Three important Boston Bruins players -- forwards David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, and defenseman Charlie McAvoy -- had offseason surgery in September, the team announced Tuesday.
Marchand underwent sports hernia surgery on Sept. 14, and the team says his target for a full recovery is four months from the procedure date.
Pastrnak underwent a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on Sept. 16, and his recovery time is expected to be five months from the time of the surgery.
So, to recap, it doesn't look like Pastrnak and Marchand will be available to the Bruins if the 2020-21 season starts in early January. Four months from Marchand's procedure is Jan. 14, and five months from Pastrnak's procedure is Feb. 16.
The NHL and NHLPA announced earlier this month that the target start date for next season is Jan. 1, 2021. Nothing is set in stone, however.
This is a major development for the Bruins. Pastrnak led the team with 95 points and was the league's co-leading goal scorer with 48 tallies in 70 games last season. He is the team's best offensive player. The second-best offensive player on the Bruins is Marchand, who tallied 87 points last season and has scored above a point-per-game rate in four consecutive years.
The Bruins already didn't have ideal scoring depth, and now two thirds of the league's best line could miss some games to begin next season. The B's signed veteran right winger Craig Smith in free agency over the weekend, but he's not a first-line player.
McAvoy's situation is not as concerning. The team says he underwent a right knee arthroscopy on Sept. 8 and "has been cleared to resume normal offseason activities and will be fully available for the start of next season."