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Mantha’s bid to make roster has hit a six-to-eight week road bump

DETROIT >> Anthony Mantha’s bid at making the Wings’ roster out of training camp has hit a six-to-eight week road bump.

The team learned Thursday that Mantha suffered a fractured right tibia in Monday’s rookie tournament in Traverse City.

“It is what it is and there’s opportunity for other people,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We worried more about the cartilage. Then the next morning he woke up and his knee was swollen, so obviously his body was sending a message that something’s not right. So we put him through some tests.”

The injury occurred when Mantha got his skate caught in a rut and then got hit. He however was able to finish the game.

“He couldn’t really protect himself,” Holland said. “He’s going to be in crutches for a while to take the weight off. We think somewhere around six weeks he’ll be back up and running and skating and from there back playing. In the meantime we got lots of other people looking for opportunity.”

The Wings were going to give Mantha every opportunity to make the team out of training camp, but he would have to beat out a forward in the top six.

“When we open with Boston (on Oct. 9) and the coach says to me he wants Mantha in the lineup he’s in the lineup,” Holland said over the summer. “If he’s in the lineup it’s because basically we think he’s going to be a top six forward. I don’t know we’d put him on the fourth line and play him eight minutes.”

With Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk as locks on one of the top two lines, the skaters he would have had to beaten out to make the jump from juniors to the NHL were the likes of Johan Franzen, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco.

“And does he do something special, bring some ingredients that complement the Zetterbergs and Datsyuks that the coach says to me that we need him to win the first game against Boston and I want him in the lineup,” Holland said. “If that’s not the case, he goes to Grand Rapids and we’ll go through the development process and develop him into that guy.”

Mantha was on the Team Delvecchio roster at training camp along with Datsyuk.

“I know Mike Babcock wants to give Mantha some opportunities with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, with our best players,” said Holland, who selected Mantha 20th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. “We have eight exhibition games and I know we want him to play five or six. After we’ve watched him play for three weeks and we get to the end of September or early October, he’s got to take somebody’s job.”

Mantha, who’ll turn pro this season, has done all that he could in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League totaling 107 goals and 102 assists over the last two regular seasons, while adding 29 goals and 21 assists in the playoffs.

He also received the Michel Briere Trophy as the QMJHL MVP this past season.

“It appears he can score,” Holland said. “You don’t score as much as he has over the last couple of years. Not many can score as he’s scored in his tier group and he’s produced at the world juniors.”

But playing at that level is much different than playing in the NHL.

“Lots of times in those leagues scores are 5-4 or 6-5, while we play a lot 2-1 and 3-2 games,” Holland said. “So if you don’t score what else do you bring to the table? If you don’t score can you kill a penalty, are you good defensively, can you win physical battles, can you protect the puck down low, can you forecheck and force the defense to make mistakes.

“It’s more than just can you score,” Holland continued. “Unless you can score 80 goals, and nobody scores 80 goals let alone 50 goals.”

Last year, Babcock didn’t take long to burst Mantha’s bubble of making the team out of training camp.

“I don’t want to break the news to him but he ain’t making the team,” Babcock said last training camp. “He’s got to go back to juniors and learn to be an every-dayer. When you compete every day and when you compete on every puck, get strong enough, live it every day and one day you get to play here; in the meantime you get to play juniors or the American League.”

Wings release their training camp team rosters

DETROIT >> Here’s a breakdown of the three teams that’ll compete against each other at training camp beginning Friday in Traverse City.

