Eaves Waived; Ouellet, Tootoo To GR; Ericsson Returns Friday

Patrick Eaves

More cost-cutting today, as the Red Wings waived forward Patrick Eaves (3 games, no points, -2). Other NHL teams have until noon Friday to put in a claim for him, otherwise the Red Wings can send Eaves to the minors and free up $925,000 in salary cap relief.

The move was partly necessitated, financially, by D Jonathan Ericsson returning from long-term IR. Ericsson will play Friday at home against Washington.

The Wings also sent D Xavier Ouellet, the team’s yo-yo, back to Grand Rapids.

Eaves, like Jordin Tootoo before him, found himself squeezed out, both from a salary standpoint and a depth standpoint. Winger Daniel Cleary was a healthy scratch on Tuesday, but that is not likely to happen too often, further blocking Eaves from ice time. Tootoo was also sent to GR, freeing up $925K in salary cap relief.

“Patty Eaves is a good player and a real good person and does everything right,” coach Mike Babcock said today. “We haven’t given him an opportunity to play enough. He wants to be in the lineup every night, and he should be. He’s a good enough player.

“It’s disappointing we haven’t been able to make it work. We’re hopeful he’s going to get himself a good opportunity.”

Eaves told reporters that “I found out (about his waiving) from you guys. I knew I wasn’t playing, but I thought I was doing well when I was getting in.

“There’s a bunch of us here. Just the way it is. That’s the business.”

Eaves, 29, signed as a free agent with Detroit on August 4, 2009. In 175 regular season games with the Red Wings, Eaves scored 27 goals and registered 24 assists.

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