Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, who had surgery on his right ankle June 26, doesn't expect to be ready when the Red Wings open their regular season on Oct. 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.
"I'll miss only a little bit at the beginning of the season," Datsyuk said in video posted by the Detroit Free Press on Sunday. "We have enough [players]. I'll pick up my job later. I like this challenge."
Datsyuk, 37, had 26 goals and 65 points in 63 games. He missed eight of the final 14 games of the regular season but played in each of the seven Stanley Cup Playoff games in the Eastern Conference First Round series, which the Red Wings lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Datsyuk had three goals and five points.
"[During the playoffs], there's not many guys who are healthy," Datsyuk told Swedish Public Television. "Everybody has a small or big injury."
In 13 seasons with the Red Wings, Datsyuk has 298 goals and 869 points in 887 games.