It’s been a whirlwind season for Magnus Hellberg, who started the year with the Seattle Kraken, was claimed by the Ottawa Senators, reclaimed by the Kraken, and then nabbed by the Detroit Red Wings a little over a week ago. At the time, it was something of a curious move, given the Red Wings already had two goaltenders – Ville Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic – at the NHL level, but Detroit had shown interest in Hellberg since bringing him back to North America last season.
A few days ago, Sean Shapiro of EP Rinkside posited a theory about what the Red Wings could do with their three-headed goaltending monster. It included conditioning stints in the minor leagues for Hellberg and Nedeljkovic, which has now partly come true. The former has been sent to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning, allowing him to be assigned to the AHL without clearing waivers.
This doesn’t completely solve the issue, as a conditioning stint can only be two weeks in length. The idea, perhaps, is to basically swap the two by sending Nedeljkovic for a stint when that two weeks is up. The trick is that a conditioning stint does not remove a player from the NHL roster, meaning the Red Wings would be dedicating three spots to goaltenders either way.
At the very least, this should allow Hellberg to actually see some game action. The 31-year-old has played only once all season, a start for the Senators in which he stopped 29 of 31 shots.