The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/14/13 at 01:21 PM ET
Updated 21x at 5:25 PM: The Red Wings got back to work at the Joe today, hoping to solve their scoring issues ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Washington Capitals.
As one might expect of a team that's winless in four and hasn't won a home game in six tries, personnel tweaks are on the way, as reported by MLive's Ansar Khan...
Wings on ice for practice. This time Tatar is in gray, usually worn by players scratched next game. Tootoo and Eaves also in gray.
Cleary back in white jersey, skating with bottom six. Looks like he'll be back in lineup Friday vs. Washington.
Weiss, not expected to skate until next week due to groin pull, is only player not on ice.
Based on how they're skating it looks like Smith isn't in tomorrow, he's paired with Ouellet. The pairs are 55-52, 27-65 and 23-4.
Lines: 40-13-44, 93-43-11, 71-18-37, 20-41-8.
Cleary back in his net-front role on second power play unit, with Franzen and Helm up front, Kindl and Samuelsson at points.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness (sorry for the repetition; doing a bit of a, "Who's covering practice" roster count here)...
Everyone on the ice at Wings practice. Except for Weiss.
Tatar, Eaves and Tootoo in gray. Cleary back in White.
Ericsson looks like he's back for Friday against capitals. Paired with Kronwall. Smith appears still out.
Top two lines remain together it appears. The third line appears to be Samuelsson, Cleary and Andersson.
Second PP unit. Helm centering Franzen and Cleary with Kindl and Samuelsson at point.
The Free Press's Helene St. James...
Daniel Cleary, a healthy scratch vs WPG, back in regular practice sweater at #RedWings practice. Bottom-six grouping.
Tomas Tatar in grey at #RedWings practice. Colored outside the box (of game group).
Yep, one of #RedWings practice lines is Cleary, Andersson, Samuelsson.
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
Looks like #RedWings will go with similar line combos as last game: 40-13-44; 93-43-11; 71-18-37; 20-41-8. Lone exception is 71 in for 21.
And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Cleary not wearing gray...likely means he is back playing..,Tatar in the dredded gray with tootoo and eaves
For what it's worth, I'd argue that a) Tatar had a rough game in his last outing and b) the Wings' off-day practice lines are indicative of changes, but they aren't *#$%@& gospel truth.
That, and a team desperate for scoring kind of has to do whatever it can to shake things up. I'd obviously rather see Tatar in the lineup over Captain $3 Million Salary Anchor, but goal-scoring issues and losing 7 of 11 yield desperate times and desperate measures.
The Wings offered a promotional Tweet...
Remember, Danny DeKeyser will be signing autographs at Commerce Twp @MI_Kroger (2905 Union Lake Rd) tonight from 5-6 PM!
And RedWingsFeed found that the Wings have posted a 111-image(!) photo gallery from the Toast of Hockeytown.
If you missed it in the overnight report, Jordin Tootoo's father, Barney, spoke with the CBC North about his son's imminent demotion to Grand Rapids:
"Well, I don't feel very good, and for sure Jordin doesn't feel very good," said Barney Tootoo, Jordin's father. "Like any player put on waivers, I don't think they feel very good. It seems like with the new salary cap that they figure they no longer need him there."
When Tootoo was drafted by the Nashviille Predators in 2001, he became the first Inuk to join an NHL team. Tootoo was a fan favourite in Nashville, and in Nunavut, he's a huge star and a role model who travels to communities to talk to kids.
Sports analysts say Tootoo is a victim of the salary cap. At $1.9 million a year, they say he was too expensive to keep on the team, especially with other, stronger players coming off the injury list.
"Unfortunately he was just in a bad situation in Detroit in that they have a slew of right wingers right now between Bertuzzi, Daniel Alfredsson, Dan Cleary, Samuelson," says Hockey Night in Canada radio host Rob Pizzo, "They just didn't have room for him."
Detroit sport journalists say Tootoo could be heading to the minors by the end of the week, but knowing his character they say he'll fight to get back to the big league.
