The move was made Thursday, giving teams in the league a day to claim the 29-year-old forward.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock says the Red Wings hope Eaves gets a chance to play regularly for another team. Babcock says there's nothing wrong with Eaves on or off the ice, adding that he does everything right.
Eaves played in just three of 19 games this season and hasn't scored a goal or made an assist. The Red Wings signed him to $3.6 million, three-year contract in 2011 after giving him one-year deals in 2009 and 2010.
The Red Wings also assigned forward Jordin Tootoo and defenseman Xavier Ouellet to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.