The Red Wings have begun their moves to get their season-beginning roster both under the NHL salary cap and under the roster size limit of 23 players. Malik (among others) has the updates.
The recap? To Grand Rapids: Darren Helm. Waived and on the way to GR if he’s not claimed: Aaron Downey. In Detroit but hurt: Darren McCarty, Jimmy Howard. To be determined: Kyle Quincey, Jonathan Ericsson, Ville Leino.
Now McCarty and Howard are stuck in Detroit so don’t read too much into that. They can’t be sent down while injured so it doesn’t mean that Mac has the last forward spot or that Howie beat out Ty Conklin to be Chris Osgood‘s backup.
The last three are most interesting to me. It’s already been reported that the Wings are shopping Quincey. No need to send him down if you’re going to deal him. But why send down Helm but not Ericsson or Leino, unless you’re planning on keeping them up?
If the Wings are keeping those two, a trade is in the works. They don’t have room for them without moving some other bodies. Yes, bodies, plural. Not just Quincey would be gone.
Detroit’s roster currently sits at 14 forwards (not counting Downey who’s on his way down), 10 defensemen and three goalies. Chris Chelios doesn’t count as he’s a long-term injury exception. Assume Quincey is dealt and that’s still 25 players. Ericsson and Leino could be sent down to get to the required 23 men (I haven’t bothered to see what that means for the Cap) but (as I said above), why keep them in Detroit for one more day if they’re just going to be sent down anyway?