Oh hey, by the way, per The Production Line:
And DRW Prospects on Twitter offers great news regarding Mattias Janmark, who was kneed by Leo Komarov in the final game of the Karjala Cup:
Expressen's Mattias Ek spoke with AIK Stockholm coach Rickard Franzen, and he stated that Janmark should return on Saturday, having missed 2 games with a right knee issue:
"Mattias looks fresher now. It could have been much worse and I thought right away when he got hit that he'd be gone for seeral weeks," said AIK coach Rikard Franzen.
Mattias Janmark, who is the team's goal and point-scoring leader, skated with AIK yesterday, but is not yet at full speed.
At lunchtime on Thursday, Franzen decided that Janmark won't play against Leksands IF tonight [but will play on Saturday vs. Frolunda].
Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, per Comcast Sportsnet Washington's Chuck Gormley...
#CapitalsTalk Caps D Mike Green sitting Out practice with lower body injury.
WashingtonCapitals.com's Mike Vogel...
#Caps dman Mike Green not on ice for today's prax at KCI. Almost certain that Caps will recall a dman from AHL to join them in Detroit.
And a pun-ishing NBC Washington's Adam Vinigan:
Mike Green (lower body) not practicing today. #Caps
Dmitry Orlov hasn't been playing, but George McPhee says that "he'll get his chance." http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/capital-games/Dmitry-Orlov-Capitals-Mike-Green-Injury-George-McPhee.html … #Caps
For the Red Wings, I'm sure Kindl is really good at making reads.
The 9-8-and-1 Capitals haven't played since taking 4-3 OT win over Columbus on Tuesday, and while that win snapped a 2-game winless streak, Washington's won 5 of its 7 November games (with 2 wins and 1 loss coming in shootouts).
The Washington Post's Katie Carerra published a context-setting notebook this morning (and we'll pretend that Mike Green wasn't the player Washington picked with the 1st-rounder Detroit sent to Washington way back in 2004)...
Mike Green did not take part in Capitals practice Wednesday and is questionable for Friday’s game at the Detroit Red Wings with with what the team will only describe as a lower-body injury.
The defenseman skated 23 minutes 3 seconds in Washington’s 4-3 overtime win against Columbus Tuesday night and finished that contest. But Green was also the recipient of three hits, including an intense collision with Blake Comeau with 8:04 gone in the third period.
“I don’t think it was that hit but he got bumped up during the game,” said Coach Adam Oates, who was asked if Green would be able to face Detroit. “We’ll see. Obviously hope so. We’ll see, evaluate him tomorrow.”
Green has been plagued by injuries of all types in recent years and has missed 93 of the past 231 regular season games, dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season. Back in January 2012 he underwent sports hernia surgery after dealing with a nagging groin injury and returned later in the season, but was limited in the first half of last year’s lockout-shortened campaign with another groin problem.
If the Capitals are without their ice-time leader (24:18) for any length of time, it will stretch the depth of an already banged up defensive unit that has been without Jack Hillen (fractured tibial plateau) and John Erskine (upper-body), who are both on long-term injured reserve, for several weeks now.
During Wednesday’s practice, usual center Jay Beagle was sporting a blue defenseman’s jersey and went through the workout as a blueliner but that was just in an effort to offer balance in practice drills. Oates said he wouldn’t use Beagle in a game as a defenseman.
And then she reported contradictory news via Twitter:
Green will make the trip to Detroit, Oates said. Uncertain whether he’ll play. Injury is a bruise, unrelated to previous groin problems.
Please explain, NBC Washington's Adam Vingan...
Mike Green will make the trip to Detroit and continue receiving treatment for his lower-body injury. #Caps
Adam Oates on Mike Green: "It's a different injury. He got hit pretty hard. He's bruised. It's not a groin problem." #Caps
If a call-up is made, it will likely happen tonight and will be a right-handed defenseman (likely either Connor Carrick or Tyson Strachan).
Oates said they will consider Orlov, but "we don't want to put a guy in a situation that we can't get the best out of him." #Caps
The Capitals, who rather amusingly skirt the NHL's, "Hey, you should put all your content on your NHL-formatted website" by dicking around on Ted Leonsis' "Monumental Network," have tossed off a slate of "morning reading" articles, per the Capitals PR account...
