Colorado Avalanche Injury Update and Analysis: Kamenev, Kerfoot, Barberio

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23: Colorado Avalanche center Vladislav Kamenev (91) prepares for a face-off during the NHL hockey game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche on November 23, 2018 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ (Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23: Colorado Avalanche center Vladislav Kamenev (91) prepares for a face-off during the NHL hockey game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche on November 23, 2018 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ (Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche got some bad news about their rookie forward, Vladislav Kamenev, and are watching a couple other players.

The Colorado Avalanche are getting bitten by the injury bug again. though it’s relatively minor in terms of the caliber of player being taken out.

The bad news is in: Vladislav Kamenev is broken again. He suffered a shoulder injury from a legal check in the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning:

After the hit, he left the game immediately. He did not return. Today we found out that his injury will require surgery. While Avalanche coach Jared Bednar stated he didn’t know the exact timeline for Kamenev’s recovery, he admitted in a post-practice presser, “It’s long term, might be for the year.”

I’m not going to speculate on what exactly the injury is. However, you can see that Bolts defenseman Dan Girardi appears to get up under Kamenev’s outstretched elbow. The elbow could have been jammed or wrenched — as the team said, it’s a shoulder injury, so the action probably placed undue stress on the shoulder.

Of course, this is an unfortunate injury for the rookie forward, whom the Avalanche acquired in the Matt Duchene (who’s out weeks with a groin injury) trade last season, no matter how you look at it. However, Kamenev is the player who suffered a broken arm in his third-ever shift as an Avalanche player. He missed 50 NHL games.

I don’t think you want to label Kamenev as injury-prone. He’s just got some bad luck — the broken arm was also the result of a legal check.

Before the injury, Kamenev was trying to find his NHL legs. He bounced back and forth between Denver and Loveland. Recently, he seemed to be struggling again. So, not to be too brutal, but the loss of Kamenev isn’t significant right in the moment — more just that it sets his development back.

Meanwhile, we got a curve ball on the injury front. Forward Alexander Kerfoot missed practice today. According to Bednar, Kerfoot was visiting the doctor’s office “getting looked at.” He expects an update as early as tomorrow.

However, Kerfoot was at the team’s annual Children’s Hospital visit. He also made a free throw at the Nuggets game tonight.

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Kerfoot had a hot start to his season. He was centering the second line and looked like he was picking up right where he left off. He was right back at fifth on the team for scoring again.

However, Alexander has now gone 12 games without a goal and seven without a point. He’s on the fourth line now. In fact, I was just getting ready to write a post about whether Kerfoot was languishing and needed placement with more talented players, when the injury news came out.

Now I wonder if Kerfoot hasn’t been struggling with a lagging injury. Maybe something has been paining him, and he’s finally having it looked at.

Alexander Kerfoot even more than Kamenev is a player the Colorado Avalanche are hoping to hang part of their future on. I hope he doesn’t miss much time and that he gets back on the right development track.

And now for a couple pieces of good news. The first is that, with a couple forwards out of the lineup, the Avalanche have made a call-up from the Eagles. A.J. Greer has driven south to join the NHL team.

Greer is one of the Avalanche’s second-rounders from 2015. He started out as a pesky, McLeod-style player. However, he’s recently started working more on his skill game to fit in better with Colorado’s target style of player. He has 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) in 20 games with the Eagles.

That said, I do hope Greer brings a measure of grit to his game with the Avs. As I mentioned in a previous post, I think the Avalanche need some tough stuff in their repertoire for when teams try to push them around to get them off their speed.

Of course, for Greer to show off any aspect of his game, he’ll need to be given a chance. He’s played one game with Colorado this season, but he got only 5:06 of ice time.

Finally, the Colorado Avalanche may be getting Mark Barberio back soon. He’s been out the last five games with an upper-body injury. He’s skating and working out. However, Bednar doesn’t have a timeline for his return. In the meantime, Mark Alt remains with the team.

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Well, I do feel bad for Vlad Kamenev. The kid can’t catch a break. Hopefully the other players on this injury list will be healthy soon.