DETROIT – Defenseman Mike Commodore got caught in the numbers game.
And he just fell deeper on the blue line depth chart after the Wings traded for Kyle Quincey last week.
Detroit traded the abrasive defenseman to Tampa Bay for a conditional seventh-round pick.
“To think that Mike Commodore can play 20 games in the NHL, this year he’s played 17, and then go into the Stanley Cup playoffs, is pretty hard,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
After the deal Detroit recalled Brendan Smith from Grand Rapids.
“You can’t play 20 games and be ahead of guys on the farm team,” Holland said. “Mike wanted to play. I met with Mike after the Quincey deal, he was OK staying, but he wanted to play hockey. It’s an opportunity for Mike and it’s an opportunity for us to.
“I didn’t feel right bringing up Brendan Smith and having Mike Commodore being passed over by Brendan Smith,” Holland added.
Smith will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Smith was on the all-rookie team last year in the AHL, he’s got 10 goals, tremendous college career,” Holland said. “We’re very high on Smith, he’s young but when the playoffs start, we expect to have Jonathan Ericsson healthy, we think our seventh and eighth defensemen are going to be Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith, also got two vets down there in Doug Janik and Garnet Exelby. When you start getting into your 10th and 11th and 12th defensemen, we’re as deep as anybody. Part of the puzzle of going of going for a long playoff run is health.”
Holland said he’s still talking with teams about other deals.
“We’ll see,” Holland said. “There’s not a lot out there right now. We’re not doing anything on defense or goal. We’re going with what we got.”
However, more moves on defense may be necessary.
“We’re going to find out today, there’s a couple of guys that are questionable, they got dinged up,” Holland said. “Brendan Smith is going to be on the plane, if somebody else is hurt we’re going to have to call up somebody else.”
Holland said Commodore’s name was brought up with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman when the two made the deal for Quincey.
Commodore, 32, played only 17 games and has no goals, one assist and 12 penalty minutes.
Commodore, who was slowed by an injury in preseason, signed a one-year, $1 million this past offseason.