Avs LW Fleischmann out for season with blood clots

The Colorado Avalanche will be without left wing Tomas

Fleischmann for the rest of the season after he was diagnosed with

two blood clots, one in each of his lungs.

The condition was discovered Thursday after Fleischmann

experienced shortness of breath following the morning skate.

Team physician Dr. David Mellman said the 26-year-old

Fleischmann will be on blood thinners for several months and will

be held out of action.

”At the end of the day, fortunately this was discovered,”

Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said before his team’s 5-1

loss to Nashville on Thursday night. ”He’s a young man. This is a

serious condition.”

Sherman added that Fleischmann isn’t in the hospital, and he

should be able to resume his career following treatment.

”The indications from our doctor is yeah, he’ll live a

quote-unquote normal life,” Sherman said. ”This is something that

can be treated through medication. That’s what I’m told.”

Fleischmann wasn’t feeling well and reported his condition to

head trainer Matthew Sokolowski, who sent him to see Mellman.

”He took it from there to do the necessary tests,” Sherman


Fleischmann was acquired from Washington on Nov. 30 for

defenseman Scott Hannan. The Czech has been a steady scoring threat

since his arrival, compiling 21 points in 22 games. He also had his

first career hat trick last month in Chicago.

”You just pray he’s going to get healthy,” teammate Paul

Stastny said. ”This is something you don’t want to rush.”

The illness to Fleischmann was the latest setback in an

injury-riddled season for the Avalanche. The team has had quite a

few of its top players miss time with ailments.

”We’ve dealt with adversity before,” Sherman said. ”I think

the depth of our organization has come through in the past and I

expect it to come through in the future.”

As for who might take Fleischmann’s place in the lineup, Sherman

said he would speak to coach Joe Sacco on Friday morning. The team

recently sent forward T.J. Galiardi to Lake Erie of the American

Hockey League to help bolster his confidence.

Galiardi has struggled since coming back from a broken right

wrist that sidelined him for more than a month. He’s scored no

goals in his last eight games.

”Tomas was a big piece for our team. But it’s not the first

time we’ve had to deal with injuries with our players,” Sherman

said. ”It’s the challenge of our business. We’re not the only team

that has to deal with it.”

The Avs came out flat against the Predators, allowing two early

goals. Avs coach Joe Sacco didn’t necessarily think it had to do

with an emotional letdown following the news of Fleischmann, just

insufficient execution.

”We’re all professionals. As much as you don’t like to hear any

news like that about any player, especially one of your teammates,

you have to move forward. You have to carry on,” Sacco said.

”We’ve been very good at that.”

Still, this hit the Avs hard.

”Obviously, it’s a big (blow),” said Matt Duchene, who’s on

the same line as Fleischmann. ”He has been one of our best


”It’s tough to lose a guy like that, but we’ve been a team all

year that’s pressed forward when we’ve had injuries. So we’re going

to move forward and hopefully he has a speedy recovery and gets

back as soon as possible.”