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Smith to play forward for injury-ravaged Detroit, you could be next

Mar 18, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

Brendan Smith AP

As the headline suggests, the Detroit Red Wings are very unhealthy at the moment. As such, they’re being forced to play 25-year-old defenseman Brendan Smith at forward tonight for their game against Toronto.

“I’m always excited to play no matter where I’m playing,” Smith said, per the Wings’ Twitter feed. “But I think I can do it for sure.”

Smith — who, reportedly, hasn’t played up front since he was 15 or 16 — made the move to forward in the wake of an injury to Justin Abdelkader, who will miss the next two weeks with a leg laceration suffered versus Chicago on Sunday. The injury puts Abdelkader on the shelf alongside (deep breath) Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary, Darren Helm, Stephen Weiss, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Jurco and Joakim Andersson (phew).

Todd Bertuzzi, who has been dealing with a nagging lower-body injury, is questionable for tonight’s game as well.

So, you may be asking, what does that leave Detroit with at forward? Here’s our best guess:

Daniel AlfredssonDavid LegwandJohan Franzen

Gustav NyquistRiley SheahanTomas Tatar

Drew MillerLuke Glendening-Bertuzzi (possibly Landon Ferraro)

Smith-Cory EmmertonTeemu Pulkkinen

These projections, of course, are all subject to change. It would be foolish to rule out the possibility a piano falling on a Wings forward prior to puck drop.

  1. thethorntonstrokes - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    I wouldn’t expect Smith to have trouble adjusting. He always gets caught pinching already.

    We are screwed.

  2. c9castine - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    whats Helm out for now?

    detroit fans…is this guy ever going to be healthy or is he a lost cause? seems like a solid 3rd liner when he’s in there.

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      He’s the best third line center in the game every season… For all 10 games he plays.

      This has gotten absurd.

    • pwshrugged - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:20 PM


      He’s skating in practice, but not medically cleared to play yet per the concussion protocols.

  3. smarshall3789 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    This is a joke my team is so screwed! I want to see the playoff streak continue but I just don’t see it happening 😦 ! If this team was healthy they would be the deepest team in the league and a cup contender!

    • timmmah10 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Cup Contender? Not with our defense.

      This team is far from competing with the Chicagos, Pittsburghs, Bruins, Blues, etc.

      I’m excited about the future of this team, but the present is bleak. Either go all in and call up Mantha, or prepare for the first postseason sans the Redwings. since George Herbert Walker Bush took the presidential office.

      • c9castine - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        yeah but you guys have great coaching, work ethic. pride. it counts for something. just like last year, you’ll make the playoffs and keep grinding it out until the organization regenerates and develops a little.

        and then there is vancouver…

      • timmmah10 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        I hope your right and I’m rooting for the team to make it, but my confidence that these young guys can pull off this brutal schedule coming up is very low.

  4. kfraser91 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    not mad at this move…Smith is very good offensively even tho he may not score a lot he makes good offensive plays. he could be a very good puck moving D as long as he starts to cut out every dumb play he makes for every 2 good ones

  5. nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    If Babcock can get the Griffins, er, Red Wings into the playoffs, he wins coach of the decade.

  6. 4everwingsfan - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I have seen injuries that have came in bunches before, but nothing like this. I also just saw that they sent down Tootoo. Wow Babcock really doesn’t like him anymore.

  7. steelr66 - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Maybe the Pens and Wings can battle for the Injury Cup….

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