The Detroit Red Wings have assigned forward Jordin Tootoo to the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he will be in uniform for Friday’s game against Rockford.

With Jonathan Ericsson coming off long-term injured reserve to play for the Red Wings Friday against Washington, the club also has sent defenseman Xavier Ouellet back to the Griffins.

And if right wing Patrick Eaves clears waivers Friday at noon, he, too, will be sent to Grand Rapids.

Tootoo cleared waivers last week. He hasn't appeared in an AHL since since 2005-06, when he played for the Milwaukee Admirals, the affiliate for the Nashville Predators.

The Red Wings needed to waive Tootoo and Eaves to clear cap room for Ericsson.

Meanwhile, Daniel Cleary will be back in the Red Wings’ lineup Friday, after sitting out one game as a healthy scratch. He will replace Tomas Tatar.

Tatar has gone scoreless in the past four games after a three-game points streak. He has two goals and one assist in 11 games this season.

"When I looked at our lineup yesterday I thought that was a spot I felt we could have been better so (Tatar) gets an opportunity to watch,'' coach Mike Babcock said. "He’ll get back in. I thought (Mikael) Samuelsson was good, had lots of opportunities to score last game so I’m leaving him in.''

Babcock said defenseman Brendan Smith, who’s missed four games with a shoulder injury, is a couple days away from returning.

“He didn’t stop and start yesterday; we didn’t stop and start today,’’ Babcock said. “He’ll get some more work and he should be ready to go soon.’’