Ansar Khan of MLive has reported that Teemu Pulkkinen, one of the Red Wings’ restricted free agents, underwent shoulder surgery which will sideline him for up to six months:
#RedWings Teemu Pulkkinen had shoulder surgery in Finland in early June, expected recovery time 4-6 months. He is a restricted free agent.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) July 5, 2016
After the Red Wings signed a handful of forwards on the opening day of free agency, there were a lot of questions who would fit where. With Pulkkinen going down for half-a-year, this opens up a spot. At this point, his qualifying offer has already been tendered, so the Red Wings will need to sign him before he plays again, so there has been some time bought there.
What could sting more is that now Pulkkinen has less value if he were to be used in some sort of trade to bring a defenseman to the Red Wings lack-luster blueline. Holland now holds the leverage in re-signing him, unless the player wants to return to Finland and play there going forward. We all know that Pulkkinen’s bread and butter is his booming slapshot, so I’m a little concerned that this injury could affect his abilities long-term. Either way you look at it, Pulkkinen’s future as a Red Wing still seems to be up in the air.
Khan also reports that Alexey Marchenko has had a procedure on his wrist, but isn’t expected to miss start of the 2016-2017 regular season. Whether or not he will participate in training camp or not remains to be seen: