It’s deja vu all over again in Detroit.
Pavel Datsyuk, who separated his shoulder during the Red Wings’ preseason opener against Pittsburgh, will now be sidelined for the next 4-5 weeks recovering from said injury, Ken Holland told reporters on Wednesday.
The news comes after Datsyuk underwent a MRI to identify the damage done following this hit from Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi:
The news will be tough to swallow for Detroit fans, who were clamoring for a healthy Datsyuk following a nightmarish 2013-14 campaign. The Russian forward appeared in just 45 games a year ago, missing extensive time with head and knee injuries. Datsyuk gutted it out to represent Russia at the Winter Olympics in Sochi — where he was arguably his country’s best player — but missed extensive time following the games, returning to make just a handful of appearances before the playoffs.
That said, Datsyuk was effective in Detroit’s opening-round loss to the Bruins, finishing the series with three goals and five points in five games.
With the four week timetable, Datsyuk would be looking for a potential lineup return in the last week of October, meaning he could miss as many as 10 games. Detroit plays 10 times in the month, which includes a Halloween date against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
As for replacements… the Wings are fortunate to have a wealth of depth down the middle. Nobody can replace Datsyk, but there are some quality options in reserve: Darren Helm could make the move back to center after starting camp on Datsyuk’s wing, one of the youngsters (Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening, Joakim Andersson) might make the leap and this could provide an increased role for Stephen Weiss, who is looking to rebound from an injury-plagued ’13-14 of his own.
Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.
The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.
Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.
“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”
Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.
“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”
OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.