Both goalies practiced and looked fine this week for Detroit. So not exactly sure of plan on this. https://t.co/95EjEVTXN5— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) November 23, 2022
I included the Sean Shapiro comment adding to the news from the waiver-watchers because it’s the most-pressing point here.
For the boring particulars, Magnus Hellberg is a 31-year old Swedish goaltender who was drafted by Nashville in 2011. Breaking into the NHL as a goaltender is harder than any other position to start with and he had the unfortunate luck of being behind the Predator’s tandems.
The Red Wings brought Hellberg back to North America late last season where he surprisingly played just one game for us despite that we were obviously tanking and there wasn’t really a reason to not play him (let’s just blame Blashill). Unsurprisingly, when the Wings brought Ville Husso on board, the writing was on the wall for the unrestricted free agent.
Hellberg signed with the Seattle Kraken in the offseason but was placed on waivers and claimed by Ottawa before playing for the Kraken. He got into one game with the Sens before heading back to waivers and then back to Seattle. Recently he found himself once again on the carousel and now lands with the Red Wings.
Magnus Hellberg’s NHL career spans parts of five seasons. He’s played in six games and has never been credited with a loss. All his other stats aren’t worth sharing on here any more than that one was because six games is a terrible sample size. He’s a big guy and is good enough at playing goalie to be in the NHL. Nobody knows if he’s good enough to be a starter here because... well look at the six games thing.
So why did Detroit claim him?
I’m sure when the diggers get around to asking they’re going to get some answers about how he’s a good guy and valuable and maybe even tell us something new about the status of the goaltenders already on the roster.
I don’t know. It’s not immediately clear. Here’s some reasonable speculation though:
We’re right about the time of year when groins and hamstrings can get testy and it’s possible that part of the reason we’ve seen more Husso lately is that Ned is dealing with something that the team hasn’t felt like putting him on IR and disrupting Grand Rapids’ goaltending situation for.
The Red Wings had an extra roster spot and this guy is obviously good enough to be intriguing in a league where goalies come into high demand in the blink of an eye. Just because he wasn’t tradeable on November 22nd doesn’t mean he won’t be on November 25th.
If nothing else materializes, the Red Wings are out the chump-change sum a team has to pay another for claiming a guy off waivers and they have to pay him for being on their roster, but there’s nothing in the rules nor particularly in the unspoken etiquette that says you can’t put him back on waivers a few days later.
Hopefully we’ll get more guidance soon, but I’m interested in this pick-up.