The deadline for the Detroit Red Wings to finalize their roster is today and as a result the team had to make some tough decisions related to the salary cap. Gustav Nyquist was sent to Grand Rapids to make room under the salary cap and get the wings down to the 23 man roster maximum. Nyquist was a key player for the Red Wings in last years improbable run in the playoffs. According to Helen St. James of the Free Press, Nyquist was chosen to be sent down in part because he would not have to be exposed to the waiver process. Head Coach Mike Babcock acknowledged that Nyquist probably isn’t happy about the news but will be back with the team soon.
Adversity is not about the decision made, it’s about how you handle it,” Babcock said. “You choose your attitude. Justin Abdelkader had the same thing happen to him. Jonathan Ericsson had the same thing happen to him. ”It’s not the first time that’s happened here. I’m sure he’s very, very disappointed, but I know him good and he’ll go down and be a real good pro and he’ll be prepared when he gets the opportunity.”
Yesterday, Corey Emmerton cleared waivers and accepted an assignment in Grand Rapids also as part of the Red Wings efforts to get to the 23-man limit.
The final roster move was placing forward Darren Helm on long-term injured reserve because of his sore back. Helm hasn’t played in an NHL game since early last season and this latest move doesn’t bode well for his chances to play anytime soon this season. By rule Helm will miss at least 10 games after he has been placed on injured reserve.
Just because the Wings have to submit a final roster by 5:00 pm today doesn’t mean they are done making moves. Jordin Tootoo, Patrick Eaves and Jonas Gustavsson will start the season on IR and could be ready by the season opener against Buffalo on Wednesday. That could lead to some last-minute roster wrangling, something that will probably continue over the first month of the season.