DETROIT — Detroit changed its mind at seemingly the last minute and made a qualifying offer to soon-to-be restricted free agent goalie Tom McCollum.
“We think he can play in the minor leagues,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
To make room for McCollum Detroit won’t make a contract offer to Jordan Pearce, who is an unrestricted free agent.
On Tuesday the team appeared to be heading to cutting ties with their former first round pick.
“(McCollum) was the backup in Grand Rapids,” Holland said. “He’s a first round pick. We won the Calder Cup championship down there and he helped that team get in the playoffs. You need five goalies in the system, everybody has five. We have five.”
McCollum, 23, was Detroit’s first-round pick in 2008 (30th overall) and was passed up this season by Petr Mrazek, who led the Griffins to a Calder Cup title.
Jake Paterson and Jared Coreau, who the Wings signed out of Northern Michigan in March, also passed McCollum on the depth chart.
Coreau is slated to back up Mrazek next season in Grand Rapids.
McCollum has played just one game with the Wings and it was a memorable one, but not a good memory. He allowed three goals on eight shots in 15 minutes of relief against St. Louis in 2011.
Pearce was a star at Notre Dame and was named the CCHA goalie of the year in 2007-08 and the following year he was a finalist for the CCHA MVP.
Pearce finished last season in Toledo of the ECHL. In 50 games in the minors he was 21-18-5 with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.