Wings send Nosek to GR; Quincey creates logjam on 'D'

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

Newark, N.J. — The Red Wings sent forward Tomas Nosek back to Grand Rapids on Tuesday to make room for Drew Miller on the roster, and general manager Ken Holland talked about the looming logjam of defensemen.

Miller (broken jaw, surgery) is cleared to play, and coach Jeff Blashill will make a determination on his playing condition as the team plays in California and Arizona, beginning Thursday, Holland said.

Tomas Jurco (head) also received clearance to play Monday afternoon, Holland said.

Unlike Miller, Jurco was not on the injured-reserve list after he felt poorly since sustaining a body check New Year’s Eve against the Penguins.

Kyle Quincey (ankle surgery) is also waiting to return, perhaps during the trip. And Teemu Pulkkinen (shoulder) is unlikely be on the roster again until about the All-Star break, perhaps, Holland said.

“We have to make roster moves to activate Quincey and Miller,” he said.

Asked if he must create space under the salary cap to bring back Quincey, Holland said, “We’re probably a little bit over when we activate Quincey and Pulkkinen. But, obviously, Pulkkinen will not be ready for a while.”

The addition of Quincey, however, would put eight defensemen on the roster, and Holland said the Wings are unlikely to do that.

“Well, let me say this: I don’t see any need to carry eight defensemen.”

If earlier years in the NHL, the situation might result in a midseason trade. But few trades in the NHL occur outside of a period around the NHL draft and the trade deadline, due to the salary cap and other consideration — including the tight standings making for few teams who know they are definitely out of the playoffs.

“Certainly, you’re always looking to upgrade your team,” Holland said. “Trades are hard in the world we live in.

“Beyond those times, for a variety of reasons, it’s hard to find a trading partner.”