Some bad news for the Detroit Red Wings on opening night: forward Todd Bertuzzi, who was thought to have the flu, will instead miss “several weeks” with mono, Mike Babcock told reporters on Saturday.
Considering the shortened schedule and a typical recovery time from mono, Bertuzzi may not make his 2013 debut until the final stretch of the regular season in late March or early April.
The Wings have depth up front, but with Darren Helm already dealing with a back ailment and Mikael Samuelsson fighting off a sore groin, this constitutes a big blow — especially since Bertuzzi was working as part of the Tomas Holmstrom net-front replacements on the power play.
Jan Mursak will take Bertuzzi’s spot in the lineup on Saturday, though another roster move is likely following Detroit’s opener. The Wings have Patrick Eaves cleared from his concussion problem and ready to go, but Bertuzzi could land on injured reserve, freeing up a spot for a minor-leaguer.
Gustav Nyquist seems like the obvious candidate for a call-up, but the wild card here — especially if the Wings want to replace Bertuzzi’s veteran presence and down-low presence — is Mike Knuble. The forward was in Detroit’s abbreviated camp, then signed a tryout deal with the Griffins.