So with Johan Franzen going down for a few weeks with a knee injury, the Red Wings needed a forward.
There was talk that Leino was good enough to have made the team out of camp, but then the Red Wings went and inexplicably signed Darren McCarty to a contract and kept him on the team instead, and there he remains. The problem is that Franzen’s injury might not be bad enough that the team can put him on the long-term IR (meaning he’d miss a minimum of 24 days or 10 games).
If Franzen’s injury is that bad, he can go on IR and have his salary not count against the cap for the length of his stay in the M*A*S*H unit. But until the Red Wings determine that or send McCarty down (where he belongs), and one assumes that with a game tonight they’ll get the decision squared away fairly quickly, Leino, who has an $875,000 cap hit, will continue to play in a league he’s obviously far too good for (he’s 4-5-9 in five AHL games) and Detroit will look for scoring from within the team itself.
I really do wonder what was going through Ken Holland’s mind when he signed McCarty. The guy can’t really fight, skate, shoot, or defend any more and is obviously not trusted by his coach (witness his team-low 7:03 of time per night with no special teams play) but they signed him to a deal that was above league minimum. Out of loyalty or something? I don’t know. But for a top-class organization like the Detroit, it was a particularly dumb move, and now it’s coming back to bite them on the ass.
Tough break for the kid, but this is on the front office.