Red Wings’ Datsyuk will sit for at least three weeks

The Red Wings are shutting down Pavel Datsyuk (left knee) for a while in hopes he'll return to full strength before season's end.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Most people expected the Red Wings to acquire a defenseman at the trade deadline if they did anything.

But then general manager Ken Holland started getting worrisome news on Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm, causing him to trade for center David Legwand from Nashville instead.

While talking about the trade for Legwand, Holland announced that the Wings will shut Datsyuk (left knee) down for the next three to four weeks.

"This thing with Pav really has come down within the last 24 hours," Holland said

Holland and coach Mike Babcock met with Datsyuk on Saturday.

"Pav was very frustrated at his inability to play the game the way he knows he can and the way he wants to play the game," Holland said. "We talked on Saturday about him possibly playing Tuesday in New Jersey and going to see a doctor today.

"I reached out to Pav again on Sunday and we met again on Monday. I think it became pretty obvious to Mike Babcock, (trainer) Piet Van Zant and to myself that Pav was frustrated and all we were gonna do is have an athlete that was, in our opinion, gonna get emotionally burned out.

"When you can’t do something that you know you can do at a level, it just grinds on you and grinds on you and grinds on you. So we made a decision that he wasn’t going to go to New Jersey.

Holland said Datsyuk on Wedesday morning saw another doctor, who mostly shared the opinion of the previous doctors who had examined Datsyuk.

"A little more of an aggressive thinking on trying to rehab, so we’re gonna go with that little more aggressive line of thinking," Holland said. "And if it doesn’t work, then obviously we can have a conversation in the offseason or six weeks from now about maybe having some type of surgery.

"Right now we’re hoping that this plan of attack is gonna allow us to wake up in three weeks — three or four weeks — and have Pav practicing and thinking about getting back in our lineup."

Datsyuk played in the Winter Classic and then not again until the two games in Florida before the Olympic break. He then captained Team Russia during the Olympics.

Holland said when Datsyuk didn’t play, he was doing hard off-ice workouts, which they plan to restrict this time around. Holland said Datsyuk would be reevaluated in three weeks, but there was no guarantee he’d be ready to play.

As for Helm, he left Tuesday night’s game in New Jersey at the second intermission and did not return.

"He had a headache and went to see the doctor today, and I haven’t got any news," Holland said. "When you have a player who has been pulled for (headaches), there‒s a protocol. I’m hoping we get news that Helmer is back in three to four days."