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Kirk Maltby has shoulder surgery, out for season

The old guard is slowly disappearing.

Those reliable Detroit Red Wings, the guys that have been around seemingly forever, are going out one by one. Kirk Maltby, who has been a Wing since 1996, had season-ending shoulder surgery today and it might be the end of his career with Detroit..

“There was more damage to the shoulder than the doctor originally anticipated,” general manager Ken Holland said. “The wear and tear on the shoulder -- there were some chips floating around. The doctor told me he had to do something called a microfracture. There was way more wear and tear, and given the surgery, in all likelihood, it’ll be at least 12 weeks before Kirk can start to push weights. So right now, looks like he’s out for the season.”

Maltby will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and it’s doubtful that a 37 year old can recover from microfracture surgery in time to be ready for next season, although it’s certainly possible. I haven’t been able to find out much about the surgery on the shoulder; you normally hear about the microfracture being done on the knee. Basically, the surgery creates fractures (hence the name) in the bones, which eventually creates new cartilage. Recovery from the surgery generally takes four months or so.

With Maltby’s time with Detroit most likely over, that leaves Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper as the final remnants of the great Red Wings teams of the 1990’s. Chris Osgood is still there as well but left and came back, so he doesn’t count.