DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings may have gotten their roster relief already, albeit short term.
Forward Patrick Eaves will miss the next two to four weeks with a sprained MCL and ankle, according to general manager Ken Holland.
“I think we need to take a week here and see how he feels,” Holland said.
Eaves injured his left knee and ankle in a collision with Jeff Hoggan in practice on Thursday. He needed to be helped off the ice.
Detroit currently has 26 NHL players, three over the roster limit. Seventeen of them are forwards.
The Wings are also $2.4 million over the salary cap.
With Darren Helm (groin, back) more than likely starting the season on injured reserve and Gustav Nyquist still having options to go to the minors without having to clear waivers, that leaves one player left to trim.
Eaves could begin on short-term injured reserve if the recovery period lasts longer than Oct. 1, which is the night the regular season opens.
That would get the Wings to the roster max and put them under the salary cap.
Eaves is not the only ailing player in the locker room.
Jakub Kindl (hip flexor) and Daniel Alfredsson (groin) are also injured.
“I feel better than I thought,” said Kindl, who was injured in Thursday’s 8-2 win in Boston and missed the third period. “I was going to get the puck, the puck was coming along the boards and I kind of tried to push. That’s probably when it happened.
“I’ll probably take two days off,” Kindl added. “It’s nothing major. I had that before. It was a good call getting off the ice after two periods yesterday.”
Holland said Kindl will probably miss Saturday and Sunday’s home games.
The start of Kindl’s year last season was delayed with an injured groin that sidelined him the first three regular-season games.
Alfredsson returned to practice Friday after missing Thursday.
“He’s probably day-to-day, probably out this weekend,” Holland said. “Nothing significant. This time of the year why run the risk of injuring it further?”
Johan Franzen (hip flexor) is back to full health and expected to play Saturday.
“At the end of the day, all of the injuries, other than Eaves, are day-to-day, hip flexors, groins, sore lower backs,” Holland said. “They’ve been skating here, you come to Traverse City and it’s another level of demand on the body and it’s day after day after day after day. Then you go to the preseason and you have people fighting for jobs, so pretty well everything that we’ve got is day-to-day. We’re going to be pretty precautionary. Why run the risk of injuring a regular for a preseason game?”