Dmytro Timashov eager to practice, not just play, with new Red Wings teammates

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Just once, new Red Wings forward Dmytro Timashov would like to get to practice with his new team.

And not just arrive, kind of like the recreational league ringer, parachuting to games.

It appears Timashov and the Wings are about to get their wish. 

Left wing Dmytro Timashov (left) played 12 minutes, 39 seconds in Monday's loss to the Avalanche -- his second game with his new team.

Timashov played his second game with the Wings in Monday’s 2-1 loss to Colorado.

Timashov played 12 minutes, 39 seconds, with two hits and an even plus-minus rating against the Avalanche — all without benefit, yet, of actually working out with his new team and getting to know how the Wings play.

Considering the circumstances, Timashov did fine.

“He’s got the ability to be physical, and if he can keep that up and be accountable defensively, he’s a guy you could move up and down the lineup into different roles,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I’d like to get him into a practice. It’ll be good Wednesday and Thursday to get him into a practice, and into Friday’s game (against Chicago).”

The Wings claimed Timashov off waivers from Toronto the day of the trade deadline (Feb. 24). But with immigration and visa issues, he’s been stuck in Canada waiting for everything to get done, and working out on his own.

Timashov was able to play in the Wings’ game Saturday in Ottawa, then traveled from Toronto on Monday afternoon after he picked up his passport, and was able to dress and play the Avalanche.

“It’s fun to join the team now and be able to practice and do it like 100%,” Timashov said after Monday’s game. “I’ve been skating and working out in the gym in Toronto. I’ve been doing stuff, but you want to join the team as soon as you can and get to know the guys.

“I’m a hard-working player that has a little bit of skill and I just try to work hard and be physical. Speed is one of my strengths.”

Timashov said general manager Steve Yzerman called after the Wings acquired him, and new teammates Dylan Larkin and Justin Abdelkader texted Timashov soon after.

“I felt welcomed right away,” Timashov said.

One of the main reasons the Red Wings were attracted to Timashov, 23, was his untapped potential, having had a smaller role on a deep Maple Leafs roster.

In 41 games, Timashov has four goals and five assists this season. But Timashov scored 14 goals in the minor leagues last season, and the Wings believe he can bring that level of offensive skill to a lineup that badly needs it.

But along with that offense, there's a physical style of play with that smallish, but sneaky strong frame (5-foot-11, 192 pounds)

“He does have good offensive sense,” Blashill said. “He’s got good hands, could potentially help us in those areas, as long as he stays accountable defensively and keeps up his physical play.”

Larkin has noticed attributes Timashov has at both ends of the rink.

“Solid body, got great puck skills, great hands; he’s just trying to find his footing,” Larkin said. “He’s done a great job. I’m excited to see what he can do with more opportunity here.”

Strong finish

You can’t help but wonder what might have been, in relation to forward Anthony Mantha’s season.

Mantha has 15 goals and 18 assists (33 points) in 40 games, but he missed 28 games this season with a knee injury and punctured lung.

Mantha had a torrid start — a four-goal game against Dallas the second game of the season — and has been, arguably, the Wings’ most effective offensive player since returning from the lung injury (nine points in 11 games).

“He’s our most dangerous player; he has that long stick and when he’s moving his feet, he’s even more dangerous,” Larkin said. “He can really skate for how big he is; I noticed that the past couple of games.

“He’s starting to hit his stride. It’s taken a bit since coming back from injury, but he’s going to end on a good note and be ready to go next year.”

Twitter: @tkulfan