Detroit Red Wings fans, get ready to welcome Luke Glendening to the NHL.
The 24-year old forward should get his chance to experience his first taste of hockey at its highest level Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena against the Philadelphia Flyers, as he was called up from Grand Rapids on Friday. Glendening had two assists in two games for the Griffins and was tied for the team lead in +/- at +3. He brings a rare (for the Wings, anyway) right-hand shot to the mix, and the plan seems to be for him to center the fourth line between Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo.
Of course one man’s opportunity often turns into another man’s demotion, and such is the case for Cory Emmerton, who is headed down to the AHL. The former second-round draft pick is no stranger to Grand Rapids, though he hasn’t had a stint in the minors since 2011. It’s definitely a numbers game among the forwards right now in Detroit — something that will only get more pronounced whenever Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves return — and the bottom six guys will probably need to accept that some shuttling back and forth is going to happen.
Goaltender Petr Mrazek will be joining Emmerton in the AHL, as Jonas Gustavsson was activated from injured reserve. Mrazek hasn’t played any hockey yet this season as Jimmy Howard has logged every minute in net thus far for the Wings.
With changes in the top two lines also expected, at least Mike Babcock isn’t waiting long to try ways to spark a squad that has scored just eight goals in four games. The Flyers have had their own offensive difficulties (didn’t you used to be Claude Giroux?), so we’ll see if Glendening can be part of the answer.