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Red Wings smartly skirt 50-man roster limit by signing Paetsch, Grant to AHL deals

Via RedWingsFeed, the Grand Rapids Griffins’ website reports that the Red Wings essentially made two more signings that won’t count against their 50-man roster limit (the team’s already at

47 players

edit/update: According to the Production Line’s Michael Petrella, the 3 players signed up who will play Major Junior Hockey in Ouellet, Sproul and Tvrdon and a European pro in Pulkkinen mean that the team’s got 43 players, technically speaking, on its roster, as verified by Capgeek) by following up their inking of Luke Glendening to an AHL-only contract with the signings of two AHL veterans to similar deals:

The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday signed defenseman Nathan Paetsch (PAY-tch) and left wing Triston Grant to one-year contracts.

Paetsch, 29, is a former AHL All-Star (2005-06) who brings four seasons of NHL experience to the Grand Rapids blueline, having played 167 games with the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets from 2005-10. The LeRoy, Saskatchewan, native was fourth among NHL rookie defensemen with 24 points (2-22—24) for the Sabres in 2006-07 and has totaled 42 points (7-35—42) and 114 penalty minutes in his NHL career.

The 6-foot, 195-pound defenseman also has 249 games of AHL experience on his resumé, most recently notching 20 points (9-11—20) over 43 games with the Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch in 2010-11. Paetsch had a career-best 50 points (11-39—50) with the Amerks in 2005-06, accounting for nearly half of his 103 career AHL points (29-74—103).

Paetsch spent the 2011-12 season overseas, suiting up in 52 games for Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams of Germany’s DEL and finishing second among the club’s defensemen with 25 points (7-18—25).

Grant, 28, skated in 53 contests for the Oklahoma City Barons in 2011-12, registering 15 points (11-4—15) and tying for 17th in the AHL with 163 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound winger has appeared in 435 AHL games with the Barons, Americans, Milwaukee Admirals and Philadelphia Phantoms, tallying 101 points (50-51—101) and 1,266 penalty minutes. His best AHL season came with the Admirals in 2009-10, when he set career highs with 74 games played, 12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points and 236 penalty minutes.

The Neepawa, Manitoba, native has also played in 11 NHL contests with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators, registering one assist and 19 penalty minutes.

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Comments

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So…..in other words the Red Wings think the rules of the NHL don’t apply to them and blatantly ignored them.  Doesn’t surprise me of course.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by PaulB from California on 07/09/12 at 11:50 AM ET

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lol wut?

Did you at least read the entire article, or just the title?

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 07/09/12 at 12:02 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

So…..in other words the Red Wings think the rules of the NHL don’t apply to them and blatantly ignored them.  Doesn’t surprise me of course.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by PaulB from California on 07/09/12 at 10:50 AM ET

Waaahhhhhhhhh, waaaaaaahhhhhhh, waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

Seriously though. They aren’t ignoring a rule. They aren’t breaking any rule.

The Grand Rapids Griffins are an AHL team with rights and goals separate from those they share with the Detroit Red Wings. Despite the affiliation with the Wings, the Griffins are their own club in their own league, so they will always want to and NEED to make their own signings.

Of course, I would’ve expected the Wings’ brass to help make decisions on signing these players. But if they are AHL contracts, it isn’t like Ken Holland can snap his fingers and immediately call up one of these players “for free,” so to speak. I believe he would have to sign the player to an NHL or two-way deal, select that contract, and then make space on the roster.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/09/12 at 12:03 PM ET

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PaulB - seems like the Red Wings followed the NHL rules to the letter.  If they blatantly ignored the roster limit rules, the NHL would simply reject any future contract submittal that would put them over 50.  Not every AHL player has an NHL contract with their affiliate, genius.

Now stop whining.

Posted by ryan on 07/09/12 at 12:07 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

So…..in other words the Red Wings think the rules of the NHL don’t apply to them and blatantly ignored them.  Doesn’t surprise me of course.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by PaulB from California on 07/09/12 at 10:50 AM ET

Try breathing through your nose in the future.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/09/12 at 12:34 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Lol, I might have been wrong all along,  maybe you should have to meet some minimum qualifications to comment on the interwebs.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/09/12 at 12:40 PM ET

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I really like Grant so I’m glad GR got him but I am absolutely shocked that he hasn’t been able to play more then 11 games in the NHL. He has some skill to his game other than fighting unlike some of todays LHW/HW enforcers.

Posted by BlakeDatAzzUp on 07/09/12 at 01:03 PM ET

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I think technically the deal with the Griffins is that, when Bob McNamara (he was the team’s GM until he retired last summer) left, the Griffins decided to ask the Red Wings’ hockey operations department to also run their hockey operations department.

Back in the olden days, the bulk of the Griffins’ roster would be filled out with players on NHL contracts, signed by Holland—but McNamara (as Griffins GM) would fill in the rest of the gaps by signing a handful of players to AHL-only contracts (usually older players who had little NHL potential but were solid, experienced vets at the AHL level).

Today, the situation is exactly the same, except for the fact that Ken Holland is technically the GM of both teams. So he can put on his Red Wings GM hat and sign a prospect to a two-way deal, or he can put on his Griffins GM hat and sign a minor league vet to an AHL-only deal.

At least that’s my understanding of the situation. Feel free, anyone, to correct me if I’m wrong.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/12 at 01:04 PM ET

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Re: PaulB and “skirting the 50 man roster limit”. Players on AHL deals have to sign an NHL deal to play for the NHL club, and are not restricted from signing with any other NHL team and pass through applicable waivers. This is completely routine business.

Posted by Dave on 07/09/12 at 01:07 PM ET

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Today, the situation is exactly the same, except for the fact that Ken Holland is technically the GM of both teams. So he can put on his Red Wings GM hat and sign a prospect to a two-way deal, or he can put on his Griffins GM hat and sign a minor league vet to an AHL-only deal.

Actually, Jim Nill is the de facto GM of Grand Rapids. Otherwise you are correct, sir.

Posted by PuckMucker from Detroit on 07/09/12 at 01:26 PM ET

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The guy got caught up by George’s misleading “smartly” headline and the error on the number of guys under contract.  Every team in the league does this kind of signing, so smartly doesn’t apply, just as smartly doesn’t apply to the guy who complained that it only happens in Detroit.

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/09/12 at 01:38 PM ET

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Posted by PuckMucker from Detroit on 07/09/12 at 12:26 PM ET

Thanks. I knew that overseeing the Griffins was one of Nill’s primary responsibilities. What I wasn’t sure of (and what I’m still not 100 percent sure of) is whether Nill has carte blanche to independently contact and sign AHL guys (basically, to act as Grand Rapids’ independent GM) or whether Holland still holds the ultimate authority for roster Griffins decisions (de jure, if not necessarily de facto).

I’m not sure there’s a real answer to this question, though, and even if there is one it would probably be irrelevant in practice, considering I imagine that the whole GM team talks about each roster move, and in matters of the Griffins, Nill would have the most sway because it’s his designated field of expertise.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/12 at 01:40 PM ET

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Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/12 at 12:40 PM ET

Agreed. Just as Nill runs the draft, but the entire management team and scouting staff has equal input.

Posted by PuckMucker from Detroit on 07/09/12 at 01:54 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Paetsch spent the 2011-12 season overseas, suiting up in 52 games for Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams of Germany’s DEL”’

Best. Team Name. Ever.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 07/09/12 at 03:48 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Best. Team Name. Ever.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 07/09/12 at 02:48 PM ET

“Iowa Pork Chops?”  No?

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 07/09/12 at 05:41 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.