The Detroit Red Wings assigned Joe Veleno to AHL Grand Rapids because of their belief that he could potentially develop into more than a fourth-line center.
Monday, the Red Wings announced that they were recalling Joe Veleno from GR to be their fourth-line center. He’ll be slotting in between Sam Gagner and Carter Rowney as the club in in Columbus Monday to face the Blue Jackets.
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings today recalled center Joe Veleno from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Additionally, center Mitchell Stephens has been placed on IR retroactive to Nov. 13. pic.twitter.com/Pc9Fdz3KFG
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 15, 2021
“He’s a guy who can come in and play those types of third- and fourth-line role-type minutes because I think he’s accountable defensively,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Veleno. “He knows how to manage the game, knows how to manage risk and when he’s done that he’s been really good.”
Detroit will be without fourth-line center Mitchell Stephens for a signficant amount of time. He ended up suffering a serious lower-body injury after crashing feet-first into the boards during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens. Stephens will see a specialist tomorrow and is on IR.
Red Wings PK Pickup
Stephens and Gagner were forming a solid pairing on the penalty kill. They were 1-2 among Detroit forwards in shorthanded ice time per game. Stephens was playing 2:17 per game on the PK.
Blashill is of the belief that he can count on Veleno as a penalty killer. “He’s definitely somebody who can fill some of those minutes,” Blashill said. “Carter Rowney is another guy who can fill some of those minutes. Probably Adam Erne is another guy who can fill some of those minutes.”
Red Wings Stecher Back On Skates
Detroit defenseman Troy Stecher took part in Monday’s game-day skate. He’s been sidelined since November 4 due to an upper body injury. Stecher and the team’s medical staff are still trying to determing the next course of action.
“He’s trying to work through the injury and see if he might not have to take significant time off,” Blashill said. “If he chooses either of the other routes (rest or surgery), he’s gonna have to take significant time off.
“The fact he’s out there is a good sign. I think the big step would be shooting. So we’ll see.”