Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

NHL Veteran Will Replace Andrew Copp vs. Pittsburgh



Zac Aston-Reese, Red Wings/Griffins

The Detroit Red Wings called up NHL veteran Zach Aston-Reese from Grand Rapids to replace Andrew Copp who suffered a broken cheekbone on a high stick Tuesday against the Washington Capitals.

Aston-Reese will be in the Detroit lineup Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Aston-Reese played parts of five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2017-18 to 2021-22. Because this is an important game for the Red Wings in terms of playoff implications, they wanted a player whose skill set includes some of Copp’s abilities.

“Aston-Reese has over 300 NHL game,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “We were excited about some of his experience.”

Michael Rasmussen (upper body) will miss his fourth consecutive game, which means the Red Wings will be missing two critical penalty killers. Aston-Reese will kill some penalties.

“We think we can put an effective line together with Reese, (Austin) Czarnik and (Christian) Fischer,” Lalonde said.

Lalonde said Rasmussen is still day-to-day. “Still hopeful, but no update,” Lalonde said.

Veleno Will Get More Playing Time

Joe Veleno will receive more playing time centering a line with Robby Fabbri and Daniel Sprong. The Red Wings lose some size with Rasmussen and Copp out of the lineup..

X-Rays confirmed that Copp suffered the broken cheekbone. It occurred when Washington forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel accidentally caught Copp with a high stick. Referees missed it. No penalty was called. Copp isn’t going on the road trip, but Lalonde didn’t have any hard news about when he would play again.

“He’s going to have to go through, having that caved cheekbone, there’s a process to it,” Lalonde said. ” He’s got to go through some more protocol in the next 24 hours. This day and age, we’ll know more the next couple of days. But unavailable for Pittsburgh. I’d love to see him rolling out with his old Michigan college cage back on and give us some games down the stretch, but time will tell.”

Lalonde said he is comfortable with his lineup going into Pittsburgh. He is planning to mix up his top two lines with Alex DeBrincat moving on a line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. J.T. Compher will now center Patrick Kane and David Perron.

“Last time we played them we had Kane and Cat together,” Lalonde said. “(The Penguins) did a really good job of checking them and freeing up Crosby and Malkin elsewhere. I think it adds a little bit different balance. Obviously, we’re losing two very important pieces to our forward group with some size.”