Steve Yzerman might be sidelined with a groin injury for the Detroit Red Wings season opener against St. Louis next week.
The Red Wings open at home Wednesday against the Blues, then play at St. Louis the following day. Yzerman leads all active players with 1,721 points.
After the NHL lockout canceled last season, the 40-year-old Yzerman chose to sign a one-year contract to return to Detroit for a 22nd season. The captain had to be helped off the ice in his last game after a puck broke bones near his eye during the 2004 NHL playoffs.
He'll play with a visor covering half of his face this season. Detroit is expected to be without goaltender Chris Osgood (groin), while defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee) is out for at least six weeks.
The Red Wings will have to count on younger players or veterans to fill in the gaps for injured players because the NHL's collective bargaining agreement limits them to a salary cap of $39 million, about half of what they used to spend, Sporting News reports.