Red Wings Waive Tootoo for Buyout

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday that they have placed forward Jordin Tootoo on waivers. If he goes unclaimed by noon on Thursday, the team will use their remaining salary cap compliance buyout on him.

Tootoo has one year at $1.9 million remaining on the three-year contract he signed during the summer of 2012.

In 42 games during the shortened 2013 season, Tootoo scored three goals and added five assists while racking up 78 penalty minutes. He spent most of the 2013-14 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, appearing in only 11 games for Detroit with one assist and five penalty minutes.

The Red Wings used their other compliance buyout last summer on fellow 2012 signee Carlo Colaiacovo.

Red Wings Sign Czech Free Agent Nosek

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Saturday the signing of Czech forward Tomas Nosek to a two-year, two-way contract.

As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not announced. As it is an entry-level contract, it should carry a salary cap hit of just under $800,000.

The 21-year-old Nosek scored 19 goals and added 25 assists in 52 games with HC Pardubice of the Czech ExtraLiga during the 2013-14 season, his third with the club. He also scored four goals in sixteen games representing the Czech Republic in international competition.

Nosek is expected to join the Grand Rapids Griffins for the 2014-15 season.

DeKeyser Named Red Wings’ Rookie of the Year

The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association announced on Wednesday that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser has been named the team’s Rookie of the Year for the 2013-14 season.

DeKeyser played in 65 games for the Red Wings, scoring 23 points. Perhaps more impressive was his 21:38 average ice time, second on the team to Niklas Kronwall.

It was the first full season in the NHL for the Macomb native, who played eleven games in the 2012-13 campaign, signing with Detroit after his junior year at Western Michigan University.

“We had a lot of rookies in the lineup on a regular basis this season, so it’s a great honor to be recognized as Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association,” said DeKeyser. “Being able to play here in Detroit in front of my friends and family made this season very special, and it’s a privilege to be acknowledged by the DSBA with so many other worthy candidates who were able to help the team this year.”

DeKeyser joins recent Rookie of the Year recpients such as Gustav Nyquist, Jimmy Howard, Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. He is the fifth defenseman since the 1999-2000 season to earn the award.

Red Wings Sign Blashill to New Contract

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday the signing of Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill to new contract.

Blashill previously had one year remaining on his deal as the coach of Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate. With the new contract, he’ll remain with the Detroit organization through the 2016-17 season.

One season removed from guiding the Griffins to a Calder Cup Championship, Blashill has spent three years with the Detroit organization. After one season as an assistant coach to Mike Babcock with the Red Wings in 2011-12, he jumped to the Griffins to be their head coach. Blashill began his coaching career with the Ferris State Bulldogs and then Miami University as an assistant coach. His first head coaching job was for the USHL’s Indiana Ice in 2008-09, then he moved on to the Western Michigan Broncos for a season in 2010-11.

Blashill is a Michigan native and was a goalie for the Bulldogs before starting his coaching career.

With Babcock’s contract with Detroit up next summer, Blashill gives the Red Wings an insurance policy should the current head coach decide to head elsewhere.

Playoff Predictions: 2014 Stanley Cup Finals

After three rounds, I’m at 69.2% accuracy in my playoff predictions, having correctly guessed only one of the two Conference Finals matchups. I’ll stick with the team I got right in the last round for the Stanley Cup Finals.

Los Angeles Kings vs New York Rangers
Rangers in 6

I had the Rangers over the Canadiens in the last round and got that right, though it only took six games instead of the seven I expected. The Kings beat the Blackhawks in seven games, while I had Chicago taking that series in six.

The only team to win two series that I picked against them was Montreal. LA is in that role now.