DETROIT – Forward Jan Mursak was expected to be on the Red Wings’ opening night roster when they open up the regular-season Oct. 7 against the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena.
That won’t happen now.
Mursak, 23, suffered a fractured left ankle when he landed awkwardly along the boards after he was shoved from behind late in the second period of Sunday’s exhibition win over the Chicago Blackhawks at JLA.
“Obviously, it’s a real blow to him,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s real unfortunate for him. He’s a guy who had a real good chance to make our club, now he has to start behind the eight ball.”
Mursak will likely be out for at least eight weeks, Babcock said.
“Every year it’s the same thing: way more guys make the team than you ever think because you end up with so many injuries,” Babcock said. “With the parody in the National League and how tight everything is, I really believe that leads to injuries because the games are so hard each and every night.
“It’s tough when you’re a kid. When you’re a veteran, it’s a different thing. But it’s tough missing the start; it’s tough to catch up.”
First, the Wings’ forward was slashed in the left ankle by Chicago forward Dan Carcillo, for which the Blackhawks’ forward received a minor penalty. Still, with the delayed penalty coming, Mursak managed to skate down the right wing, and blow past 6-foot-3 defenseman Dylan Olsen. But as Mursak headed behind the Blackhawks’ net, he was shoved hard into the boards by Olsen.
Mursak was helped from the ice by teammate Henrik Zetterberg and team athletic trainer Piet Van Zant.
Mursak, who was a sixth-round pick in 2006, was expected to be a four-line forward for the Wings. He’s played the last three season with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League. He was played in 19 games with the Wings last season, and scored one goal and was a minus-3.
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