Jonathan Ericsson is heading to Grand Rapids
The Red Wings sent Jonathan Ericsson to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League after he cleared waivers at noon Wednesday.
Detroit had placed the veteran defenseman – long the bane of many Red Wings fans – on waivers Tuesday.
The 35-year-old has not played this season due to back and hip injuries.
Along with Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm, Ericsson has drawn the disdain of fans because of his contract. He’s in the final season of a six-year deal that pays him $4.25 million annually.
Only $1.075 million of Ericsson’s salary comes off the cap. But that’s not really a concern for the Wings because they’re not likely to be buyers at the trade deadline.
“My message to Jon was … go down and play great hockey, and he told me that’s his plan,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He just hasn’t played in a long time. Right now, I didn’t have him in the lineup. If you don’t have him in the lineup, he’s got to play. In order to get his game back, he’s got to play.”
Ericsson has a chronically bad hip, which limited him to 52 games last season. During those games he had three goals and two assists and was minus-10.
The 13-year NHL veteran has appeared in 662 games and has 27 goals and 98 assists. He was the last player selected in the 2002 draft (291st overall).
Detroit also recalled defenseman Alex Biega from Grand Rapids.
The Wings also placed forward Adam Erne on the injured list, retroactive to Oct. 18.