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NHL teams generally use waivers the day before rosters are due to facilitate assigning minor league players to AHL teams.

The Detroit Red Wings did that Monday — but also used it to expose a former first-round pick.

Among the names on the Wings’ waiver list Monday was Evgeny Svechnikov, who in the five-plus years since he was selected at 20th overall in 2015 has not been able to gain a foothold at the NHL level.

TRENDING:Why Red Wings risked losing Evgeny Svechnikov for nothing

SEASON PREVIEW:Why Wings, in mid-rebuild, shouldn’t be nearly as bad as last year

The other players waived in advance of needing to trim the roster to 23 men by Tuesday are Brian Lashoff, Dominic Turgeon, Turner Elson, Dylan McIlrath, Joe Hicketts, Calvin Rickard and Kevin Boyle.

Detroit — Is Evgeny Svechnikov’s time as a Red Wing coming to an end?

It might be, as the 2015 first-round pick was put on waivers Monday, as the Wings begin the process of getting down to a 23-man roster and a 4- to 6-man taxi squad.

Red Wings forward Evgeny Svechnikov reacts after being injured while playing in a scrimmage last week. He was placed on waivers on Monday.
Players have until noon Tuesday to be claimed. Afterward, they can be assigned to either the NHL ‘s teams taxi squad or to the team’s minor-league affiliate (for the Wings, it would be Grand Rapids).

Svechnikov, 24, was on the ice Monday after injuring his arm in the team’s first intra-squad scrimmage Jan. 5.

Svechnikov has only played in 20 games over three seasons with the Wings, with four points (two goals, two assists).

Svechnikov missed the entire 2018-19 season after tearing an ACL in the Wings’ final exhibition game.

In 51 games with Grand Rapids last season Svechnikov had 11 goals and 14 assists, but struggled overcoming the knee surgery at times.

“He’s had a number of injuries and hasn’t been able to show a full season of where he’s at,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “But we have to make roster decisions and you’re restricted to your roster.”

Whether the Wings actually lose Svechnikov is another matter entirely.

Svechnikov barely has taken part in this training camp, so other teams might be leery of adding someone who may not be ready to play quickly.

There’s also the question of coming off severe knee surgery just two years ago.

And, is Svechnikov better than any of the 12 to 14 forwards a given NHL team presently could roster.

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“Nothing is permanent,” Blashill said. “You have that risk of losing guys, but let’s see where we’re at here at noon (Tuesday).”

Two teams to keep an eye on potentially claiming Svechnikov:

► Carolina, where younger brother Andrei Svechnikov stars, and Evgeny mostly trained during the long offseason caused by the pandemic.

► And Edmonton, where former Wings general manager Ken Holland could be interested, having drafted Svechnikov.

Also placed on waivers by the Wings were forwards Riley Barber, Kyle Criscuolo and Dominic Turgeon, defensemen Joe Hicketts, Brian Lashoff and Dylan McIlrath, and goaltenders Kevin Boyle and Calvin Pickard Jersey.

Camp over
Monday’s practice essentially ended training camp — Tuesday is an off day — and what a quick, blur of a camp it was.

With the shortened season and not enough time to have a usual exhibition season, teams were limited to about 10 days of camp and no preseason games.

The Wings, because they failed to qualify for the playoffs, were given three extra days of practice time.

Blashill relished the chance to have more practice time in this different format.

“You get more practice time relative to the amount of time you have,” Blashill said. “In a normal training camp you have those four days at the beginning of camp and start into the exhibition (game) season, and your practices get disjointed and you don’t get to practice with your (likely NHL) group.

“The cons are you don’t get those exhibition games and those games get you ready and are for evaluation.”

Blashill added evaluation not just in terms of personnel, but who plays on what forward lines and defensive pairings, the power play and penalty kill.

“In the end, we tried to be as effective as we could given the parameters that are given,” Blashill said. “Each team is given similar parameters.”

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Ice chips
Adam Erne Jersey joined Bobby Ryan Jersey and Darren Helm Jersey as players “unfit to practice”.

It’s doubtful Ryan and Helm will be able to begin the season, given the length of time they’ve been off. Blashill wouldn’t speculate to whether Erne would be ready to practice Wednesday.

… Michael Rasmussen was one of the 12 forwards on the ice for Monday’s practice, and filled Ryan’s spot on the power play on the net-front.

