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Roster complete; Downey stays, Grigorenko down

Monday, 10.1.2007 / 4:14 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Roster complete; Downey stays, Grigorenko down
Red Wings right wing Aaron Downey tangles with Tampa Bay's Andre Roy during a preseason game at the St. Pete Times Forum on Sept. 24 (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
DETROIT
– The Red Wings finalized their roster on Monday, making an offer to journeyman Aaron Downey and sending rookie Igor Grigorenko to the minors.

The team’s 23-man roster that they will carry into the season-opener against the Stanley Cup-defending Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena is now set.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to make the Wings’ roster is Downey, who can add a degree of physical play to a line-up. Downey, who has appeared in 183 games in seven previous NHL seasons, was invited to the Wings’ training camp on a try-out basis.

“It’s pretty exciting right now to be offered a two-way deal by the Detroit Red Wings,” Downey said. “Being around the game as long as I have, I understand the situation. But there’s an opportunity and it’s a tremendous feeling right now.”

Known more as a fighter, Downey has amassed 371 penalty-minutes in his NHL career, including 48-minutes in 21 games with Montreal last season. He’s also had NHL stints in Boston, Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis.

“We feel that he has brought a lot of positive dimensions to our team as far as being a good person, positive attitude, work ethic, the commitment to the guys,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ll see what he can bring us.”

The Wings offered Downey a two-way contract, which means that he can be sent down to the Red Wings’ minor league affiliate in Grand Rapids at anytime without having to clear waivers.

“In some ways it’s kind of good to have a two-way because it keep you on your toes,” Downey said. “Kind of makes you work harder every day, not that I wasn’t gonna, but you’re on edge every day and you want to carry that positive energy every day around the guys.”

Left wing Matt Ellis and defenseman Derek Meech – both guys who spent most of last season in Grand Rapids -- were also placed on the roster.

Meanwhile, defenseman Kyle Quincey (fractured hand) was placed on IR, Grigorenko was sent to Grand Rapids, and veteran center Mark Hartigan was placed on waivers.

Babcock said he liked what he saw in Hartigan, who split time between Columbus and Anaheim last season.

“He will have to clear waivers before he could play in Grand Rapids,” Babcock said. “We liked what we saw, we just didn’t think that he edged out the people we have.”

The Wings have been impressed with Grigorenko, but starting the season out in Grand Rapids will only help the 24-year-old from Campckar, Russia.

“We really like him,” Babcock said. “We want him to play for our NHL team. So we have to find a way to help him be the best player that he can be as quickly as possible. One, he could stay here and practice and not get in. Or the way we liked better is him actually playing and getting back here and getting his pace, and getting his game so he could come back here and help. There’s no good in just sitting here.

“Now he has to get his mind around that and embrace that idea, or else you don’t get better. Right? Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80