Team Delvecchio

Forwards: Joakim Andersson, Louis-Marc Aubry, Tyler Bertuzzi, Colin Campbell, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Jeff Hoggan, Tomas Jurco, Anthony Mantha, Zach Nastasiuk, Kevin Porter, Teemu Pulkkinen, Jerome Verrier

Defensemen: Danny DeKeyser, Jakub Kindl, Brian Lashoff, Alexey Marchenko, Marc McNulty, Richard Nedomlel

Goaltenders: Jared Coreau, Jimmy Howard

Team Howe

Forwards: Andreas Athanasiou, Mitch Callahan, Daniel Cleary, Johan Franzen, Martin Frk, Luke Glendening, Alden Hirschfeld, Darby Llewellyn, Drew Miller, Tomas Nosek, Brandon Robinson, Marek Tvrdon, Henrik Zetterberg

Defensemen: Mattias Backman, Brennan Evans, Joe Hicketts, Xavier Ouellet, Kyle Quincey, Aaron Rome, Brendan Smith

Goaltenders: Jonas Gustavsson, Tom McCollum

Team Lindsay

Forwards: Justin Abdelkader, Tyler Barnes, Blake Clarke, Landon Ferraro, Hayden Hodgson, Andrej Nestrasil, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Dominic Turgeon, Stephen Weiss, Mark Zengerle

Defensemen: Jonathan Ericsson, Nick Jensen, Niklas Kronwall, Nathan Paetsch, Ryan Sproul, Ty Stanton, Mitchell Wheaton

Goaltenders: Petr Mrazek, Jake Paterson, Lucas Peressini

Alfredsson won’t attend Wings training camp; team won’t rush him for decision on his future

DETROIT >> Daniel Alfredsson’s future in the NHL appears to be over.

Wings general manager Ken Holland has confirmed that Alfredsson won’t be attending training camp due to his ailing back.

“His back isn’t allowing him to skate so we’re going to wait,” Holland said. “We’re going to give him time and hopefully his back gets to the point he feels better and can continue playing.”

Players report to Traverse City for physicals Thursday with their first on-ice workout set for Friday.

Alfredsson still has an issue with a nerve in his back that occurred late last season.

“He really wants to play one more year,” Holland said. “We’d really like to at least evaluate him and see where’s at for one more year.”

Alfredsson, who hasn’t taken part in any informal on-ice skates at Joe Louis Arena in over a week, was tied for the team lead with 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists) in 68 regular season games last season. He didn’t record a point in the playoffs.

“He’s been a tremendous player for a long time,” Holland said. “We’re going to give him some more time and see over the next week or two what goes on with his back. He’s earned that right.”

The Wings would like to sign Alfredsson, 41, to a one-year deal if he’s healthy, even if it’s just to play between 60-65 games.

On Monday his agent, J.P. Barry, spoke to tsn.ca.

“Daniel had a strong summer training and was feeling great while skating here but suffered a setback on his fifth day of high intensity on ice sessions,” Barry told the website. “It’s the same back issue he has been dealing with for a few years. He needs some time to let things settle and then determine whether his back is up to the rigors of another full season. He will be patient for now before making any decisions.”

Alfredsson has said if returns for another season of hockey it would be with the Wings.

“I would love to play, there’s no question, but at the same time you have to listen to your body,” Alfredsson said a few weeks ago. “I’m hoping that I’ll know within the next week or two weeks.”

DeKeyser will be in camp on time after getting two-year deal with Wings

DETROIT >> Restricted free agent defensemen Danny DeKeyser will report to camp on time after receiving a two-year deal with an average salary-cap hit of $2.187 million a season.

Training camp opens in Traverse City on Friday.

DeKeyser will be a restricted free agent after the deal is done.

In 76 games, DeKeyser has four goals, 20 assists and is a plus-14.

The main sticking point in getting a deal done according to Wings general manager Ken Holland is finding “comparable” deals.

DeKeyser, who just completed his first full season in the NHL after the Wings beat out several teams to land the much-sought-after defenseman, made $925,000 a season on his two-year, entry-level deal.

The Wings offered DeKeyser, who had injuries lasting a least a month or longer in each of his first two seasons, a long-term deal back in June which his camp wasn’t receptive to.

DeKeyser, 24, is represented by Pat Morris, who’s the same agent that represents Kyle Quincey, who signed a two-deal this offseason worth $4.25 a season.
The Wings have just over $3 million in cap space left.

