Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot not returning before All-Star Break

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot will not return ahead of the All-Star Break. Was this a missed opportunity for youthful reinforcements?
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot (8) warms up prior to Detroit's clash with the Panthers.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot (8) warms up prior to Detroit's clash with the Panthers. / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As the Detroit Red Wings look ahead, there's just one more game on the schedule. Detroit's got a rematch with the Ottawa Senators on tap as they close out things ahead of the All-Star Break. They will be without defenseman Ben Chiarot. Head coach Derek Lalonde noted that Chiarot's injury will continue to hold him out.

While it was noted that Patrick Kane continued to trend toward a return before the All-Star Break, Chiarot will continue to miss some time. He's been out with an upper-body injury that has seemingly nagged him. He tweaked it against the Carolina Hurricanes in the January 19th contest. He has not played since then.

From the way it was talked about after Chiarot re-tweaked this injury, it sounds like it had been a problem for some time. Taking time off and getting him some rest through the All-Star Break is the best move. It'll be all hands on deck in the second half of the season, and a healthy Chiarot makes for a stronger defense core, even if he gets some hate for some of his plays.

But, as the Red Wings get ready to close out the first half of the season before the All-Star Break, they will be without Ben Chiarot. Leaving them without their physical and defense-first guy in Chiarot will likely be a tough match-up with the Senators. Heck, Detroit should be out for blood, but that's just the anger talking.

Detroit Red Wings defender Ben Chiarot remains out with an upper-body injury.

Chiarot's played in 45 games where he has three goals and nine assists for 12 total points. He's a plus-three on the season as well. There are some holes in his game, and sometimes the metrics are unkind to Chiarot, but he's a defensive-first player. The issue is, even at times, there are holes in his defensive zone play.

But a couple of things stood out to me about Chiarot not being able to return before the break, outside-of-the-box scores and statistics. Chiarot's bigger, physical, and one of the Red Wings who will drop the gloves if it comes down to it. Against Ottawa, it would be nice to be all hands on deck with players willing to finish checks and get under Ottawa's skin in this game.

Heading into that game, it's going to suck not having Chiarot in the lineup. But he needs the time to rest up and be ready to go for the second half of the season. On top of all this, the fact that he had been hurt for some time and struggling to get healthy caught my attention.

Why not get him out of the lineup, let him rest, and get him back to 100% earlier? Instead of letting him play through it. The guy has grit; it happens. Sometimes players want to play through minor injuries, but now Chiarot's missing more time. Instead, the Red Wings could have tried to get Simon Edvinsson some NHL looks in.

Even if it was a game or two, it would provide a few chances for Edvinsson to get NHL ice time and crack the lineup. It's too late now and is no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I almost wish that Detroit would have been real careful with Chiarot, holding him out with the injury, opting for the youthful reinforcements.