Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

Wings’ Bertuzzi (back) out Saturday vs. Edmonton


Todd Bertuzzi’s chronic back problems will hold him out of Detroit’s game on Saturday against the Oilers, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Bertuzzi, 38, was in  pain following the Red Wings’ 5-1 win over St. Louis on Thursday. The Free Press’ Helene St. James noted that Bertuzzi “could barely walk” after the game, the latest issue he’s had with a back ailment that’s plagued him over the past decade.

Detroit GM Ken Holland has called up Joakim Andersson from AHL Grand Rapids to replace Bertuzzi. The 24-year-old Swede has good size — 6-foot-2, 206 pounds — and appeared in five games for the Wings last season.

It’s unclear if Bertuzzi will miss just the Edmonton game, or Detroit’s game on Sunday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings as well.

Whatever the case, the injury is just the latest to hit Detroit, and has to be cause for concern.

Bertuzzi now joins Darren Helm (back), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) on the Wings’ list of walking wounded.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.

Fabbri primed to make Blues in significant role

Jason Demers, Robby Fabbri
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With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.

During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.

“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.

“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”

The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.

Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.