Got this off of Sportsnet.
Curtis Joseph will suit up for Grand Rapids Friday.
MONTREAL (CP) -- Curtis Joseph is of two minds about the Detroit Red Wings' plan to send him on a conditioning stint to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
One is that the 15-year NHL veteran feels his pride already took enough of a hit when the Red Wings brought Dominik Hasek out of retirement to be their No. 1 goaltender this season.
The other is that going to the minors may be his only chance to get enough practice and playing time to prove he is ready to return -- to Detroit or wherever else he ends up.
"There's two schools of thought," Joseph said before the Red Wings' game against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.
"Derek Jeter (of the New York Yankees) went down to take some hits after his shoulder injury and he's a pretty good player. I want to do whatever is best for me to play my best."
Rogers Sportsnet reported Monday evening that Joseph had decided to go to Grand Rapids on Friday.
The frustration was evident on the 36-year-old goaltender as he spoke to a throng of reporters in the Detroit dressing room at the Bell Centre on Monday morning.
Joseph jumped at the chance to sign with the Wings on July 2, 2002, when they offered a three-year contract worth $8 million US per season to replace Hasek, who retired following Detroit's 2002 Stanley Cup victory.
But after being knocked out of the first round of playoffs by Anaheim with Joseph in goal last spring, Hasek made a surprising return from a one-year retirement and the Wings immediately gave him the No. 1 job. Joseph, meanwhile, went on the trading block.
Further complicating the situation is that Joseph had surgery in the off-season to remove a bone chip from his right ankle and is just lately getting back into form.
The Keswick, Ont., native said a stint in the minors was mentioned by Red Wings management two weeks ago, but nothing has been said since.
"We'll talk to him today about some sort of plan we'd like in place as far as getting him back to a position where he can play some games," Wings coach Dave Lewis said Monday.
"Every day, it looks like he's getting closer but you don't really know until you get into a game."
Sending Joseph to Grand Rapids would also end the distraction of having three goaltenders with the team.
In practices, Hasek takes one net while Joseph and backup goalie Manny Legace share the other, so that only Hasek gets a full workout.
"It's tough for everybody," said Joseph. "We all want to get in the net.
"We all want to work. You've got to make the best of a bad situation, no question."
But as it is, he can't give the ankle a proper test to see if he's ready to return.
He said the ankle feels fine, but "it's hard to say because I can't get a full practice in, so who knows? I try to do as much as I can early or late (in practice), but it's not the same as doing the flow drills."
There are probably teams that want Joseph, one of the NHL's top goaltenders for the past decade but one who has yet to win a championship, although they may have been put off by his salary and the injury. St. Louis and the New York Rangers are often mentioned.
The Wings are willing to absorb part of Joseph's salary to trade him. Joseph has a no-trade clause in his contract, but would probably waive it for the right opportunity to play.
When asked where he stands, Joseph said: "I'm not the right person to ask.
"I guess I have a say in the end, but I have no idea."
His teammates are also torn between Joseph and Hasek, the two-time NHL MVP who has looked a little rusty early in his comeback.
"It's a tough situation for everybody involved," said defenceman Mathieu Schneider. "Obviously (Joseph) wants to play.
"Dominik is a great guy and he feels bad about the situation. We all want it to work out well for everyone. The whole team is very supportive of him."
Joseph was on the opposite side a similar situation when he signed as a free agent with Toronto in 1998, bumping Felix Potvin from the starting job. Potvin was relegated to backup while veteran Glenn Healy had to spend time in St. John's of the AHL until Potvin was finally traded to the New York Islanders in mid-season.
"It would be easier if I was a single guy," Joseph said of his predicament. "But I have a family back in Toronto.
"There's more people to think about than myself."