The Red Wings took to practice on Wednesday preparing to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday while looking for their first win of the season. Part of that practice had the defensive pairs shuffled up to accommodate the return of Trevor Daley from injury.
#RedWings defense pairs in practice:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 17, 2018
Ericsson (upper-body injury)
Daley suffered what is believed to be a concussion in Detroit’s 2nd game of the season against the LA Kings and has missed time since then. He is ready to resume playing just as reports come out that Danny DeKeyser could be gone for up to 14 days with the same hand injury that bothered him in preseason.
An additional wrinkle was added by this Helene St. James tweet this afternoon as well:
Red Wings have sent Libor Sulak to minors to be able to activate Trevor Daley.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) October 17, 2018
I’m not sure the transactional significance of doing this after having Sulak as part of the “regular” rotation during practice, but I’m also not certain he’ll be staying down long or whether this is a paper transaction to adjust for salary cap massaging. With DeKeyser set to miss more than enough time to qualify for IR and newly-claimed Jacob De La Rose still technically on IR until he clears the team medical, it wasn’t entirely necessary to make a space today to fit within the roster or cap limits currently shown on Capfriendly.
We can note that Sulak’s cap hit is just about $200k more than Joe Hicketts’ cap hit and, despite being two years younger, Hicketts kind of has “seniority” over Sulak with the organization.
Of course, the obvious implication is that Sulak is being sent down in order to play for the Griffins and continue his seasoning. Grand Rapids plays their next game tonight at home against the Texas Stars. Sulak has played six games for Detroit so far putting up a -4 rating, 0 points, 6 PIM, and 7 SOG. He’s looked like he’s learning the NHL pace but hasn’t been terribly impressive or disappointing so far.
We’ll continue to update as we get more details.
The Griffins’ presser announcing their receipt of Sulak also tells that they’ve released defenseman Mackenze Stewart back to Toledo -
The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday assigned defenseman Libor Sulak to the Grand Rapids Griffins while the Griffins released defenseman Mackenze Stewart from his professional tryout, returning him to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Based on the Griffins’ roster move, it looks like the obvious theory that Sulak’s assignment was for the purpose of playing in the AHL is the likely one.