With goalie Jimmy Howard injured, the Red Wings improved their depth at that position on Saturday, trading defenseman Vili Saarijarvi to the Arizona Coyotes for minor league goalie Eric Comrie.
I’ve always been a Saarijarvi fan but over the last several years it’s become clear that he was not in the Red Wings’ long-term plans. As such, with it seeming like Howard will be out for an extended period, it makes sense to use the player you’re not going to use to acquire something you need right now.
Comrie is not waiver-exempt, and Calvin Pickard has already cleared waivers, so it seems likely that Comrie will back up Jonathan Bernier while Howard is out with Pickard heading back to Grand Rapids (and Pat Nagle headed back to Toledo from there).
At only 24, Comrie could also have a future with the organization, rather than just being a stop-gap. He’s signed through the end of next season, as is Bernier, so Detroit could be looking at a Bernier/Comrie tandem for 2020-21, with Howard a free agent this summer and potentially departing.
Of course, Pickard is also signed with Detroit for next season, so it gives the team options. The Red Wings will want Filip Larsson getting playing time in Grand Rapids, though, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see both Pickard and Comrie with the Griffins at any point in the next 18 months.
Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman continued to shuffle his team’s roster on Wednesday night, swapping forward Jacob de la Rose to the St. Louis Blues for Robby Fabbri.
Fabbri is the second player drafted in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft that Yzerman has acquired in the last two weeks, after bringing in Brendan Perlini from the Chicago Blackhawks.
The way I see it, de la Rose maxed out as a fourth liner and the Red Wings have enough of those. Additionally, de la Rose was acquired for “free” via waivers last year, making it easier to part with him.
Like Perlini (and Adam Erne before him), Fabbri is someone who Yzerman likely thinks could use a change of scenery and a different role. I’m not sure how much I agree with that but, at such a relatively cheap cost, I’m on board with the throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks approach.
Fabbri marks the third player the Red Wings have acquired since the start of the season, having previously traded for defenseman Alex Biega and Perlini. Additionally, the team parted ways with longtime defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, sending him through waivers to the Grand Rapids Griffins.