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Practice post: Red Wings expect Franzen, Tatar, Abdelkader, DeKeyser to play vs. CBJ; mumps talk

Updated 8x at 4:40 PM: The Red Wings' players skated at the University Liggett School due to a WWE event taking place at Joe Louis Arena on Monday evening, and after practice, the Wings told the beat writers that:

1. Tomas Tatar and Johan Franzen were merely "sick" and are expected to play tomorrow;

2. Ditto for Justin Abdelkader (shoulder) and Danny DeKeyser (head);

3. The team is going to be giving booster shots to its players and personnel regarding the mumps outbreak, but at the same time, the team's more concerned with the whole cold-and-flu season situation presenting more imminent danger (especially with so many players having school-age children).

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted videos of Riley Sheahan, Jimmy Howard and Mike Babcock discussing the illness, and Babcock's comments about the team's monitoring of the situation, concerns about European players getting immunized and the already-in-place measures to help players avoid illness are particularly interesting:



I'm going to quote myself regarding Dallas Eakins' firing in Edmonton and some of the subsequent rumors:

In the land of articles:

ESPN's Katie Strang weighed in the Wings' shootout struggles...

The Red Wings in the shootout: Asked about the team's 1-5 record in the shootout this season, forward Tomas Tatar said that with all the skill in Detroit's dressing room, he'd figure the team would be one of the best in the league in the skills competition. Instead, it is one of the worst. Mike Babcock has his crew working on it in practice, treating it now as a special-teams unit, but you have to wonder if it's more mental than anything.

And Scott Burnside had this to say about the Wings amidst a set of power rankings:

5. Detroit [record] 17-7-7 Last Week: 3 The Wings are winless in three, including dropping two in a matter of days to the Leafs, but can look forward to four in a row at Joe Louis Arena, where they have been tough all season. They are missing Stephen Weiss and Justin Abdelkader up front.

Somewhat conveniently, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's at-noon-on-Monday notebook also discusses the Wings' shootout issues...

“It’s totally mental, like 100 percent,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ll just continue to work at it. I go through every player in five-game segments, the goalies in five-game segments. Our goaltenders have been steady, steady, steady consistent, had one blimp kind of like the rest of us. To me that’s the measure of a goalie. So we’re just going to continue to work on it like we always do and try to be solution-based and come up with different ways of solving the problem and eventually we’ll solve the problem,” Babcock added. “But we’re not going to let it get in the way of how we feel about our team or the direction that we’re going, because in the end they still don’t have the shootout in the playoffs.”

From shooting high or wide, or simply losing the puck off their stick before getting a shot off, you name it and it adds up to a lot of misses in the shootout this season for Detroit.

“At this moment I don’t think so,” [Tomas] Tatar said when asked if he has any go-to moves. “I just try to go down and do the most simple thing to score. But I don’t think it should be like that, you should be confident. Maybe if you’re on a roll you would try more crazier things and the goalie wouldn’t expect it. But right now everybody is trying to keep it a little more simple. You can’t think about it too much, just go and do your thing and score a goal.”

Last year the Wings were 5-9 in shootouts, scoring 11 goals on 51 shots while allowing 14 goals on 48 shots.

“We’ve got to be better at it,” Babcock said. “We’ve got to score for Howie and Howie’s got to make saves for us. That’s the reality of the situation.”

All-time, since it was implemented in 2005-06, Detroit is 44-55 in shootouts.



In the prospect department, Joe Hicketts resumed practicing with Team Canada after leaving last night's exhibition game due to precautionary reasons (via DRW Prospects)...

And the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy profiled Hicketts as well:

At Canada’s exhibition game on Saturday night, Hicketts was once again a highly efficient player during a 10-3 shellacking of a team comprised of Canadian University players (many of whom played in the Ontario League when they were younger). His 5-foot-8, 186-pound frame doesn’t stop him from grinding in the corners and he made numerous smart decisions during the evening.

“He’s strong in the defensive zone for a little guy and he can put up some numbers and be offensive,” said fellow Team Canada blueliner Madison Bowey, who plays in the WHL for Kelowna. “He works hard and I know he can bring a solid two-way game to the defensive corps.”

On top of his size, a shoulder injury limited Hicketts to 36 games with the Royals last season, which also hurt his draft stock. But he wasn’t exactly off the radar, either: Hicketts did help Canada win gold at the summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament prior to the 2013-14 campaign. Nonetheless, his resume apparently didn’t impress enough at the time and it already appears as though 30 teams made a mistake at the draft.

