Tag Archives: Xavier Ouellet

Ouellet on his way back to Detroit; Babcock says he’ll be in the lineup Wednesday

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings will recall defenseman Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids after placing Jakub Kindl on short-term injured reserve.

Kindl suffered an elbow sprained elbow in practice Sunday. He skated on his own before practice testing it out and looked as if he was having difficulty shooting the puck.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said Ouellet will be in the lineup Wednesday against New Jersey.

Kindl didn’t play Monday in Boston.

That means Brian Lashoff will be a healthy scratch.

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Ouellet only change to Wings lineup tonight against Florida

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Red Wings’ morning skate prior to the hosting the Florida Panthers at Joe Louis Arena.

Defenseman Xavier Ouellet will replace Danny DeKeyser in the lineup.

Ouellet made the two and a half hour trip from Grand Rapids to Detroit on Thursday.

“I think everybody’s been through this, especially in this organization, just like Nyquist, Sheahan, Mrazek, Tatar, even Smitty have been up and down, up and down for almost two years before being here for regular,” Ouellet said. “I’m just going through what everyone else has been through. I understand that. They support me.”

Ouellet has appeared in five games this season, recently filling in for an injured Brendan Smith, totaling a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating.

“I felt good last time I was here, went down and had a couple good games,” Ouellet said. “I’m back here. I’ve got to be consistent and play the same game I did when I was here last time.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock said that Ouellet will be the only change from the lineup he used in Wednesday’s shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Understandable disagreement

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock said it’s a common occurrence that he disagrees with roster decisions prior to the start of the season with general manager Ken Holland.

“It’s probably been nine of the 10 years I’ve been here we’ve disagreed before the start of the season,” Babcock said. “I’m a coach. I’m an immediate gratification guy. I want to win today. He’s the manager and he always has a much longer plan than I do so I would say we’re pretty consistent.”

Babcock strongly wanted to have defenseman Xavier Ouellet on the 23-man roster, but because he was waiver-exempt he was sent to Grand Rapids.

“I would say we’ve disagreed about every year so I don’t think this is any different,” Babcock said. “I wanted (Gustav) Nyquist on the team last year and he couldn’t be on the team. Every year is the same.”

Nyquist was also waiver-exempt last year and was sent to the Griffins before being recalled for the remainder of the season due to injuries.

“The NHL season is a marathon, it’s 82 games and we’re going to need depth,” Holland said. “I expect we’re going to have to tap into our depth. There are certainly players that made a case that they’re not far away.”

Babcock outvoted when it comes to roster decisions

DETROIT >> If Detroit coach Mike Babcock knows what the Wings’ final roster is going to look like at 5 p.m. today when it’s submitted to the league he’s not letting on.

And neither are his players.

Defenseman Xavier Ouellet and forward Andrej Nestrasil both still had no idea if they had made the 23-man roster or not when practice was over at Joe Louis Arena, Tuesday.

“You’re talking to the wrong guy,” Babcock when asked about the roster. “I think there are lots of players knocking on the door.

“I got my two cents in, so I get one vote,” Babcock continued. “He (Ken Holland) gets two. So he can win, 2-1. It’s almost exactly like that at home, I get one vote and my wife gets two, and I lose 2-1 lots.”

Babcock had Xavier Ouellet paired with Kyle Quincey for a second straight practice.

“I haven’t been told anything yet,” Ouellet said. “I come to practice every day to get ready for Thursday so we’ll see what’s going to happen.

“I do feel good,” Ouellet continued. “I think I’ve had a pretty good camp. I’ve played some good hockey. I’m really happy to be here right now. I’m going to enjoy it and try and have a little chemistry with Quincey here.”

Ouellet is battling for a spot on the roster with Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff.

He finished tied for the team lead with two goals this preseason.

“For sure I’ll be disappointed (if I get sent down), but at the same time I’ve got to keep working,” Ouellet said. “I’ve got to keep doing my stuff. I’ll go down there and play hockey and do my best and get ready if they need me up here.”

Last season, Gustav Nyquist was a victim of being waiver-exempt when he was sent down.

“You have to try not to under (the business side of things) actually,” Ouellet smiled. “You just have to go with the flow and see what happens. It’s a big business. There’s a lot of stuff as players that we don’t know. All you can control is your game and as players that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Nestrasil made the biggest leap from Monday’s practice, going from a gray jersey to white to skate alongside Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist.

“I’m more than pleased,” Nestrasil said. “If you would have asked me a couple weeks before the camp I would tell you 99-percent they would send me down. I thought I was going to get two exhibition games and I ended up playing five. Camp was really and I’m glad to still be here.”

“For me when I’m thinking about it either way is going to be good,” Nestrasil added. “I think I’ve done the most I could during camp. I did even better than I expected to do. If I stay here and play with the Red Wings or if I’m going to go down and play 20 minutes a game in Grand Rapids I’m still at the age where I’ve got to get my game better. I still have to get better every year. Either way is going to fine with me.”

Nestrasil would have to be placed on waivers and clear them before being assigned to Grand Rapids.

Babcock even had Nestrasil on the second power play unit with Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser.

