Kindl OK'd for Wings' opener, Ouellet demoted

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News
Jakub Kindl

Detroit – Ahead of the opening game of the season, against the Maple Leafs Friday, the Red Wings activated both Jakub Kindl and Alexey Marchenko on defense, and they have moved Xavier Ouellet to Grand Rapids, yet again.

Meanwhile, Daniel Cleary cleared waivers and General Manager Ken Holland said he told Cleary to take some time to decide his future, and that he had not heard anything definite from the veteran forward.

Kindl is now recovered from and eye infection, and has practiced. Marchenko is coming back from a lower-body injury, likely a sore groin, and practiced Wednesday and Thursaday.

Red Wings eager to blaze new trail

Ouellet, who appears to be ready for the NHL, said he would be disappointed to return to the Griffins, but that he was "not in control of the situation," and understands the depth the Wings have on defense.

After a month of preparing, coach Jeff Blashill said the team is keen to play.

"I think you can probably feel it from the players and the staff, everybody's ready to play a real game," said Blashill, who will coach his first NHL game against the coach who hired him in Detroit, Mike Babcock.

"Exhibition is a great tune-up. It's a great opportunity to get prepared. But you want to play for real."

Blashill said he is looking for crisp, attacking puck movement against the Maple Leafs, whose coach clearly knows his opposition well.

"For any hockey team to be good, you want to get the puck out of your own end," he said. "And Toronto's going to make it hard on us; they're going to pressure us real hard.

"So we've got to do a good job of managing the puck and getting it out of our end. And, ultimately, you want to spend as much time in the other team's end as possible."