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Wings might send slumping Jurco down to minors

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Tomas Jurco #26 of the Detroit Red Wings skates up the ice during NHL Preseason action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre September 28, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)


Goalless this season and a recent healthy scratch, Tomas Jurco could possibly use a change of scenery.

That’s what Detroit GM Ken Holland is thinking, anyway.

Jurco, who burst onto the scene last year by scoring eight goals and 15 points in 36 games as a rookie, could be on his way to AHL Grand Rapids to get some much-needed playing time. From the Detroit Free Press:

“He got here fast,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said of Jurco, who played for Saint John in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2009-12. Jurco had 27 goals and 60 points in 106 games in 1½ seasons with the Griffins.

Holland said Jurco was inconsistent the first half of his first season in the AHL, not unlike a lot of young players.

“People don’t realize how good the American (Hockey) League is until you get there,” Holland said. “Then he played pretty good the second half of his first year and that team won the American (Hockey) League championship and he played a role. Last year, he was eighth in the American (Hockey) League in scoring in November and early December and down everyone went and up he came here and he played good.”

Holland said so far Jurco has found it tough to get going offensively.

“Babs has sat him out the last couple games,” Holland said. “I’m going to monitor the situation close.”

In what represents an organizational 180, Detroit’s rushed quite a few prospects through the system recently as injuries and an inability to land top-tier free agents has forced the issue.

Last season, the club used a record 45 players and gave eight skaters their NHL debuts -- one of those was Jurco, who played his first big-league game against Tampa Bay on Dec. 15.