Today, the Red Wings claimed Drew Miller off of waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Drew is the 25-year-old brother of Buffalo Sabres star goaltender Ryan Miller. Like Ryan, Drew Miller played at Michigan State, even serving a season as the Spartans captain.
He's played 67 NHL games over the past three seasons - most with the Ducks. He's entering the final season of a contract that pays him $525,000 at the NHL level (and $105,000 if he's demoted to the AHL). He will be a restricted free agent, giving the Red Wings the right to match any offer that he may receive in July.
On the surface, it seems like a great depth move, especially given the rash of injuries our boys in the Winged Wheel have endured lately. With Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, and Jason Williams all on long-term IR, there's more than enough cap space - and the need for bodies was becoming somewhat comical.
He will be the 13th healthy forward when he joins the team tomorrow, in time for the game against the Canucks. Whether or not he plays remains to be seen, but NHL.com has him listed as #20 for the Red Wings. Take that, Robert Lang/Aaron Downey/Mickey Redmond/Brad May/Luc Robitaille!
Lots of Wings blogs have picked up the story - many with some great analysis of the move. Be sure to check them out:
Motown Wings (who, by the way, called this waiver pick up yesterday)
Will Drew Miller take playing time away any of the fourth liners?
Yes, he'll replace Brad May from time to time (24 votes)
Yes, they'll finally send Justin Abdelkader back to Grand Rapids (11 votes)
No, he'll come in when someone needs a rest or is nursing an injury (29 votes)
64 total votes