Report: Kyle Quincey to Miss Six Weeks with Ankle Surgery, Datsyuk May Return Friday

Quincey's right ankle will keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future

When Kyle Quincey finished the game on October 23rd (an OT loss to Calgary), fans were already worried about the guy's health, having watched him take a blindside head shot from the Flames' Sam Bennett. Sure enough, Quincey missed the next week's worth of games while undergoing concussion protocol. We've since learned that wasn't his only injury.

Last week, Quincey told reporters that he had an injury in his right ankle suffered during training camp very similar to the bone chips in his left ankle for which he underwent offseason surgery. When he spoke last week, he said he would be waiting to see a doctor to decide whether this injury needed surgery.

We got our answer today:

If we're looking six weeks from last week, we're looking at a return date in mid-December. Between now and December 16th, Detroit will play 16 games (11 of which are at home).

The Roster Situation:

The Wings were already carrying seven defensemen after putting Kyle Quincey on injured reserve to make space for Andreas Athanasiou to be recalled from Grand Rapids, so no additional roster moves will likely be made as a direct result of this surgery announcement. What this means is that Alexey Marchenko will have the ability to keep the roster spot he's earned since being called up on October 24th. Marchenko has consistently played in the lineup above both Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl, but remains waiver-exempt and therefore the easiest person to move off the roster.

The confirmation that the Wings will be without the 30 year old UFA-to-be Kyle Quincey might make it easier for Detroit to give looks to other waiver-exempt defensemen in the coming weeks, including Nick Jensen, Xavier Ouellet, and Ryan Sproul. All three of those players and Marchenko will be waiver eligible starting next season.

Datsyuk's Return

One thing that could force some roster changes is the return of Pavel Datsyuk. Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond spoke several times on last night's game broadcast that Datsyuk has been "chomping at the bit" to return to game action and we've seen lots of news coverage in the last few weeks of him being more and more involved in practices with the team.

From a roster and cap standpoint, Detroit's current roster has 14 healthy forwards and 7 healthy defensemen. Datsyuk coming off long term injured reserve will necessitate Detroit placing Johan Franzen on LTIR in order to gain enough cap overage credit to make a Datsyuk return possible. However, Franzen is already on regular IR, so that move wouldn't open up the roster space needed. To gain that, the Wings will either have to put the injured Landon Ferraro on IR or they'll have to move somebody else off the roster.

Among the list of candidates to go in order to make space for Datsyuk, Alexey Marchenko and Andreas Athanasiou are the only two waiver-exempt players who could be returned to Grand Rapids without having to pass through (and potentially be claimed off) waivers. Marchenko's assignment would leave only six healthy D-men, so that doesn't make sense. Athanasiou makes roster sense, but not hockey sense, as he's played two very good games with the Red Wings since his recall.

If the Wings are forced to waive a player to serve Athanasiou staying up (which I think is a long-shot), then Joakim Andersson would seem the odd man out, thought Red Wings fans are getting increasingly antsy about the future of 22 year old Tomas Jurco with the club after seeing Jurco remain a healthy scratch even after Ferraro's injury.

A trade remains a possibility and would even become a necessity if the entire team were healthy, but I don't see that as a step the Wings are going to take. Johan Franzen doesn't seem like he's going to return and him being on LTIR gives them the cap space they need. Brad Richards returning after Datsyuk might necessitate a move, but until I see a roster player disappear via trade, I'm just going to assume the waiver wire is going to be used to make space if another injury hasn't already created it.

Hopefully Datsyuk has a strong practice tomorrow and we'll get to see him in action on Friday. We'll get some semblance of what the lines might look like at that point.