from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“Under the circumstances, with the potential of players not being available on very short notice due to a positive (COVID-19) test, having that taxi squad allows you to get somebody in the lineup immediately (as opposed to an AHL recall),” Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said.
“There’s so many questions about the American Hockey League, whether they’re going to play, who’s playing (which teams), quarantining rules, bringing players up and down. So, the taxi squad is an extra layer to facilitate adding players to your lineup, whether it’s COVID-related or not. Guys are going to have to quarantine, you keep them close by so they’re ready to be recalled for any reason.”
Assuming everyone is healthy when the Red Wings open the season Jan. 14 against the Carolina Hurricanes at Little Caesars Arena (which is seldom the case), Detroit’s initial 23-man roster could look like this:
Forwards (14): Tyler Bertuzzi, Adam Erne, Robby Fabbri, Valtteri Filppula, Sam Gagner, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Vladislav Namestnikov, Frans Nielsen, Bobby Ryan, Evgeny Svechnikov, Filip Zadina.
Defensemen (7): Alex Biega, Danny DeKeyser, Filip Hronek, Jon Merrill, Patrik Nemeth, Marc Staal, Troy Stecher.
Goaltenders (2): Jonathan Bernier, Thomas Greiss.
Players who require waivers to be assigned to the AHL must also clear waivers to be assigned to the taxi squad, so that will figure into teams’ decisions as well. And because the AHL season will not start until Feb. 5 at the earliest – if there is even an AHL season – some players the Red Wings would normally have playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins will be on the taxi squad.
Forwards Mathias Brome, Michael Rasmussen and Givani Smith and defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Gustav Lindstrom are candidates for the taxi squad, if they are not on the main roster. All are waiver-exempt.