Andre Burakovsky’s wait period has become considerably longer to get back into game action, potentially threatening his return for the entire season.
The Kraken announced on Friday night that the 28-year forward will miss the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, hampered by a recurring lower body injury sustained in early February. He underwent surgery to further correct the injury and reportedly will miss the next six weeks.
Burakovsky, who led the Kraken in scoring at the time of his injury with 39 points in 49 games, was last seen on the opening shift of a loss to the host New York Islanders on Feb. 7. Burakovsky missed the final 33 games of the season as he attempted a recovery, spotted in isolated workouts at Kraken Community Iceplex but never regaining enough progress to join the Kraken in formal practices.
The loss now leaves the Kraken without arguably their most prized free agent pickup from last summer, signed to a five-year deal, ahead of the postseason, and behind schedule in what originally was determined a return set for March.
Burakovsky has 334 points in 568 career NHL games and has won the Stanley Cup twice, in 2017-18 with the Washington Capitals and last season with the Colorado Avalanche before leaving via free agency.
The Kraken survived without Burakovsky, becoming just the second fastest team in NHL history to get to 100 points in one season, and became the second team in NHL history, dating back to the start of the “expansion six” era to earn a trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their second season.
However, the Kraken will be forced to seek answers in short order, who will open the playoffs with either a game 1 matchup against Dallas next Monday, Apr. 17 or Tuesday, at Colorado.