The Detroit Red Wings will be without forward Todd Bertuzzi indefinitely while he recovers from an ailing back.
Bertuzzi could barely walk following Thursday's 5-1 win at St. Louis, and was excused from practice Friday to undergo an MRI.
Bertuzzi, who just turned 38, has had numerous issues with his back over the past decade.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press the Wings will call up forward Joakim Andersson to offset the loss of Bertuzzi. Andersson, who just turned 24, brings good size at 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounds and has a good skill set, contributing 10 goals and 17 assists in 36 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Bertuzzi has two goals and one assist in seven games, and is a plus-three. He missed the first three games of the season because of a bad case of flu. He's been a regular on the right wing of Pavel Datsyuk, and has been in the rotation on the second power-play unit.
The Wings, who next play the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, have been hit hard by injuries just 10 games into the season. Forward Darren Helm has missed all but one game because of a sore back, and he isn't even slated to begin rehabilitation until Monday. Forward Mikael Samuelsson is recovering from a nagging groin injury that's sidelined him all but two games. Jan Mursak hasn't played since hurting his collarbone in the first game.
Defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo has been out since the second game with a shoulder injury, and isn't expected back before mid-month. Defenseman Brendan Smith is out for the month, also with a shoulder injury. No 1. backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson hasn't played since the first game because of a pulled groin, and minor-leaguer Joey MacDonald is only just recovered from a back issue.
There have been a couple of good stories to emerge from the pile-up in sick bay: Petr Mrazek looked comfortable in his NHL debut, making 26 saves at St. Louis, and Tomas Tatar has been a shot in the arm on the third line, helping to get Daniel Cleary on the scoreboard after a 9-game drought.
Todd Bertuzzi out with back pain; Red Wings call up Joakim Andersson
Detroit Free Press | Feb 9