Detroit Red Wings fans will be watching NHL players performing at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games before they get to see either of Troy Stecher or Mitchell Stephens in the Red Wings lineup again.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill was offering an update on injured defenseman Stecher on Tuesday. It was not promising news. After testing his injured wrist to see if he could play through the pain, Stecher and the team came to the conclusion that he could not.
“He had wrist surgery and we anticipate he’ll be out until at least the Olympic break, Blashill said.
Stecher incurred the injury earlier this month. The ailment wasn’t the result of game action, or even a practice mishap. Stecher damaged his wrist while shooting pucks post practice.
Stecher hasn’t seen game action since November 4 at the Boston Bruins.
The news was equally alarming when it came to fourth-line center and ace penalty killer Mitchell Stephens. He was injured when he crashed feet first into the boards during a November 13 game against the Montreal Canadiens.
“Stephens is out for a significant time,” Blashill said. “For sure it’s through the Olympic break. No surgery but he’s out for sure through then.”
At the time of his injury, Stephens was second among Detroit forwards in shorthanded ice time per game.
Red Wings Staal Still Ailing
Defenseman Marc Staal didn’t practice on Tuesday as the Red Wings returned to the ice following a couple of days away from the rink.
“He’s still ill, non-COVID,” Blashill said of Staal.
Staal has missed Detroit’s last two games due to his illness. There is not word yet as to whether he might be available for Wednesday’s game at Little Caesars Arena against the St. Louis Blues.
Returning from an 0-3-1 road trip, the Red Wings are opening a two-game homestand on Wednesday. They are playing five of their next six games at LCA. The Red Wings are 5-2-2 at home so far this season.