The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without centre Brandon Dubinsky for the next six weeks after he underwent abdominal surgery.
Coach Todd Richards said Wednesday's practice that Dubinsky had surgery earlier in the day.
Dubinsky had 16 goals and 34 assists a year ago as one of the leaders on a young Blue Jackets team that made the post-season for only the second time in the franchise's 13 years. He was injured during a Monday practice.
Richards said that Dubinsky's absence would provide an opportunity for several players to get more playing time, including rookies Marko Dano, Michael Chaput and Alexander Wennberg, and others.
Columbus opens the season at Buffalo on Thursday night.