Niyo: Lions make a 'mess' of their upset bid in Lambeau

Red Wings struggling to make room for Quincey’s return

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Anaheim, Calif. — The Red Wings remain in a financial pickle after defenseman Jakub Kindl cleared waivers Sunday, which will force the team to make another personnel move.

With Kindl being assigned to minor league affiliate Grand Rapids, that’ll clear $950,000 from the salary cap.

But that’s still approximately $1 million short of what the Red Wings need to be sliced before they can activate defenseman Kyle Quincey (ankle surgery).

Kindl, 28, has one more season left on his contract at $2.4 million — a somewhat reasonable salary by today’s NHL standards, but obviously more than what other general managers are currently willing to pay for a spare defenseman.

Kindl was to remain with the Red Wings through Sunday, and likely will be assigned Monday to Grand Rapids before Detroit plays in Los Angeles.

General manager Ken Holland worked on a possible trade involving Kindl for the last several weeks in return for a draft pick, but found no match, largely because the Red Wings were offered only high-salaried players in return.

A healthy scratch for most of the last month, Kindl has played only 23 games this season with five points (two goals, three assists) and a plus-1 rating.

So how do the Red Wings shed the roughly $1 million before activating Quincey?

Unless someone is injured Sunday against Anaheim, the Red Wings can send Alexey Marchenko to the minor leagues — he is exempt from waivers — but Marchenko has been one of the team’s steadiest defensemen since being promoted in October.

His salary cap hit is just over $666,000, which still isn’t quite enough.

Forward Joakim Andersson, with an $815,000 salary and often a healthy scratch, could be another player who is waived if the Red Wings decide to go that route.

Why are the Red Wings struggling with salary cap problems?

On opening day, after the Red Wings placed Pavel Datsyuk on long-term injured reserve and made several other moves, the Red Wings’ salary cap was at roughly $66 million.

After Johan Franzen’s concussion troubles returned the second week of the season, he was placed on the long-term injured list, which kept the Red Wings unable to escape those restrictions (the NHL takes into consideration what a team’s payroll is on opening day when there is an LTI).

So, in essence, the Red Wings have a $66 million salary cap rather than $71 million.

Feeling better

Coach Jeff Blashill is monitoring the condition of Grand Rapids forward Alden Hirschfeld, who had a seizure on the bench Friday during the Griffins’ game.

Blashill was following Twitter during the game when he found out about Hirschfeld.

“I know him well,” said Blashill, having recruited Hirschfeld, 27, while coaching at Miami (Ohio). “I knew he had some history of that (seizures) going back to our (training) camp two years ago. I texted him last night. He seems like he’s fine. It’s something he’ll have to deal with. He’ll meet with his doctors

“I’m certainly glad he’s fine.”

Red Wings at Kings

Faceoff: 10:30 p.m. Monday, Staples Center, Los Angeles

TV/radio: FSD/WXYT

Outlook: The Kings (26-12-3, 55 points) have assumed control of the Pacific Division, opening a nine-point lead. ... They are 6-3-1 over their last 10 games. ... G Jonathan Quick has been outstanding (2.05 GAA, 23 victories, three shutouts).