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Red Wings recall Mrazek, demote Coreau and Ouellet

This move seems to make little sense given that the Red Wings supposedly have to keep 23 men up to maximize their LTIR space:

The Wings now have 22 men on their roster.

Per the Wings' PR department:

RED WINGS RECALL PETR MRAZEK FROM GRAND RAPIDS

… Goaltender Jared Coreau and Defenseman Xavier Ouellet Assigned to Griffins …

Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.  The Red Wings also assigned goaltender Jared Coreau and defenseman Xavier Ouellet to the Griffins.  Detroit’s current active roster now stands at 22 players with four additional players on injured reserve.

Helm and Eaves are on the LTIR and Tootoo and Gustavsson are on the IR.

Mrazek has posted a 1-1-0 career record with a 2.02 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in two career National Hockey League games.  He is slated to back up starting goaltender Jimmy Howard  tomorrow night when the Red Wings drop the puck on the 2013-14 season as they square off with the Buffalo Sabres at 8:00 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena (NBCSN and 97.1 The Ticket).

Update: As MLive's Brendan Savage notes, the Wings planned on bringing Mrazek up.

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Comments

Mistercristo's avatar

Further proof that not a single person outside of the organization, much less the GMs on this site, has a clue about what goes on behind closed doors.  I’m intrigued.  I could proffer an uneducated guess, but why add to the flotsam and jetsam?  As much as individuals rail at KH, JD, RM, etc. ad infinitum, it doesn’t accomplish anything.  If the Detroit Red Wings don’t bring you some kind of joy, then you’re doing it wrong.

Kick back, enjoy the mood-altering substance of your choice, and hang on, because these are uncharted, deep waters, but no one has a battleship like this.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 10/01/13 at 09:50 PM ET

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This move seems to make little sense given that the Red Wings supposedly have to keep 23 men up to maximize their LTIR space:

This means one of two things:

a) Holland should be fired immediately.

b) someone is coming off the short term IR fairly soon.

Oh, who am I kidding?  It means both things.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/01/13 at 10:09 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Very cute. I’m sure that something else be brewin.’

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/01/13 at 10:15 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Just another chapter in “As the Stomach Churns”.

Posted by calquake on 10/02/13 at 12:16 AM ET

Alzy's avatar

I’m just curious and hoping George or someone else can answer this, since I’ve seen it said a few times in the past few days: since when do teams HAVE to have 23 players on the roster? I thought that was just the maximum, but you could carry as few as 20 if you chose? I remember a few seasons ago the Wings only had 21 players to start the season because they were so close to the cap, but they weren’t forced two add two more players and remain cap compliant.

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 10/02/13 at 01:47 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Appears to be a new CBA thing as far as I know. Mrazek’s salary for Wednesday may yield needing one less body because the Wings apparently have to spend *exactly* the equivalent of one day’s cap-limit amount on salaries to maximize their LTIR space.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/02/13 at 02:01 AM ET

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since when do teams HAVE to have 23 players on the roster?

Appears to be a new CBA thing as far as I know.

Wasn’t there an article on KK a few days ago that said the Flyers only had 21 players on the roster they submitted to the NHL on Monday?

Posted by Garth on 10/02/13 at 08:53 AM ET

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I think the way the system works is that, once you have player(s) on LTIR, your new theoretical maximum LTIR allowance is set and will not change until the player(s) comes off LTIR. So when Detroit did its roster juggling and put Helm and Eaves on IR, it meant that for as long as those players were injured they could has UP TO 23 players on the active roster and spend UP TO approximately $3.3m over the cap. But they don’t have to keep exactly 23 players on the active roster or spend up to the theoretical maximum cap relief they are allowed the entire time.

I have not seen any evidence that suggests a team MUST be at 23 players to get LTIR relief; it’s not anywhere in Article 16 of the CBA, which governs rosters and reserve lists, or in 50.10(d), which governs how LTIR relief is calculated. Furthermore, article 16 does confirm that teams can have fewer than 23 players on their active roster, to a minimum of 18 skaters and 2 goalies.

I do remember Ken Holland saying something like “and that gets us to 23 players,” and maybe even Khan reported this as if it was accepted fact that a team has to use all its roster spots to get relief, but I don’t think this is true.

What is definitively true is that, in order to maximize the LTIR space they would be eligible for, the Red Wings had to get their team as close to the cap as it could by the first day of the regular season. In order to get as close as possible, the Red Wings did need to place Tootoo on short-term IR, switch their goalies and use up all their allowed roster spaces.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 10/02/13 at 09:25 AM ET

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the rule is for 24 hours after player goes on long-term injured reserve. now they can do whatever they want. it is meant to keep people from dressing 18 players or from teams trading for injured players and not spending to the cap. a coup for the NHLPA.

