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Andy Pred 48

The D conundrum

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Lets take a look at the current situation regarding the D men signed within the 3 tier system. 

At present the Red Wings have got 10 D signed (inc Witkowski) , only Sproul and Green have one year left on their contracts. So if we say we are going to carry 7 D on the roster this season 3 are to be sent down. I am going to hazard a guess and say only 2 will be as Witkowski will likely be playing more as a 13th fwd. I see these being Russo and Sproul. Russo is waiver free , but I dont think Sproul is. So lets say both go down to GR who have got 9 D on their current roster. Which now will be 11, shall we say that GR will go the same way as the Wings and carry 7 D. Of these, 5 are returning from the Calder Cup winning roster so you would assume they were locks for GR plus young prospects Hronek and Saarijarvi were signed to go to GR to speed up their learning, but GR have signed 2 new D just to AHL contracts so it starts to get abit tricky. This doesnt allow for one of the young signings/prospects to outperform and steal a roster spot, ie Sulak or Cholowski. If Sproul doesnt get claimed ( unlikely) he must surely be on GRs roster too. 

This will have the Wings with  1st Daley DeKeyser  2nd Green Kronwall  3rd Ericsson Jensen spare Ouellet. Russo Sproul sent to GR.

Grand Rapids now have a great choice of D. If we go along the lines of all returning players are a sure fire bet the Griffins could be as follows;

1st Russo Renouf 2nd Sproul Hicketts 3rd Lashoff McIlrath spare Tansey/McCarron.  Saarijarvi and Hronek dont get a look in, off to Toledo. Sulak goes off to play for his Finish side. Problem here is that Hronek really impressed the top brass in his stint in GR last year and i would be more surprised if he didnt stay in GR. 

Toledo have got 5 D signed so far so a couple of additions from GR would suit them. 

Sproul is the key here , if he doesn't clear waivers then the pieces fit in a little better, id say Tansey swaps places on the GR roster with him. This is of course only viable if everyone is fit at the start of the season, a couple on IR would solve a few problems for Kenny, but i would love for Sulak and Hronek to perform so well that they have to keep them at least in GR. Whichever happens GR look good on the back end for next year.                                                                          

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Detroit

Daley, Green, DeKeyser, Jensen, Kronwall, Ericsson, Ouellet, Sproul

Sproul may start the season on IR. If not, they will likely start with 8 defensemen, until someone else (Kronwall) inevitably gets injured.

If Sproul gets waived (I doubt he will), he will likely get claimed.

Grand Rapids

Hicketts, Russo, Lashoff, McIlrath, Renouf, Hronek and McCarron as the number 7. Saarijarvi should get big minutes in Toledo and be first injury callup. Sulak will go play overseas. Tansey likely won't get a sniff of action in GR, unless there are a ton of injuries.

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Looking at are D lineup makes me nauseous. Then when I think of how much money DeKeyser and Ericcson get I actually throw up. God Ken Holland has made a mess and he is not cleaning it up. 

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There's no roster limit in the AHL, and judging from past seasons we will probably carry 8 D there. I'd expect McCarron, Hronek, and Saarijarvi will all battle for a spot in the lineup, though I wouldn't be that surprised if one or both of the latter two were to pass one or both of Lashoff/Renouf on the depth chart.

Like Krsmith said, Tansey likely doesn't make the cut and Sulak will head to Finland until next year. Cholowski heading to junior seems to be set as well.

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