Everybody remember Tomas Jurco? Shut up, yes you do. The soon-to-be 24 year old Slovakian winger who hasn’t played a game since April 7th is getting healthier by the day and will soon be back to playing shape.
At least he’ll soon be back close enough for the Red Wings to want to get a look at his conditioning. Here’s our favorite Red Wings beat writer telling us what Blashill told him:
Blashill said Jurco needs another week of practices before going to @griffinshockey for conditioning stint and then rejoining #RedWings— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) November 18, 2016
Ok, so now that we have a timeline set, let’s make sense of it.
What Kind of Conditioning Stint?
There’s a lot of CBA legalese to deal with what exactly a conditioning loan is, but I’ll simplify it for you. There are two types.
- A player on the active roster who is currently taking up a roster and cap space can be sent (with his permission) to the AHL for up to 14 days.
- A player getting ready to come off LTIR can be sent to the AHL for up to six days (and three games) without the team actually having to take him of LTIR and making cap/roster space first.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, sections 13.8 and 13.9 of the NHL CBA lay out everything, but it probably makes sense to assume we’re dealing with the second definition here. The shorter type of loan is used to make sure a player is good to go and doesn’t require roster juggling.
There’s also a case that with special permission, that three game AHL stint can be extended by two more, which is a real possibility.
The Griffins just so happen to have a schedule amenable to the concept of “one more week before conditioning stint” as laid out by Blashill today. After visiting Milwaukee the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they play back-to-back games against the Cleveland Monsters next Friday and Saturday, the 25th and 26th. If Jurco is sent down a week from now, those are the games which he’d play.
If the Wings need to extend that trip and are able to get commissioner permission, the Griffins don’t play again after that until the following Fri/Sat.
Timing-wise, this is almost exactly one year ago that Jurco last headed to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint (that one was the two-week variety where he stayed on the roster/cap). During November of 2015, Jurco played five games for the Griffins where he tallied five goals and nine points.
With Darren Helm out for a minimum of six weeks and already having been put on LTIR, the Wings currently do have sufficient roster and salary cap space to activate Jurco from LTIR prior to his conditioning loan, so it’s not totally out of the question that they would make it the full two-week trip like what happened in mid-November last year.
We’ll keep an eye out for any updates/movements, but I’d expect to hear more in-depth discussion of Jurco taking part in practices and preparing for his stint against the Monsters next week.