Datsyuk to miss first season opener since joining Wings

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings will have to deal with a hole in their lineup they haven’t had to deal with in the last 13 seasons … not having Pavel Datsyuk.

Datsyuk ruled himself out for Thursday’s season opener against the Boston Bruins after practice Wednesday.

Datsyuk, who is on short-term injured reserve, separated his right shoulder on Sept. 22, which was slated to sideline him four weeks.

He began skating with the team this week, but has not taken part in many drills and has yet to be cleared for contact.

It appears rookie Andrej Nestrasil will make NHL debut on Thursday, but Wings coach Mike Babcock wouldn’t make it official after doing so earlier in his press conference after practice Wednesday.

“Why don’t we just announce the lineup (Thursday), so if anything changes I don’t have to change my mind,” Babcock said.

Nestrasil is just trying to enjoy the moment after making the 23-man roster on Tuesday.

“The fact that I’m on the 23-man roster doesn’t really guarantee me anything, it’s still day to day,” Nestrasil said. “I just go with the flow and see what happens tomorrow.

“Everyone wants to play in the NHL, but on the other hand it’s not totally up to me,” Nestrasil continued. “I know if I play well it’ll give me a better chance to be here. We’ll see if I play (Thursday) and the other upcoming games.”

Nestrasil, who has come on of late after a slow start to his professional career, seemed like a longshot make the team out of camp.

“I came into camp in really good shape which obviously gives you plus points from the management point of view, but that’s not everything,” Nestrasil said. “You still have to perform on the ice. I feel the second half of last season gave me a lot of confidence. I brought that into the camp. I didn’t have high expectations, but I tried hard every day and it worked out.”

Nestrasil appears to have leapfrogged veterans Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary.


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