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Zadina Heading to Grand Rapids on Conditioning Assignment



Filip Zadina, Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings activated forward Filip Zadina and sent him to the Grand Rapids Griffins for a conditioning stint.

The Griffins play Friday and Saturday on the road against the Texas Stars. The Red Wings play their next game  Tuesday at home against the Edmonton Oilers. Zadina hasn’t played since Nov. 5 when he broke his leg blocking a shot against the New York Islanders. He had no points in nine games prior to suffering the injury.

According to CapFriendly, the Red Wings sent Jonatan Berggren to the AHL Sunday,  opening up a roster spot for Zadina at least two games. It is a paper transaction. Berggren won’t actually play in Grand Rapids. This buys the Red Wings some time to decide a permanent solution.

But Zadina will be joining a Griffins team that includes former Detroit teammates Alex Nedeljkovic, Jakub Vrana and Elmer Soderblom. Those three players contributed significantly to the Griffins’ most recent win. Nedeljkovic was the No. 1 star of the game.

Then-Red Wings GM Ken Holland drafted Zadina sixth overall in the 2018 draft. The Red Wings hoped they were landing an elite goal scorer. He had scored 44 goals in 57 games for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. But Zadina’s scoring touch thus far hasn’t translated to the NHL; He has 25 goals and 61 points in 169 NHL games.

Zadina did score 10 goals and register 24 points for the Red Wings last season in 74 games.

Fresh Start

“It’s been tough,” Zadina said recently. “It’s part of hockey, injuries and stuff like that. That’s kind of why I play the hockey game. Once you got an injury you gotta get back as soon as you can. That’s what I’m working on and I believe when I get the chance to play…”

This is almost like a fresh start for Zadina.

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“I would say so,” he said. “I played the preseason and I believe I had done pretty well. There was a little step back my first nine games when it didn’t go well. I don’t think I was on the ice when we scored a goal, so it was kind of like I don’t know what was happening. Then all of a sudden I just got this…I’ll just be thinking about it like it’s gonna be my first game of the season when I get the chance to play.”