DETROIT – Quick update from Detroit Red Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena.
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser was placed on long-term injured reserve after suffering a separated left shoulder in Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.
According to Wings general manager Ken Holland, DeKeyser will miss 3-6 weeks and won’t require surgery.
DeKeyser will miss a minimum 10 games and 24 days. The earliest he could return would be Dec. 14 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It’s a bad break for us,” defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. “He’s been playing unbelievable for us here. I thought he started the season really well and I think he’s just been building off of that and gotten even better.”
Ericsson just returned after missing 10 games with a shoulder injury.
“We had really good momentum going with him,” Ericsson said. “I know he’s sad about being out of the lineup and not being able play for a while. I’ve been through that too with the same thing, he’s a young guy and will come back quickly. The way he’s skates he’ll be back quickly.”
That leaves Detroit with six healthy defensemen.
“We didn’t have him last year, he got hurt last year too if I’m not mistaken,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “You just got him and started liking him and he got hurt, so people get hurt. That’s hockey. The more depth that you have the less you notice it. (Brian) Lashoff was supposed to be the seventh D. I don’t know how many games Lash has played? Pretty much every game, so whether it is (Brendan Smith), whether it is DeKesyer, guys get hurt. That’s life.”
The move gives Detroit some salary-cap relief, with DeKeyser earning $925,000, and means that forward Gustav Nyquist, who leads Grand Rapids this season with seven goals and 14 assists, will be recalled from Grand Rapids.
Nyquist’s NHL salary is $950,000.
The Griffins host Milwaukee, tonight.
For now, the Wings need to recall Trevor Parkes to maximize their cap space for LTIR purposes. He’ll be sent down when Nyquist is recalled.
Babcock had Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk split up at practice.
“We have to win a game,” Babcock said. “So whatever we have to do to win a game and get going from there so everyone can breathe a little bit. It’s pretty evident in the game last night neither team had hardly any scoring chances. They were 8-9 in the game and it was a muddy track like we talked about last night and we’re not finding a way to get any goals. Our best play was from obviously those guys together and in saying that you have to have more than two guys going.”
Babcock only dressed five skaters in Red, which likely means Nyquist will be in one of the top six units Thursday at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Daniel Alfredsson (groin) and Stephen Weiss (groin) are both out.
If Nyquist plays two games with the Wings he’ll lose his waiver wire exemption.
“We need to win a game,” Babcock said. “So I don’t care where that game is. And the next one is at home so that would be a good idea. But the big thing here is let’s get going, let’s get playing so you can relax. Last night when we gave up the first goal of the game, I think there was 4.8 seconds left, we had the puck and we gave it away on a penalty kill. We could have got it out, we didn’t. But our body language was like ugh. What is that? So what, we gave up a goal. Play the game, you’ll be fine.”