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The injury bug has been no stranger to the Detroit Red Wings this season. The club has already lost Danny DeKeyser for the remainder of the season, and now starting netminder Jonathan Bernier is out until after the all-star break. Combined with the many other week-to-week injuries sustained to the lineup and it’s been quite the patch work season for head coach Jeff Blashill and staff.

Quite easily the biggest blow of them all, star forward Anthony Mantha is expected to be sidelined for the next month, per Blashill. Additionally, Blashill also noted the possibility of Mantha’s season already being over.

A somewhat safe answer from Blashill, the caution taken with ruling him out for the season likely stems from the club considering to shut him down, due to the sheer lack of purpose for Mantha to return to a probable 31st ranked lineup. The Red Wings are in such big of a hole that it won’t be long before they lock down the highest odds in the NHL Draft lottery. Currently, Detroit is 13 points back of the 30th ranked Los Angeles Kings.

Which is too bad. Mantha was enjoying a breakout year, posting 12 goals and 24 points in 29 games this season. Over a full 82 game season, Mantha was on track to record 33 goals.

From an individual perspective, this is even more detrimental. Mantha is a pending restricted free agent this summer, with hopes of landing his first major payday. While the odds of Mantha taking another show-me type of deal aren’t high, this could cost him some bread. When arguing your case, it is much easier to have 30 goals on your resume, than to be on pace for one. Hopefully both sides will be able to work this one out with little dispute.

To go along with the Mantha news, defenseman Mike Green will be out with an upper body injury for the next few weeks.

Expect to see a lot more of Alex Biega and Jonathan Ericsson. If GM Steve Yzerman decides to call someone up instead, Joe Hicketts, Brian Lashoff, and Dylan McIlrath have all spent time with the big club this season. If Yzerman is feeling extra frisky, top prospect Moritz Seider could also be an option.


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