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Leg injury sidelines Eaves for 2-4 weeks

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings


DETROIT – The start of the season is still 13 days away, and the Red Wings already received word of their first causality.

Fourth line forward Patrick Eaves suffered sprains to his left MCL and ankle during Thursday practice at Joe Louis Arena. General manager Ken Holland said he expects Eaves to be out for 2-4 weeks.

Eaves injuries is the most significant of the Wings’ woes right now. Forward Daniel Alfredsson and defenseman Brendan Smith have groin injuries, and forward Johan Franzen and defenseman Jakub Kindl have sore hip flexor muscles.

“At the end of the day, all of the injuries, other than Eaves, are day to day, hip flexors, groins, sore lower backs,” Holland said. “Obviously, they’ve been skating here, you come to Traverse City and it’s another level of demand on the body and it’s day after day after day after day. Then you go to the preseason and you have people fighting for jobs, so pretty well everything that we’ve got is day to day. We’re going to be pretty precautionary. Why run the risk of injuring a regular for a preseason game?”

Franzen said Friday that he’ll play in the Wings’ home exhibition game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday evening. However, Alfredsson, Kindl, Eaves, and center Darren Helm (groin, lower back) are all doubtful for this weekend.

Kindl was injured during the second period of the Wings’ 8-2 win at Boston on Thursday. The young defenseman believes his skate caught a rut as he retrieved the puck from behind the net.

“I feel better than I thought,” said, Kindl, who will also miss Sunday’s preseason game against Chicago. “The shift right after I started feeling the hip flexor. We all decided it would be better if I stay off. Otherwise it would probably get worse so it was a good call.”

Ken Holland played in a charity game during the Red Wings' training camp in Traverse City. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

ALUMNI SHOWDOWN: The Red Wings have received commitments from 44 former players – including Holland – who will participate in the team’s two alumni games against former Toronto Maple Leafs players.

Holland is among five former Wings’ goaltenders to commit to the New Year’s Eve contests. Asked if he’ll suit up, Holland said, “I don’t know. I’ll have to see if I play in that game. Hopefully we can get an upgrade.”

The showdown will feature 11 Wings who have been granted enshrinement to the Hockey Hall of Famers: Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Igor Larionov, Brendan Shanahan, Dino Ciccarelli, Slava Fetisov, Mark Howe, Chris Chelios, Larry Murphy and Scotty Bowman.The team announced Friday that former captain Nicklas Lidstrom will play in the game.

It’s possible that the Wings could extend its current list of commitments to 50 individuals, said Holland, who still hopes to wrangle Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman for the New Year’s Eve festivities.

The problem with both former Detroit stars is that they are general managers for pro hockey teams elsewhere, with Yzerman in Tampa Bay and Fedorov in Moscow.

“Sergei is interested. I think depending on how his team is doing as we get closer … he’s interested,” Holland said. “At some point I’m going to reach out to Steve. Obviously, Steve knows the game is going on. He knows everyone wants him to play. I haven’t officially asked him. I’ve sort of, on occasion, cracked some jokes, but at some point and time here, once we get out of training camp and the season gets up and running, I’ll officially reach out and see what he’s thinking.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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