Jonathan Ericsson Clears Waivers, Will Head To Grand Rapids

He could play in Detroit again this season.

Will Burchfield
October 23, 2019 - 1:03 pm

© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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Jonathan Ericsson remains a part of the Red Wings organization, one day after the team placed him on waivers.

Ericsson cleared waivers on Wednesday, and will be assigned to Grand Rapids. This was the most likely outcome when the Wings made the move, as Ericsson, 35, carries a cap hit of $4.25 million that isn't worth taking on for another team. 

He's yet to play a game this season due to back and hip injuries, and his play has declined significantly since Detroit signed him to a six-year, $25.5 million extension in 2013. He's missed a combined 70 games over the past four seasons. 

Asked Tuesday night about his message to Ericsson, Jeff Blashill said, "Go down there and play great hockey. He told me that’s his plan. He just hasn’t played in a long time right now."

Blashill said the Red Wings want to see Ericsson find his game now that he's healthy enough to play -- he was activated from the IR on Tuesday prior to being waived -- and that wouldn't have been possible in Detroit. There are seven defenseman clearly ahead of him, including 21-year-olds Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski. 

"He has to play in order to get his game back. He hasn’t played since March," Blashill said. "Now he gets to go down and play hockey, and hopefully play great hockey. He’d be super happy and we’d be happy if he went down and played great and then he’s able to get back in the lineup at some point." 

The Red Wings saved $1.075 million against the cap by waiving Ericsson, whose contract expires after this season. It will likely take injuries or poor play among the team's defensive corps for Ericsson to get another shot in Detroit. 

Either way, his 13-year career with the Red Wings is on its last legs.