With defenseman Andreas Lilja
set to return to the Red Wings' roster as soon as Saturday, the team was forced to clear more than $1 million under the salary cap.
The first victim was veteran enforcer Brad May
, who was placed on waivers Friday. He has until noon Saturday to clear before he is expected to report to the Wings' AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids.
Activating Lilja from injured reserve after a conditioning stint with the Griffins means that a decrease of $1.2 million was required to meet the league's salary-cap requirements. May's $500,000 salary is not enough to reach that quota. However, the Wings weren't expected to make any more moves before Friday's 3 p.m. EST moratorium on trades during the Winter Olympic break.
May was at Joe Louis Arena for Friday afternoon's practice, but did not skate with the team. He was not made available to the media.
"He did a real good job for us, a real good teammate, a real good competitor, a good man," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "But the reality is we're still in a business, and the dollars didn't add up. It just didn't work, so decisions had to be made."
May, 38, signed a free agent contract on Oct. 7 with the Wings, his seventh NHL team in an pro career than spans 18 seasons. He filled a physical role that was created with the departure of tough guy Aaron Downey
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