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.

Red Wings Fall to Canadiens in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings’ preseason record fell to 2-1-2 Tuesday night with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Ville Leino scored in the shootout for Detroit, snapping a wrist shot past Montreal goalie Carey Price. Max Pacioretty and former Wing Robert Lang scored for Montreal.

Pacioretty also scored the game’s opening goal at 4:42 of the second period, beating Detroit’s Jimmy Howard on a fluttering backhand attempt.

Leino scored Detroit’s lone regulation goal 1:53 later, pushing a shot between Price’s pads after picking up a loose puck all alone in front of the net.

The goal was the second of the preseason for the rookie who signed with Detroit after leading the Finnish Elite League in scoring last season.

The Red Wings will continue their exhibition schedule in Atlanta on Wednesday, a game that is expected to mark the return of captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who has been out since taking a puck to the face in the preseason opener.


Chris Chelios left the game with a knee injury after blocking a shot early in the third period.

Game Notes at Montreal

I’m not disappointed with tonight’s loss. The couple things I took away from it…

  • Jimmy Howard was solid overall but I think the shaky moments were painfully obvious. There was a point in the first where he let a rebound right out into the slot as he slid out of the crease. Actually, it felt like he was giving up a ton of rebounds in general. For the most part, though, he was following the puck well.
  • Ville Leino definitely has NHL-calibre hands. He has to learn how to battle for the puck, though. He looked good on the rush but seemed to not know where to go once the Wings were in the offensive zone.
  • Kyle Quincey is the odd-man out on defense right now. He was not noticible out there, even after Chris Chelios went down.
  • The line of Leino, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm seemed like it was out there every other shift.
  • Helm is insanely fast. There was a play in the first where it felt like he didn’t so much skate around a defender as he did teleport to the other side of him. He’s that quick.

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.