2023_10_22_SEA_ZS_W. Metadata_3

DETROIT -- Ville Husso will learn from his second season with the Detroit Red Wings before the 29-year-old goalie puts it behind him.

Husso played just 19 games during the 2023-24 season because of multiple lower-body injuries, posting a 9-5-2 record with a 3.55 goals-against average and .892 save percentage.

“It was a really tough year injury-wise and at the end, it was even mentally (tough) too,” Husso said in his end-of-season media session on April 18. “It’s hard not to play and we were trying everything to come back, maybe a little earlier than we were supposed to, but unfortunately it didn’t work. I’ll be healthy for next year and I don’t think we need any surgeries or anything.”

Ville Husso | End of Season Media Availability

Husso sustained his first lower-body injury this past season against the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 18, sidelining him for approximately seven weeks. The Finnish netminder returned to start for Detroit against the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 14, only to exit early in the first period with a different lower-body injury.

“I was really excited to come back, then it’s the first game back in Edmonton and you can’t even believe it happened,” Husso said. “After that, it’s just the mental grind overall.”

Husso was set for a conditioning start with the Red Wings’ AHL-affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins on April 12, but left during warmups after experiencing “a little setback” related to his lower-body injury.

“It wasn’t just me saying I wasn’t going to play,” Husso said. “It was the team’s decision as well.”

While disappointed he was unable to contribute during the Red Wings’ push for a 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs spot, Husso said he feels mentally tougher after overcoming so many physical hurdles this past season.

“I love the game, so I just want to get out there and enjoy playing again,” Husso said. “Watching these last couple home games and how crazy the building was and seeing fans, how into it they are, and I’m not able to help the team, I think that was on my head.”

Husso said he is confident a proactive offseason will restore his health and confidence. In the 2022-23 campaign, Husso played a career-high 56 games and went 26-22-7 with a 3.11 GAA, .896 SV% and four shutouts.

“Always after the season, everybody lets their body rest for a little bit before getting their energy back,” Husso said. “For me, it’s just doing the rehab, take a little bit off but nothing crazy. We had a great summer here last year. When I came to Training Camp, the staff was happy with where I was.

“The numbers weren’t that good early in the year, but still got some wins and I think the staff was happy with that. It has to be the same mentality as last summer: come back stronger.”