Pavel Datsyuk out up to four weeks with shoulder injury

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit – The Red Wings learned Wednesday they will not have forward Pavel Datsyuk for approximately a month. An MRI found Datsyuk had a separated shoulder, suffered Monday in an exhibition game in Pittsburgh.

Datsyuk, 36, joins Darren Helm (broken nose), Anthony Mantha (fractured right tibia) and Ryan Sproul (soreness) on Detroit's injury list. Mantha is out for two months. Helm and Sproul are day-to-day.

The Red Wings missed more than 420 man-games to injuries last season.

If there's any good news regarding the Datsyuk injury, it's that the regular season doesn't begin until Oct. 9. So Datsyuk will have two weeks to heal before then.

There's a chance Datsyuk could return before the four-week mark, but the Red Wings are planning as if Datsyuk will not be ready for opening night.

"It'll be about four weeks, give or take some time, depending on how the healing process goes," general manager Ken Holland said. "It could be a little sooner. We'll just have to see. The good news is, the first two weeks, we're in (the exhibition season)."

Datsyuk was hit hard into the glass during Monday's exhibition game in Pittsburgh by defenseman Rob Scuderi. The hit occurred with about four minutes left in the game and Datsyuk went straight to the locker room.

Still, there was hope Tuesday in Traverse City, as the Red Wings were ending training camp, that Datsyuk would only miss about a week. He felt good after a night's sleep, he was joking around with team personnel, and his humor was intact.

"Better to ask how the glass feels," said Datsyuk, when asked how he felt the morning after the collision.

But the shoulder separation means Datsyuk could miss a season opener for the first time in his 13-year career.

Last season, Datsyuk only played in 45 games (17 goals, 20 assists), mainly because of knee issues.

Lineup shuffling

Without Datsyuk, coach Mike Babcock will need to reshuffle his lineup.

Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening (who scored the lone goal Tuesday in Chicago, in a 2-1 overtime loss) are playing center, with Helm, Johan Franzen and Joakim Andersson also available to move to the middle if Babcock so desires.

Center was a position that was struck hard with injuries last season, but with everyone returning healthy, there is a surprlus of players at the position.

"I like our depth up front," Holland said.

With Datsyuk unavailable, a roster spot would open up for a young forward such as Landon Ferraro or Mitch Callahan, both of whom are out of minor league options.

The Red Wings are still awaiting word on the future of forward Daniel Alfredsson (back), who is deciding whether to retire or play one more season. Alfredsson, 41, missed training camp after suffering a setback in conditioning skates leading to training camp.

Holland said there's nothing new regarding Alfredsson's status, although Alfredsson is likely to visit teammates this weekend at Joe Louis Arena.

Blackhawks at Red Wings

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit

TV / radio: None

Notable: This is the Wings' third exhibition game.