Summarizing St. James, Kulfan and Khan’s practice reports

The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted an article discussing Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill’s explanation as to why the Wings chose to release Bobby Ryan from his pro try-out:

“We just made that decision that that is the best thing for us,” coach Jeff Blashill said after Monday’s practice at Little Caesars Arena. “I wish Bobby a ton of luck going forward. I think he’s a great, great person, a real good player, but that’s (the decision) we made.”

Ryan had two goals and two assists in six games. The decision reflects how well rookie Lucas Raymond has played. The 2020 first-round pick came to camp and impressed with how he fit into the NHL lineup, earning a spot next to Dylan Larkin.

“It at times was portrayed as two guys fighting for one job,” Blashill said. “That was not necessarily the case. But Lucas’ game, and other guys how they played, factored into it for sure. Lucas had a real good first part of camp.” 

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan explains what cutting Ryan means for the roster going forward, as the Wings prepare to submit a 23-man roster at 5 PM today…

Coach Jeff Blashill said the team will evaluate up until the 5 p.m. [roster] deadline to make final determinations.

Michael Rasmussen, Givani Smith and Adam Erne are all battling injuries. Whether any of them go on the injured list or are ready to play Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning will be factors.

Ryan, 34, had two goals in six exhibition games with two assists. But the Wings may be going younger with the lineup.

“I wish Bobby a ton of luck going forward, he’s a great person and player, but that’s the decision we made,” Blashill said. “I hope he did (earn an NHL contract elsewhere). He is a real good person and hockey player. It was a tough call. They’re all tough decisions, but I like it when you get forced into some tough decisions.”

Ryan had seven goals and seven assists with the Wings last season before triceps surgery.

Raymond appears to have made the team, but because of the other players being injured and their status unknown, he could still be sent down to Grand Rapids on Monday and be recalled later in the week.

And MLive’s Ansar Khan continues the story from there, discussing Lucas Raymond’s probable status as having made the roster:

“[Playing with] Larks gives anybody he plays with pace; one thing Lucas has to continue to learn is to play at that higher pace,” coach Jeff Blashill said Monday. “He’s a really smart player that has to move his feet more to go get pucks, to pressure. But Larkin kind of forces you to play at a pretty high pace. Potentially, we like the look of that line. Bert goes and gets the puck a lot. Larks brings that pace high, and Lucas is a really smart, savvy offensive player. But we’ll have to continue to watch it and see.”

Raymond’s performance, in part, also influenced the Red Wings’ decision to release 34-year-old right wing Bobby Ryan from his tryout.

“At times it was portrayed as two guys fighting for one job and that’s not necessarily the case,” Blashill said. “But certainly, Lucas’ game and how other guys played factored into it. Lucas had a real good first part of camp. The last three games he was fine. His B and C game is pretty good because I don’t think he hurts you defensively, but he didn’t create a lot. There’s a lot of factors that go into that, but (Raymond’s) play, did that have a factor? Sure. Did other guys’ play have a factor. Yes. It definitely wasn’t (a competition between) two guys.”

So what happens regarding the less-than-100% players?

“It’s a fluctuating roster all the time,” 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.”

Blashill said they are hoping to have Erne, Rasmussen and Smith ready for the opener.

“(Erne) feels good; he hadn’t skated to this pace in a while,” Blashill said. “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.”

Blashill said of Smith: “I think he’s feeling better. I didn’t know if he was going to practice today and he went through the full practice, so that’s a positive sign. We got two more days before we necessarily need to make that decision (on whether he will be active or on injured reserve to start the season).”

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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.