Red Wings’ Pulkkinen had shoulder surgery in June, unlikely to be ready for start of season

AP
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It doesn’t sound like Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen will be healthy to start the 2016-17 season. He had shoulder surgery in early June and is expected to need 4-6 months to recover.

“After the World Championship, his shoulder didn’t feel good,” Wings GM Ken Holland told MLive. “We’re expected him to be ready to go early in the season.”

Pulkkinen separated his shoulder in December on a hit by Arizona’s Martin Hanzal. He missed 18 games before returning the next month.

It’s a tough blow for the 24-year-old Finn, especially with all the competition for playing time in Detroit.  Per General Fanager, the Wings have 15 healthy forwards under contract for next season. That doesn’t include Pulkkinen, a restricted free agent.

Pulkkinen played 36 games for the Wings in 2015-16. Despite having been a big-time scorer in the AHL for Grand Rapids, he’s managed just 11 goals in 70 NHL games.