The Detroit Red Wings are off to a great 6-2-0 record this season, and part of it has been the exceptional play from Thomas Vanek. The Austrian winger has scored eight points in seven games this season, but missed the Wings last game against the Blues with a lower-body injury. He’s not at the morning skate again today, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com and won’t play again tonight.
Vanek signed a one-year, $2.6MM deal with the Red Wings this summer, a huge bargain if he could get back to the ~60 point player he was once a lock to be. The former forty-goal man has been on a steady decline in recent years, and has big question marks defensively.
- Jimmy Howard will start tonight, his third of the season. After Petr Mrazek took the job last season, Howard has been fighting to prove that he is capable of starting at this level still, in order to entice another team to go after him. The 32-year old has been heavily rumored to be on the market, but since he comes with such a big price tag Detroit might ultimately have to keep him as the backup. Howard is owed almost $5.3MM annually for the next three seasons.
- Former Red Wing Teemu Pulkkinen has been waived again, this time by the Minnesota Wild. The AHL sniper can’t seem to find his footing in the NHL, and will likely be claimed by a team once again. He had one goal in his eight-game stint with Minnesota that was filled with concern about his foot speed at the NHL level. While his shot is incredibly strong, he often couldn’t keep up with the level of play.
- Tomas Jurco was back skating today at practice, according to Khan. While the young forward hasn’t played this season, he’s set to make his return from a back injury in mid-November.