Backup Detroit Red Wings goalie Calvin Pickard entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Friday.
Pickard has been backing up Thomas Greiss, who has started every game since Jonathan Bernier went out due to injury on Jan. 28 after that collision with Anthony Mantha.
Kaden Fulcher now will serve as the backup.
Who is Kaden Fulcher, you say?
You might remember Fulcher, 22, was recalled from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye back in March 2019 under emergency conditions. He debuted in the NHL in April 2019 when he replaced Jimmy Howard in a game against the Sabres. He ended up making 11 saves in 28 minutes. He went back down to the Walleye after that game, never to return. He spent last year with the Walleye -- 11 goals against in two games played for a 5.51 GAA and 0.831 SV%.
Fulcher was first signed as a free agent by the Red Wings back in 2017. He was never drafted out of the OHL where he played for the Sarnia Sting and Hamilton Bulldogs. He actually won an OHL championship with Hamilton in 2018, but, again, he was never drafted.
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Detroit goalie depth
Fulcher was on the taxi squad before this. The Red Wings have other goalies in the system, but they’re not readily available: Filip Larsson is on loan to Almtuna IS in Sweden; Victor Brattström is on loan to KooKoo in Finland; and Kevin Boyle, who originally had that spot on the taxi squad, is now playing with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. He’s being backed up by Pat Nagle, who does not have an NHL contract.
That all leaves Fulcher, and literally only Fulcher, available for this situation right now.
I mean, should he get a shot? Why not? It’s not like the Red Wings are in some kind of crazy playoff race. I say give the kid a shot! Heck, give Greiss a break before he’s hurt, too.
As of Saturday morning, it remains unclear when Bernier could be back in service. He is reportedly traveling with the team right now, so that’s a good sign that he could be back sooner than later. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Bernier is ready to at least sit on the bench Saturday night in Nashville.
Again, Greiss has started every game during Bernier’s absence. This was probably not the scenario the 35-year-old netminder was expecting when he signed with Detroit.
Red Wings schedule
- 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Nashville @ Bridgestone Arena (FSD)
- 7:30 p.m. Monday vs. Chicago @ Little Caesars Arena (FSD)
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday vs. Chicago @ Little Caesars Arena (NBCSN)
Here’s the full Red Wings injuries/COVID list: