To make room for defenseman Brendan Smith‘s return, the Red Wings had to make a decision to put one of their nine non-waiver exempt blue-liners on waivers. With how Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are valued by the organization and their huge cap hits cause by the well-documented trap contracts, one of the younger d-men unfortunately had to go, and that was Alexey Marchenko.
#RedWings waive Alexey Marchenko to make room for Brendan Smith, when they activate him tomorrow.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 3, 2017
Alexey Marchenko Waived By Detroit Red Wings
Marchenko will have until noon tomorrow to be claimed, and he will report to Grand Rapids if he isn’t. He is currently eligible for the expansion draft. The Moscow native has been a healthy scratch since January 20th and suffered a shoulder injury in November that was re-aggravated in December. He did not play a game from December 13th to January 5th with the setback. This season, he has suited up in 30 games posting six assists to go along with a 46.7% Corsi-for percentage. He has been largely inconsistent this season, bouncing from the top pair with Danny Dekeyser to forming a solid pair with Ericsson for a time before the shoulder injury, the second-most consistent pairing in terms of starting lineups for head coach Jeff Blashill this season behind Dekeyser and Mike Green (11.55% frequency).
Among the top six defensemen on Detroit in terms of overall ice time this year (minimum 400 minutes), Marchenko ranked last in terms of Corsi-against per 60 minutes (58.14), Fenwick-against per 60 (45.12), and second-to-last in Shots against per 60 just above Kronwall (31.96).
He was signed this offseason to a two-year contract that will pay him $1.45 million this year and next as a reward for his play for Detroit down the stretch last season. In 66 games, he chipped in two goals and 11 points and ranked third on Detroit’s defense in terms of Corsi-against per 60 minutes (50.88), Fenwick-against per 60, (40.36), and second in terms of expect goals against per 60 (2.31) minimum 820 minutes.
The 25-year old was the 205th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and played his first full season last year. He has netted three goals and 19 points in 110 NHL games. He played in 82 KHL games before coming to North America and scored four goals to go along with 11 points.