It's an off day for the Wings in Florida, but not everybody's resting well in the sun and sand. In fact, the medical staff seems to have their
groins hands full.
Per Mike Babcock #redwings Stephen Weiss has groin/ab injury, going for tests. Bothered him for a bit— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) December 11, 2013
Weiss didn't skate in practice today and isn't expected to play tomorrow against Tampa Bay. Speaking of Tampa Bay, we already know from Twitter that Gustavsson would be starting tomorrow, but now that's either just been given a whole lot of clarity or a whole lot of confusion because this just came out from the Wings.
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Mrazek, 21, has appeared in 13 games with Grand Rapids this season, ranking among the AHL’s top goalies with a 2.09 goals against average (T3rd) and a 0.927 save percentage (T4th) along with his 10-2-1 record. The Ostrava, Czech Republic, native has rattled off nine straight wins, sporting a 1.56 goals against average and a 0.946 save percentage in that span. He also registered a shutout in his lone game with Detroit this season, a 5-0 road win against the Edmonton Oilers. In three career games with the Red Wings, he has a 2-1 record, a 1.34 goals against average and a 0.938 save percentage.
Mrazek also helped the Griffins win the Calder Cup as a rookie in 2012-13, posting a 23-16-2 record, a 2.33 goals against average, a 0.916 save percentage and one shutout in 42 regular-season appearances and a 15-9 record, a 2.31 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage and four shutouts in 24 postseason games.
For those curious, there's zero reason to call up the third goalie unless one of your first two is unable to play. Based on earlier comments about Gustavsson being Thursday's starter, that means the problem is with Howard, as Chuck Pleiness confirms.
Wings have recalled Petr Mrazek and he'll backup Gustavsson Thursday. Howard is hurt but it's believed to be a minor injury.— Chuck Pleiness (@wingsfrontman) December 11, 2013
As for Weiss, the groin injury explains the lack of an explosive skating stride that he's previously shown and it fits with comments from all over about how something other than his head looked "off." The fact that he's going to have tests and isn't just "going to sit out a bit" makes me wonder if this is a prelude to placing him on the LTIR for a bit while he heals up and the Wings get an opportunity to have a little cap movement freedom with the $4.9M worth of room they'd get to play with during his stint on LTIR.
Of course, doctors have to rule that Weiss is too injured to perform during a stretch long enough to cover the 24-day minimum LTIR stay, so there are certain steps that must be respected in the process. Lying to the league about the severity of a guy's injury in order to garner cap space to do other things is a good way to get yourself in a lot of trouble, so the Wings won't do that unless Weiss actually is seriously hurt.
The Wings placed Henrik Zetteberg (back) on long-term IR to make room for Mrazek.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 11, 2013
This means Zetterberg can't return before the 28th against Florida, but it also means the Wings can experiment with some call-ups now that they have Zetterberg's cap hit as one that's replaceable while he's on LTIR.
I'm guessing Weiss won't be moved to LTIR based on this movement, but we'll see how bad the groin injury is.