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Red Wings Send Soderblom to AHL to Open Roster Space

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Elmer Soderblom, Red Wings
Elmer Soderblom was sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins Sunday

With injured forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina inching closer to being ready to play, the Detroit Red Wings sent Elmer Soderblom, 21, to the Grand Rapids Griffins Sunday.

That could mean Bertuzzi will be ready to play Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. Coach Derek Lalonde said last Wednesday Zadina (leg) might take slightly longer than Bertuzzi (hand).

This is Soderblom’s second trip to Grand Rapids. The 6-foot-8-inch, 246-pound Swedish forward played two games on Dec. 9-10 without registering a point. Soderblom has eight points in 21 games for the Red Wings this season.

Red Wings Still Need Another Move

Last week, the Red Wings sent Jakub Vrana to Grand Rapids to make room for Robby Fabbri. If Bertuzzi does come back Tuesday, then the Red Wings must move one more player off the roster for Zadina’s return.

One possibility is that the Red Wings would reduce from three to two goaltenders. Alex Nedeljkovic has played impressively since he went to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stay. But he’s still technically on Detroit’s roster. To stay beyond five games in Grand Rapids, Nedeljkovic would still need to be put on waivers.

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Magnus Hellberg would also require waivers to be sent to Grand Rapids. He has been claimed on waivers three different times (by Ottawa, Seattle and Detroit) this season. Hellberg boasts a 2.67 goals-against average in six games for the Red Wings this season. Nedeljkovic’s Red Wings’ GAA is 4.09.

It’s also not unthinkable that the Red Wings could suffer another injury before Zadina is ready to play. He could also agree to go to Grand Rapids on a conditioning assignment. As long as Zadina agrees, that would not require waivers. He could play up to five games. That could buy the Red Wings some time. But Zadina would have to activated before going to Grand Rapids, meaning the cut would still have to be made.

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