With roster compliance due tomorrow, today is the last day for teams who have guys with waiver eligibility to place them on waivers if they're going to make a move to eliminate them from the roster by the deadline. As such, the Wings made one such move:
DET puts Cory Emmerton on waivers.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 29, 2013
For a reminder on the process, any team may make a claim to take Cory Emmerton's entire contract off the Wings' hands by noon tomorrow. If that happens, Emmerton's entire cap hit comes off the Wings' book and he joins his new team on their roster. If Emmerton is not claimed, the Wings retain him and his salary, but would be able to assign him to the minor leagues and remove his name from their roster with the entirety of his $533K cap hit.
The Wings' don't have to send Emmerton down if he clears waivers, but there's no reason for them to have waived him unless that was the plan. Once the season starts and the Wings have cleared enough room through trades/injury exemptions/other send-downs, the Red Wings could recall Emmerton and have him in the lineup for up to 9 games or with the club for 29 days before he would have to clear waivers again (once a previously-waived player plays in 10 games or remains on the roster for 30 days, he has to clear again). Once again, the current CBA eliminated the concept of re-entry waivers, so there's no danger involved in trying to call people up from Grand Rapids.
The Wings also sent down a number of players to rejoin the Griffins, where they'll be expected to play the majority of the season. Here's that list.
- Adam Almquist
- Mitch Callahan
- Jared Coreau
- Luke Glendening
- Calle Jarnkrok
- Tomas Jurco
- Xavier Oullet
- Teemu Pulkkinen
- Riley Sheahan
- Ryan Sproul
Additionally, the Wings released Jeff Hoggan and Nathan Paetsch from their professional tryouts. Hoggan and Paetsch are under contract with the Griffins, so they'll be headed right back to Grand Rapids.
Finally, Nick Jensen, Willie Coetzee, and Landon Ferraro were placed on injured reserve. These are all players who were injured in camp and cannot be send back to Grand Rapids until they are deemed healthy. They won't count for roster or cap spots while they're on the IR and as soon as they are cleared, they can be assigned without overlap.
All of these moves leave the Red Wings with a 27-man roster (including Emmerton still being on the roster). Of those 27 players, the Red Wings may send three of them to Grand Rapids tomorrow without having to put them on waivers: Gustav Nyquist, Danny DeKeyser, and Petr Mrazek.
Based on the way some of the rules shake out, the Wings might have to send all three, plus Emmerton to Grand Rapids tomorrow afternoon. This will get their roster down to 23. Once that's accomplished, Detroit can place a number of players on injured reserve and call the three waiver-exempt players (and possibly Emmerton) back up.
Here are the players Detroit currently has injured.
Darren Helm - Injured back/groin - Out Indefinitely
Patrick Eaves - Sprained MCL/Ankle - Will miss 1-3 more weeks
Jonas Gustavsson - Injured Groin - Out another 2+ weeks
Jordin Tootoo - Bruised Shoulder - Out Indefinitely
Any of these players may be placed on either Injured Reserve or Long-Term Injured Reserve. The difference between the two is cap relief and length of time to miss. On Injured Reserve, a player must be out for seven days, but his full cap hit counts against the Red Wings' cap. For Long-Term Injured Reserve, the player has to miss 24 days and 10 NHL games' worth of action. For practical purposes, his salary doesn't count against the cap (it technically does, but they get an exception to exceed the cap by an amount up to his salary).
The combination of moves between send-downs and LTIR moves require Detroit move four players off their roster and clear just under $2.4M worth of cap space (Helm's LTIR will take care of the largest portion of the cap issue).
Ansar Khan seems to think that Nyquist could find himself being sent to Grand Rapids and staying there for a short while because the situation with Eaves, Tootoo, and Gustavsson aren't necessarily long-term injuries. It's still entirely possible that this happens. When Nyquist earns himself waiver eligibility in two games, it makes things just a little bit harder for the Wings to make space. It's not ideal to have a player who certainly deserves to be there down in Grand Rapids though.
Personally, Emmerton is all but gone. While his cap hit is lower, he was outplayed in camp by both Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan. I think both of them are better options for the 4th line center position than Emmerton right now (although I also think that simply not having a true center for the 4th line is also a better option than Emmerton).
We'll see more of what shakes up tomorrow. Stay tuned.