DeKeyser was one of the NHL’s most sought-after free agents last year before deciding to stay at Western Michigan University.

In three seasons at WMU, DeKeyser, who was undrafted, appeared in 118 games and had 12 goals, 37 assists and 107 penalty minutes.

Over that summer the Wings made pitches for a number of prized free agent defenseman including Ryan Suter.

Alfredsson’s agent says client will take time after recent setback before deciding on future

DETROIT >> Daniel Alfredsson’s future in the NHL appears pretty bleak.

With the Wings scheduled to hit the ice Friday in Traverse City to opening training camp, Alfredsson has not taken part in any informal on-ice workouts at Joe Louis Arena in more than a week.

“I’m not sure he’s going to be at camp,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview Monday. “His back isn’t to where he feels like he can play and practice every day.”

Alfredsson still has an issue with a nerve in his back that occurred late last season.

Alfredsson’s agent J.P. Barry spoke to tsn.ca.

“Daniel had a strong summer training and was feeling great while skating here but suffered a setback on his fifth day of high intensity on ice sessions,” Barry told the website. “It’s the same back issue he has been dealing with for a few years. He needs some time to let things settle and then determine whether his back is up to the rigors of another full season. He will be patient for now before making any decisions.”

Alfredsson was tied for the team lead with 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists) in 68 regular season games last season. He didn’t record a point in the playoffs.

“We’re going to give him all the time he needs to make his decision,” Holland said. “We’re going to be patient. He wants to do what’s right for himself but also what’s right for the Red Wings.”

The Wings would like to sign Alfredsson, 41, to a one-year deal if he’s healthy, even if it’s just to play between 60-65 games.

“I would love to play, there’s no question, but at the same time you have to listen to your body,” Alfredsson said a few weeks ago. “I’m hoping that I’ll know within the next week or two weeks.”

Doesn’t appear Alfredsson will be ready to report to training camp on time

DETROIT >> Daniel Alfredsson continues to be absent during the Wings’ informal on-ice skates at Joe Louis Arena.

“My instincts would probably say that I’m not sure he’ll be able to report to camp on Wednesday,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a phone interview Monday. “I want to see how he’s feeling and talk to his agent. I also want to talk to Alfie in the next 24 hours.”

Alfredsson suffered a minor setback in his recovery from a nerve issue in his back.

He didn’t take at all last week and was unable to skate with the team Monday.

The Wings would like to sign Alfredsson to a one-year deal if he’s healthy, even if it’s just to play between 60-65 games.

“If we have to wait a little bit, we will,” Holland said last week. “It’s something minor, but at this point he doesn’t want to push it.”

Alfredsson, 41, could decide to go to camp without a contract in place before deciding on his future.

“I would love to play, there’s no question, but at the same time you have to listen to your body,” Alfredsson said a few weeks ago. “I’m hoping that I’ll know within the next week or two weeks.”

“If Alfie tells me he feels great and he wants to play hockey then we have to sit down and talk,” Holland said. “If he tells me on the 15th of September, ‘I feel good but you know what I’d like to go to training camp and see a bit more’ then I think we’re going to do it.”

Alfredsson had 18 goals and 31 assists in 68 regular season games, but didn’t record a point in the postseason.

Still no deal done for DeKeyser, but both sides are talking

DETROIT >> Wings general manager Ken Holland has spoken with restricted free agent defensemen Danny DeKeyser’s agent Monday and plans to do so again Tuesday in order to try and get a deal done.

“I think so,” Holland said when asked if he feels their getting closer to a deal. “Whether you’re close or far you’re still not close enough if you haven’t got a deal done.”

DeKeyser continues to take part in on-ice workouts at Joe Louis Arena and is scheduled to go on Wednesday on a bus tour prior to arriving in Traverse City.

“I’m kind of anxious, hopefully something gets done here soon with camp a few days away,” DeKeyser said. “We’re talking at least a couple times a week, a lot more than I was earlier in summer.”

When DeKeyser was asked whether he felt confident a deal could get done he said, “I hope so.”