On noon Thursday, many Red Wings fans will miss a young talented utility hockey player. That’s the price this organization has to pay for all the talent that has been brought together. At 26, Derek Meech has shown his versatility on defense and forward in his career. When GM Ken Holland couldn’t find a trade partner, he knew that someone out could find him useful. But that’s the chance you take when you have a valuable asset that doesn’t fit anywhere in the roster to start the season.
The defense is filled out. Kronwall, Lidstrom, Rafalski, Ericsson and newcomer Ruslan Salei will anchor the parent club’s defensive duties. On offense, even a name like Kirk Maltby will have to battle to make the roster. With all the talent up front, a player like Meech has nowhere to go but the AHL.
And like Ken Holland and Derek Meech discussed earlier this off-season, if he wasn’t going to fit in the starting six, then it’s probably time to move on.
Even with Meech being placed on waivers, there is still more work to be done. The Wings will have to clear the talent of another forward before the start of the season, and it seems whoever loses out in the Drew Miller/Mattias Ritola battle will be the one packing their bags for either Grand Rapids or another NHL city.
Though it’s tough to say goodbye to some of this talent, it’s also alleviating to see how deep this squad really is. Something that fans are hoping won’t become an issue in the 2010 season.
“I put Derek on waivers to see if a team wants to claim him and give him an opportunity,” Holland said. “If he clears, he’ll come to camp. There’s still a month (before the start of the regular season), things change, there’s injuries. His fate has yet to be determined.”
At 26, Meech has played in 126 games with the Wings, accumulating 4 goals and 12 assists.
Here’s to hoping Detroit is able to hold on to another super sub who can fill in all over the ice.
Tonight, I’m not holding my breath.
Tags: Derek Meech