With the way this season has gone for the Detroit Red Wings, they could probably use a bit of good news. They got some at the beginning of this week. Sort of.
Forward Valtteri Filppula skated on Monday, but it was not with the rest of the team. Filppula has been out since sustaining a shoulder injury against the Vancouver Canucks, in the Red Wings’ big 8-3 against the reigning Presidents Trophy winners.
Filppula skated by himself and was able to do some stick handling, but wasn’t shooting or anything serious quite yet. Which means that he’s still a ways away. That shoulder injury led to Filppula heading to injured reserve back on February 26th. He’s only missed three games, but is expected to miss a couple more.
It’s a certainty that Filppula will not play at all this week. But getting him back out onto the ice in any capacity is obviously big news for the Red Wings. With the season going the way it is going, as was kind of expected with the departures the Wings experienced over the summer, Detroit needs all of its top players healthy.
Filppula obviously fits the bill as one of those top players. He had 10 points in 19 games prior to heading to injured reserve, including four goals. He’s coming off of a career year, in which he notched 66 points, which was a career high by a mile.
Not only is getting Filppula back out onto the ice important for the Wings, it’s also important for Filppula. In order to receive the contract he deserves this summer, he’s going to need to play, especially in a shortened season. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
While the news isn’t terrific, since Filppula isn’t doing a whole lot out there on the ice, getting him back out onto the ice at all is a step in the right direction.