“They saw something in other guys that they obviously didn’t see in me,” Hicketts said. “I was happy to get the opportunity with Detroit and they’ve been nothing but good to me. To get an opportunity to sign with a team that has a great history in developing players – free agents, first rounders, seventh rounders – you look down their roster and I think that was the right team to go to.”



In other multimedia offerings, via RedWingsFeed, you may have missed this announcement that Ilitch Holdings is DOUBLING the size of its Little Caesars headquarters as part of the District Detroit sports-and-entertainment-district development...

And's Bill Roose posted some pictures of Petr Mrazek's Ray Bishop-designed holiday mask:

"On Twitter"...




And now back to the land of articles. The Columbus Blue Jackets, a.k.a. Tuesday's opponent, have been surging of late (winning 6 straight, and most recently a 4-3 shootout win over Pittsburgh this past Saturday), but USA Today's Kevin Allen duly notes that Columbus isn't out of the Connor McDavid sweepstakes just yet...

The Blue Jackets still aren’t 100% healthy, but they have rung up six consecutive wins to remind everyone that the NHL community was excited about their potential coming into the season.


-They are six points out of a wild card spot, and there are five teams in front of them before they even get to the New York Rangers, who have the No. 8 spot this morning.

- The Boston Bruins currently don’t have a playoff spot in the East, and we can expect they will earn one by the end of the regular season.

- Despite winning six in a row, the Blue Jackets have not made up any ground  against the third-place Washington Capitals. They were seven points behind Washington 10 games ago and seven points now.

- The Blue Jackets still have significant injuries: Artem Anisimov is out two to three months with a torn triceps, Scott Hartnell will be out a couple weeks with a broken finger and Nathan Horton (back) is out long-term.

[Sergei] Bobrovsky, who missed time earlier with a broken finger, is the key for the Blue Jackets. During this six-game winning streak, he has posted a 1.91 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.  He will have to push his season save percentage above .925 to give the Blue Jackets a good chance to make the playoffs. He’s at .919 now.

Fox Sports Ohio's Rick Gethin provided some Blue Jackets personnel updates from Monday's Jax practice...

#CBJ coach Todd Richards said Dubinsky, Boll had maintenance day today. Tyutin real close = possible vs Detroit, Morin may make debut vs DET

(Morin = Jeremy Morin. The Blue Jackets acquired the center from Chicago yesterday, sending defenseman Tim Erixon Chicago's way)

#CBJ Richards said coaches/players feed off fans, know they're disappointed about early part of season, want to give them reason to cheer.

As did the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline...

#CBJ C Mark Letestu takes his first twirl post-surgery today. "Without incident," he smiled.


#CBJ Jeremy Morin wearing No. 9. #sigh


#CBJ D Fedor Tyutin participating in full this practice.


No #CBJ C Brandon Dubinsky or RW Jared Boll at morning skate today. "Maintenance," says management.


#CBJ D Fedor Tyutin could very well play Tuesday in Detroit vs. #RedWings.

Who points us toward an article noting that the Blue Jackets are selling the Penguins as the "New Red Wings"-style rival, and are doing so very ahrd:

Hard feelings only go so far in the creation of a rivalry, though. At some point you have to win, and last night, the Blue Jackets did, beating the Penguins 4-3 on shootout goals from Cam Atkinson and Johansen, after Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang tied the score with 10.9 seconds left in regulation.

The Penguins won all five regular-season meetings between the clubs before they beat the Jackets in the playoffs.

“Obviously, that’s still in your mind doing those handshakes after game six and losing here,” Boone Jenner said. “So it’s always in the back of your mind, and it doesn’t really go away. So to play them here the first time this year, and you saw the crowd, it was electric. There was energy right from the first puck drop, so it was good.”

Nationwide Arena was packed with 18,663 bodies. But there were a lot more Penguins fans in the building than there were during the playoffs, a sign that this budding rivalry can use a little won-loss equality on this end.

Last year’s series was bigger in Columbus than Pittsburgh, obviously — it was only the second playoff series in team history — and because of their spot in the standings, this one meant more to the Blue Jackets. Even though they were riding a five-game winning streak, they know every loss makes a return trip to the playoffs that much harder. They played like it, which is an encouraging sign for their playoff chances and their rivalry with the powerful Penguins.



And finally, in the practice article vein, MLive's Ansar Khan was first out of the chute with said offering...

