Red Wings forward and restricted free agent Teemu Pulkkinen is out four to six months following shoulder surgery writes Navin Vaswani. MLive’s Ansar Khan tweeted that the surgery was in early June while Vaswani indicates that the winger will definitely not be ready for the season.
It’s an interesting wrinkle in that the Red Wings are trying to acquire a defenseman via a trade and Pulkkinen’s name has been one linked as possibly being moved. This could also hurt Pulkkinen as the Red Wings are overwhelmed with forwards after signing Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek, and Steve Ott. Not returning until possibly December could make Pulkkinen the odd man out, or all but guarantee a chance of him being packaged in a deal for a #1 or #2 defenseman. The injury only casts more doubt on where Pulkkinen fits in with Detroit.
Last season, Pulkkinen had 12 points (6-6) in 36 games, but ended up being a healthy scratch despite a booming slapshot and a dizzying scoring performance in the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Pulkkinen had 14 goals in 16 playoff games, and while expected to have a better chance to compete with Jeff Blashill as the Wings bench boss, Pulkkinen never saw the ice time many thought he would.