Dec 4, 2013, 11:28 AM EDT
Cory Emmerton didn’t have many issues getting into the Red Wings lineup over the last two seasons.
This year, though, has been different.
The 25-year-old forward will play just his fifth game this season when the Wings host the Flyers on Wednesday, this after appearing in all 48 games last season and 71 of 82 during the 2011-12 campaign.
Emmerton was a casualty of Detroit’s cap crunch to start this year and was sent to AHL Grand Rapids as the club tried to deal with its glut of forwards (16 currently under contract.) He fared well with the Griffins, scoring 14 points in 18 games, and will have a big opportunity against Philadelphia given the fact three key Detroit forwards — Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi — are on the shelf with various injuries.
According to head coach Mike Babcock, Emmerton will center Dan Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson on a line, which means the slumping Stephen Weiss — who has just two goals and three points in 22 games this year — moves up to center Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist.
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