Wings’ Miller out at least a month with torn meniscus

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Los Angeles — There were comings, goings and personnel moves for a Monday pregame morning skate.

Defenseman Kyle Quincey (ankle surgery) returned to the lineup — but not before the Red Wings had to make personnel moves to get under the salary cap.

They gained some cap relief when they officially assigned defenseman Jakub Kindl to Grand Rapids after Kindl passed through waivers Saturday.

The Red Wings officially got under the cap when they placed forward Drew Miller (lower body) on the long-term injured reserve list.

Miller will miss a minimum of 10 games or 24 days.

Miller suffered a torn meniscus in the third period of Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Anaheim. He’ll be out a minimum of a month, Wings GM Ken Holland said.

Miller is returning to Detroit Tuesday for further evaluation.

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Sunday’s game was only Miller’s second since returning from a 14-game absence to a broken jaw.

The penalty kill (5-for-5 kills) and fourth line solidified when Miller returned to the lineup.

“Miller is a great asset on your hockey team,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Defensive guys like that are underrated. He can sort out the chaos of situations that can happen in the flow of hockey. He’s a great penalty killer.

“It was a fairly innocent play. But nonetheless it happened.”

Joakim Andersson replaced Miller in the lineup.

As for Quincey returning — he hasn’t played since Oct. 23 —someone who has been playing regularly was going to have to sit and be a healthy scratch.

Blashill didn’t see the competition for playing time as being a negative.

Keep it simple

Quincey plays a safe, sound defensive game normally anyway, so he certainly wasn’t going to get out of his norm upon his return to the lineup.

Getting reacclimated to the speed of the game was going to be the most important issue.

“You can’t practice game situations, and there’s nothing like being out there with the full speed,” Quincey said. “That’s the biggest thing for me, just keep it simple and let the game come to me. It’ll get better shift by shift.”

Quincey admitted he probably isn’t 100 percent physically, but close enough.

Team bonding

This particular West Coast swing has given the Red Wings plenty of chances to unwind and spent time with teammates.

Many players took advantage of Friday’s off day to head to the beach in Southern California and play volleyball.

“It’s cool to just try and bond and sit with other guys at dinner, or playing beach volleyball,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “I usually go to dinner with the guys I live with (Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening), so I’m trying to reach out to other guys and get to know them.

“It’s a good time when you’re on the road.”