This story was updated to reflect the Detroit Red Wings’ release of their 23-person roster.
The Red Wings signed free agent Zach Aston-Reese Sunday and named him to the team’s 23-person roster later in the day.
The Red Wings sent Cross Hanas, Elmer Soderblom, Simon Edvinsson and Jonatan Berggren to Grand Rapids, and Nate Danielson will be returned to his Brandon Wheat Kings junior team.
The 23-person roster, as expected, has three goalies (Ville Husso, James Reimer and Alex Lyon).
The Red Wings are concerned that Lyon would be claimed on waivers if they tried to send him to Grand Rapids. Some teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning chief among them, are looking for a goalie. The Red Wings kept all seven of their veteran defensemen.
Detroit’s opening game is Thursday at the New Jersey Devils.
Berggren’s demotion is a mild surprise, only because he scored 15 goals for Detroit last season. But the way the roster was coming together, he appeared to be the 13th forward. The logical move was to send him back to Grand Rapids where he could play regularly. That is a better situation for a younger player than sitting out as a healthy scratch.
The Red Wings currently have Michael Hutchinson in Grand Rapids on a tryout contract. He will be Sebastian Cossa’s goalie partner.
The #LGRW signed UFA Zach Aston-Reese to 1 year deal
10G 14P in 77GP
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) October 8, 2023
The New York native Aston-Reese played for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season and netted a career-best 10 goals and generated 163 hits. He has delivered as many as 231 hits in a single season. In six NHL seasons, he has averaged better than 100 hits per season. Historically, his team is hard to score against when he’s on the ice.
Aston-Reese’s deal will pay him a $775,000 salary when he’s in the NHL and $300,000 when he is in the Griffins’ lineup. He has a guarantee of earning at least $350,000 this season.
Reese played 307 NHL games in his career, most of them with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played 77 for the Maple Leafs last season, averaging 10:56 minutes per game. He also logged 17 games for the Anaheim Ducks in 2021-22.
The signing will make the Red Wings grittier. Detroit’s fourth line projects to be Klim Kostin, Joe Veleno and Christian Fischer.