Detroit made a few changes to the roster today as Derek Meech was waived by the team and Kirk Maltby signed a two-way deal. These are both moves that were expected as the season drew near as Meech had no real place to go but on waivers with the signing of Ruslan Salei and Jakub Kindl signing an NHL deal.
Ansar Khan reports that Maltby signed a two-way deal paying him $525k at the NHL level and $105k at the AHL level, down from $750,000 last season. In July, I talked a bit about the loyalty the Detroit organization has shown to its players over the years. In this case in particular, it seems the Red Wings have sided with allowing Maltby to stay in the organization (assuming he clears waivers down to Grand Rapids) over Derek Meech.
Maltby on the new contract (via the Khan article):
"That's something I'll deal with if that comes to surface,'' Maltby said. "Right now it's about Traverse City (training camp) and exhibition games.
"I'd be one of the older guys down there (Grand Rapids), but it's not like I'd be first player to ever do it.''
Seemingly, Maltby is okay with the deal and knows that he'll have his shot at making the team out of camp if he plays well enough. I don't expect him to make the team but I do like that he is at least getting the chance to prove himself again.
The news about Meech after the jump...
Khan also reported that Meech was placed on waivers today by the team. Meech wanted a trade before the season if he didn't crack the top six defensemen and due to no trade being lined up, he hit the waivers today and will be available to teams until Thursday at noon.
GM Ken Holland on waiving Meech (via Khan):
"I put Derek on waivers to see if a team wants to claim him and give him an opportunity,'' Holland said. "If he clears he'll come to camp. There's still a month (before the start of the regular season), things change, there's injuries. His fate has yet to be determined.''
Meech has played very limited time with the Wings--some at forward, some at defense--and had become more familiar with the press box than the Joe Louis ice. Meech will get the chance to start over in a new location if he's claimed and it might be the spark to fuel his game again.
My take: This is pretty much exactly what I expected for the off-season moves. Meech hadn't shown enough over the course of his stay to warrant a starting job and Maltby has shown that he can still play at the NHL level and provide valuable experience/leadership. Meech will probably get claimed on waivers and Maltby will start the season in Grand Rapids (again, assuming he clears) and will be called up if needed.
Also, if you're looking for the season preview today with Lidstrom/Rafalski, look for it tomorrow--I've been on the road and couldn't quite get it finished for today.