In case you were all super-duper excited like I was about seeing what Anthony Mantha could do in training camp after another year to improve in juniors and a very promising performance in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, I get to share the same big ol' dousing bucket of cold water I got on Twitter this morning thanks to the diggers (well... more thanks to the truth, but they're the ones reporting it).
Wings top prospect Anthony Mantha is out 6-8 weeks with fractured right tibia, GM Ken Holland said.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) September 18, 2014
In truth, this is shitty timing, but setback-wise, it's probably not a monstrous deal. Kyle already wrote this week about how Mantha's entry-level contract situation makes it much more-difficult for the Wings to find use for him in more than 9 games this season, so if you're working off that assumption, all this means is that SuperMantha's 9-game sneak peek won't happen in October. This is the Red Wings we're talking about, so it's not like they're not going to have injury problems that will give Mantha his shot later in the year. Playing in Grand Rapids will be Mantha's camp this season.
As far as the team goes at that position, they're fairly well-stacked already. Mantha's injury improves the chances that Tomas Jurco will remain with the team after training camp. Of course, Jurco being waiver-exempt still could mean that anything less than domination by him during the preseason gives a player like waiver-eligible Mitch Callahan a chance to play instead, with the argument being that Jurco is better served on the Griffins' top line than he is on the Red Wings' third or fourth. We'll have to see how training camp battles play out... then we'll have to see how Babcock and Holland decide to finish the roster (since long-term strategy dictates that the very best don't always make the team right out of camp).