Kirby Dach Skating Already Great Sign For 2024-25 Season

Sep 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Kirby Dach.
Sep 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Kirby Dach. / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens were not expected to be great in 2023-24, and their expectations took an even bigger hit, literally, in just the second game of their season.

That was because Kirby Dach got rocked by Jarred Tinordi into the bench and it resulted in a significant injury. The team's second line center suffered a torn ACL and MCL on the play and was ruled out for the entire season. This happened in just the fourth period of the Canadiens season, and Dach already had two assists in the short time he stepped on the ice in 2023-24.

Dach had surgery late in October and it was announced he would be out for the entire season. With an injury as significant as multiple tears in the knee, it could take up to a year for a player to make a full recovery.

Thankfully, Dach has been spotted skating, albeit gingerly, on the ice in the past few days. Though he is still far from 100% and a full recovery will take several more months, this is a great sign that he is taking strides, pun intended, in his timeline to return to action.

Dach being on the ice in the middle of February has him skating about three and a half months after surgery. Andrei Svechnikov, a star winger for the Carolina Hurricanes tore his ACL last March and had surgery on the 16th of that month. He first stepped back on the ice on July 14th and resumed skating, which was almost exactly four months post surgery.

Svechnikov did not play in the Hurricanes first games of this season, but was back by the end of October, missing just eight games this season. That's encouraging as he was back on the ice in an NHL game three and a half months after resuming skating.

If we apply that same timeline to Dach, after stepping on the ice in the middle of February, fast forwarding three and a half months brings us to the end of May. He should be fully healed and ready for game action before the Stanley Cup Playoffs are complete.

Of course, the Canadiens are not going to be playing in late May, but it is great news that their big, young center is going to be back to 100% long before summer workouts begin. He should be more than ready to get back on the ice and chomping at the bit to get going when next season begins.

This is encouraging as knee injuries can have timelines that are stretched out as setbacks can happen easily and not everyone recovers at the same rate. It appears though, that Dach is recuperating as fast, if not a little quicker than Svechnikov, which is great news considering he injured both his ACL and MCL.

Looking at Svechnikov's production, he has 12 goals and 31 points in 33 games this season, it appears a full recovery and return to previous production is certainly achievable for a young player.

Considering how well some of the other Canadiens young forwards are playing this season, especially Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky, adding a rejuvenated Dach into the lineup next season should see this team produce a lot more offense.