Update (5:00 PM): Khan followed up with a suggestion that FSD may have just needed an angle for a graphic portraying a roster battle and included Eaves because Miller’d been declared safe by Babcock and because Draper’s also assured a spot. If that’s all it is, that’s some weak sauce by the ‘Net, as Eaves has been portrayed as only slightly less safe than Draper. Why not just set it up as a battle between Maltby and Ritola for first call up slot?
Still, that wouldn’t explain the information Paul got. – Matt
Update (4:38 PM): I emailed Khan and he pointed out that only a Mike Mulbury-like GM would fall for Todd’s ruse suggestion. Put like that, it doesn’t seem likely after all. But that’d mean the Wings are actually looking at this route, unless FSD pulled that graphic out of thin air last night and the team was leading Paul on. – Matt
Update (14:32 PM): @hockeytowntodd (of A2Y fame) has an interesting suggestion:
Wings are playing the waiver wire with talk of Eaves (tomorrow)… Just hoping teams will pass on Ritola
Would be cool if correct, but I guess we just have to wait and see. – Matt
That’s the current buzz. Looks like it was kicked off by George’s tweet here referencing FSD speculation to that effect. Paul’s got word from the Wings that they won’t make anything official until tomorrow, which pretty much acts as confirmation of the buzz.
My take: as good as Maltby’s pre-season was, I’m not convinced he can keep that up over a full season. When his ankle heals, Eaves will make the team better now and throughout the season with younger legs and a greater offensive upside. And he’s a guy who would be around longer than this year.
Frankly, I’m surprised this is even a question, though I suspect it wouldn’t be if Eaves had been healthy all pre-season.
I say go with Eaves and look to bring Maltby in for the playoffs, when his hunger may be all the greater for having played in the AHL all year. At some point, the Wings’ loyalty to their guys has to lose out to practicality.
But of course I don’t run the hockey club.