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Red Wings Hagg (Concussion) Cleared, Could Play in Season Opener

Red Wings defenseman Robert Hagg (concussion) is cleared to return to play.



Red Wings Robet Hagg

Back on the ice in a regular practice jersey on Friday, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Robert Hagg is feeling much better now.

“I skated yesterday with the team but with a non-contact jersey,” Hagg said following the morning skate for Friday’s NHL preseason at Little Caesars Arena against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “Today it was a morning skate, so it’s not too bad. It’s a process. One step at a time.”

It was an injury that was opening the door to Hagg’s chance with the Red Wings. Hagg was a free-agent signing after Mark Pysyk, another free-agent defensive addition, was lost to an Achilles tendon injury.

As luck would have it, another injury was briefly closing that door. Struck behind the ear by a puck shot from the stick of Simon Edvinsson in the annual Red & White game at Red Wings training camp, Hagg hasn’t played since.

“I just saw it in the last second coming straight towards my eyes,” Hagg remembered of the incident. “The reaction i guess is turn my head.

“It hit pretty good. But what has it been – 10, 11, 12 days? It’s getting better each day. That’s all I can hope for. There’s another week until season starts. Just take it day by day here.

Hagg Cleared To Play

Following Friday’s workout, Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was offering confirmation that Hagg is indeed been given the go ahead to resume playing.

“He’s cleared,” Lalonde said. “He practiced today without the non-contact jersey, so put him in the mix.

“He won’t play this weekend. He’ll be available to us for next week so we have to decide where that fits in.”

Hagg scored his first NHL goal against the Red Wings in 2017 while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. However, his self-assessment of his offering to the Red Wings is that fans shouldn’t expect a lot of red lights illuminating while he’s on the ice.

“Defensive defenseman,” Hagg said bluntly. “Pretty good in my own end. Take it from there.

“Not to jump to any conclusions but I’ve been around the league for six years now. That’s what I’m good at and I know that, so just try to play simple, play hard and be physical.”

It is those attributes that Lalonde feels is making Hagg a good fit for what the Red Wings are seeking to accomplishment, improving play in the their own end of the rink.

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“Absolutely, especially for a team trying to simplify their game, trying to take risk out of their game,” Lalonde said. “It’s unfortunate we haven’t seen him throughout the exhibition but that was the purpose of the signing and he showed that within this camp prior to getting hurt.”