Kings place Drew Doughty on ‘retroactive’ IR, will miss at least next two games

The Los Angeles Kings were hoping that Drew Doughty would recover enough from concussion problems to return to the ice for Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, but that’s not going to happen.

In fact, the team apparently placed Doughty on the injured reserve, according to the Los Angeles Times.

While that means the all-world defenseman will miss that Wednesday game in Chicago, the team might be able to play him on Thursday against the Dallas Stars. Helene Elliott explains exactly how the Kings managed to put him on the IR yet could still dress him against the Stars.

The Kings announced late Monday that they had put Doughty on injured reserve retroactive to last Thursday and have recalled defenseman Jake Muzzin from Manchester of the American Hockey League. Muzzin began the season with the Kings but was sent to Manchester on Saturday when Matt Greene returned from shoulder surgery.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Doughty missed the game in Dallas and beyond, as concussion problems aren’t something you really want to mess with. Especially with a young player who means so much to a franchise attempting to transition from up-and-comer to full-blown contenders.

Then again, Doughty’s absolutely the most important player for the Kings, although Anze Kopitar is strongly in second. The more time Doughty misses, the more perilous the position for Los Angeles.

It’s a difficult tight rope to walk, but the Kings need to consider Doughty’s long term health more than the team’s short term needs in the standings. Naturally, we’ll keep you up to date as this story goes along. We should know whether or not he can play by Thursday or this weekend in the next couple days.

(H/T to The Royal Half.)

Detroit waives Cleary

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Dan Cleary‘s time as a Red Wing could soon be over.

Detroit placed the veteran forward on waivers Wednesday afternoon, per TSN. The move comes after Cleary signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $950,000 just weeks before training camp, then proceeded to play in four of Detroit’s exhibition contests, scoring two points.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens now.

At 36, Cleary doesn’t have much left in the tank and is coming off a year in which he played just 17 games. But as we noted back in the summer, this seems to all be part of a larger plan.

From the Free Press:

A situation that bears the handprint of former coach Mike Babcock has put the Wings in the position of being honor-bound to keep Cleary, 36, aboard, even as he is coming off a season that saw him play just 17 games, producing two points.

This debacle began two years ago. The Wings had offered Cleary a three-year, $6.25-million contract before he became unrestricted July 1. He declined. The Wings then signed Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson, leaving little space under the salary cap. Then Cleary didn’t sign with anyone. September rolled around. The Flyers offered Cleary a three-year deal for $8.25 million, but Cleary then decided he wanted to stay in Detroit.

He ended up flying to Traverse City, where the Wings already had begun training camp. He met in a hangar with Holland and Babcock. Holland pointed to a near maxed-out budget. Babcock pushed hard for Cleary to be signed. What resulted was a one-year, $1.75-million deal with the understanding the Wings would take into consideration what Cleary left on the Flyers table.

After playing out that $1.75 million deal, Cleary re-signed in Detroit last summer to a one-year, $1.5 million pact — so, essentially, the Wings are now in final year of an unspoken three-year agreement that’s (sorta) aimed at repaying what got left on the table in Philly.

Got all that?

If Cleary gets through waivers, the Wings could send him to AHL Grand Rapids. Since he signed a one-way deal, he’d get his money regardless.

There’s also the option of Babcock and the Leafs claiming Cleary off waivers — a scenario that, as unlikely as it sounds, has already made the rounds on social media.

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.