Alex Galchenyuk's arrival to Pittsburgh this summer was supposed to lead to an exciting new opportunity for a promising player who has dealt with plenty of early career frustrations. But with the exception of a few early returns, Galchenyuk's time with the Penguins so far has been largely a nightmare, especially if you've got arachnophobia.
Not only did the 25-year-old forward suffer an injury in training camp that has limited him and kept him out of the Pens' lineup early this year, but he also reportedly encountered a significant setback in the recovery from said injury due to a recent spider bite. Yeah, a spider bite.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Galchenyuk suffered an allergic reaction after being bit by a spider and it has delayed his return to the ice.
"This is going from the sublime to the ridiculous," McKenzie said during the first intermission of Wednesday night's NBSCN broadcast of the Penguins-Avalanche game. "Galchenyuk was dealing with a soft tissue injury, believed to be a groin injury suffered in training camp. His rehab and recovery from that has been stalled because —get this — [he was] bit by a spider."
"Quite a significant allergic reaction to that spider bite," McKenzie continued, "and that really put off some of the rehab and recovery he was doing. But he's now on the road to recovery, they're hoping another week or two for him."
This might be the weirdest bit of NHL injury news since Dustin Penner hurt himself eating pancakes, though this one is a bit more unsettling and a bit less appetizing.
Though it's a pretty hair-raising and annoying development for Galchenyuk, who was acquired by the Penguins in this summer's trade that sent Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes, luckily it sounds like it's not overly serious and he should still be in position to return soon. The Penguins could certainly use him, as their forward group is significantly depleted with the additional absences of Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust.
And who knows, maybe this setback turns into a step forward for Galchenyuk. Since being taken third overall in 2012, his career has seen flashes of brilliance but has also been marked with inconsistency and frustration. Now with his third team in as many years, maybe some Spidey Senses will help put him over the top.