The Malik Report
The Red Wings' first and second rounds of Sunday cuts have left most Red Wings fans--myself included--with the impression that Xavier Ouellet has made the team, meaning that one of Jakub Kindl ($2.4 million cap hit, per Capgeek) or Brian Lashoff ($725K cap hit) is going to be traded or waived, and the fact that Andrej Nestrasil didn't join Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro or Kevin Porter on the waiver wire has let most of us to assume that "Nesty" will be the team's 13th forward until Pavel Datsyuk returns from the IR.
The Wings' waiving of Callahan has also pissed off the disciples of the Bruise Brothers era to no end, but that's to be expected every time the Wings don't "carry a fighter," even though Callahan is an instigator and all-round agitator, not a heavyweight.
Detroit's coaches and management have until 5 PM EDT on Tuesday to make the team 23-man-roster compliant (with $3.082 million in cap space, the team's fine cap-wise)...
The prospect news cycle is still feast-or-famine as the AHL and ECHL seasons haven't begun and NCAA Division I hockey is still mostly in exhibition mode. I've tended to split prospect and big-club news, however, so you'll see some short-form posts for the next week or two.
Red Wings prospect Zach Natsasiuk knew that he'd have to be returned to the OHL if he didn't make the Wings' NHL team due to his "early" birthdate, but watching him take the walk back from the coaches' office after being reassigned to the Owen Sound Attack was downright painful.
Nastasiuk has taken his demotion in stride: on Sunday, Owen Sound's captain registered 2 goals and was named the first star in the Attack's 7-2 win over Ottawa, and he's registered 4 goals and 2 assists over his first 5 games.
DRW Prospects on Twitter found two .gifs of Nastasiuk's goals:
As Paul noted, the Red Wings waived Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro and Kevin Porter today. It should be assumed that all three players will clear and be assigned to Grand Rapids, where they're sorely needed after the Griffins' dismal 2-exhibition-game performance against Lake Erie (I hope they clear, especially Callahan; he loves the organization and wants to earn his way onto the NHL roster no matter how long it takes to get there).
Then this afternoon, the Wings sent Tomas Nosek, Teemu Pulkkinen, Alexey Marchenko and Nick Jensen to Grand Rapids, too, meaning that Andrej Nestrasil (at least until Pavel Datsyuk returns) and Xavier Ouellet have probably won jobs on the roster, and sometime between today and 5 PM on Tuesday (when the team must be 23-man-roster compliant), the Wings have to decide what to do with Jakub Kindl (and that awful $2.4 million-for-3-more-years contract) and Brian Lashoff (2 more years at $725,000, per Capgeek).
The Wings assigned forwards Tomas Nosek and Teemu Pulkkinen and defensemen Nick Jensen and Alexey Marchenko to Grand Rapids.
Wings are down to 26 players, must trim three by Tuesday (probably just two, if Datsyuk isn't ready). Tatar is ready to play.
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
According to Ken Holland: Jensen, Marchenko, Nosek and Pulkkinen sent to Grand Rapids. Roster down to 26.
As such, per The Production Line:
per Renaud Lavoie tweets Mitch Callahan, Kevin Porter and Landon Ferraro were placed on waivers today.
Every once in a while I'll have an, "Okay, George, what the *#$%@& do you want to say here?" conversations with myself. Tonight, I had to wonder what the *#$%@& I could say that might be meaningful regarding both the Wings' 4-3 shootout win over the Boston Bruins and the preseason as a whole.
Once the preseason's over, fans, players and pundits alike tend to simply close the chapter of the book titled, "The 8 games that don't matter" and start looking forward to the start of the games that matter.
In the Wings' case, that's Thursday's home opener against the same Bruins, and for Wings fans, the next five days have far more to do with what the team decides to do with Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff (Kindl's hard-to-move $2.4 million-for-3-more-years contract included) given that all of Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen and Alexey Marchenko look near-to-actually NHL-ready;
Red Wings prospect news: Griffins drop 2nd exhibition game; Larkin’s college career begins with loss
The AHL doesn't keep box scores for preseason games, and maybe that's a good thing. While the Grand Rapids Griffins are missing some of their key contributors as Petr Mrazek, Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro, Andrej Nestrasil, Kevin Porter, Alexey Marchenko, Nick Jensen and Xavier Ouellet have all been competiting for jobs in Detroit...
The last two nights haven't been very kind to the Griffins. On Friday, Grand Rapids dropped a 5-2 decision to the Lake Erie Monsters in Windsor, ON, and as the scene shifted to the site of the Monsters' ECHL affiliate in Fort Wayne, IN (home of the Komets), things didn't get any better. The Griffins lost 6-3 on Saturday evening, as the Griffins' website notes:
For two periods of the Red Wings' 4-3 shootout win over the Boston Bruins, it looked like the Wings had finally addressed the mental and defensive errors that had yielded a dreadful 5-1 loss to Toronto on Friday and a flat-as-Ohio performance in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh.
The Wings took a 1-0 lead on a Sheahan goal, scored 2 power play goals in the 2nd period to surge out to a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes, and all looked well...
And then the third period happened, Patrice Bergeron scored his second and third goals of the game to tie things up (with poor defensive positioning yielding easier-than-they-should-have-been opportunities for Bergeron to score).
All of a sudden, all the worries about so many gaffes being made by so many of the Red Wings' established and/or veteran players on such a disturbingly regular basis returned.
Updated 5x at 4:57 PM: The Detroit Red Wings conclude their preseason against the Boston Bruins this afternoon (5:30 PM EDT on NESN/NHL Network U.S./WBZ 98.5), hoping to rebound from a particularly ugly 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.
As Paul noted, MLive's Ansar Khan posted tonight's lineup via a Tweet (it appears that the Wings didn't hold a morning skate after getting into Boston after 1 AM due to more weather-related travel delays getting out of Lester B. Pearson and into Logan International)...
The puck drops just after 5:30pm ET and is on the NHL Network in the US.
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.