Red Wings put seldom-used Martin Frk on waivers

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Martin Frk

Nashville – Martin Frk has one of the hardest shots in the NHL. On the one-timer from the dot, few players in the league can be as dangerous.

But there hasn’t been much else to Frk’s game, at least with the Detroit Red Wings. And as opposing teams learned to overplay Frk’s side, and Frk continued to have problems consistently getting that shot on net, his playing time dwindled.

On Wednesday, in need of clearing a roster spot for forward Tyler Bertuzzi, the Wings placed Martin Frk on waivers.

Frk, 25, never found a place in the lineup this season and only played in 25 games, with five points (one goal, four assists).

If it felt like Frk was gone weeks ago, it’s easy to understand why. Frk has only played two games since Dec. 31.

This season has been a disappointment in some ways, considering Frk, a 2012 second-round draft pick, showed intriguing promise last season.

Frk had 11 goals (and 25 points) in 68 games last season – he was one of the Wings’ best offensive threats the first month last season – then signed a one-year contract worth $1.05 million in the summer.

But with the Wings’ roster growing with younger forwards, Frk’s place in the organization fell, and it was only a matter of time before he was let go.

Frk can be a restricted free agent on July 1.

The Wings needed Frk’s roster spot with the expected addition of Bertuzzi (concussion), who is expected to return to the lineup this week.

The Wings essentially could have chosen to send down forward Christoffer Ehn or waive Frk, and decided on keeping Ehn, a defensive-minded forward who has shown signs of a developing offensive game in recent games.

If Frk clears waivers by noon Thursday, he’ll be assigned to minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids.

‘He’s a winner’

Luke Glendening’s value to the Red Wings doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet.

Now, they sort of did Tuesday, as Glendening had a goal and assist, and was plus-2, in just under 16 minutes of ice time (15:44) during Detroit’s 3-2 win over Nashville. He also won 15-of-19 faceoffs.

But coach Jeff Blashill broke the situation down to simple terms.

 “He’s a winner,” Blashill said. “I don’t know what the stat is for him, but I do know what he equals is winning.

“He wins his shift over and over and over. That’s what he does. He goes out and he can play against anybody in the league. He’s great on the (penalty) kill, great defensively, he’s a net-presence guy, which is how he scored.

“We talked a lot about getting back to scoring dirty and he goes right to the net and scores. He’s a big piece for us, for sure.”

Glendening, 29, has long been a favorite of former Wings coach Mike Babcock and there has been speculation again of Toronto, where Babcock now coaches, being interested in acquiring Glendening before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

But it likely would take quite a package returning the Wings’ way to make a deal, considering Glendening is signed through 2020-21 at the bargain price of $1.8 million per season.

Ice chips

It was satisfying for the Wings to win the final game of this fathers’ road trip.

Nobody wanted to go winless with the dads around.

“It wouldn’t have been as fun,” said Andreas Athanasiou, who scored the winner against Nashville. “It’s a good feeling when you win. Everybody is in good spirits. It was good to get it for the dads.”

… Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 19 of his 32 saves in the first period against Nashville, and knew early on it could be a good night.

“I just felt it in my legs, I had some pop and I felt good going into (the game),” Howard said. “I’ve played in this building a lot. You know they’re going to play hard, a lot of pucks are going to go toward the net and the crowd is going to be into it.

“You have to find a way to take them out of it and we did that.”

… The Wings did not practice Wednesday.

Senators at Red Wings

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Little Caesars Arena

TV/radio: FSD/97.1 FM

Outlook: Ottawa (21-30-5, 47 points) sits at the bottom of the NHL standings – and doesn’t own its draft pick, having sent it to Colorado last season for C Matt Duchene. … Now Duchene (25 goals, 53 points) and RW Mark Stone (26 goals, 57 points) aren’t likely re-signing, and both could be dealt by the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

Twitter: @tkulfan