Steven Oleksy returns to his home state of Michigan tomorrow to play the Red Wings. For more, read #CAPS TODAY: http://capitalstoday.monumentalnetwork.com/2013/11/14/caps-today-11-14
Here's that story's quote of note:
The Capitals travel to Detroit to play the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena tomorrow night. Capitals defenseman Steven Oleksy was born in Chesterfield, Mich., located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit. Oleksy played collegiately at Lake Superior State University in Michigan from 2006-09, where he registered 20 points (3g, 17a) and 110 penalty minutes in 113 games. Entering his second season with the Capitals, Oleksy has collected four assists and 36 penalty minutes in 17 games this season.
Per Capitals radio announcer John Walton...
Caps depart for Detroit today, face Wings tomorrow at Joe Louis in today's Caps Minute. http://capitalsvoice.monumentalnetwork.com/2013/11/13/your-capitals-minute-for-thursday-november-14 …
If you want to listen to Walton's audio summation of what's on the Capitals' collective menu, you may most certainly do so...
Back in Detroit, it's difficult to say whether the Wings will have to make another move to accommodate Gustav Nyquist's recall--because Ken Holland told the Ansar Khan and Chuck Pleiness that the Wings would have to both assign Tootoo and Patrick Eaves to Grand Rpaids to simply accommodate Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith's returns, but the inevitable happened when the CBC's Elliotte Friedman reported that Eaves is being waived.
Capgeek's been reporting that the Wings have been spending to the cap every day to maximize their Long-Term Injured Reserve relief, but whether that means the pro-rated salaries of the players recalled have pushed the Wings over the cap when accounting for Ericsson and Smith's salaries, I can't answer that question, because I can't do the kind of cap calculus that Ryan Martin and the Wings' management are able to achieve.
The Wings have waived Patrick Eaves. he has until noon tomorrow to clear.
Patrick Eaves has been waived by Wings. Has until noon to clear.
Eaves was caught off guard he was placed on waivers when he was approached by us in locker room after practice.
Eaves on waivers..,,finds out by reporters and seems not too surprised
And St. James:
"Nature of the business" - Patrick Eaves on being put on waivers. #redwings
Patrick Eaves found out just now he's been waived. #redwings
Patrick Eaves in final season, $1.2 million salary #redwings
What's next? Probably eating Samuelsson's salary and waiving him if the team does want to make room for Nyquist at some point, but, for the present moment, sticking with what the team's got, Captain $3 Million Salary Anchor included.
Again, the cap going down from $70.2 to $64.3 million = the CBC's Friedman reporting that 20 teams are within $2 million of the cap's upper limit, so the trade market is incredibly limited unless it's dollar-in-for-dollar-out, and the Wings can't afford to take on any salaries.
Khan confirms in article form:
The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Patrick Eaves on waivers today at noon, a move necessitated by the impending return of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.
If Eaves is claimed, his $1.2 million salary will come off the Red Wings' cap. If he clears by noon Friday, he can be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, in which case the Red Wings would get $925,000 in cap relief.
The Red Wings will need to send both Eaves and forward Jordin Tootoo to Grand Rapids before activating Ericsson, who has been on long-term injured reserve due to a dislocated shoulder suffered on Oct. 19.
Ericsson is expected to ready for Friday's game against the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena. Defenseman Brendan Smith also is expected to be activated from short-term IR in the next day or two, at which time the club likely will reassign defenseman Xavier Ouellet to the Griffins.
Eaves, 29, has appeared in only three games this season (no points, minus-2).
Eaves was sidelined for close to 14 months due to a concussion after having his jaw broken from a shot by Nashville's Roman Josi on Nov. 26, 2011. Eaves returned last season, appearing in 34 games (two goals, six assists, minus-1) in the regular season and13 playoff games (one goal, two assists, minus-1).
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirms, and again, sending Eaves and Tootoo down gets the Wings down to 22 roster spots, but whether there's the cap space to accommodate Nyquist...
#RedWings have placed Patrick Eaves on waivers today. He's one of the nicest most accommodating players in the league.