Detroit Red Wings forwards Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar didn't practice today, but coach Mike Babcock expects both to be in the lineup Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena.

"I assume they're both playing," Babcock said. "I talked to tats, I didn't talk to Mule. All we did today was say, 'What's going to make you best for tomorrow? Is a day off going to make you best or skating make you best?' So that's the decision we made today. They're just sick, run down."

Neither has the mumps, which has affected more than a dozen NHL players over the past few weeks. Nobody on the Red Wings have contracted the disease. The team is offering booster shots to players and staff to immunize against it.

Forward Justin Abdelkader (separated shoulder) and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (upper body) practiced today and could be ready to play Tuesday.

"I sure assume they are (playing)," Babcock said. "I acted like they were."


No word yet on whether defenseman Xavier Ouellet will be reassigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. If Abdelkader is activated Tuesday the club can opt to place Weiss on short-term injured reserve to create a roster spot for Ouellet.

As for the mumps outbreak, Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski and ESPN's Katie Strang and Pierre LeBrun have penned fine "backgrounders."

NHL teams are petri dishes given that players spit, sweat and sneeze so very regularly while in close proximity for hours on end, and given that they spend so very much time either engaged in athletic activities or taking planes, trains and automobiles to and from the rink--and given that so many of the players have school-aged or day-care-attending children.

NHL teams take lots of precautions to keep their players healthy, from trying to label water bottles if someone displays the symptoms of some sort of cold to using rubber gloves when the equipment staff handles equipment, sanitizing said equipment when possible, washing everything they can, providing vitamins and supplements to players, making sure that nutrition and sleep are fared into the equation, etc. etc....

But when you're shaking hands with people after practice, you're greeting fans, picking your kids up from school (the greatest petri dish for infectious diseases in the U.S. not involving hospitals or health institutions), when you're playing, working out and then traveling through airports (even flying private planes) and staying in hotels and other teams' rinks, often getting by on less than 6 hours of sleep on travel nights, the deck is stacked against you.

The Free Press's Helene St. James' posted a video (via RedWingsFeed) focusing on the mump issue:

And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa's practice article focuses on infectious diseases:

With 13 NHL players diagnosed with the viral disease, the Wings are advising players booster shots are available, they should take the same precautions they normally do this time of year to avoid colds and flus, and there will be a little more cleaning around the dressing room than you might expect.

There is confidence, with the fact that no Maple Leafs or Panthers have yet been diagnosed, at least as of Monday morning, and those were the last two opponents.

With the virus passing through saliva or mucus, sneezing, coughing, close-quarters yelling and the like are now of concern. The CDC is reporting more than double the number of cases this year, 1,078 compared to 438.

Mike Babcock summed up the thoughts and feelings of many of the players, some of whom said they were calling home to find out what immunizations they had as children.

"I don't even know if I had it or not," Mike Babcock said. "I remember in high school, everyone getting it. I assume I've been vaccinated. But I also understand a lot of European players wouldn't have. So, it's important to provide the opportunity to them. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to provide it for everybody and, in the meantime, we're going to be encouraging everyone to do what they can for their immune system."


"Sleeping and not getting run down, that's easy to say," Babcock said. "But when you travel like we do -- we just played five games in eight days -- the reason your immune system gets run down is because you do that stuff."



Otherwise, in the FYI department:

1. From the ECHL:

Preparations are well underway at Fifth Third Field in Toledo as Winterfest is just over a week away. The Toledo Walleye will host the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday, Dec. 27 and the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday, Jan. 3 in the first outdoor games in ECHL history.

Follow along as crews prepare the stadium with additional photos and blog updates on the Walleye's Winterfest page. Fans can also check out the progress in real time by watching live-stream video of the rink build.

A limited number of tickets remain for the games. For additional information, click here.

2. From the NHL:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Justin Shugg from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). In addition, the Hurricanes placed forward Andrej Nestrasil on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

3. Nice goal, Mark Zengerele!



Update: Here's St. James in article form:

Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco's mom is visiting from Slovakia, which made it handy for him to ask her a pressing question: What is mumps?

The potentially dangerous viral infection has swept through NHL locker rooms, infecting more than a dozen players. The disease is spread through saliva or mucus -- picture sneezing and coughing -- so it easily could be transferred from player to player in a high-contact sport such as hockey.

In response, the Wings are in the process of making booster shots available to players and team personnel.


