Thomas Vanek‘s bright start in the Motor City has dimmed a bit.
On Monday, the Red Wings announced they’ve placed Vanek on long-term injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 25, and recalled Tyler Bertuzzi from AHL Grand Rapids. The retroactive designation means Vanek will be on LTIR for 10 games/24 days, minus the time already “served” — and he’s already “served” six games/13 days.
Per MLive, the earliest he can return is Nov. 18.
Vanek, currently dealing with a hip ailment, hasn’t played since a win over Carolina on the 25th, a game in which he scored his fourth goal of the season.
All told, the veteran winger had eight points through seven games as a Red Wing, and his scoring looked to be as dynamic as it was in the earlier parts of his career.
Which is why this injury is a tough break for Detroit.
The club is in a funk right now, having lost five straight after starting the year 6-2-0. Offense has been an issue — just nine goals scored during the losing skid — and, following Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Oilers, Justin Abdelkader tried to pinpoint the club’s issues on offense.
“There are too many times where we are passing up shots and trying to take an extra pass,” Abdelkader said, per ESPN. “Sometimes, the best play in hockey is putting the puck on the net.”
On that note, worth pointing out that — despite his injury — Vanek still leads the Wings in goals.