The Detroit Red Wings unceremoniously waived overpaid and underachieving defenseman Jonathan Ericsson last month, to much fanfare. Not shockingly, 30 other NHL teams said “no thanks” to picking up him.
However, they’ve recalled him from the Grand Rapids Griffins for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. He re-joined his NHL teammates for the morning skate at Staples Center, and he couldn’t be happier to be back in the big leagues.
“It was great,” Ericsson said. “Obviously, when you see all the guys, you feel like you haven’t missed anything, like it was yesterday. It was great to see everyone for sure.”
Defenseman Filip Hronek didn’t participate in the morning skate. Jeff Blashill wouldn’t confirm that he’s officially out for tonight, however.
“I don’t know that answer yet,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’ll make those lineup decisions tonight. So I don’t have a further update except we held him off this morning.”
Ericsson has maintained a good attitude and reported promptly to the Griffins after being waived, earning him praise from Blashill.
“Johnny at the beginning of the year hadn’t played much hockey in a long time and so we sent him down to the minors to play and get his game going,” Blashill said. “I talked to (Griffins coach) Ben Simon, he’s played good hockey. As times have changed here, we’re short on left shots and he’s a left shot. He’s got good size.
“When Jon plays his best hockey he defends well, he’s moving his feet, he’s moving the puck and he’s good on the penalty kill. I’m hoping he can come in and hit the ground running, having played a number of games in Grand Rapids and hopefully allow that D corps, through injuries, continue to play good hockey.”