Some transaction news this morning: Kris Newbury has been returned to Grand Rapids and Ken Holland says that the “plan is” to recall Mattias Ritola this afternoon.
Newbury got into four games, and immediately became the Most Fascinating Man on the Planet: being penalized on his first shift, and then scoring before making it back to the bench. The last three games have been rather quiet from #32, but its apparent he’s not afraid to muck it up (or attempt to hurdle goaltenders).
Ritola played two games with the Wings at the end of 2007-08, netting one assist. One would assume that with Darren Helm back, the need for a center becomes secondary to the need for a winger. Also, it might be safe to assume that Valtteri Filppula is on track and is set to return on December 26th. He must know I’ll be in attendance. BOOYAH.
I’m excited to see Ritola, assuming he gets into the game Wednesday (and there are no delays on my way home to Michigan for the holidays). For more insight into Ritola (and any other Griffin, for that matter), follow @MrsOTW on Twitter. She offers the following, via Twitter:
He’s highly [thought of in] the organization; has some good offense, tendency to give away the puck at both blue lines. My guess is the Wings are trying to find offense, which Newbury has not provided. Ritola is usually a good place to find offense, but Williams is a better place. Ritola deserves this look, though.
Ritola has seven goals and seven assists in 31 games, good enough for seventh on the Griffins in scoring.
In somewhat-related news, the NHL roster freeze is in effect (from the 19th until the 27th), meaning the Wings cannot make any waiver moves, trades, or loans. Clearly, these types of transactions don’t count.