Red Wings Without Datsyuk Longer Than Expected
A staple in the hearts of Red Wings fans since winning the Stanley Cup in his rookie year in 2002, Pavel Datsyuk will miss a considerable chunk of the 2015-16 NHL season.
It was reported today that Dastyuk's ankle injury that required surgery will keep him sidelined much longer than expected. That surgery took place last month, and was only expected to keep him off of the ankle for 4-6 weeks.
Now according to a translated report from Marie Lehamnn of SVT.se (swedish site) that timetable now appears to be 4-5 months.
From Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press with a translation of Datsyuk's comments: "They say 4-5 months," Datsyuk said of his recovery time. "We'll see how this goes. ... I'll be there, but they not start me. I hope I miss (only) a little bit, the beginning of the season."
Datsyuk, who turns 37 today, might have his age catching up to him with this setback. He has appeared in 281 regular season games out of a possible 376 since 2010, roughly 75 percent. In the three years previous he played 80+ games in each season.
Four months from today would put the Red Wings season at November 20th when they host the LA Kings. They will have played 19 games in a little over a month and a half if this is to be believed as Datsyuk's earliest return time.
Add another month for five months out of the lineup, and Datsyuk won't be expected until game 33, when the Red Wings host the Calgary Flames on December 20.
Datsyuk is currently in Russia, the city of Yekaterinburg, his hometown, for his hockey school.
Datsyuk's extended time out will most likely force GM Ken Holland to place him on Long-Term Injured Reserve to allow some cap relief for the early season should the Red Wings be in a cap crunch. As of this writing, they have less than a million dollars in cap space with two key restricted free agents (Pulkkinen and Jurco) still to sign.