Last night, we passed along work that Detroit forward Valtteri Filppula suffered a knee injury while playing for Finnish team Jokerit.
Today, the MRI results are in…and it’s not good news for the Red Wings.
Filppula will reportedly miss the next 6-8 weeks with a sprained right knee, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
Based on an earlier report from MLive’s Ansar Khan, it’s believed to be a MCL sprain.
The news could be a serious blow to Detroit, especially if the NHL season resumes within the next two months. Filppula is coming off a career season with the Wings — 23G-43A-66PTS in 81 games — and had gotten off to a magical start with Jokerit, racking up 15 points in his first 16 games.
Contractually, there could be issues as well.
Filppula, 28, is in the final year of a five-year, $15 million deal signed back in 2008. While it seems unlikely he’d struggle to find get an extension given how well he played in 2011-12, no impending UFA wants his “contract year” marred by a bothersome knee.
And let’s not forget — if a player is injured while playing in another league during the lockout, an NHL club can suspend him without pay until he is fit to play.