Detroit Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic cleared waivers Monday and was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
This will open a roster spot for defenseman Robert Hagg to leave the injury list and rejoin the Red Wings. This move doesn’t completely solve Detroit’s roster issues. Filip Zadina will soon be healthy enough to play. It’s possible that Zadina, recovering from a leg injury, may need a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League. Before that could happen, his addition to the roster would be a requirement.
The Red Wings, nor the Griffins, said when Nedeljkovic will join the Grand Rapids squad. He did practice with the Red Wings’ squad Sunday. The team is on the road to play the Iowa Wild today and will play in Rockford on Wednesday.
The decision to place Nedeljkovic on waivers further cements Magnus Hellberg’s status as Detroit’s No. 2 goalie behind Ville Husso. Nedeljkovic and Hellberg are unsigned for next season.
A Boost for Griffins
It isn’t a surprise that Nedeljkovic cleared waivers. He makes $3 million and the majority of NHL teams are tight against the salary cap ceiling. No team seemed to have an urgency to add a goalie. Plus, he owns a 4.09 goals-against average in nine NHL appearances, as well as a 2-4-2 record and .880 save percentage.
The Red Wings, with several key prospects in Grand Rapids, would like the Griffins to make the postseason. Nedeljkovic could be a significant help on that mission.
Nedeljkovic, 27, recently had a six-game conditioning stay with the Griffins and played impressively. He boasted a 2.30 save percentage. That included a 1-0 shutout against the Chicago Wolves in his last outing. He posted a 3-2-1 record.
Ohio native Nedeljkovic may not have necessarily played his last game in Detroit. He would be eligible for recall if either Detroit goalie is injured.