An already long list of injuries continues to grow for the Red Wings as defenseman Brendan Smith is expected to miss the next four weeks with a knee injury, MLive’s Ansar Khan reports (Twitter link). Smith was injured in a collision with Montreal left winger Phillip Danault on Saturday night.
Smith has played a regular role on the back end for Detroit this season, averaging just over 18 minutes per game of playing time while picking up a pair of goals and two assists.
It will be interesting to see if the Red Wings call anyone up to replace the 27 year old pending unrestricted free agent. The team has been carrying eight defenders all season as they have been hesitant to expose either of Ryan Sproul or Xavier Ouellet to waivers. However, with Smith out and Alexey Marchenko (upper body) also on injured reserve, they’re down to the minimum of six but from a cap perspective, they are already well into LTIR, per CapFriendly.
The team announced that Smith, along with forward Tyler Bertuzzi who was also injured on Saturday, have been placed on injured reserve which will free up a roster spot to call up a seventh defender if they deem it necessary. Head coach Jeff Blashill suggested that Bertuzzi is expected to miss the next three to five weeks with a left ankle injury, Khan notes (via Twitter). He was seen walking without crutches or a boot which was a positive sign.
[Related: Red Wings Depth Chart]