Kulfan, Khan, St. James discuss injuries, Veleno to GR, releasing Ryan

Updated at 4:32 PM: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan has just posted a post-Lucas Raymond-makes-the-roster article which notes that the Red Wings’ 23-man roster may not be the roster that they actually start the season with:

Injuries could still play a role in the days ahead. [Adam] Erne didn’t finish the second half of Monday’s practice, nursing an undisclosed injury, and [Michael] Rasmussen and [Givani] Smith returned to the ice Monday after missing exhibition games last week.

“It’s a fluctuating roster all the time,” [coach Jeff] Blashill said. “Right now, we have some guys that are question marks that are going to work through the week, and we’ll see where they’re at health-wise and make the decision when we need to.

“(Erne) hadn’t skated to this pace in a while. He felt he could go longer. But from a medical perspective we decided for him to work his way into it. I’m hoping to have him ready for the opener, but I don’t have that answer yet. (Smith) is feeling better. I didn’t know if he was going to practice (Monday) and he went through the full practice, so that’s a positive sign.”

The Wings felt Veleno, a Wings 2018 first-round pick, was best served by spending more time in Grand Rapids. Veleno will play first-line minutes, and gain valuable ice time he likely wouldn’t have come close to getting with the Wings.

“That’s a huge part of the decision,” Blashill said. “He may be in a role that’s higher than he is here, which hopefully would maximize his development. And it gives us more organizational depth because he is a guy who can get sent down without exposing to waivers. Those are things that go into the decision. When guys play great, they find their way onto the team. When they’re playing good and other guys are playing good, then factors come into play like waiver-eligibility.”

Continued; MLive’s Ansar Khan also penned a similar story:

Veleno, 21, appeared in five games with the Red Wings near the end of last season (one goal, no assists). He did well in the preseason (two goals, two assists in six games), but there wasn’t a spot for him on one of the top three lines.

Veleno and Lucas Raymond, who made the roster, were the last remaining waiver-exempt forwards in camp.

The Red Wings also assigned forwards Riley Barber and Taro Hirose to the Griffins after they cleared waivers. They designated center Kyle Criscuolo and defenseman Seth Barton as injured non-roster and placed left wing Jakub Vrana on injured reserve (out four months due to shoulder surgery).

The Red Wings earlier today announced that right wing Bobby Ryan was released from his professional tryout.

“We felt that Bobby had a good preseason for us, but due to roster limitations, we aren’t able to offer him a contract at this time,” general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “We will continue to evaluate whether there is an opportunity for Bobby in Detroit as the 2021-22 season begins.”

Update: The Free Press’s Helene St. James weighed in, too:

Teams had to be 23-man compliant by 5 p.m. Monday, the day before the start of the season. The Wings released veteran Bobby Ryan from his tryout earlier in the day, leaving them with 14 forwards at practice.

That was the only position at which there were any questions about how the Wings would get to 23. Eight defensemen made the cut: Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, Nick Leddy, Danny DeKeyser, Marc Staal, Troy Stecher, Gustav Lindstrom and Jordan Oesterle. The goaltenders were easy, too: Thomas Greiss and Alex Nedeljkovic.

Raymond, a 2020 first-round pick, led the Wings in preseason scoring with 6 points in 6 games. Based on Monday’s practice lines, he’ll start the season next to Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi.

The other 10 forwards on the roster are: Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri, Mitchell Stephens, Pius Suter, Michael Rasmussen, Carter Rowney, Givani Smith, Adam Erne, Sam Gagner and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Erne, Rasmussen and Smith have all been banged up, and their availability for Thursday will become clearer over the coming days. Under any circumstance, Veleno had a good camp, and if he doesn’t start the season in Detroit, he’ll be a go-to guy in Grand Rapids, and be high on the list to call up when needed. 

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

4 thoughts on “Kulfan, Khan, St. James discuss injuries, Veleno to GR, releasing Ryan”

  1. There is so much to evaluate a prospect, etc whether he should start the season with the Wings. I started making a non ending list. Hope StevieY talked to some, I think that would be a positive and there are some other positives to being moved to GR.

    I am sure George could come up with evaluations plus/minus far better than me

    1. I think that Veleno going to GR and playing as their #1 center is going to be good for his development. Right now he doesn’t have a lot of confidence with his offensive game at the NHL level, and half-a-season or so in GR will help that part of his game blossom.

  2. Veleno and Ras. I can’t remember the last time Veleno was injured, Ras seems to get a lot of short term injury Tweaks.

    In a perfect world Ras needs a ton of playing time (GR) but the numbers offered only 2 choices at the beginning. Back to Juniors was not good or him and sitting on the Wings roster with little playing time was a waste for his development. GR time would be what he needed and you would see a different (better) Ras today.
    His development will be longer and being a big man will make it tougher.
    Hope he is patient!

    1. I agree with you that in a perfect world, Rasmussen would have gotten playing time in Grand Rapids and be further along developmentally…Here’s hoping that something similar happens with Veleno.

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