“Raz has had an opportunity to play in that spot the last two (scrimmages) and he’s done a pretty good job,” Blashill said. “That’s his strength, specifically net-front on the power play. That’s probably the biggest reason he was put in that spot and is one of the 12 (forwards).

“Also, I want to take a good, long look at a young, talented player with a big body and as the pace got higher how he reacted.”

… Undrafted free agent Mathias Brome has all but locked a spot on the opening night roster.

Brome is skating on a line with Valtteri Filppula Jersey and Sam Gagner Jersey.

“He’s been stronger on his skates and more tenacious than I realized when I watched him on tape,” Blashill said of Brome. “ That’s helped him be real effective. When coaches have walked off the bench or walked off the ice they’ve generally said, ‘Brome played pretty well.’”

A Detroit Red Wings trainer helps an injured Evgeny Svechnikov during the third period in a scrimmage Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Svechnikov, 24, has endured a number of setbacks in recent years. He practiced Monday for the first time since leaving the Jan. 5 scrimmage with an apparent injury to his right arm.

WAIT A SECOND:Wings look like they have a second scoring line. Here’s why

In September 2018, he suffered a knee injury that ended up sidelining him the entire season. He appeared in just four games with the Wings last season, producing no points, and otherwise spent the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he had 11 goals and 14 assists in 51 games.

In 20 career NHL games, Svechnikov has two goals and two assists. He is on a one-year, $874,125 contract, which could appeal to a team hoping a change of scenery will spark Svechnikov.

It is a surprise general manager Steve Yzerman Jersey would risk losing Svechnikov for nothing so soon in camp. Because of the pandemic, teams can carry 23 players, instead of the usual 21.

If Svechnikov clears waivers, he can be assigned to the Griffins — or to the Wings’ taxi squad.

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DETROIT — Every new NHL season provides teams with a fresh start and an opportunity to wipe the slate clean.

And for the Detroit Red Wings, who haven’t played a competitive game in 272 days, the upcoming season provides a much-needed clean slate as the club attempts to end its four-year streak of missing the playoffs.

That’s Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill’s mentality as the Wings prepare for a season that they hope will start as soon as possible.

“Every year is a new year. Certainly this year more than ever, it’s a totally new year,” Blashill said to Art Regner last Thursday during The Word on Woodward. “We’ve never had this much time between seasons, so it’s a fresh start, so to speak. Let’s go out and let’s try to prove on a daily basis that we can get better. That’s, to me, the focus, just getting better on a daily basis.”

Blashill said he was extremely pleased with the work that executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman Jersey did this offseason to improve the roster. With offseason additions like forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov Jersey, defensemen Marc Staal, Troy Stecher Jersey and Jon Merrill Jersey and goaltender Thomas Greiss Jersey, Blashill said he’s excited for some renewed energy on and off the ice in Detroit.

During his appearance on the Red & White Authority, Horcoff weighed in on several of the Red Wings’ young players and prospects. He also confirmed that Filip Hronek Jersey, Gustav Lindstrom Jersey, Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina Jersey will travel back to the United States and be eligible to rejoin the Red Wings’ Training Camp roster, whenever it begins.

On 2020 first-round pick Lucas Raymond
“He’s a really good player. You can just see the talent and skill and sense that he has. But even more so, the drive he has. He’s got this quiet confidence. He knows that he’s good, but he wants to be great. He just seems motivated and even more dedicated to being the best player that he can. So there’s lots to like about Lucas.”

On 2020 second-round pick William Wallinder
“He’s a big, raw kid. There’s some ability there. Obviously, he’s played well, and been a name to kind of follow for the past few years. There’s some fine tuning in his game that he’s going to need to do. He needs to get bigger and stronger. Needs to find more dedication in the gym. But there’s lots of raw ability there. The development staff likes raw ability, so we’re looking forward to working with him.”

Marc Staal Jersey has been a good player in this league for a long time. I think he can still continue to be a good player, but he’s going to get a chance to prove that when we start camp. It’s no different than any of the other guys we’ve added,” Blashill said. “Troy Stecher is a guy who did a good job in Vancouver. Didn’t get as much specialty time as he liked. Does he get more of those opportunities? We’ll see. He’ll get a chance to do that.