Well the Free Press's Helene St. James has the answer to that, because Nyquist's cap hit is $950,000, and the Wings' cap relief won't add up to that figure...
If Patrick Eaves clears waivers, goes to minors, cap relief limited to $925,000 for #RedWings
Update #1: Good news? Per St. James...
Mike Babcock said Brendan Smith should be back in a couple of games. #RedWings
Also: Babcock is flipping Cleary (in) and Tatar (out) for Red Wings vs Capitals
Babcock confirms Ericsson in, Smith not ready, Cleary replaces Tatar in lineup.
Smith and Tatar out..,Ericsson and Cleary in...smith should be back in a few days
And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Babcock said that Ericsson will be in the #RedWings lineup tomorrow vs. @washcaps, but Smith is still "a few days away."
So Capgeek estimates that waiving Eaves and Tootoo and bringing back Smith and Ericsson = $545,455 in cap space. Much less than Nyquist's $950K.
Update #3: FYI:
Here's her practice post:
Eaves found out about the move after today’s practice.
"I found out from you guys," he said. "I knew I wasn't playing, but I thought I was doing well when I was getting in.
"There's a bunch of us here. Just the way it is. That's the business."
Coach Mike Babcock called it a "business decision. Patty Eaves is a good player and a real good person and does everything right. We haven't given him an opportunity to play enough. He wants to be in the lineup every night, and he should be. He's a good enough player.
"It's disappointing we haven't been able to make it work. We're hopeful he's going to get himself a good opportunity."
The Wings have an excess of forwards. Last week, they waived Jordin Tootoo, and while he has remained in Detroit for practices, he might be sent down to Grand Rapids (AHL) to help clear the room needed to activate defenseman Jonathan Ericsson from long-term injured reserve. Ericsson is returning Friday, when the Wings will try to overturn a six-game losing streak at home with a game against the Washington Capitals.
Update #6: Here's Pleiness on Tatar...
After being a healthy scratch last game, Daniel Cleary will return to the Wings’ lineup against the Washington Capitals Friday, replacing Tomas Tatar.
“When I looked at our lineup (Tuesday) I thought that was a spot I felt we could have been better so he gets an opportunity to watch,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’ll get back in.”
Tatar has two goals and one assist in 11 games. He’s a plus-1. Cleary has a goal and two assists in 18 games. He’s a plus-1.
“I thought (Mikael) Samuelsson was good, had lots of opportunities to score last game so I’m leaving him back in,” Babcock said.
Joakim Andersson will center Cleary and Samuelsson.
Samelson has just one goal in seven games. He’s a minus-1.
And Khan on the roster moves:
The Wings have assigned Jordin Tootoo and Xavier Ouellet to Grand Rapids, and Patrick Eaves will be sent down if he clears, Holland said.
Update #7: St. James posted a clip of Babcock speaking about Eaves...
And Roose is confirming the Wings' roster moves:
Rookie D-man Xavier Ouellet and veteran agitator Jordin Tootoo are assigned to Grand Rapids in the AHL. Eaves will follow, if he clears Fri.
Update #8: Here's a sans-quotes practice update from Khan:
The Detroit Red Wings have assigned forward Jordin Tootoo to the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he will be in uniform for Friday’s game against Rockford.
With Jonathan Ericsson coming off long-term injured reserve to play for the Red Wings Friday against Washington, the club also has sent defenseman Xavier Ouellet back to the Griffins.
And if right wing Patrick Eaves clears waivers Friday at noon, he, too, will be sent to Grand Rapids.
Daniel Cleary will be back in the Red Wings’ lineup Friday, after sitting out one game as a healthy scratch. He will replace Tomas Tatar.
More details shortly.
Update #9: Here's Khan's practice post with quotes:
Tatar has gone scoreless in the past four games after a three-game points streak. He has two goals and one assist in 11 games this season.
"When I looked at our lineup yesterday I thought that was a spot I felt we could have been better so (Tatar) gets an opportunity to watch,'' coach Mike Babcock said. "He’ll get back in. I thought (Mikael) Samuelsson was good, had lots of opportunities to score last game so I’m leaving him in.''
