Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk had surgery in late June after rupturing tendons in his right ankle on a blocked shot. His agent, Gary Greenstin, said he would be back by the start of the season.
Gary Greenstin is not, as last check, a surgeon.
So Datsyuk will potentially miss the first month of the 2015-16 season, according to his doctors. As he told SVT.se, via MLive.com’s “rough translation”:
"Doctors say four-five months. So we'll see," Datsyuk said. "I hope I just miss a little early in the season. The rehabilitation time after surgery in June was estimated first 4-6 weeks, but has thus proved to be much longer than that.
"But I will still be in place in Detroit when the season starts in order to prepare myself with the team. Self is more difficult."
Red Wings GM Ken Holland always figured that November would be the target return date, leading to speculation that he might actually keep Stephen Weiss around to help with depth at center in Datsyuk’s absence. But the Red Wings could have probably lost their entire top six to injury, and still would have bought out Weiss. Hell, the NHL could have mandated that only teams with guys named “Weiss” on them are eligible to win the Stanley Cup, and they still would have bought out Weiss. What a terrible contract.
This is essentially the new reality for Datsyuk, who just turned 37. He’s missed 56 of 164 games in the last two seasons. That said, when he plays, he plays: He had a 1.03 points per game average last season, and a 1.04 PPG in the lockout clipped season.
He’s still one of the best defensive forwards in hockey. Even in a truncated campaign, he could be the difference between Jeff Blashill keeping the playoff streak alive or watching it snap.
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