With just three players likely to miss the start of the season, the NHL lockout was beneficial for the Detroit Red Wings roster as it allowed several injured players more time to recover from their ailments.
Patrick Eaves remains sidelined with concussion issues. Valterri Filppula is back on the ice after a knee injury, and could be ready to go for the Wings in under a month. New addition Carlo Colaiacovo suffered a shoulder injury during the Spengler Cup and could miss the start of the season. Team medical staff will once again be allowed contact with injured players, which is good news for all parties involved.
Forwards Darren Helm and Daniel Cleary were able to use the extra long offseason to heal from injuries and should both be ready for the start of the season. Cleary had knee surgery but has returned to the ice for workouts and a charity event. Helm suffered a wrist injury in the playoffs against the Nashville Predators but is also back on the ice and will look to move forward after being sidelined multiple times during the 2011-12 season. Cory Emmerton was injured (broken finger) while playing in Finland but appears to be on track for the start of the season.
The Wings were already counting on Brendan Smith being in Detroit, so if Colaiacovo will miss part of the season, it could mean a first taste of NHL action for Brian Lashoff or Adam Almquist, or fast pursuit of another free agent.
Players with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins including Riley Sheahan, Landon Ferraro and Tomas Tatar have all been playing well during the lockout and could be looked to as injury replacements to start the season or down the road. The compacted season could prove tough for the Wings on the injury front, which could lead to the first NHL action for these players. Joakim Andersson remains sidelined for the Griffins and could end up missing the chance to impress at training camp and see a few more games in the NHL.