Babcock said defenseman Brendan Smith, who’s missed four games with a shoulder injury, is a couple days away from returning.
“He didn’t stop and start yesterday; we didn’t stop and start today,’’ Babcock said. “He’ll get some more work and he should be ready to go soon.’’
Center Stephen Weiss (groin) skated on his own today and said he felt fine, Babcock said, but won’t be ready until next week.
Here are the lines and defense pairs they skated with today:
Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi
Johan Franzen-Darren Helm-Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Cleary-Joakim Andersson-Mikael Samuelsson
Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Justin Abdelkader
Scratches (in gray jerseys): Tomas Tatar, Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo
Injured: Stephen Weiss (groin)
Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey-Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff-Jakub Kindl
Scratch: Xavier Ouellet
Injured: Brendan Smith (shoulder)
Update #10: Here's Khan's Eaves post with quotes:
“Obviously, Patty Eaves is a real good player, a real good person, does everything right,’’ Babcock said. “We haven’t been able to give him an opportunity here to play enough He wants to be in the lineup every night and he should be, he’s a good enough player. He knows how to play. He’s a responsible team guy. It’s disappointing we weren’t able to make it work and we’re hopeful he’s going to get himself an opportunity.’’
If Eaves clears at noon Friday he will be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
“You got to look at everything as an opportunity, so hopefully I get picked up and play somewhere,’’ Eaves said.
Eaves has appeared in only three games this season (no points, minus-2). He missed the first three weeks of the regular season after getting injured (knee, ankle) during practice on Sept. 19.
“There’s a bunch of us there, so it’s just the way it is,’’ Eaves said. “It’s a business. And then I got fell on in training camp so that didn’t help either.”
This is the final year of Eaves’ contract ($1.2 million). If he is claimed, his entire salary will come off the Red Wings cap. If he clears, the Red Wings will get $925,000 in cap relief.
“I wasn’t playing, but I thought I was doing well when I was getting in,’’ Eaves said.
In out-of-town news, Darryl Dobbs says that Pavel Datsyuk's play of late = fantasy hockey "stud":
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings (6-4-4-8, plus-4, 4 PIM, 18 SOG) - Not since his 97-point days was Datsyuk shooting the puck as much as he is now. He's on pace for 259 shots on goal this year. That's a number he's only hit once.
NBC Washington's Adam Vignan reports that the Capitals have made a move to cover their butts in case Mike Green can't play......
There you have it. Tyson Strachan will join the #Caps in Detroit.
Via the Miami Herald's George Richards:
Just ran into former #FlaPanthers D Tyson Strachan in Charlotte. Been recalled by #Caps on way to Detroit...
And here's a set of power rankings from Sportsnet's Luke Fox:
12. Red Wings [last week 11]: The Wings have lost six straight at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since 1986, but only one of those losses came in regulation. No wonder GM of this puck-possession team, Ken Holland, wants to eliminate the shootout.
The bad news regarding Capitals defenseman Mike Green is that he did not practice with the team for the second day in a row on Thursday because of a lower body injury.
The good news, according to Capitals coach Adam Oates, is that Green’s lower body injury is a bruise and not a groin injury and that he’s making the trip to Detroit for Friday night’s game against the Red Wings.
Whether he plays or not, now that’s another story.
“He’ll get a couple more treatments and we’ll see how he is in the morning,” Oates said.
With Green’s availability in question, the Capitals are likely to recall either Connor Carrick or Tyson Strachan from the Hershey Bears sometime later today.
District Sports Page's Sky Kerstein adds some practice quips, too:
#Caps Ovi on #Wings Datsyuk "Great person & unbelievable player. He's probably top three guy in the league right now. He's one of the best."
#Caps Oates on playing at Joe Louis Arena "It was great. Loved it. Loved playing there. Broke my heart when I got traded." #Wings
#Caps @StevenOleksy says he's skated at Joe Louis "quite a few times". This is his first time playing in the NHL there.
#Caps @StevenOleksy says his favorite players were Konstantinov, Lidstrom and added Bob Probert as well
#Caps Brouwer "I don't know if you can ever say that the Detroit Red Wings are struggling"
Something to look out for tomorrow, #Caps Brouwer on Joe Louis "the boards are extremely lively there and we got to be aware of that."
