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Red Wings assign Anthony Mantha to AHL, place Niklas Kronwall on injured reserve

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NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT, MICH — The Red Wings have announced that forward Anthony Mantha has been assigned to AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins, and place Niklas Kronwall on injured reserve:

Making sense of it

Assuming Ben Street clears, and Teemu Pulkkinen goes claimed on waivers, this effectively puts the team at 22 roster spots. Head coach Jeff Blashill said that one of Mantha or Athanasiou will be with the team on opening night. Now that Mantha is Grand Rapids bound, we know who that will be. The looming question is that why are they sitting with an extra roster spot open? We’ll find out more later on today when the waiver report comes out. It’s all but certain that Teemu Pulkkinen will be off to new opportunities around the NHL.

Money moved Mantha

For those wondering why the Red Wings would send Mantha down when they have an extra spot, it comes down to dollars and cents. They don’t have enough cap space to house his contract.

There are a lot of questions right now, and we’re probably only going to get a few answers. We’ll keep you posted throughout the day.

Full release from the Red Wings organization:

The Detroit Red Wings today assigned right wing Anthony Mantha to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, the Red Wings placed defenseman Niklas Kronwall on injured reserve.

The Red Wings will travel to Florida tomorrow in preparation for Thursday’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Detroit/97.1 The Ticket) and Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers (7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports Detroit/97.1 The Ticket). Detroit will open its home slate on Monday, Oct. 17 versus the Ottawa Senators.