The Detroit Red Wings have placed defenseman Alexey Marchenko on waivers.
Waivers: ALEXEI MARCHENKO
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 3, 2017
The move comes with defenseman Brendan Smith scheduled to return from injury tomorrow against the Nashville Predators, requiring that the Red Wings open up a roster spot.
It would appear that Marchenko, who made the Red Wings’ roster out of camp last season and played for his native Russia at both the 2016 World Championships and the World Cup of Hockey, has been passed on the depth chart by Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen, and Ryan Sproul.
I had expected Sproul to be the one to get the axe, given criticism of his play. I suppose the Red Wings brass sees more upside in him than Marchenko.
With the number of teams looking for right handed shots right now, I find it hard to believe Marchenko won’t get claimed. That said, I’m still surprised Teemu Pulkkinen is in the AHL right now so what do I know? If he does make it through, he’ll head to the Grand Rapids Griffins and re-join their already-packed blueline.