Update #12: The Free Press's Helene St. James added some Holland quotes to her Eaves story:
The Wings need the $1.85 million to make room for defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who is returning from long-term injured reserve Friday, when the Wings will try to overturn a six-game losing streak at home with a game against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m., FSD).
"It's cap-related and it's competitive-related," general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press of the moves. "Ericsson is coming back, we need cap space. We had to make a decision."
Holland said he talked with Eaves about 10 days ago to figure out what would be best for both sides. "He wants to play every night," Holland said. "He's in the last year of a contract; he'd like another contract.”
Update #13: Amongst DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's notes...
BIG E’S RETURN: Without Ericsson in the lineup the last 10 games, the Red Wings spiraled to a 3-2-5 record. Still, Babcock believes that Ericsson’s absence helped with the individual growth of some of the youngsters.
“I thought we did a lot of good things without him,” Babcock said. “It was really good for the development of (Danny) DeKeyser because he’s gotten a much bigger role and more ice time. Now he’ll continue to get the ice time so that’s a positive thing. This will give us two really solid pairs. We can move (Jakub) Kindl to the three pair so we can now really move the puck. I think this just gives us a better team.”
Ericsson will rejoin his top-pair partner Niklas Kronwall, while Kyle Quincey and DeKeyser form the second pair, and Kindl skates with Brian Lashoff on the third pairing. Ericsson has a goal and two assists in nine games, but it’s his big minutes on the penalty kill and his 22-plus minutes of ice-time per game that has Kronwall excited to see his D-partner back in the fold.
“He’s someone that I feel very comfortable out there (with) and he means a lot to this team,” Kronwall said. “He’s huge for us on the PK and just in the 5-on-5 play as well. He’s very solid and always plays big minutes for us, and he plays in big situations, anytime there’s a big PK coming up or the end of the game, he’s out there for us, so he means a lot to this team.”
UGLY STREAK: It was 24 years ago this month that the Red Wings last went seven straight games without a home win. It’s a streak that the current players don’t wish to equal. Detroit has an opportunity to snap a six-game home winless skid Friday against Washington.
“We want to be back winning as soon as possible, of course, starting here tomorrow,” Kronwall said. “I thought last game was a step in the right direction. I thought we played pretty decent for 60 minutes. We kept going and kept going and kept going and didn’t let up. It didn’t matter if they scored or not, we kept going the same way and that’s what we have to do every game. If we can keep doing that then we’ll be in good shape.”
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness chose the following as his "quote of the day":
Patrick Eaves on being waived by the Detroit Red Wings.
“You got to look at everything as an opportunity, so hopefully I get picked up and play somewhere,” Eaves said.
Update #14: Here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's practice article:
Eaves, 29, has played in only three games this season. He was injured toward the end of the exhibition season with a sprained knee and ankle.
"I wasn't playing but I thought I was doing well when I was getting in," said Eaves, who was surprised by being put on waivers. "I just found out from you guys.”
Eaves was frustrated by getting hurt to start the season -- and by his inability to get into the lineup.
“There's a bunch of us there with the numbers. It's just the way it is, that's the business," Eaves said.
Coach Mike Babcock said Eaves can help an NHL team: "Patty Eaves is a good player, a real good person, and does everything right. We haven't been able to give him an opportunity to play enough. He wants to be in the lineup every night and he should be -- he's a good enough player.”
Defenseman Brendan Smith (shoulder) could be ready to play by the weekend. After the Washington game, the Wings are at the Islanders on Saturday night.
Update #15: From the Wings:
JORDIN TOOTOO AND XAVIER OUELLET ASSIGNED TO GRAND RAPIDS
… Red Wings Host Washington on Friday to Conclude Four-Game Homestand …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned right wing Jordin Tootoo and defenseman Xavier Ouellet to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Tootoo, 30, has appeared in eight games with the Red Wings this season, recording five penalty minutes and averaging 7:13 of ice time. The Churchill, Manitoba, native skated in 42 games with the club last season, tallying eight points (3-5-8) and 78 penalty minutes. In 536 career NHL games with Nashville and Detroit, the 5-foot-9, 199-lb., forward has 133 points (49-84-133) and 808 penalty minutes. Tootoo last played in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2005-06. He had 49 points (23-26-49) and 399 penalty minutes with the Admirals in 100 career AHL games from 2004-06.
