Carolina Hurricanes forward Max Pacioretty will undergo surgery to repair a torn Achilles on Wednesday and will be sidelined for six months, the team announced Tuesday.
If Pacioretty returns on schedule, he could make his Hurricanes debut sometime in February.
The Hurricanes acquired Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan from the Vegas Golden Knights last month in exchange for future considerations. The move was widely considered a salary dump for the Golden Knights, who freed up $7 million in cap space by trading the veteran winger.
"Adding offensive firepower and improving our power play were priorities this offseason, and Max certainly checks those boxes," Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a news release after acquiring Pacioretty. "This acquisition gives us an elite scorer and another veteran voice in our dressing room."
Pacioretty spent the last four seasons of his career in Vegas, tallying 97 goals and 97 assists for 194 points in 224 games. However, he only appeared in 39 games during the 2021-22 season due to various injuries, though he was effective when on the ice, notching 19 goals and 18 assists.
The 33-year-old spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Montreal Canadiens, which selected him in the first round of the 2007 NHL draft, before being traded to the Golden Knights for Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar and a second-round pick.
In 626 games with the Canadiens, Pacioretty tallied 226 goals and 222 assists.
With the Hurricanes, Pacioretty was expected to slot in on one of the team's top two lines. The franchise will now have to rely on Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis, Teuvo Teravainen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Martin Necas to fill out the top six.
The Hurricanes will still be tough to play against without Pacioretty, but when he returns, they'll be legitimate title contenders.