Bobby Ryan Jersey‘s a guy who I’ve really enjoyed getting to know. He’s a mature player. He’s been around the league a long time, but he’s also hungry. When you get bought out, you get knocked down, and I think he’s done a good job of getting himself back up and ready to try to go out and have a good year. But he’s got to go out and prove it. And it’s the same for any of the players coming in.”

Blashill is also optimistic about the future of the team with the help of players like Lucas Raymond, who the Wings selected No. 4 overall in October’s NHL Draft.

“With Raymond, we got a player who has a chance to be dynamic,” the Wings coach said. “If the draft had been a 17-year-old draft instead of an 18-year-old draft, after the U-18’s that he had, he might have went one or two overall, so that shows you the level of talent. Over the next year, he played men’s league where it’s harder to show your skillset, there’s injuries involved, and we got him at four.

“We think we got a good player who could become a really good player at No. 4, and we hope he becomes an elite player.”

But as excited as he is for the new additions, Blashill warned that everyone will still need to earn their time on the ice.

“We’ll know the makeup of what our group looks like better once we get to camp, and guys will have a chance to show they can make us better,” Blashill said. “To say jobs are open, to me would be an obvious statement in a sense that we were a bad hockey team last year. We need to be a better hockey team. Guys have to prove they can help us win more games than what we won a year ago. You need players to continuously take steps and we need guys to come out and have great years.”

One of the biggest keys that Blashill identified for the Red Wings’ improvement this season is depth.

Detroit’s top forward line of Dylan Larkin Jersey, Anthony Mantha Jersey and Tyler Bertuzzi Jersey combined for 56 of the Red Wings’ 142 goals last season (more than 39 percent) and 139 of the club’s 392 points (more than 35 percent).

Blashill said to compete among the NHL’s best, you need to have more players contribute offensively.

The Headliner
16:59 • December 4, 2020

“The one thing I know for sure is we have to get more out of more lines. Last year, if you look at the chances generated, generally it was based on the Larkin line and they also got the lion’s share of the ice time,” Blashill said. “As a coaching staff, we’ve looked at it and said, ‘how can we make sure we get more out of more lines?’ We certainly need Larkin’s line to be really good, but we need other guys to have important roles and need to get more out of more guys.

“That’s partly our responsibility as coaches to make sure we’re putting them in the situations to do that. And it’s the players’ responsibility to go out and execute and continue to earn more ice time. We can’t be a one-line team. We’ve added some players to give us more depth. We’ll get a chance to prove that as we get going.”

While he may not light up the score sheet, one of the players the Red Wings are hoping can provide depth is defenseman Danny DeKeyser Jersey, who was limited to eight games last season because of a back injury.

When he’s healthy, DeKeyser is a top-two blueliner for the Wings, and Blashill said he’s cautiously optimistic for DeKeyser’s return.

“Danny DeKeyser, we’re hoping can come back and be healthy. But he was out with a real severe injury,” Blashill said. “A back injury is a big deal. You don’t just hop back in and everything’s great. Sometimes, there’s trials and tribulations that go with returning from a back injury. So we don’t know until we get going where his health is.”

And while DeKeyser’s status is promising, but uncertain, so too is the start date for training camp and the NHL season.

Last week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the reality of the league’s goal to start the season on January 1 is a “work in progress” but couldn’t commit on a firm start date.

Most of Detroit’s roster has returned to Little Caesars Arena’s BELFOR Training Center for informal workouts, and Blashill said although he’d like as much time as possible to prepare for the season, his main goal is to begin playing as soon as it can be done safely.

“As a coach, you want as much time as you can to plan and get things in place. Whatever amount of time we get, we’re going to maximize that and be ready to go,” Blashill said. “Right now, we just want to play hockey. We really don’t care what the timeframe is, we just want to get going.”

Blashill said the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the notion that every day in the NHL is a gift, and the privilege of playing hockey at the highest level shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“We talk here lots about making sure that you appreciate every single day in the National Hockey League,” he said. “Through hard times like last year, it’s really important to make sure you appreciate every day you have in this league. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s just reaffirmed that belief.”

And while Blashill remains grateful to be a head coach in the NHL, he said he’s champing at the bit to get back to business.

“All we want to do is play,” he said emphatically. “Whatever the parameters are, we don’t care. Let’s just go play.”