Red Wings’ Roster Moves Begin

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?

Interesting.

Pre-preseason Notes

The buzz over the last couple hours (I’ve been busy, sorry) has been that Valtteri Filppula and Jakub Kindl will both miss preseason time with injuries.

Filppula will miss the Red & White Game tonight as well as the exhibitions against Montreal and Boston on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. He’s expected to return at home on Friday against the Bruins.

Filppula’s injury is a jammed thumb suffered on Sunday when he was hit by Aaron Downey during a scrimmage. X-rays were clear and he’s been skating since then but hasn’t been able to shoot.

Kindl is suffering from a groin strain and will miss tonight and tomorrow. Jonathan Ericsson is likely to replace him in the lineup against Montreal.

Two of the three games this week will be available on the radio, with WXYT carrying the Wednesday and Friday games.

The first televised preseason game is September 30 at Montreal. FSN will carry that game as well as home games against Toronto and Buffalo on October 3 and October 5.

McCarty Signs Two-way Deal

As has been rumored for quite awhile now, the Red Wings have signed Darren McCarty to a one-year, two-way deal.

Team policy is to not announce financial terms of contracts but Detroit GM Ken Holland had previously stated that McCarty recieved the same offer as Aaron Downey, who the NHLPA lists as earning $575,000 this season.

The two-way deal means that McCarty will earn less money during any time he spends with the Grand Rapids Griffins. With only one open roster spot for a Detroit forward it is possible that McCarty would start the season in the AHL.

Sweater Numbers, Round Three

Assuming the full-camp roster from Red Wings Central is correct, there will be only one number change for a returning Red Wing this season.

Aaron Downey will be giving up #20 for the #44 made available by Mark Hartigan‘s departure.

Newcomer Ty Conklin will be wearing the #29 that hasn’t been worn since Jason Williams was traded to Chicago at the 2007 trade deadline, allowing Jimmy Howard to keep his #35.

The #21 worn at camp last year by failed prospect Igor Grigorenko has been given to Finnish player-of-the-year Ville Leino.

Upcoming Downey Deal Confirmed

Aaron Downey will soon sign a two-way deal keeping him in the Detroit Red Wings organization for another season.

The deal will see him make $575,000 with the Red Wings and $100,000 with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Darren McCarty has been offered an identical deal but has yet to accept.

“The two-way (contracts) are not a reflection on the players,” said assistant general manager Jim Nill. “It’s because of the CBA. We need the flexibility.”

Howard and Ericsson Signed

There are reports that both Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Ericsson have re-signed with the Red Wings. The team hasn’t made an announcement but Malik pointed out a couple signs that it could be true.

The big evidence is the NHLPA’s website listing compensation for both players for next season.

For those who didn’t follow that link, this leaves Chris Chelios, Aaron Downey, Valtteri Filppula, Mark Hartigan, Logan Koopmans, Darren McCarty and Kyle Quincey unsigned. Chelios supposedly has a deal and Filppula will, either through negotiations or arbitration. Hartigan and Koopmans are likely on their way out. Downey and McCarty have been offered two-way deals. I haven’t heard anything about Quincey all summer.

McCarty to Play Friday

Darren McCarty will make his Red Wings re-debut on Friday as Detroit hosts the St. Louis Blues. Aaron Downey will be a healthy scratch as McCarty skates alongside Mark Hartigan and Dallas Drake.

Valtteri Filppula will also return, skating on Johan Franzen‘s wing along with Jiri Hudler.

Dominik Hasek is still out with the flu, causing Jimmy Howard to be called back up to backup Chris Osgood. Tomas Holmstrom is also still out.

Red Wings End Streak in Colorado

The Detroit Red Wings ended their losing streak at six games Monday night, earning a 4-0 victory over the host Colorado Avalanche to complete a sweep of the season series between the two teams.

Goaltender Chris Osgood made 18 saves to pick up the shutout after being pulled from each of his last two starts. It marked Detroit’s third blanking of the Avalanche this season.

Detroit’s victory came even after losing captain Nicklas Lidstrom to injury in the first period. Lidstrom left the game with what the team called a slight knee sprain after a hit from Ian Laperriere.

Aaron Downey later fought Laperriere.

The Red Wings got on the board with 7:57 left in the first period on Chris Chelios‘ second goal of the season. Pavel Datsyuk sent out a pass from down low that Tomas Holmstrom let slide past him in the slot to Chelios at the blue line. His shot slipped through traffic and past Jose Theodore to give Detroit the lead.

Valtteri Filppula put the Red Wings up by a pair with just 56 seconds left in the opening frame, gathering up the rebound from his own shot from the slot to roof it over Theodore at the side of the net.

Henrik Zetterberg scored a pair of goals in the second to wrap up the scoring.

At 7:42 he scored with the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, taking a cross-crease pass from Pavel Datsyuk to score into the open side of the net.

Just 2:16 later he added another, taking a drop pass from Datsyuk and cutting through the slot, waiting for Theodore to dive before putting a shot past him.

Theodore finished the night with 36 saves on 40 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings finished the game two-for-five on the power play. The Avalance couldn’t score on any of their three tries.

Hasek Earns Second-Straight Shutout as Red Wings Blank Avalanche

Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek blanked his opponent for the second-straight game Tuesday night, with Detroit picking up a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Combined with a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday and the final minutes of a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on New Years Eve, Hasek’s last 134 minutes played have been shutout hockey.

Hasek made 19 saves in the effort. Colorado’s Jose Theodore was nearly perfect as well, stopping 24 of 25 shots against.

The game’s lone goal came just after the expiration of a Detroit power play late in the second period.

With 1:39 left in the middle frame, Niklas Kronwall fired a shot on net that was stopped by Theodore. Stationed at the top of the crease, Tomas Holmstrom backhanded the loose puck to the side of the net, where Pavel Datsyuk stepped in and put it past Theodore.

Holmstrom was making his return to the Detroit lineup after a leg injury. Kirk Maltby also returned, coming back from a back injury.


It was Hasek’s third shutout of the season and the 79th of his career… Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey were healthy scratches.

Cryptic Message from Wings to Press

Bruce MacLeod posted an interesting note in his blog a little while ago. An email was sent out to the media this morning saying the following…

RED WINGS TO MAKE PLAYER PERSONNEL ANNOUNCEMENT

The Detroit Red Wings will make a player personnel announcement today (Jan. 9) at 11:45 am via www.DetroitRedWings.com

The Red Wings practice today at Joe Louis Arena beginning at Noon. Interview availability will follow practice in the Detroit dressing room.

Speculation on my part? I’ve got nothing. Could be as minor as the monthly waiving of Aaron Downey, which was put on hold by injuries but can continue with everyone healthy now.

Edit: It could also be something to do with Darren McCarty, which was my original thought but I dismissed it and promptly forgot since he won’t even be playing his first IHL game until a few minutes from now, but Christy Hammond reminded me.