By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings announced Wednesday that recently injured defenseman Jonathan Ericsson underwent successful surgery on his broken finger, which required a procedure to “stabilize a fracture … and repair a partially torn tendon,” according to the team’s media release. While Ericsson can now begin healing, he will be out of the lineup for four to six weeks, so the Red Wings called up yet another Grand Rapids Griffin, defenseman Adam Almquist.
Almquist, a native of Sweden like Ericsson, had scored 45 points for the Griffins, the second-highest total on the team and the third-highest total in the league among defensemen. The Red Wings drafted Almquist in 2009, and the 23-year-old made his NHL debut Nov. 4.
Injuries have hit Detroit so hard this year that a team originally built around veterans has turned into a group filled with youth. The current roster includes 11 players who are 24 years old or younger. Gustav Nyquist, Luke Glendening and Danny DeKeyser are the most senior of that group, each of them age 24. Almquist, Brian Lashoff and Tomas Tatar are all 23. Petr Mrazek, Riley Sheahan, Teemu Pulkkinen and Landon Ferraro are all 22 years old, and Tomas Jurco is just 21.
Ericsson is the latest of 11 players out of the lineup due to injuries. The rest of the list includes the team’s best players, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, as well as Jurco, Justin Abdelkader, Joakim Andersson, Daniel Cleary, Darren Helm, Mikael Samuelsson, Stephen Weiss and Jonas Gustavsson.
Detroit’s injury troubles exceed those of any other NHL team by a considerable margin. The teams that come closest to competing in that unfortunate category include the Winnipeg Jets (eight), Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres (both seven). According to CBS’s list of NHL injuries, 16 teams have three or fewer players listed as unavailable for health issues.