The Red Wings have assigned Xavier Ouellet to Grand Rapids (AHL).
Ouellet, 22, being sent back to the AHL suggests that Alexey Marcheko is set to come off of IR before Friday’s game. Ouellet will head to Grand Rapids, where he had 16 points (1G / 15A) in 52 games a season ago.
Howard will start the Red Wings season opener on Friday.
Howard was a fantasy gem for a number of seasons, but has turned into more of a steady No. 2 option over the last few years. Howard won 23 games with a 2.44 GAA and .910 SV% last season but then fell behind Petr Mrazek in the playoffs. This preseason he posted a 2.00 GAA and .942 SV%, effectively earning his starting gig back…at least for one game. Mrazek is slated to start on Saturday. This looks like it could be a 50/50 splits this year, but the Red Wings should be good, which will result in a lot of wins.
Kindl (eye infection) will play in the Red Wings season opener on Friday.
Kindl has been battling an eye infection but he was on the ice for Red Wings’ practice on Wednesday and is expected to be in the lineup on Friday vs. the Maple Leafs. Kindl is expected to play with Brendan Smith until Danny DeKeyser returns from injury.
Helm (separated shoulder) returned to practice on Tuesday.
Helm, who suffered a separated shoulder on the first day of training camp was expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Today marks the two and a half week mark which means he should probably make his season debut next week.
Larkin has made the Red Wings’ roster and is expected to skate on the top line.
Larkin, 19, was the Red Wings’ first round pick (15th overall) in 2014 and has made tremendous strides since then. In his freshman year at the University of Michigan, he posted 15 goals and 32 assists (47 points) in 35 games. He decided to turn pro after that and scored five points (3G / 2A) in six playoff games with Grand Rapids. This September he was impressive as well, posting three goals, one assists and 15 shots on goal in five preseason games. This resume of work earned him a spot on the opening night roster and head coach Jeff Blashill said he plans on starting Larkin on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
The Red Wings have placed Datsyuk (ankle) on injured reserve.
Datsyuk is expected to miss the first month of the season after undergoing offseason ankle surgery. His movement to IR opens up a roster spot for the Red Wings to keep a young forward, like Dylan Larkin, around for an extended NHL look.
Pulkkinen (upper-body) is expected to play in the Red Wings preseason finale.
Pulkkinen, hasn’t played since September 24th because of an upper-body injury but is expected to play in the preseason finale and should be ready for the regular season opener. The 23-year-old had five goals and three assists in 31 games with the Red Wings last season and could have a breakout season in his first full NHL season.
DeKeyser is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained ligament in his left foot.
This is a tough break for the Red Wings, who planned to have DeKeyser play with Mike Green so that Green could open up offensively. Green will now play with either Kyle Quincey or Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl or one of the Red Wings’ young defensemen will be inserted into the lineup. DeKeyser is expected to miss at least the first seven games of the season.
Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to start skating in two weeks.
Datsyuk is still recovering after undergoing offseason ankle surgery. He met with his doctor on Thursday who gave him the green light to resume skating next week. Datsyuk will miss the start of the regular season, but should be back by early November.
Franzen (concussion) is expected to make his preseason debut on Thursday.
Franzen has been out since January 6th because of concussion issues. Franzen said he never considered retirement and he is excited to get back on the ice tonight. When he is healthy, Franzen is a quality goal scorer, but he is a huge injury risk heading into the 2015-16 fantasy season.
Helm will miss 2-4 weeks with a separated shoulder.
Helm suffered a grade 1 slight separated shoulder in the first day of training camp on Thursday. Helm has had a difficult time staying healthy throughout his career and this is not the way he wanted to start his 2015-16 season. If he misses just two weeks, he could be ready for the Red Wings season opener, but if he misses four weeks he would miss the first four or five games of the Red Wings’ season.