Wings D Jakub Kindl placed on waivers
Anaheim, Calif. — Maybe Jakub Kindl will get a chance to show he can be a regular in the NHL.
But if he does, it will not be with the Red Wings.
Kindl was placed on waivers Saturday, with the Red Wings in a salary cap crunch.
Kyle Quincey (ankle surgery) is ready to get back in the lineup — general manager Ken Holland said Quincey is likely to play Monday — so the Red Wings had to make a personnel move.
They chose to waive Kindl, a 2005 first-round draft pick who never lived up to his potential with the Red Wings.
“With the salary cap the way it is, we’re going through maneuvers to position ourselves,” Holland said. “With Quincey coming back that gives us another defenseman. We’re happy with the way (Alexey) Marchenko has played. In that way, Kindl has become our eighth defensemen.”
Kindl has until noon Sunday to clear waivers. If no team claims him he’ll report to Grand Rapids.
There was some thought Marchenko, who has minor league options available, would return to Grand Rapids. But Marchenko has become a fixture in the lineup since arriving October 24.
Kindl has one year remaining on his contract, at a $2.4 million salary. Kindl has five points (two goals, three assists) in 23 games, with a plus-one rating.
“There are so many players who are so close and he’s certainly one of them,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s certainly one of them. As we made decisions to the lineup, sometimes it’s fit. It might be the hand of the guys (left- or right-handed), what he brings to the table, power play or penalty kill, edge, passing.
“Ultimately we had other guys slotted ahead of him. I don’t think it’s because he’s missing much. He’s an NHL player. We have a bunch of guys who are close and he’s ended up ending the odd man out.”
When Quincey returns Monday, someone else will have to sit.
“You’d rather have more good players available to you than not enough,” Blashill said. “We’ve been in a spot where we’ve had more good players available to us and sometimes you have to make these decisions.”
Holland attempted to make a trade over the last week but couldn’t move Kindl without taking back a player with salary in return — which wouldn’t help the Red Wings.
Kindl told his teammates Friday he’d be put on waivers.
“When he told the guys it was hard but that’s the way the business is now,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Hopefully he’ll get picked up and can go and play somewhere else.”
Blashill said he’ll start Petr Mrazek in net Sunday against Anaheim, and Jimmy Howard on Monday in Los Angeles, in what will be Howard’s first start since Dec. 29 in Winnipeg.
Mrazek has been in net for all three victories during this current win streak.
“He’s been real solid,” said Zetterberg, “and probably a big reason why we’ve won the last three games. Just the last game (a 2-1 win in San Jose), the save he made (on Joel Ward in close in the third period) and we take the puck 200 feet and score.
“He’s been real good and he gives us confidence and it’s easier for us to play in front of him.”
Zetterberg has no doubts Howard will snap out of his current two-game slump in whch the goaltender has been pulled in each of the two games.
“Everyone knows the situation, and you just keep on working,” Zetterberg said.
Red Wings at Ducks
Faceoff: 8 p.m. Sunday, Honda Center
TV/radio: FSD/WXYT 97.1, 1270
Outlook: This will be the first game between the teams this season. ... After a slow start the Ducks (17-16-7) are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and moved into playoff contention. ... The Ducks have the NHL’s top-ranked penalty kill (89.4 percent).