-9-16 overall. He got an assist against the Canadiens on Monday night for his first point in seven games with the Avalanche.

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“I think he plays with a lot of awareness on the ice,” Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis said when asked about Eller, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Capitals in 2018. “I think which measures 200 feet. player. Great experience. I think he definitely adds a lot of value to his lineup.

“If I can compare it to last year, they got Lehkonen,” St. Louis added. “They play different positions, but they are two players, 200-foot guys who can play, they can kill (penalties), they have offense. They don’t miss many assignments defensively. So it’s a nice addition.”

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