Training camp started for the Detroit Red Wings this week and there was already a scary moment as Darren Helm and free agent forward Jerome Verrier collided. Darren Helm was able to skate off under his own power but Verrier had to be strechered off the ice. Thankfully all he suffered was a broken leg because it looked a lot worse.
Darren Helm suffered a shoulder injury and is expected to miss two to four weeks,while it is unknown how long Verrier misses. Hopefully this is the only injuries suffered during training camp and preseason. The Red Wings open the preseason on September 22nd against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Fans might not be particularly excited for preseason but preseason is a great chance to look at the young players such as Dylan Larkin, Anthony Manth,a and also prospects that are not well known like Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Bertuzzi.
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Johan Franzen is cleared to play which could be risky considering his history with concussions (his most recent one being in January against the Edmonton Oilers). I understand Franzen wanting to play but he needs to think about his longterm health especially with everything we’re finding out about the dangers of repeated concussions.
The rest of the Red Wings training camp roster can be found here, Dan Cleary being on this roster scares the heck out of me but I think several Wings would have to get hurt for him to even have a shot at making this team.
A player who has a lot to prove in training camp and preseason is Anthony Mantha. Mantha had a really rough first season in Grand Rapids so rough in fact that Red Wings Senior Vice President Jimmy Devellano called Mantha’s first season very disappointing.
Mantha should come to camp extremely motivated after those comments by Devellano. Jimmy Howard is another player that I’m interested in seeing if he can rebound after the rough second half he had last year. If he doesn’t rebound this could be it for him in Hockeytown.
Finally, how will the players adapt to new coach Jeff Blashill? I think it was obvious that it was time to move on from Mike Babcock who moved on to Toronto. Jeff Blashill has coached many of these players both in Grand Rapids and when he ws an assistant coach with the Wings in 2011. Will Blash be able to get more out of these guys then Mike Babcock got.
Blashill is giving everyone a clean slate which should help guys like Kindl and Smith who were regulars in Mike Babcock’s dog house. Kindl and Smith I think have potential but they need to show it in a hurry with several young defenseman waiting in the minors.