Ouellet, 20, has averaged 13:58 of ice time in three games with the Red Wings this season. He has also appeared in 12 games with the Griffins, registering three assists, a plus-eight rating and two penalty minutes. A native of Bayonne, France, Ouellet is in his first professional season after spending the last four years with the Montreal Juniors and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL. In 223 career major junior games, he recorded 160 points (41-119-160). He also represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship, finishing the tournament with three points (1-2-3) in six games.
Update #16: The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau pondered what the Wings' demotions will mean for the team's prospects:
Now that the roster moves are finally being made and NHL veterans are being demoted to the AHL, several prospects could be shuffled down to the ECHL or have their current playing time impacted. The Griffins, who are tied for second in the AHL Western Conference, have lost just their first game in eight straight. The Wings prospects are a big reason for the early success and a reduction in responsibility could, at the very least, impact their development in the short-term. Outlined below are prospects who have the greatest chance of being impacted by the additions of Tootoo and Eaves (if he clears waivers Friday):
- Louis-Marc Aubry – The 6-foot-4, 205 pound forward has been limited to just one game with the Griffins this season so sending him down to Toledo might be the only option to get him additional playing time.
- Gleason Fournier – The undersized defenseman is in the final year of his entry-level contract and desperately needs to show he can take the next step. He’s had a tough time early, playing in just three AHL games so it seems like another stop in Toledo may be on the horizon with the arrival of the extra bodies in Grand Rapids.
- Andrej Nestrasil – The 6-foot-2, 200 pound winger has finally earned an AHL roster spot this season and netted 2 goals and 5 assists in 14 games after spending the bulk of his first few seasons with Toledo. Nestrasil is in the final season of his contract and needs a break through season to earn another contract with Detroit.
- Martin Frk – The 6-foot, 193 pound forward is already in Toledo after struggling through six AHL games. Frk had hoped to turn his game around in the ECHL enough to earn a call-up, but he’ll have to wait for injuries to mount.
- Trevor Parkes – The 6-foot-2, 188 pound grinding forward is leading the Walleye with 6 goals and 11 points in 10 games. Parkes, who is also in the last year of his contract, needs to show he can play consistently in the AHL.
- Mitch Callahan – the 6-foot, 190 pound forward is producing consistently with 5 goals and 9 points in 14 AHL games this season, but he now may have to compete with Tootoo and Eaves if both are in Grand Rapids. Callahan needs to have a big year to prove he is ready for the next step.
The additions of Eaves and Tootoo will have the greatest impact on AHL veterans such as Tristan Grant, Jeff Hoggan, Nathan Paetsch and Brennan Evans because of the veteran player limit which allows AHL teams to dress only five veterans per game. With the Griffins making a strong push toward defending their Calder Cup, the Red Wings management will need to monitor the veteran situation closely to mitigate the long term impacts on prospect development.
Update #17: The Jackson Citizen-Patriot's Justin Hicks offers charitable news:
Optimist Ice Arena will be the next stop on the Detroit Red Wings alumni schedule. The group of former NHL players and personnel will be in town for a fundraiser at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, to face the Jackson All Stars.
“Our phones are ringing off the hook the closer it gets to the 16th,” said Don Trapp, general manager of Optimist Ice Arena. “It’s hard to get them to come back very often; it depends on what the project is for and who is trying to raise money.”
Saturday’s game is the main fundraiser this year for the Optimist Club of Jackson, and marks the third time the alumni team has visited Jackson -- the first since 1997. Proceeds for the event are used to fund the club’s various service projects.
The Optimist Club sent 93 children to the state Capitol building on Oct. 10 and will take another group of underprivileged children shopping this holiday season. The club also gives out a $2,000 Gordon Will College Scholarship to two high school students each year.
