Today, the Wings take on the Sharks in an attempt to stretch their record home win streak to 23. The goaltender that’s won the last five is none other than Joey MacDonald — who, after having taken over for Ty Conklin in Edmonton on the 4th, has played remarkably well. Jimmy Howard had this game circled on his calendar as the one he’d return for, but it looks like they’re going to ride the hot hand and give Howie’s finger another day or two to fully recover after being broken against Vancouver on the 2nd.
After the game, there will be decisions to be made. Should the Wings hang onto MacDonald, or send him back down to Grand Rapids? If they opt to keep MacDonald in Hockeytown, they’ll have to decide what to do with Ty Conklin. Conklin can’t be assigned to the AHL without first being subjected to waivers — and although no one would dare put in a claim for someone playing as poorly as he has this season, it’s a risk that the Wings usually don’t take. Expect MacDonald to be demoted until the playoffs, when he’ll absolutely be the #2 guy behind Howard.
Would Joey MacDonald be better served playing more games in Grand Rapids than he would playing second fiddle to the clear-cut starter in Jimmy Howard? Whatever the case may be, the Wings only have a few more hours to make their decision. Howard is the scheduled starter Tuesday night in Chicago, and they likely won’t fly with three netminders.
What would you do if you were Ken Holland? I’m a big proponent of allowing the best players to be in the NHL, so I’d like Joey to stick around. That said, I see the other side of the argument, too: why risk losing an asset for nothing, and maybe it’d be nice to have MacDonald playing games more often than he would in Detroit. I expect to receive the press release immediately following the game saying that MacDonald has been assigned to the Griffins.
The puck drops at 12:30pm. We’ll keep you posted with any official word from the team.
I had a “Red Wings acquire Pavel Kubina” post all typed up and ready to go. Looks like I won’t be able to use it.
It was revealed on Friday night that the Red Wings made a formal trade offer to the Tampa Bay Lightning for their hulking defenseman Pavel Kubina. Kubina, who had been pulled from practice and games until a trade could be completed, had drawn interest from several teams around the league.
However, late last night, the Lightning announced that they had traded Kubina to the Flyers in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick, a 4th round draft pick, and Jon Kalinski.
The Flyers are also in the running for Columbus Blue Jackets’ star Rick Nash. Rumor has it that the asking price — so far — is James van Riemsdyk, Sergei Bobrovsky, and either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier. That’s a hell of a package… too much, even for Nash.
Speaking of potential trade targets, it’s clear that Holland is after a defenseman to shore up the third pairing. He pushed hard, we’ve learned, for Montreal’s Hal Gill (now a Predator), as well as Tampa’s Pavel Kubina (now a Flyer). It’s no secret that the Wings are always looking to improve their scoring ranks, as well, so perhaps the search for a top six forward is underway, as well.
In addition to the Stars, Canadiens and Lightning (who have already started moving players), it looks like the Hurricanes, Sabres, Islanders, Blue Jackets, and Oilers are sellers. Certainly, more teams may be added to that list by the end of the week, but start perusing their rosters for players to poach. At one quick glance, guys that may be on the radar include:
- Ales Hemsky (Edmonton F) even if I’m not sold on it.
- Tuomo Ruutu (Carolina F), but Hurricanes’ GM Jim Rutherford said that he’d prefer to re-sign him.
- Chad Larose (Carolina F), a two-time Red Wings’ tryout that has another year on his deal after this one.
- Bryan Allen (Carolina D), a 6-4 blueliner that was drafted 4th overall in 1998 (one after Brad Stuart).
- Paul Gaustad (Buffalo F), a gigantic alternate captain for the Sabres.
- Jordan Leopold (Buffalo D), who has been on FIVE teams since 2009. Wut?
- Travis Moen (Montreal F), the gritty former Duck.
- Chris Campoli (Montreal D), whose girlfriend would IMMEDIATELY have to fight Emma Andersson for hottest Wings WAG.
- Brian Rolston (Islanders F), a Michigan-native and veteran whose name hasn’t been in any trade rumors, but fits the M.O.
Knowing Ken Holland, it’ll be none of these guys. Plucking some dude that no one even knew was available. That’s how Tick Tock rolls.
Photo Credit: David Guralnick, Detroit News