The Wings' arsenal of caretakers includes a nutritionist, who helps advise players on diets and supplements to offset the grind of an 82-game season. There are no guarantees, of course -- forwards Tomas Tatar and Johan Franzen both were out sick today, but Babcock said that he assumes they're playing Tuesday, when the Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets (7:30 p.m., FSD).

He also ran practice as if defenseman Danny DeKeyser and forward Justin Abdelkader are returning. Stephen Weiss remains sidelined by a shoulder injury.


Joakim Andersson said he was vaccinated as a kid in Sweden. Fellow forward Riley Sheahan said he was pretty sure he'd been immunized as a kid, and beyond that, what he knows about mumps is "absolutely nothing. Just trying to stay away from any sort of sickness. I know a lot of guys are getting it -- we just have to be extra conscious."

Goalie Jimmy Howard said he would call his mom to double check that he had been vaccinated. "It's crazy," he said. "I've never seen anything like it." Howard said he "isn't too worried," because no one in the Wings' locker room has been diagnosed with mumps.


Update #2.5: The Blue Jackets have already posited a Wings-Jax game preview:

Last meeting: The Red Wings rolled through Columbus for a 5-0 win on Nov. 18. It was a rough night for the Jackets that would spawn a rougher two weeks, as it was the first of six straight defeats for them leading up to the current six-game winning streak.

Tatar opened the scoring for the Red Wings midway through the first. The Blue Jackets responded with a goal by Boone Jenner, only to see that goal disallowed as the puck was kicked into the net. It was an early sign that things wouldn’t be going Columbus’ way that night. Nyquist added to the lead to start the second period, and the Red Wings added three more in the third. Even after surrendering five goals, Sergei Bobrovsky had 35 saves in a losing effort.

Player to watch: It’s been a streaky run for Cam Atkinson of late. He has eight goals and 14 points to tie for third on the team in scoring. But he’s only scored once in his past 12 games and has been somewhat snake-bitten offensively. The Blue Jackets can hope that Saturday’s game against the Penguins may spark his next hot stretch. Though Atkinson didn’t register any points, he was much more noticeable against the Penguins with five hits on the night, engaging more in the offense and beating Thomas Greiss in the shootout with a beautiful move. For Atkinson, goals tend to come in bunches. The Jackets would like his speed and grit to pay off in Detroit.

Who's hot? Nick Foligno hasn’t had too many quiet games this season, but when he does, he is sure to follow them up with a bang. Foligno has three goals in his last two games and four in his last five. He’s been scoring in all situations and from all areas of the ice, whether it be his two high-zone shots that beat Braden Holtby in Washington or his dirty-area goal in the crease against Pittsburgh. Perhaps most surprisingly with Nick Foligno’s stellar 14 goal season to this point is just how often he’s hitting his spot. Only once since Nov.8 has Foligno registered more than three shots in a game, and his 59 shots this season are the fewest by any player in the NHL with 14 goals or more.

Key Match-Up: Beware the 'second wave' Wings

The Red Wings are one of those teams that just won’t stay down. The Blue Jackets always talk about the importance of getting out to a good start, but against Detroit, that may not be enough. The Red Wings have a strong record when leading after the first period (8-1-0), as do most teams, yet they’re 4-1-1 when trailing after the first period. They’re 4-4-2 when trailing after the second period, compared to the Blue Jackets’ 0-11-0 record when trailing after two. The Jackets can expect a scrappy Red Wings team, but also one that will keep coming at them until the final buzzer. With the Jackets losing leads in the final minutes in two of their last three games, the Red Wings will certainly be a team that tests their ability to close out a contest.


Update #3: Here's Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji's practice update...

Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser appear to be ready to go. DeKeyser has only missed two games after taking a hit from one of the Maple Leafs last Wednesday. He skated fully in practice Monday.

Abdelkader suffered a slightly separated shoulder Nov. 30 against Vancouver and has not played since. But Abdelkader has been practicing with contact for several days.

"I sure assume they are (playing)," Babcock said. "I acted like they were."


The Columbus Blue Jackets may be 14th in the Eastern Conference but they're one of the hottest teams in the league.

"(Won) six in a row," Babcock said. "(Sergei) Bobrovsky is playing well. They've got a good team. They were really injured. It should be a good game. A lot of fun. We need a bounce-back game ourselves. Our energy level should be back."


"They're playing extremely well," Howard said. "They're getting guys back. They got (Brandon) Dubinsky back in the lineup, which has seemed to give them a real big boost. They're playing hard and Bobrovsky is playing really well in net. So, he's had a couple of nights where he's had a lot of work and he's won games for them."

