As the headline suggests, the Detroit Red Wings are very unhealthy at the moment. As such, they’re being forced to play 25-year-old defenseman Brendan Smith at forward tonight for their game against Toronto.
“I’m always excited to play no matter where I’m playing,” Smith said, per the Wings’ Twitter feed. “But I think I can do it for sure.”
Smith — who, reportedly, hasn’t played up front since he was 15 or 16 — made the move to forward in the wake of an injury to Justin Abdelkader, who will miss the next two weeks with a leg laceration suffered versus Chicago on Sunday. The injury puts Abdelkader on the shelf alongside (deep breath) Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary, Darren Helm, Stephen Weiss, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Jurco and Joakim Andersson (phew).
Todd Bertuzzi, who has been dealing with a nagging lower-body injury, is questionable for tonight’s game as well.
So, you may be asking, what does that leave Detroit with at forward? Here’s our best guess:
Daniel Alfredsson-David Legwand-Johan Franzen
Gustav Nyquist-Riley Sheahan-Tomas Tatar
Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Bertuzzi (possibly Landon Ferraro)
Smith-Cory Emmerton-Teemu Pulkkinen
These projections, of course, are all subject to change. It would be foolish to rule out the possibility a piano falling on a Wings forward prior to puck drop.