The injury came in the final minute of the second period. The Red Wings were defending a powerplay when Steven Stamkos wired his signature slap shot off the outside of DeKeyser’s wrist. Despite finishing out the shift, DeKeyser did not return for the third period.
This leaves the Red Wings down two of their veteran defensemen. Trevor Daley, who might start skating again this weekend, is still expected to be out for a minimum of five more games.
While Luke Witkowski is already filling in on the blue line, the Red Wings may still need to call someone up after the Griffins game against the San Antonio Rampage tonight, but it’s not going to be who you want it to be.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 5, 2018
Filip Hronek has really turned it on with the Griffins since his NHL return. He’s scored four goals and 14 points in his 16 games played and is currently on a career best 6 game point streak. Alas, the Red Wings aren’t looking for him to play on the power play. They need a penalty killer.
So who could that be? If I had to guess, it would be Joe Hicketts, who played PK time in his 8 games with the Red Wings this season. Since being returned to Grand Rapids, he’s played in 14 games and recorded 5 assists. He was the last of the Grand Rapids-bound youngsters to be sent down, which makes me think he’ll be coaching’s first choice to come back up.
Hicketts also has a lower ceiling than Hronek, so it’s easier for coaching to justify him being a healthy scratch at the NHL level. It’s probably better to let Hronek keep playing big minutes with responsibility in the AHL, than part-time bottom-line and PK minutes in the NHL.
Whatever the decision, we’ll know tonight who will be joining the Wings in Toronto for Thursday’s game.