Detroit’s full alumni roster includes Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, Gordie Howe, Joe Kocur, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty and Chris Osgood, although none of those players is guaranteed to be in Jackson.
Former Red Wings planning on suiting up include Ed Mio, Brent Fedyk and John Ogrodnick, among others, said George Bowman, secretary and events coordinator for the alumni team. Other players are waiting to make scheduling decisions.
Update #18: The Subway Super Series, a slate of six games taking place between teams representing the Canadian Hockey League's three developmental arms--the QMJHL, OHL and WHL--and a team of Russian prospects will begin next week. ESPN's Corey Pronman states the obivous in suggesting that one Wings prospect taking part in the QMJHL's pair of games against Russia is "one to watch":
Anthony Mantha, LW, Val d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL), Detroit Red Wings
I discussed Mantha earlier this season and since then, he's continued to light the QMJHL on fire. Mantha's 2.45 points per game and 6.1 shots per game are staggering totals. Mantha is a big, high-end skater with the skill and instincts to create offense at a high level. He's also a good finisher (as evidenced by that point production). One may be wary about a player putting up giant CHL numbers as a 19-year-old, but also based on his physical tools, the early returns seem good for Detroit. Keep an eye on Mantha for Team QMJHL as a key scoring contributor.
Update #19: Even more power rankings? Sure, why not. Per the Hockey News's Ken Campbell:
12. Detroit (12): The Red Wings are 1-5 in overtime and shootout games this season and have lost each of their past three beyond regulation time. Part of the reason is the Red Wings are getting almost no scoring beyond Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Alfredsson and have dropped six straight at the Joe Louis Arena. In the Glass Half Full Department, five of those losses have been in a shootout or overtime.
Update #20: DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson wrote something of a Wings-Capitals preview:
The Red Wings are hoping to end their six-game home slide on Friday, but will have to get through Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to do so. The Capitals will travel to Detroit with a 10-8-1 record, boasting the No. 1 power play and No. 2 penalty kill in the league.
“They’re all good players, fun to watch,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “You like to watch them play and score against other teams. I don’t need to watch them score against us. We need to do a good job against them.”
Detroit is coming off its sixth straight home loss, a winless streak the Joe Louis Arena hasn’t seen since the 1996-97 season. Although the Red Wings have earned 12 points in their last 15 games, they couldn’t get the second point in their last three home contests.
“We’ve been able to get one point (at home) a number a times and we haven’t been able to get the second one,” Babcock said. “We’re taking steps here and need to continue to get better. Playing without the puck will be key for us.”
Ovechkin and linemate Nicklas Backstrom will be doing everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen. The two forwards anchor one of the top lines in the league, alongside left wing Brooks Laich and defensemen Mike Green and John Carlson.
“When you look at that roster and you see guys like Ovechkin and Backstrom, those are guys you really want to shut down and don’t give them any room,” defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. “It’s a big challenge and I really embrace those challenges. It’s fun.”
Update #21: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that the Wings are engaging in "Movember" fun:
“I think it’s always important to bring awareness to anything of this magnitude,” forward Darren Helm said. “I mean we do the breast cancer thing, the cancer thing and it’s all very important for people to remember. It’s just a small thing we do to help and it’s just a fun thing to do.”
The players are having plenty of fun with the effort. The mustaches are growing at different speeds and angles, but two weeks into Movember there is already a clear frontrunner.
“This guy’s winning,” Jimmy Howard laughed, pointing to Jonas Gustavsson on the stool next to him.
“Just kind of the biggest one is looking at Gustavsson, he looks I’m not sure how to say it, but not like himself,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “Normally he looks like he could be in Persia with that mustache.”
“In this room? Gustav’s a pretty nice one,” Helm said “A lot of guys that are younger this year, the younger guys, don’t really grow as much, it’s the amateur mustache race this year.”
Amateur or veteran aside, Gustavsson is clearly winning the ‘stache race.
“Well I don’t know if I’m winning, I kind of cheated,” Gustavsson said. “I didn’t shave it all off and went from zero to this so I kind of had a couple weeks advantage, at least. It’s obviously for a good cause. Normally I don’t look like this so it’s fun for a few weeks, to do something different.”
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