Detroit Red Wings Open Training Camp, Prepare for First Game vs. St. Louis Blues

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IMarch 15, 2017

DETROIT - MAY 10: Pavel Datsyuk #13 and Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings talk during the second period while playing the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 10, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings officially opened training camp Sunday at the Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Mich. According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, approximately 2,000 fans were in attendance.

Fans can continue to watch the Red Wings practice for free throughout the week, including Tuesday night's Red vs. White game.

The Red Wings have a little under a week to prepare for their season-opener next Saturday, Jan. 19 in St. Louis. The Red Wings will then travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets on Jan. 21, before returning to Detroit for their home opener against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 22.

While almost all players are healthy and at camp, there are a few notable exceptions.

Pavel Datsyuk is still in Russia after participating in the KHL All-Star game on Sunday. However, the 34-year-old forward is expected to return this week for training camp, according to Datsyuk is set to enter the sixth year of a seven-year, $46.9 million deal with the Red Wings.

Darren Helm injured his back working out last week, but an MRI was negative and he expects to be ready for the season-opener, according to the Detroit Free Press.

One of the newest Red Wings, defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, comes into camp with a sore shoulder.  Colaiacovo is still feeling the effects of a hit delivered by Red Wings teammate Damien Brunner at the Spengler Cup, but he expects to be ready for Saturday's game.

Patrick Eaves was cleared to take part in contact practices, but there is no word yet on when he could be ready to return to games. Eaves sustained a concussion when he was struck by a puck in a game against the Nashville Predators in November 2011.

Jordin Tootoo and Jonas Gustavsson join Colaiacovo and Brunner as players making their Red Wings debuts at training camp. Veteran forward Mike Knuble was also at camp Sunday after receiving an invitation to try out. Knuble was drafted 76th overall by the Red Wings in 1991 and spent four years playing for the University of Michigan.

Detroit will play 48 games over 99 days, with the final contest coming on April 27th in Dallas. The Red Wings will look to make their 22nd consecutive playoff appearance, which would be the fifth-longest streak in NHL history.