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Friday, January 27, 2023

Carolina Hurricanes’ Max Pacioretty retears Achilles tendon

Almost as quickly as it began, Max Pacioretty’s 2022-23 season appears to be over.

The Carolina Hurricanes left winger, 34, tore his right Achilles tendon in Thursday night’s 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, reports News and Observers Luke DeCock. An MRI on Friday confirmed the diagnosis.

Pacioretty suffered a non-contact injury late in the third period of Thursday’s game and had to be helped off the ice. He was only playing his fifth game this season. He had undergone surgery for a torn Achilles this summer and had an expected six-month recovery time, but returned in about five months, making his debut for the Hurricanes on Jan. 5. He scored three goals in his first three games but was out after just four shifts in his fourth game with an undisclosed lower body injury. A week later, Pacioretty returned to the roster only to suffer another catastrophic injury.

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said after Thursday’s game he « didn’t look good, » and Friday’s imagery confirmed the team’s worst fears. Considering the estimated recovery time from the initial injury, the news is likely to end Pacioretty’s season. He’s a UFA pending, so it’s possible his Hurricanes career will end after just five games with the team.

The Hurricanes had acquired Pacioretty and his $7 million AAV plus defenseman Dylan Coghlan from the Vegas Golden Knights in July in exchange for future consideration, meaning Pacioretty was essentially free as a salary dump.

‘Patches’ production, six times 30 goalscorers, hadn’t let up as he reached his 15e NHL season. He entered 2022-23 with 88 points in 87 games in his previous two seasons with Vegas. Health, however, has been a non-stop bugaboo for the past few years. In 2021-22 he was limited to just 39 games, with illnesses ranging from a broken foot to wrist surgery.

Pacioretty, however, has a habit of persevering through physical adversity. He suffered a horrific neck injury in 2010-11 on a hit by Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, suffering a severe concussion and a fractured vertebra in his neck, and returned the following season. Pacioretty won the Masterton Trophy in 2011-12 for his perseverance and dedication to the sport.

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