Chelios might be a week away from returning
Game-day skates are brief, lasting for less than a half-hour. Non-game day practices last from 45 minutes to an hour.
"I'm there now," said Chelios after skating with the team this morning. "Conditioning's going to be the biggest issue now. I've just got to get on the ice and have a full skate. I really haven't had a full practice with the team other than game-day skates because of the schedule and holidays. I need a full hour skate with the game.
"It's always taken me two weeks (to get ready for the season). I'm at one week now. You've got to get in game shape. Unfortunately, I don't have the exhibition season to play the 20 minutes I need. It's just going to take extra work. The biggest thing now is that I'm healthy and have no pain in my leg."
When Chelios is removed from the injured reserve list, the question becomes how is salary cap space cleared. One possibility is sending Darren McCarty to Grand Rapids although that would leave the Red Wings with just 12 forwards and eight defensemen. Derek Meech's play at forward might facilitate McCarty's demotion, giving Detroit a viable option if a forward is injured.