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Notes: Red Wings will not rush Seider or Veleno to Detroit

Perlini on the mend; Biega playing with a broken cheekbone

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner /

DETROIT -- On Wednesday, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill had a brief response when asked whether the Wings were thinking about calling up defenseman Moritz Seider, 2019's first-round draft pick, sixth overall, from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

After Thursday's practice at the BELFOR Training Center inside Little Caesars Arena, Blashill elaborated on Wednesday's comment where he informed the press corps that calling up Seider is not in the team's immediate plans.

"There's factors in play, where Grand Rapids is at, what's best for his development," Blashill said. "It would be hard-pressed for me to see them totally secure a playoff spot; it usually comes down to the end. Steve (Yzerman) and I have had conversations about the possibility, but we've made no definitive decisions on whether or not that will happen, so we'll wait and see.

"With Moritz, it will be totally dictated on what we think is best for his development and there's no number of games that have been discussed (if he's called up), that it's got to be this or got to be that. It's simply a matter of what's best for his development and that's an ongoing process to evaluate and there's a lot that goes into it that we'll keep looking at and make the decision."

Blashill admits the 6-foot-4, 207-pound, right-handed defenseman has played well in Grand Rapids, especially as an 18-year-old.

In 45 games for the Griffins, Seider has 19 points (2-17-19), including one game-winning goal, is minus-4, has been assessed 26 penalty minutes and fired 74 shots.

"My understanding is he's done a really good job. He's played really good hockey. I'm a big fan. I think he's going to be a really good player. How good? We'll see," Blashill said. "I think he's still learning the give and take of offensive risk management. It's something that he didn't get a chance to do a whole bunch last year because of the level he was playing at. He might not be getting that here (Detroit) either.

"Sometimes when you play at the highest level, you end up playing over-safe sometimes. I think he's got some offense to give and it's just understanding that risk management and it's a learned process but I think he's getting better at it and my understanding is he's having a good, solid year."

Center Joe Veleno, 20, has been a much more confident player for the Griffins since he returned from the World Junior Championship, where he was instrumental in helping Team Canada win the gold medal.

In Thursday afternoon's 3-2 comeback victory at Chicago, Veleno scored the game-winning goal for the Griffins. It was his third game-winning goal of the campaign and his ninth goal of the season.

Veleno has 19 points (9-10-19) in 46 games played, he's minus-23 and has 89 shots on net.

Tweet from @griffinshockey: .@jveleno91 with the game-winner!#GoGRG

When asked if Veleno is a candidate for a potential call-up, Blashill implied he may be better off continuing to produce for Grand Rapids.

"If that was the case (Veleno playing with more confidence), my own quick judgment would be let's leave him in a spot where he's being confident," Blashill said. "I think there's lots to be said for guys staying where they're having success instead of risking your disrupting what's a good thing.

"My understanding is Joe's played well. He's a super-young player. A betting man would say that he'd just continue to stay down there and just keep developing."

Like Veleno, Blashill also mentioned it may be more beneficial for defenseman Dennis Cholowski to stay put with the Griffins.

"What I would say is Dennis, this last time that he's been down, he's probably played his best hockey and again for me, I think there's some logic to say if he's playing really good hockey, let's let him continue to play really good hockey and leave him down there for now. But again, all those decisions are made on a day-to-day basis," Blashill said.

As much as the Wings hierarchy may be aware of how eager the fan base is to see some of Detroit's high-end prospects wearing the red and white, even if it's only for nine games, Blashill reiterated it's what's best for the player in the long run.

"I don't read much and I don't listen to any social media, so I honestly don't have any idea. And honestly, it doesn't really matter because that has nothing to do with our decision.

"All that has to do with our decision is what's best for each player, and each player is different, their long-term development, so that they can grow to the highest possible spot they can grow as quickly as they can. Those are all decisions that we make and they're not made on Day 1. You continue to evaluate and watch, and each guy is different."

PERLINI HEALING QUICKLY: If you were to look at Brendan Perlini after Thursday's practice, it would be hard to imagine that nine days ago, he suffered a potentially catastrophic eye/nose injury when he took a skate blade to the face on Feb. 11 in Buffalo.

Perlini looks remarkably good considering what could have been, with a small laceration along the right side of his nose, a little discoloration underneath his right eye and a tiny blood spot in his right eye.

Is the 6-foot-3, 211-pound left wing surprised he's healing so quickly?

"Yes and no. You don't really know what to expect," Perlini said. "But there wasn't much pain, believe it or not. You think about it, you got a skate slice through your nose, how could it not be in pain? It's still pretty numb on that side of the nose.

