Avalanche left wing Alex Tanguay will have hip surgery on Friday and will miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season.
The hip injury first developed after Tanguay hurt his knee during the Nov. 2 game against Montreal. The two injuries are related and forced the forward to miss a total of 41 games.
Tanguay returned from a 36-game absence on Jan. 24 at Florida and played in two more contests before missing Colorado's final five games prior to the Olympic break. He had a goal and an assist and averaged over 16 minutes in the three games.
"He's going to have surgery tomorrow on his hip, but the reason why he is out is for the knee," said head coach Patrick Roy after Thursday's practice. "The knee isn't doing better. I guess it’s a mix of the hip and the knee."
The development that Tanguay would need season-ending surgery isn't anything new for Roy and his staff, but they were hoping to avoid it.
"In the back of our minds, we were hoping not (on surgery), but at the same time with Alex in the lineup I think we are 15-1," Roy said. "He's an important player, but I think we did well without him."
Acquired in a trade with Calgary on June 27, 2013, Tanguay picked up 11 points (four goals and seven assists) in 16 games this season. He mostly played on a line with Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog, both of whom said the combination really clicked well when Tanguay was in the lineup.
With Tanguay now out, other players will have to step up and fill the void left in his absence. Roy didn't seem too worried Thursday about his players taking advantage of the opportunity, as they've done it all season and helped the Avalanche to a 37-16-5 record (79 points) with 24 games remaining.
"You don't like to lose a player like him, but at the same time it's part of the game," Roy said. "Every team is subject to situations like this. It's going to give an opportunity for other guys to take over, and they've been doing really well."