Rookie defenseman Xavier Ouellet believes the Wings will get back to their winning ways this week against the Blue Jackets, the New York Islanders and the Colorado Avalanche.

"It's all about confidence," Ouellet said. "We have the players here to do great things and I think everybody knows it in the room so it's about taking care of ourselves. It's a long season, it's a hard season so take care of our bodies, make sure we're ready every night and we'll the day off we had (Sunday) to get ready for (Tuesday) and what's coming."

And The Score's Thomas Drance always goes with "offbeat" while penning sets of power rankings:

11. Detroit Red Wings

Record 17-7-and-7 Goal Differential +13 Corsi For% 53.2% Previous Rank 10:

Luke Glendening smiling from ear to ear as Phil Kessel tried to get rough with him Wednesday was arguably the highlight of the week

The Associated Press has already posted a Wings-Blue Jackets game preview, too:

Bobrovsky made 33 saves Saturday in a 4-3 home shootout win over Pittsburgh to give Columbus (12-15-2) its longest win streak since an eight-game run Jan. 6-23. He won nine straight starts Nov. 29, 2013-Jan. 23, 2014.

Nick Foligno scored on the power play as the Blue Jackets continued to shine with the man advantage, going 5 for 16 in the last four games. They rank among the NHL's best at 23.2 percent.


Columbus has won all three games since center Brandon Dubinsky returned after offseason abdominal surgery.

Dubinsky wasn't available the last time these teams met when Detroit cruised to a 5-0 road victory Nov. 18. Jimmy Howard stopped 28 shots for his lone shutout of the season and five players scored as the Red Wings enjoyed a 40-28 cushion in shots on goal.

Howard had gone 0-3-1 with a 2.96 GAA in his previous four starts against the Blue Jackets. Columbus held a 26-18 advantage in hits. The Blue Jackets are among the NHL leaders in that department with 30.6 per game while the Red Wings average 18.7 for one of the league's lowest marks.

Columbus is averaging 36.3 hits during the win streak. It's a formula that worked last season when the team gained its second postseason berth by finishing tied for the league lead in that category with Los Angeles.

The gritty style is necessary since Columbus is the league leader in man-games lost.

''That was kind of our M.O. last year,'' coach Todd Richards said. ''The resiliency, finding a way. Through these six games, I think we've found different ways to win hockey games.''


Update #4: Here's MLive's Khan on "The Mumps":

The Red Wings faced one player who came down with mumps - the Rangers' Derick Brassard. Linesman Steve Miller, who worked the Red Wings-Toronto Maple Leafs game last Wednesday, was bed-ridden with mumps earlier this month, according the New York Times.

Players said they're not concerned.

"Nobody around here has it, so I don't think anyone's too worried about it just yet," Howard said.

Luke Glendening isn't surprised that hockey players have been affected.

"You're in such close proximity with guys for so much time, you share water bottles. It happens," Glendening said. "If we get it we'll deal with it but right now you just got to keep pushing forward."

Besides receiving booster shots, players said they'll be washing their hands a lot more.

"I know a lot of guys are getting it so we just have to be extra cautious," Riley Sheahan said. "It's unfortunate for the guys that are getting it. We're just trying to do things so we can't get it."


Update #5: This is just cool:

Update #6: Amongst the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline's practice notes:

Lest the Blue Jackets get too comfortable in their new attitude, Richards spent part of today's practice reminding them of Tuesday's opponent, and how the Red Wings thoroughly embarrassed the Jackets in Nationwide Arena on Nov. 18. It was 5-0, but the Wings generated 40 shots on goal, scored three third-period goals and cruised to a win.

"We weren’t good at all, and they made us look bad," Richards said. "We didn’t have the intensity we needed. I think we’ve gotten better at that, and tomorrow will be another great test."

Side dishes:

-- To activate Tyutin on the active roster, the Blue Jackets will need to clear a player off the 23-man roster. And it can't be a player who needs waivers, or they would have been on the wire at noon today.

-- Red Wings forwards Tomas Tatar and Johan Franzen both missed practice today -- not mumps, the Wings say -- but are expected to dress on Tuesday. The Wings will be without center Stephen Weiss (shoulder)

-- Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told he's preparing as if F Justin Abdelkader, out since Nov. 30 with a slight shoulder separation, and D Danny DeKeyser, who suffered an upper-body injury last week, will play.

