Much of the discussion Thursday in the Red Wings locker room centered around the devastating injury suffered by Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson.

After suffering a lacerated Achilles tendon, Karlsson — last season's Norris Trophy winner — is out for the rest of the season.

Karlsson wasn't wearing Kevlar socks when he was cut Wednesday night against Pittsburgh. Had he been wearing that protective equipment, it might have lessened the severity of the injury. Karlsson is expected to be out six months.

About half of the Red Wings players wear some sort of Kevlar socks or sleeves. They've seen teammates suffer from cuts — defenseman Ian White (above the knee) this season, forward Darren Helm (forearm) last season and forward Mike Modano (forearm) in 2010-11.

More Red Wings who aren't wearing Kevlar are definitely thinking about it.

"I should start, really," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said Thursday. "We've had Whitey, and Helm and Mo — we've had our fair share of those as well. You really start thinking you should use them.

"There's no reason not to, really."

The Kevlar equipment isn't as comfortable and many players don't like the feel. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson plans to go back to Kevlar socks but has stopped temporarily because of the rubbing against his ankles.

"I'll get into them as soon as I can," Ericsson said. "I wear the Kevlar sleeves just because of what happened to Helmer and Modano. I don't mind the socks. They just wear on the ankles so I had to take them off a little bit."

With the speed of the game, said Ericsson, players are crashing into each other and skates are flying.

"It's such a fast game, and you see legs flying around and skates coming by your head all the time," Ericsson said.

But, ultimately, it's up to the players to make decisions about their protective equipment.

"We talk about that stuff tons here," coach Mike Babcock said. "The ones I don't understand are the gloves that are two inches long and their whole wrist is showing.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130214/SPORTS0103/302140452#ixzz2KytgJHn5