Red Wings' Dylan Larkin leaves practice following collision; his status unclear
Detroit — This isn’t the type of news the Red Wings needed only days before the start of the regular season Saturday in Nashville. Dylan Larkin left practice early Tuesday after a collision and was being evaluated.
Coach Jeff Blashill said after practice the Wings would know more about Larkin’s status Wednesday.
Larkin was down momentarily, and skated off under his own power, heading straight to the locker room along with the team trainer.
“He (Larkin) turned up and I’d say curled up with the puck, and kind of just, at the same time, he almost ran into Helmer (Darren Helm) and kind of went into the wall (avoiding a collision with Helm) a little bit,” Blashill said.
“It didn’t look vicious at all, vicious isn’t the right word, it didn’t look like anything much, it looked fairly innocent, and then he (Larkin) went off the ice.
“We’ll wait for the doctor’s report and where everything is and make our judgement from there.”
Losing Larkin — the team’s leading scorer last season and arguably best offensive player — for any length of time would be a lethal blow for a Wings’ team that will have difficulty climbing the standings as it is.
Blashill wasn’t ready to begin speculating on any sort of potential bad news.
“I’m a big believer in let’s see what is going on and we’ll react from there,” Blashill said. “There’s no reason to try to think about what … he could be totally fine.
“We don’t want any of our guys to get hurt, and certainly Dylan is a big part of our team. We’ll have to see as it goes. We’ve said this a lot, we have to make sure that all of our guys are going so that if things happen other guys can step in, so we’ll see.”
On top of the Larkin news, forward Andreas Athanasiou — the only other 30-goal scorer from last season, while Larkin scored 32 — missed Tuesday’s practice entirely. Athanasiou has been dealing with some sort of “tweak” most of training camp and exhibition season.
Athanasiou participated missed Saturday’s final preseason game, the team was off Sunday, and he completed Monday’s intense, 90-minute practice. But he wasn’t good enough to go Tuesday.
“He’s kind of been off and on with what I’d deem a tweak,” Blashill said. “It kept him out of Saturday’s game.
"He practiced (Monday) and seemed good, and today he couldn’t go.”
Blashill is hopeful Athanasiou can skate by the end of the week, and be ready for Saturday.
“It would be hard to play if you’re not practicing by Friday,” Blashill said. “We’ll make the decision on how much practice he needs before he is ready to play and make sure he feels good where he’s at (physically).”
Final roster set
The Red Wings finalized their 23-man roster Tuesday by placing forward Chase Pearson on non-roster injured reserve, and assigned defenseman Jared McIssac to Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Pearson (2015, fifth-round draft pick), who was headed to Grand Rapids (the Wings’ minor league affiliate) suffered a mid-body injury just after training camp and has been unavailable since.
McIssac, a 2018 second-round draft pick, had shoulder surgery in June and isn’t expected to be ready to play junior hockey until December.
The Red Wings' 23-man roster has 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.