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Red Wings news: Comrie let go, Pickard recalled, Veleno, Seider to WJC

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, left, of Slovenia, scores a goal past Detroit Red Wings goaltender Eric Comrie in the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Detroit.
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, left, of Slovenia, scores a goal past Detroit Red Wings goaltender Eric Comrie in the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings placed goalie Eric Comrie on waivers Wednesday and he was claimed the next day by his former team the Winnipeg Jets.

Comrie, 24, was acquired by Detroit in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes back in November. In exchange for the goalie, the Coyotes acquired defenseman Vili Saarijarvi.

After three appearances (two starts) with the Red Wings, in which he went 0-2 with a 0.864 save percentage and cringe-worthy 4.28 goals against average (albeit in a very, very small sample size), Comrie was placed on waivers for the second time this season. He is returning to the team that first put him there, the team that drafted him back in 2013.

Coach Jeff Blashill told media members Thursday that they made the decision to place Comrie on waivers knowing they were risking losing him.

“We made the decision with our eyes wide open,” Blashill said. “We were able to see him play a couple games. We were able to see him in practice, and we knew it was a potential.”

This feels kind of weird. The Red Wings seemed interested in exploring options with Comrie, not letting him go for nothing. Kind of strange, but it is what is now. Perhaps there is another goalie deal in the works? What is happening, Steve Yzerman?

Comrie was acquired when the Red Wings were in a bit of a goaltending bind with Jimmy Howard getting hurt. Remember, Jonathan Bernier was sick during the Nov. 27 Toronto Maple Leafs game and Detroit nearly needed to call on an emergency goalie when Howard left the game injured. Bernier hurried into the game and played while ill.

Comrie was picked up in that trade just a couple days later. Again, it seemed like he was being brought in with a chance at being part of the future. Apparently he was on more of a tryout that ended abruptly.

The real comical part is that he’s going back to the Jets after all this.

By the way, 22-year-old Saarijarvi has one point through six games played with Arizona’s AHL squad.

Pickard recalled

Calvin Pickard has been recalled from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. It looks like he’ll get another chance with the NHL club backing up Jonathan Bernier. Pickard’s lone Red Wings start this season was a 6-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 29. He signed with Detroit during summer free agency.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Howard has been sent to the Griffins for a conditioning stint. He has not played in a game since Nov. 27 due to injury. The 35-year-old has a poor record of 2-11-0-1 this season with a .887 save percentage.

The conditioning stint is a sign that he’s coming back sooner than later, but now it seems like they might need Howard’s help more in Grand Rapids if Pickard is up with the NHL team for the forseeable future. Filip Larsson might be bumping back up to the Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

Veleno, Seider to WJC

Defenseman Moritz Seider has been assigned to Germany’s U20 National Team while center Joe Veleno is going to play with Canada’s U20 National Team for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Seider, 18, has 11 points through 28 games played with the Griffins this season. Veleno has 12 points through 29 games with the Griffins. This should be a great experience and opportunity for both of these young prospects.

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Upcoming schedule:

  • Dec. 21, 2019 -- 7 p.m. @ Toronto
  • Dec. 22, 2019 -- 7 p.m. Arizona
  • Dec. 28, 2019 -- 7 p.m. @ Florida
  • Dec. 29, 2019 -- 7 p.m. @ Tampa
  • Dec. 31, 2019 -- 7:30 p.m. vs. San Jose

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