Both Chris Chelios and Tomas Holmstrom will miss tonight's game against Toronto at 7:30pm. Chelios' injury is more severe as he fractured his tibia and will be unable to put any weight on his leg for three weeks. The injury came in Tuesday's game against Montreal when he blocked a shot. Head coach Mike Babcock expects him to return in about six weeks.
"It's not the end of the world, it could have been 10 times worse," said Chelios, who is hopeful of traveling with the Wings to California at the end of October on a West Coast trip to help maintain his physical condition.
Chelios looked weary Friday.
"Just haven't been able to sleep," said Chelios, who said turning while sleeping aggravates the injury. "I slept good last night, though. The Cubs put me to sleep."
Holmstrom is just suffering from a sore knee that will keep him out tonight, but hopes to return to exhibition play this weekend.
The knee began troubling him a couple days ago, but a day off Thursday helped. Holmstrom expects to play in at least one of the two remaining exhibition games this weekend -- Saturday at Toronto and Sunday at home against Buffalo.
"It's just best to take care of it now," Holmstrom said. "You don't want any setback."
As I mentioned in my last post, the Wings were expecting to trade a defenseman before the season opener to remain under the salary cap. With Chelios injury and consequent placement on the injured reserve list, there is no longer that same urgency. Chelios was making $750,000 this season so his salary will not count against the cap until his return, which buys a little time for the team. Even so, the Wings may only have 22 players on their roster for the season opener (limit is 23) to stay under the cap depending on which players make the roster. GM Ken Holland did say that if the Wings decide to play a 13th foward (McCarty, Downey, Helm, or Leino), they will definitely have to trade a defenseman.
"The timeline was (the opener)," Babcock said. "That's now gone away. We have more time to evaluate. The whole key is to be patient in these situations."
"Do we trade somebody because we want to create a forward's position, to go with an extra forward?" Holland said. "That's what we'll have to determine. Ultimately, when Cheli comes back, we're going to have to move somebody."
Over at Pensburgh, Frank has compiled season previews from a variety of bloggers on both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams. Yours truly wrote the Red Wings preview so be sure to head on over there and read all of the great previews.