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NHL Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings: Luke Glendening Will Make NHL Debut Saturday Vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Luke Glendening Red Wings

Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

It was pretty easy to assume there would be some roster moves coming for the Detroit Red Wings after a pathetic showing in a 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night. Coach Mike Babcock was clearly not impressed with his team, and made a few surprising moves on Friday. Center Cory Emmerton and goaltender Petr Mrazek were sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, while center Luke Glendening was called up. Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson was activated from injured reserve and will back up Jimmy Howard against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, while Jordin Tootoo will make his season debut on the fourth line. Joining Tootoo and Drew Miller on that fourth line will be Glendening, an undrafted prospect who has continued to impress the Wings at each level he has played at.

Glendening was a walk-on at the University of Michigan, and ended up playing four years and serving as captain for two seasons. He signed an AHL contract with the Griffins last season, but started the year in the ECHL with the Toledo Walleye. He had 14 goals and 21 points in 27 games for Toledo, and chipped in eight goals and 26 points in 51 regular season games with the Griffins after getting called up. He led all rookies with six goals and 16 points in the AHL playoffs, and helped the Griffins win their first ever Calder Cup championship. The Red Wings signed him to a one-year, two-way deal over the summer, and he got a long look during the preseason. He netted one goal in the preseason, and Babcock has continually praised him for being a hard worker and noted that his size (5-11, 200) will be an asset for the Wings on Saturday. The Grand Rapids, Mich. native now gets a golden opportunity in Detroit, and after the lackluster effort the team put forth on Thursday any spark he can bring to the lineup will be appreciated.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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