When competing for a spot on a team, every little bit helps and hurts. Any time you can try and get a competitive advantage, you will try and do so. Facing an injury, can be disastrous depending how tenuously you are holding onto the spot. For Teemu Pulkkinen, his injury is going to fall into the disastrous category.
The news first reported by Ansar Khan could not be worse for the young Finnish forward.
#RedWings Teemu Pulkkinen had shoulder surgery in Finland in early June, expected recovery time 4-6 months. He is a restricted free agent.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) July 5, 2016
The time span on the injury is the truly killer part. He could be ready for the beginning of the season or he could get left in the dust if he returns some time in December.
Pulkkinen has shown glimpses of his promise by performing well on the the national team level and at the AHL level. His underlying numbers in the NHL have been great, that doesn’t mean much to fans who are expecting results.
A strong camp could have netted him a spot in the lineup, this will just push him further down the depth chart. What are the Red Wings to do with Pulkkinen now? As an RFA, he has limited rights but still has some value right now. Do you trade him for a young defenseman or do you hold off and see if you can get Pulkkinen to reach his potential.
The Red Wings don’t have a problem with letting their prospects percolate. Pulkkinen could be a special case given his success in Finland. Does growing pressure cause the Wings to make a rash decision?
For now, the injury will loom over his head while negotiations continue as his agent tries to reach a contract agreement with the team. This next contract could tell us a lot about their relationship and how it will proceed moving forward.