DETROIT – Patrick Eaves became another victim of the Wings having too many forwards on their roster, Thursday afternoon.
Eaves was placed on waivers by the team after practice.
“It’s a business decision,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We haven’t been able to give him an opportunity here to play enough and he wants to be in the lineup every night and he should be he’s a good enough player.”
If he goes unclaimed he’ll provide $925,000 in salary-cap relief.
“I didn’t even know,” said Eaves after practice, who’s in the final year of his contract. “I knew I wasn’t playing. I just found out from you guys.”
Eaves needed to be waived in order for the Wings to have cap room and a roster spot for the return of Jonathan Ericsson to the lineup. Ericsson has been on long-term injured reserve with a dislocated shoulder.
“There’s a bunch of us here, with the numbers,” Eaves said. “I don’t know (if got a fair shot). There were just so many of us and I got fell on at training camp so that didn’t help either. It is what it is.”
Eaves, who signed with the Wings as free agent in 2009, is the third forward the Wings have had to waive this season. The other two were Cory Emmerton and Jordin Tootoo, who has remained with the team after clearing waivers last week.
“Obviously, Patty Eaves is a real good play, a real good person, does everything right,” Babcock said. “He knows how to play. He’s a responsible team guy. It’s disappointing we weren’t able to make it work and we’re hopefully he’s going to get himself an opportunity.
Tootoo and Eaves, if he clears, will need to be assigned to Grand Rapids in order to make room for Ericsson according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.
Xavier Ouellet will also be sent back to the Griffins.
“He’s a good player,” Babcock continued. “He’s a good player. There’s nothing wrong with Patty Eaves. No question.”
Eaves, 29, was sidelined at the start of the season with a sprained MCL and ankle.
He has played in three games this season, has no points and is a minus-2.
“That’s the business,” Eaves said.
Eaves, who’s in his fifth season with the Wings, was also sidelined nearly 14 months due to a concussion he suffered on Nov. 26, 2011 after taking a puck to the jaw off the stick of Nashville’s Roman Josi.
He was a reliable penalty killer and could also score, totaling 25 goals and 17 assists in 128 games with the Wings.