The Detroit Red Wings are mired in a six-game losing streak as they continue to see injuries pile up and struggle to score goals. Roster changes have been one of the few consistent things over the past week, and as the Red Wings prepare to host the Calgary Flames on Thursday night another player has been called up from the AHL to try and add a spark to the lineup. Veteran winger Mikael Samuelsson will be a healthy scratch for the game, despite the fact that six forwards are out with injuries and three players in the lineup have a combined 17 games of NHL experience.
Samuelsson has just one goal and three points in 21 games this season, and only four points in 25 games since signing a two-year, $6-million contract in the summer of 2012. Saying his performance has been disappointing is an understatement, and now the coaching staff is sending a message by making him a healthy scratch. Jordin Tootoo was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL for the game against the Flames, and he will join Tomas Jurco, Patrick Eaves, Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan among the recent call-ups up front. Samuelsson’s hefty contract and no-trade clause continue to be a burden for the team, and his on-ice production has done little to make him attractive to other teams. Things are rough in Detroit right now, and while slow-starting players like Johan Franzen and Dan Cleary have started to contribute, Samuelsson has been unable to get anything going despite getting chances on various lines. The Red Wings have limited options with him, and while sitting a player earning that kind of money is unfortunate it is sadly what Samuelsson deserves at this point.