-- The Blue Jackets are 7-2-1 vs. Detroit in the last 10 games, including the 5-0 loss earlier this season. Really.



Update #7:

Update #7.5:'s Bill Roose discussed both the Wings' mump talk and the following in his notebook:

AGAINST THE JACKETS: In their past 10 meetings with Columbus, the Red Wings have posted a 3-6-1 record against the Blue Jackets, who are currently riding a Eastern Conference-best six-game win streak.

“They’ve got a good team,” Babcock said. “They were really injured. It should be a good game. A lot of fun. We need a bounce back game ourselves. Our energy level should be back.”

MORE ICE IN OT: This season the American Hockey League is using a 3-on-3 overtime format and seeing excellent results, and many believe that the NHL is leaning in the same direction.

“A lot of space. It's 2-on-1 after 3-on-1 after 2-on-0 after breakaway,” defenseman Xavier Ouellet said. “It goes really, really fast and there's a lot of opportunities and impressive plays – flips and saucer passes, stuff like that are really impressive for fans to watch. Big saves, too. I kind of like it.”

Through 25 games, the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids has had 1-of-6 overtime games decided by the shootout this season. That’s a sharp contrast to the 2013-14 season when the Griffins were involved in 10 shootouts. The object of 3-on-3 is offense and finishing a game before heading to the shootout, an idea that was originally suggested to the NHL board of governors by Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. The only downfall with the format, Ouellet says, is that it’s tough on defensemen.

“When we did it in Grand Rapids, they were up the whole four minutes we played,” he said. “We would go on offense and we would be super excited about the offense going and then stay up because it was a 2-on-1 on the defensive side and cheer for the goalie. It was screaming after screaming after screaming, which was really cool for us to play.”

And if you didn't love Ouellet already, his take on OT vs. shootouts = <3

“I think so,” Ouellet said. “It's so hard to lose in a shootout. It's not a hockey game, it's a skills competition, it's 1-on-1. It's not a team sport anymore. It's tough.”



Update #8: Here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's notebook:

Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar both missed practice Monday due to illnesses.

“I assume they’re both playing,” Babcock said. “They’re just sick, run down.”

Neither has the mumps.

Danny DeKeyser (upper body) and Justin Abdelkader (separated shoulder) both skated and it looks like they’ll return to the lineup Tuesday when the Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I sure assume they are,” Babcock said when asked if they’ll return Tuesday. “I acted like they were.”

Stephen Weiss (shoulder) also didn’t practice.

The team didn’t announce if defenseman Xavier Ouellet will remain with the team or be reassigned to Grand Rapids. They could opt to put Weiss on short-term injured reserve if Abdelkader is activated to keep him in the lineup.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Putting guys with minor injuries on IR so they can have Ouellet around is needless. Just find a way to move someone, and if Kindl isn’t getting back in the lineup even when other guys are just as much, if not more of a problem, it’s pretty clear what his future is. Holland needs to just find a way.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 12/15/14 at 04:42 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

We can shoot Kindl into space…With Cleary…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/15/14 at 04:50 PM ET


If Chicago can find a trade partner who will take a regular healthy scratch like Jeremy Morin then Detroit should be able to find a trade partner who will take an actual regular contributor like Kindl.

Or hell, they can bury Lashoff’s entire contract in GR and keep Kindl because when the injury bug hits (and it will) I’d rather have Kindl on the ice than Lashoff.

Posted by Garth on 12/15/14 at 04:53 PM ET


Since Jurco and Tatar were born in Czechoslovakia/Slovakia they must have vaccination against mumps already on their immunization record. Immunization programs in Czechoslovakia/Slovakia are pretty robust and shot against mumps was always a mandatory stuff for entire population. I would be surprised if those two contracted it.

Posted by tutoka from Leelanau Peninsula on 12/15/14 at 08:41 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Since Jurco and Tatar were born in Czechoslovakia/Slovakia they must have vaccination against mumps already on their immunization record. Immunization programs in Czechoslovakia/Slovakia are pretty robust and shot against mumps was always a mandatory stuff for entire population. I would be surprised if those two contracted it.

Posted by tutoka on 12/15/14 at 07:41 PM ET

Good to hear, tutoka<====cool screenname, by the way.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 12/16/14 at 02:21 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Yes, thanks for the info, I had no idea, and I’m glad I know.

Garth, you and I can both hope and pray about the Wings finding a trade partner for Kindl, but until it happens, we’re stuck with him :/

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 12/16/14 at 02:29 AM ET

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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.