The bottom of the Leino trade Freep article has been updated (thanks for the tip, Hollis). It says that Ken Holland’s petition to the NHL for an additional two games for Andreas Lilja in Grand Rapids has been successful.
Long story short: the NHLPA does not allow teams to keep players that have been cleared to play on Long-Term IR, forcing their team to activate them – and, in the Wings case, make the appropriate roster moves to accommodate their salary.
Lilja’s three-game stint has gone well, but since he hasn’t played in eleven months, the Wings were hopeful that he could get a few extra games on the farm before having him back in Detroit — not to mention, to give Holland an extra couple of days to make room for him salary-wise.
There’s a roster freeze in effect during the Olympic Games, beginning next Sunday. The conditioning stint has been extended to Friday — and since Detroit has a game next Saturday against the Senators, decisions will need to be made sooner rather than later.
By my count, the Red Wings will be approximately $1.15M — not to mention one body — over the cap when Andreas Lilja returns next week. You’ve already read my manifesto regarding Brett Lebda and Derek Meech, but the moral of the story is that Brett Lebda is the more likely of the two to get moved. When he is, the Wings will need to shed approximately $500k. Brad May, who makes a pro-rated amount similar to that total, is almost guaranteed to be waived and sent to Grand Rapids.
Hollis is a big fan of moving Jason Williams, which — BY HIMSELF — would clear the space necessary, both salary-wise and body-wise. The next three games (against the Kings, Blues, and Sharks) will go a long way in either showcasing Lebda and Williams, or allowing those players to make their cases to stick with the Wings.