Ilya Mikheyev's first season with the Vancouver Canucks is over after 46 games.
The top-six winger played all 46 of those games with a torn ACL in his left knee — what he described as "almost" a full tear. The injury came in the Canucks' first preseason game in Vancouver on a hit by Nicolas Meloche.
Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said the team knew Mikheyev would need surgery but allowed Mikheyev to play through the injury up until this point.
"Credit to Ilya, he's been playing on basically one knee here, and our medical staff, preparing him for all the games," said Allvin. "I think that shows a lot about Ilya's character and will to play for the Vancouver Canucks."
According to Allvin, Mikheyev wanted to keep playing but the decision was made to shut him down in order to get the surgery he needs and to recover in time for the start of next season.
"This is a discussion with Ilya and our doctors and our medical staff and the timing was right," said Allvin.
Mikheyev knew Friday night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was his final one of the season and he was clearly emotional after the game, struggling to answer questions about his season coming to an end. He said he wasn't necessarily dealing with pain but that the injury was clearly holding him back.
"It's not about pain, it's more about power and stability," said Mikheyev, then admitted that it affected his speed, one of the key components of his game.
Mikheyev said he and the medical staff tried different ways of taping it for a month before finding the way that worked best, then he also played with a brace on his knee to stabilize it.
The surgery is scheduled for next week, according to Mikheyev, but will not take place in Vancouver.