Uniondale, N.Y. — In case the Red Wings are active leading to Monday’s NHL trade deadline, they’ve gotten themselves some insurance.
Specifically, on defense, where they have available assets.
The Wings claimed defenseman Cody Goloubef off waivers Friday from the Ottawa Senators, creating some depth at a position that might need it.
Goloubef, 30, played in 23 games for the Senators this season, with two points (one goal), while averaging about 15 minutes of ice time.
“It’s a no-risk move, and we’ll take it day by day,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s been a good, solid pro, and those types of guys are important to the organization, good solid players.”
Blashill has known Goloubef since Oakville, Ontario native was a minor midget player for the Toronto Marlies.
“With a whole bunch of good players,” Blashill said. “He’s a good, solid player, and again, it adds to our depth. Right now it helps our depth on defense and we’ll see how everything shakes out on the weekend. We have some guys who are questionable injury-wise who I think will be OK, but we just don’t know.
“So, we want to make sure we have that kind of depth.”
Goloubef (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) is a defensive defenseman who has played 158 games in the NHL for Columbus, Colorado and Ottawa, with 25 points (three goals).
With the possibility of defensemen Mike Green and Trevor Daley being dealt before Monday’s trade deadline, and Filip Hronek unavailable through at least this weekend after being hit in the side of his head Sunday in Pittsburgh, the Wings could be searching for depth.
The market for experienced defensemen is always brisk leading to the deadline, and Green's experience and offensive savvy could make him enticing to a contender in need of depth (New York Islanders, Edmonton, Washington, Vegas).
Alex Biega was also hit with a puck in practice earlier this week but is available to play.
Goloubef is on a one-year contract set to expire after this season, earning $800,000, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
Goloubef will arrive in Detroit on Saturday, Blashill said.
Forward Tyler Bertuzzi has been playing more of a Bertuzzi-type game the past couple weeks, which Blashill has praised.
It’s when Bertuzzi gets away from the gritty style, that his overall effectiveness decreases.
“What makes him special on any team, not a bad team, on any team, good team or playoff team, is hard skill,” Blashill said. “That’s what can separate him and make him special.
“If he is just kind of ‘cute-skill’, he’s not skilled enough to do it on good teams, so regardless sometimes, you can lose your way on a team that’s not good enough and we’ve really tried to stay focused. He’s making sure, and he wants this, to be the type of player that when this team is way better, he’s a big impact on it.
“And he’s played excellent the last number of games. He’s been hard, and he’s won puck battles.”
Bertuzzi leads the Wings with 18 goals, and his 40 points rank second behind Dylan Larkin (42). Bertuzzi has assists in his last two games — including feeding Andreas Athanasiou on the game-winner Tuesday against the Canadiens — but hasn't scored a goal in the last seven games, and has one goal in the last 12 games.
Blashill felt the Islanders made a good trade acquiring defenseman Andy Greene (Trenton) from New Jersey.
Blashill, who coached Greene collegiately at Miami of Ohio, feels Greene is one of the underrated players in the league.
“He’s great, a real smart player with tons of poise with the puck and under pressure,” Blashill said. “He doesn’t feel pressure, so as things get chaotic, he’s real calm. He’s going to help them a lot.
“He’s a great leader, competitor and person.”