We last heard on Monday that Darren Helm was very close to returning, going so far as to wonder what might happen to the roster if Helm were cleared to play Tuesday against the Bolts. Looks like we've got more than just Helm to worry about right now:
Blashill said Helm and DeKeyser possible for Saturday, not Friday.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 14, 2015
Well that's some interesting news. We knew Helm could be back, but Danny "Out 2-4 weeks" DeKeyser?
#RedWings DeKeyser has been skating hard in practice, progressed faster than originally expected.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) October 14, 2015
Well that's A-ok in my book.
What it Means
We guessed that Helm coming back Tuesday might have meant Alexey Marchenko's return to Grand Rapids, but that's probably not the case for a Saturday road game if DeKeyser is still out. I don't think the Wings want to carry 6 D-men into a game at any point this season.
However, if DeKeyser comes back, Marchenko becomes the easy choice to return. Grand Rapids has games both Friday and Saturday at home, so Marchenko could potentially get into Saturday's Griffins' game if DK is announced ready to go early enough.
On the forward side, the Wings are still a bit caught. The only forward they can send to Grand Rapids without waivers is Dylan Larkin and that's not happening. If Helm is ready to come back by the weekend, the only options for making space are as follows:
- Waive somebody the day before Helm returns and assign that person if/when he clears to make roster room.
- Put somebody on injured reserve (Franzen possibly) in order to make that needed roster space. IR requires that a player miss seven calendar days of action in a row, but it can also be back-dated to the injury. If Franzen is placed on IR retroactive to Tuesday, the only games he would be forced to miss would be Friday and Saturday (since the Wings don't play again until next Wednesday in Edmonton). Of course, that player who is put on IR has to be legitimately hurt as well. It should go without saying.
- Trade somebody (hahaha)
Cap space still remains a non-issue with Pavel Datsyuk on LTIR. Everything comes down to meeting the requirement to stay within the 23-man limit.
Early morning skate worries have since been assuaged about Mike Green and Henrik Zetterberg skipping practice as the diggers are all reporting it's simply a maintenance day for them.
Jeff Blashill has yet to decide which goalie starts at the Joe against Carolina and (presumably) which one will go in Montreal. He says he'll make that decision at the morning skate on Friday