"I've been fortunate where I've had other things where I've been high-sticked into the lip, cut my lip open. That's been a lot more painful, to be honest. I don't know what it is, whether it's cartilage and stuff, not actually bone or anything, but I've been pretty fortunate. I haven't really had much pain to deal with at all, just the eye there."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: What a difference 9 days makes! 👍

He only missed one game (Feb. 13 in New Jersey) before he was back in the Red Wings lineup, which according to Perlini, both was and was not too surprising.

"Again, yes and no. I felt fine. Just apart from my nose being a little bit clogged. There was no head injury or anything like that," Perlini said. "I felt good physically. So to me, it was just my eye was so swollen I couldn't really see much out of it. Once that came down, they were like, all right, let's jump back on the ice."

Once he returned to the ice, Perlini sported a much larger face shield with a football helmet-like face guard, something he plans to continue to wear once he is completely healed, though he may modify it just a bit.

"It's good, to be honest," Perlini said about his new headgear. "When I went through that, right away in my mind, like, that's it. There's no more messing around for me. Even when I take that off, I'm going to go to a way bigger visor just because once you have that happen, it's like what's the point? Why potentially lose an eye or something? There's just no point. There's been an adjustment. 

"It's got a little hole in it. It's more like a chin thing. I've got a tiny little hole in there. You can still breathe through it, which is good. It's not too bad. A couple skates and I got used to it. Like I said, you just want to feel protected, I think more mentally than anything, when you get back out there. You're going to be protected. If it didn't have a visor or I was wearing a small one, you'd probably be a little more timid. But if I know it's protected and covered, then I'm free range."

When the injury occurred, Perlini was beginning to find his game, but though he's thankful he was able to get back on the ice so soon to keep building on the confidence he was feeling, the experience has made him become reflective and philosophical.

"With any little injury like that, it's good and bad. I always take the positive from things. I feel in situations like this, maybe somebody's trying to tell me to focus a little bit more on my health side of things," Perlini said. "If anything, it takes the mind off of other things, whether it be our game play if we're not playing well, you're constantly thinking about what can I do to get my nose better, what can I do to get my eye better, feeling better.

"It's a good thing as well where it's a little bit of a distraction that way. I always, like I said, try and take everything positive and move on with everything and take each day as it comes. It's healing up nicely and hopefully as far as the playing side goes, it can keep going a little bit better and keep improving every day. That's my main goal, just trying to improve every day until the end of the season and really improve on things and try and get better."

BIEGA A BIT CHEEKY: Red Wings defenseman Alex Biega knew something was wrong with his cheek after blocking a shot off the stick of Boston's David Pastrnak on Feb. 15 in Boston.

"My cheekbone. When I took that Pastrnak - when we played Boston, I blocked a shot and at first I just had stitches," Biega said. "I had stitches, like four or five stitches. They did a pretty good job. I knew something wasn't right. Then we did our due diligence and found out there was a fracture there.

"(Once) I found out it was broken, I have to wear a bubble (face shield) for the foreseeable future. I'll have to get used to it. I'm going to play. I just can't get hit there again. So I have to wear it."

Acquired from Vancouver for prospect David Pope on Oct. 6, 2019, Biega has appeared in 40 games for the Wings, and has doled out two assists, is minus-9 with an average ice time of 15:41.

Lately, he been paired with Patrik Nemeth on the back end and has gone up against the opposition's top lines, something he embraces.

"I love it. I did it last year a little bit, playing with (Alexander) Edler," Biega said. "It's one of those things where I take a lot of pride in going out there and not getting scored (on) and trying not to get scored against by those guys. Shutting them down and making it a frustrating night for those guys.

"Skill guys notoriously love the easy game and want to make high-end plays and skilled plays. For me, I just use my speed and my aggressiveness to try to make it frustrating on them. Every time I get an opportunity to do that and go against the best and try to shut those guys down, for a guy like me, in my position and how I play, that's a great opportunity and something I definitely don't take lightly."

Though the Red Wings are going through a difficult season, Biega is grateful for the opportunity the Wings have given him and believes his game to beginning to come together.

"I've been happy. I feel like I've been finding my game more and more the more I play. Obviously it's great getting the opportunity to play," Biega said. "Now I'm playing against the other team's top line. That's where I kind of thrive. I wasn't brought in here to put up points and be an offensive guy. Just to be a guy that's tough to play against and can use my skating to gap and make it hard on the other team's opposing players.

"I think I've been satisfied in terms of focusing on that on a nightly basis. Hopefully I'll keep going. The last game, when we pulled off a win, it was a very exciting game to be a part of. If we keep the goals against down and be good defensively, if I can help contribute in that department, that'd be great."

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