With Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser most likely returning from injuries Saturday night in Montreal, the Red Wings brass have some decisions to make regarding the roster. If this decision was 3 years ago, Ken Holland would have just sent anyone that is eligible to go to Grand Rapids down and be done with it.
Over the last few years, a lot of young players have worked their way up through the system and have slowly been altering the way that Red Wings management conducts business. A big example of this would be 19 year old Dylan Larkin making the team out of training camp.
The only players eligible to go down to Grand Rapids without passing through waivers are Alexey Marchenko and Larkin. I think that Marchenko heading to Grand Rapids to make room for DeKeyser is a given. I also think that Larkin has played too well to be sent back down to Grand Rapids. He, along with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, have been the Red Wings best line in the first three games. This is where a decision has to be made.
In my opinion, the most expendable players on the roster are Joakim Andersson and Landon Ferraro. Andersson hasn’t played a game this year for the Wings, and Ferraro came into the line-up late on Tuesday for Johan Franzen. Andersson is clearly at the bottom of the depth chart and I think that this will ultimately lead to him being put on waivers in the next couple days.
Unfortunately, this only secures Ferraro’s spot for about another month when Pavel Datsyuk returns. I like Ferraro, much more than Andersson, and I really don’t want to lose him. I think he could be a good Drew Miller replacement in the next couple years, but I also don’t think it would be wise to send one of the best young players in the league (Larkin) back down to Grand Rapids.
Of course this could all change if someone else gets injured. As I said earlier, Franzen was a late scratch on Tuesday night against the Lightning because he wasn’t feeling well. There has been no word as to whether he was just sick, or if his post-concussion symptoms are returning. If Franzen ends up on the IR, I would say that Ferraro will be staying with us for a little longer.
Having organizational depth is a great thing, but unfortunately it leads to some tough decisions. With Helm and DeKeyser almost set to return, what decisions would you make if you were Ken Holland and in your opinion, who is the most expendable player on the Red Wings right now?