Posted by jkm2011 on 10/02/13 at 09:33 AM ET

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it also encourages small and mid market teams to spend to the cap, overpaying for players that are marginal at best in order to invoke the LTIR clause

Posted by jkm2011 on 10/02/13 at 09:52 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The roster minimum is 20 players (18 skaters and 2 goalies), like Sven states.

The LTIR thing is also not needed.  You’re either using the entirety of the excess or you aren’t.  The only place timing matters is when the players are put on LTIR as far as how much cushion you get. That cushion is now set and there’s no benefit to using as much of it as possible on any given day.

In fact, it would still be better for the Wings to get as far below the cap as they can reasonably be, because of the ability to “bank” unused cap space later in the season.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/02/13 at 10:24 AM ET

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To follow up:

Since the maximum LTIR allowance for the Wings has already been set (because the size of the cushion is based on the team’s roster as of the date players go on LTIR), and since we agree that the Wings do not need 23 roster players to make use of the space, that implies that Gustav Nyquist could be recalled at pretty much any time. All the Wings would have to do is send down Emmerton (who would not need to re-clear waivers to be demoted) and they’d have more than enough space to bring Nyquist back in for Game 1. By my math, that’s be 22 players (23 if/when Tootoo gets reactivated) with roughly $500k of cushion space.

The fact that they aren’t doing this probably indicates that Nyquist remaining in the minors is about more than simply how much money he makes, because now that the cushion is set bringing him back should be a relatively simple matter. It appears that this issue is more about maintaining his waiver-exempt status and avoiding having to potentially make a more difficult or painful cut down the road and/or being forced to lose an extra player or bury an expensive veteran.

In a semi-related note, Cory Emmerton is a replacement-level (at best) NHL forward, but he seems to keep getting a job precisely /because/ in a cap world, his utter scrub-ishness is an asset. He’s not good enough to make the top 12 on the actual merit of his play, but because he’s so cheap and so expendable, he’s easy to fit under the cap and he’s painless and essentially free to discard if you have to cut a roster spot on short notice.

Which is frustrating, because I’d so much rather see that spot go to a player that actually brings something better to the table, or actually has a future in the NHL other than being a fourth-line fill in for another year or two at best.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 10/02/13 at 11:09 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It appears that this issue is more about maintaining his waiver-exempt status and avoiding having to potentially make a more difficult or painful cut down the road and/or being forced to lose an extra player or bury an expensive veteran.

Yep.  My guess is that Nyquist will probably spend at least the first 10 games down there until the LTIR status of Helm & Eaves comes to the point where either of them could come off LTIR.

I think the Wings don’t want to burn Nyquist’s waiver status before one of those guys comes back because that would force an uglier situation with how to become cap/roster compliant at that time (I’d die of shock if it mean Nyquist getting waived, but the Wings don’t want to have to waive Tootoo or Eaves if there’s any possibility of getting even a conditional pick for them).

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/02/13 at 11:36 AM ET

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Regarding Emmerton, what he has going for himself most are his salary and the fact that he’s a centre.  The Wings roster would seem to be flush with centres, even with Helm injured, but the fact that their top line is comprised of three centres (and, one could argue that their top six is made up of five natural centres) means that Emmerton should continue to have a job with the Wings.

Hell, in my opinion, trading/waiving him shouldn’t even be near the top of the priority list.  They should be begging someone to take Tootoo’s contract and they should be actively making Samuelsson’s life miserable to the point where he starts requesting a trade.

Posted by Garth on 10/02/13 at 12:16 PM ET

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Posted by Garth on 10/02/13 at 12:16 PM ET

I agree that Emmerton’s status as a natural center on a team that has practically nothing but wingers in its bottom six is to his advantage.

I also agree that, for both this reason and his ability to play the penalty kill, he offers more to the Red Wings than Tootoo, who is arguably a better player but is also almost 4 times the cost and not as good a fit for the team.

But I would so much rather the Wings used Abdelkader in a bottom six center role, or even ice a fourth line with 3 natural wingers, than continue to give Emmerton a regular shift. He’s a drag on possession at even strength, he makes the players around him worse, and he adds very little other value aside from being a competent (but replaceable) presence on the PK.

He’s a replacement-level player and should be an injury fill-in, not a guy with an everyday shift like he has been the past two years. Guys like him are essentially free to acquire, at any time, by any team, as a rule. Either you have them already in your system, or they’re free agents or on minor-league contracts and free to be signed, or worst case you can get them for a conditional last-round pick if you really need to. That’s why nobody claimed him off of waivers, even though he makes practically the league minimum.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 10/02/13 at 12:55 PM 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.