Injury sidelines new dad Ericsson

D-man talks about injury, fatherhood and honoring late friend; Helm's return derailed

Tuesday, 10.22.2013 / 3:22 PM
Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT – Defenseman Jonathan Ericssson is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks with a partial dislocation of the left shoulder joint, and Darren Helm will likely not make his season debut this Saturday.

Ericsson, whose fiancé, Evelina Hedman, gave birth to the couple’s first child on Monday, was injured late in the third period of Saturday’s loss at Phoenix.

“It felt bad right away, but then after the game kind of evaluated it and it felt a lot better,” Ericsson said. “But then the next day it was a lot worse again, pretty much the same yesterday.”

Ericsson went for an MRI Monday evening, and the team placed him on short-term injured reserve. For now, the plan is to have Ericsson rest the shoulder and begin physical therapy.

“We’ll see if that works out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ericsson’s defensive partner, Niklas Kronwall, who missed the last two games with a concussion, has been cleared to return and is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday when the Red Wings host the Ottawa Senators.

“It’ll be a little bit different, but you know what, we’ve got other guys here who are looking for an opportunity,” Kronwall said, of playing without Ericsson. “I think anytime somebody goes down it’s always an opportunity for another guy. We have great younger guys who can step into the lineup and do a really good job. They showed it last year and I think they’ve shown it so far this year also.”

To make room for Kronwall’s return, the Wings re-assigned rookie defenseman Xavier Ouellet to Grand Rapids.

It’s definitely been a whirl wind 48 hours, or so, for Ericsson, who had to hustle home to get his fiancé to the hospital Sunday evening.

“Yeah, timing was awesome. Evelina’s water broke 30 or 40 minutes before we landed in Detroit,” he said. “Just made it home to bring her to the hospital and then, yeah, everything is just history from there.”

Liv Ericsson came into the world at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 inches at 11 a.m. Monday.

Ericsson was overcome with emotion Tuesday as he spoke about his new baby girl and how he and Evelina came up with the name.

“We liked the name, but also it has some history with our very good friend, Stefan Liv,” he said. “It’s kind of in honor of him.”

Liv was a goalie, whom the Red Wings drafted in 2000, two years before they selected Ericsson with the final pick in the 2002 draft. Ericsson and Liv were Grand Rapids teammates in 2006-07.

Liv tragically died when the plane carrying his KHL team crashed in Russia on Sept. 7, 2011.

“He was a good friend and a guy that I really respected a lot,” Ericsson said. “We really liked the name, and then, when it has the meaning too, it even felt better. It just came natural.”

As for Helm, the third-line center injured a groin muscle while on a rehabilitation assignment with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Helm told general manager Ken Holland that he was hurt during Friday’s home-opener at Van Andel Arena

Helm returned to Detroit on Monday following his two AHL games over the weekend. He was on the ice for Monday’s morning skate and Tuesday’s practice, but each day he left early.

“We’re sending him for pictures later this afternoon to see if there is a tear,” Holland said. “It’s precautionary. It appears he won’t be ready to go Saturday. If he can’t practice he can’t play Saturday. We believe it’s a nagging groin injury. It’s the opposite groin to the one he had in September.’’

Helm, who has been plagued by a litany of injuries since the 2011-12 season, has played in one game – Jan. 25 against Minnesota – over a 19 month span.

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