The Red Wings are starting to get some of their players back from injury, including Brendan Smith, who is likely to be activated for tomorrow night’s game against Nashville.
To make room for Smith, the Red Wings today announced that Alexey Marchenko has been placed on waivers. Should Marchenko clear waivers (not a sure thing given that he’s a defenseman who could be had for free), he would be assigned to Grand Rapids.
Marchenko had been the odd-man out since the return of Mike Green and Niklas Kronwall, having not played since Jan 20th. It’s been quite the fall for Marchenko, who gave a very solid performance for Team Russia at the World Cup of Hockey this fall. Marchenko was expected to take on a bigger role this season for Detroit, but a slow start and injuries didn’t help, and the play of Nick Jensen and Xavier Ouellet made Marchenko expendable.
#RedWings waive Alexey Marchenko to make room for Brendan Smith, when they activate him tomorrow.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 3, 2017
It’s not immediately clear who will come out of the on-ice lineup with Smith returning, as Jensen and Ouellet have been a decent pairing since being put together, and the rest of the defense are veterans who will never get some time in the Cleary Cabana.
There will be more complaints about asset management by the Red Wings, and in the case of the defense, those complaints are probably more justified. This is likely the first of several moves over the next couple of weeks as the Wings hopefully realize that it’s time to get rid of some dead weight and look to the future.