Sooner or later the Red Wings will be healthy again. Given how much they miss their injured players right now, that’s a good thing. It is going to cause quite the roster crunch, though.
The Wings currently have one extra forward. Last night it was Ville Leino who sat in favor of Brad May. Bill at A2Y questioned why May would play when Detroit’s offense has been so anemic.
He admits that having Leino on the ice last night wouldn’t have made a difference but it got me thinking… How are the Red Wings going to put together their lineup when their four missing forwards come back?
There are thirteen healthy forwards right now, including Mattias Ritola who can be sent to Grand Rapids at any time so I assume he’s gone as soon as someone comes back.
Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg could be back tomorrow in Los Angeles. Jason Williams is looking at returning later this month. Johan Franzen is expected back after the Olympic break. That’s four of twelve forwards right there.
I don’t see Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm or Tomas Holmstrom losing their spots in the lineup. I also highly doubt that Kris Draper would be a casualty of the numbers. Justin Abdelkader could be sent to Grand Rapids but the Red Wings told him to find a house in the Detroit area so I’m assuming he sticks with the team.
We’re up to eleven of twelve roster spots.
Patrick Eaves, Ville Leino, Kirk Maltby, Brad May and Drew Miller. Only one stays. Who is it?
May, Leino and Maltby are my immediate choices to be left out. This leaves either Eaves or Miller. I think I’d keep Eaves due to his slightly better offensive potential.
The choice is not an easy one no matter how you look at it.