An Early Look at Detroit’s Post-Christmas Lineup

From December until the trade deadline in March, the Detroit Red Wings lineup promises to be in a state of fluctuation. Currently, the Red Wings have seven players out of the lineup. With 12 players eligible to become UFA’s next summer, the lineup will undoubtedly look very different in the coming weeks.

The Injuries/Personal Reasons

Jakub Vrana is expected to return at some point after December 6th
  • Gustav Lindstrom has been out of the Red Wings lineup since he was injured on November 10th. He is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
  • Elmer Soderblom has been out of the Red Wings lineup since he was injured on November 8th. He is currently on IR and is expected to be out with a lower-body injury until at least November 30th.
  • Jakub Vrana played the first two games of the season and has been out for personal reasons since October 15th. Vrana is currently on IR; the earliest he can return is December 6th.
  • Filip Zadina has been out of the Red Wings lineup with a lower-body injury since November 5th. He is currently on IR, and the earliest he can return is December 31st.
  • Robby Fabbri has been out with a knee injury since last season. He is expected to return to the Red Wings lineup in early January.
  • Matt Luff was injured in a game on November 8th. When he is healthy in January, he is expected to be returned to Grand Rapids (AHL).
  • Mark Pysyk has missed the entire season with an Achilles injury and is currently on IR. His return date is expected to be in early February.

If all players return to the lineup as planned, here is the expected lineup for the January 10th home game against Winnipeg.

Forwards (12)





Defensemen (6)




Goaltenders (2)


Extras (3)

Erne, Oesterle, Hagg

AHL Bound

Elmer Soderblom has two goals in 13 games with Detroit

With four forwards returning from IR, the Red Wings will have to remove three players from the current roster. The best way to reduce the roster size is by placing waiver exempt players to be sent to Grand Rapids (AHL). Here is the most likely scenario:

  • Elmer Soderblom has displayed great skill in the 13 games he has played for Detroit this year. He will initially be sent on a conditioning stint to Grand Rapids (AHL) and will likely be recalled once roster spots open up closer to the trade deadline.
  • Joe Veleno is in the final year that he is waiver-exempt. He will be sent to Grand Rapids to play in the top-six forwards until a roster spot opens up closer to the trade deadline.
  • Jonatan Berggren has been a terrific addition to the Red Wings power play. He deserves to stay in the NHL, but because he is waiver-exempt, he will likely be sent back to Grand Rapids and wait for a permanent roster spot to open up in March.

Impending UFA’s

Dylan Larkin has a current cap hit of $6.1M annually

Here is a list of players who will either be re-signed or traded by the March trade deadline. Their current cap hit is in brackets.

  • Dylan Larkin ($6,100,000)
  • Tyler Bertuzzi ($4,750,000)
  • Pius Suter ($3,250,000)
  • Oskar Sundqvist ($2,750,000)
  • Adam Erne ($2,100,000)
  • Olli Maatta ($2,250,000)
  • Jake Walman ($1,050,000)
  • Jordan Oesterle ($1,350,000)
  • Robert Hagg ($800,000)
  • Mark Pysyk ($850,000)
  • Alex Nedeljkovic ($3,000,000)
  • Magnus Hellberg ($750,000)

Chris Giles

Chris Giles is a former junior hockey player and coach from Canada. He has been a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan for almost 50 years. Chris is an avid golfer who has volunteered at several PGA and Canadian Open Championships throughout North America.

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