Pavel Datsyuk could return to Red Wings Lineup in the next week

Since undergoing a procedure on his ankle during the summer, the timeline for star center Pavel Datsyuk has been somewhere around mid-November. At this morning's practice, Ansar Khan revealed that the Magic Man is starting to take reps on the top line:

Making space

There's no doubt about it, Pavel Datsyuk would be a huge addition for this team, given the way they've been playing as of late. It gives the Red Wings a chance to spread out players, and add skill across the chart. We know players like Dylan Larkin aren't going anywhere, the impending return of 13 will require a few roster moves. First and foremost, the Wings will need to move Johan Franzen to LTIR to create cap space for moving Datsyuk off of injured reserve. Secondly, a player will need to be shed from the roster to make room. Who goes? They could very likely move a player like Kyle Quincey (ankle) to IR, or place a guy like Joakim Andersson on waivers. The next possibility is sending defenseman Alexey Marchenko down to Grand Rapids, since Mike Green appears to be close in making his return. But again, I think the smartest move would be to place Kyle Quincey on IR, and keep Marchenko up when Green makes his return from injury.

If Quincey is to miss upwards of six weeks, then that should be your move to create space. Done-and-done.

What about the lineup?

There's a lot of possibilities here. We whipped up two line combinations, one being fairly possible, and the other being a fantasy lineup.

Here's our fantasy, again, probably will not happen:

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Gustav Nyquist

Tomas Jurco - Riley Sheahan - Teemu Pulkkinen

Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Landon Ferraro

Q: "Where's Glendening?!"

A: Cleary's Cabana.

Here's a highly probably combination of lines:

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Gustav Nyquist

Darren Helm - Riley Sheahan - Teemu Pulkkinen

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Landon Ferraro


The front office still has time, and newly-hired "capologist" Bryan Campbell will have his work cut out for him, but the team essentially needs to move north of $2.5 million onto LTIR to make room for Pavel's return.