“Yesterday I was on the gray line, today I was on a power play line, we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Nestrasil smiled. “If you try and find a sign you can find a sign in everything. If my sticks are on one side or the other it doesn’t change anything. We’ll see what happens these next couple of days and then see on Thursday if I’m going to play or not.”

Nestrasil, Ouellet survive another round of cuts; Wings’ roster at 26, needs to be down to 23 by 5 p.m. Tuesday

DETROIT >> Forward Andrej Nestrasil and defenseman Xavier Ouellet survived another round of cuts as the start of the NHL season approaches.

But the two promising Detroit Red Wing prospects haven’t locked up spots on the final roster just yet.

“We think he’s played the best out of all the kids,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said of Nestrasil. “Has Nestrasil knocked one of those other veteran forwards out of the box? That’s what we’re going to talk about.

“Ouellet has been the best of our young D, but he has to knock one of the seven out of the box,” Holland continued. “That’s what we still have to talk about.”

Detroit placed forwards Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro and Kevin Porter on waivers. All three have till noon on Monday to clear before they can be assigned to Grand Rapids.

The Wings, who open the season Thursday at home against the Boston Bruins, still have 26 players on their roster and need to get down to 23 by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“We’ve got three more players to make decisions on by Tuesday,” Holland said. “The story will play itself out.”

If Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder) won’t be ready to open the season, Nestrasil could earn a spot on the roster. The team should know more Monday on Datsyuk’s status for the opener.

The Wings will carry 14 forwards into the regular season. They could also send Tomas Jurco to Grand Rapids since he doesn’t have to be placed on waivers, but coach Mike Babcock said last week he wanted him in Detroit.

If Ouellet, who also is waiver-exempt, stays he’ll have to play which means winning a job over Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff.

One of the roster moves that’ll likely be made is assigning goalie Petr Mrazek, who’s waiver-exempt, to Grand Rapids.

“These decisions are very difficult,” Holland said. “Some young players looked better the first week of the preseason and then had a tougher second week. It’s all about the caliber of competition and they didn’t play their way onto the roster. If they did they’d still be here.”

Callahan appeared to have won over the coaches during camp. He’s an abrasive player that posted his best offensive numbers (26 goals, 18 assists) with the Griffins last season.

The team also sent defensemen Alexey Marchenko and Nick Jensen to Grand Rapids, along with forwards Tomas Nosek and Teemu Pulkkinen.

Ouellet to make his NHL playoff debut in Game 5 against Boston; Howard will backup Gustavsson; Alfredsson in for Bertuzzi

Wings coach Mike Babcock is pulling out all the stops to keep Detroit’s hopes of extending its best-of-seven Eastern Conference first round series with the Boston Bruins and stretching it to a Game 6 back at Joe Louis Arena on Monday.

Rookie defenseman Xavier Ouellet will replace Jakub Kindl and Daniel Alfredsson is back in, taking Todd Bertuzzi’s spot.

“I just like that he’s a good player and we needed a change on the back, so to be honest with you we haven’t spent enough time watching him play and knowing,” Babcock said of Ouellet replacing Kindle on the blue line. “He’s been better when he’s played with us than he has been in the American League. He’s a real smart player, he’s played well when he’s been up, we like him. So, we’re making the change because we felt we needed to make the change.”

Ouellet played four regular season games with the Wings.

In 70 games with Grand Rapids, Ouellet had four goals and 13 assists and 22 penalty minutes.

Jimmy Howard will be on the bench to backup starter Jonas Gustavsson.

There were rumors on Friday that Howard was suffering from a concussion.

“(It’s) just the flu,” Babcock said.

Alfredsson has missed the last two games in the series with a back problem.

“I mean the player has to be healthy enough to skate,” Babcock said. “We talk about leadership, leadership is, I mean, saying the right things is important, but playing right is way more important. If you can’t skate you can’t play. So we’ve gone through this for a while. Any of these back injuries where they get the shooting pain down their legs it makes it hard for you to skate. And when you’re a little bit concerned and you don’t get involved it makes it hard.

“Alfie skated great yesterday in practice, probably as great as he’s skated in a long time, so we put him in,” Babcock added.

Ouellet and Sproul staying with team at least through Thursday

DETROIT >> Rookie defensemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul will remain with the team until at least Thursday according to Wings general manager.

“They’re going to stay here the next three days so that they know our system so that they’re involved in all our preparations on Boston and the Boston series,” Holland said in a phone interview Monday. “Then, in all likelihood they’re probably going back. But if we have an injured defenseman and we need to call one up they know what we’re doing.”

Both played in Sunday’s 3-0 win over St. Louis.

Sproul logged 18:25 of ice time, 3:25 came on the power play. He had three shots on goal, blocked two shots and had two hits, one of which was a crushing blow against the boards on the Blues’ Derek Roy.

“He’s 6-foot-4, he can skate, he shoots BBs and he’s smart and he moves the puck,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the game. “Ouellet makes the right play each and every time. They’re good.”

Ouellet skated 16:21, 2:09 came on the penalty kill. He had one shot and one hit.

Sproul, a right-handed shot, become the ninth player to make his NHL debut for the Wings this season.

It was Ouellet’s fourth game with the Wings this season.