3 games in 3 nights. Insanity. First against the St Louis Blues for the Kraft Hockeyville game and then a home and home against Toronto. For all intents and purposes, I’m fairly certain management has seen what they need to in terms of who stays and who goes, save for Moritz Seider. He is very impressive, but may well head down to Grand Rapids due to the numbers, and it may not be a bad thing. Considering the Wings were down 5 regular defensemen last year, a call up could be swift in coming. In reality, we may lose a couple veterans in the next few games. Reality could well be that Seider plays 20+ games in Detroit this year.
Taro Hirose feels like a lock to stay. He seems to have picked right back up where he left off. Madison Bowey has had some progression and being no longer waiver exempt I’m expecting him to stick. Rasmussen is a bit of a wild card. He’s scored a couple goals the way they want him to. Net front, battle, big body etc. his work ethic is solid. But, we have a glut of centers. Barring Nielsen or Filppula being out at the beginning of the season with injury I’m pretty sure Rasmussen will report to Grand Rapids.
Veleno looks impressive, but needs to be playing top 6 minutes (my opinion). I think he could start in GR. Zadina is almost guaranteed to go down to the AHL at this point. He’s skating and making plays but still isn’t getting the time and space he needs consistently. Both of these two will be high on the call up list.
In some ways, it feels like a bit of a let down. Why on earth did we bring in Filppula? Yzerman feels he’ll be a good center for Athanasiou as they put him on wing. I’m not going to question a man who captained 3 Stanley cup teams and built a powerhouse in Tampa. Adam Erne felt superfluous (another Abdelkader) but he’s got quite a bit of offensive upside. This team is “built” to allow the young guys to grow a bit more with stability around them. I will respect the management side of things and see how it goes.
Oliwer Kaski, I have no clue. He makes some good plays, has some defensive issues, but also is quick enough to recover. IF he’s sent down he’ll be quickly back up when our veterans get hurt.
This is the last year of several contracts. Green, Ericsson and Daly are all UFA after this year, and Bowey will be an RFA. I will assume the Ericsson and Daly are probably moving on from Detroit, and Green could well be dealt in February to a contender if he so chooses. A lot of slots are opening without having to force young guys into positions they may not be ready for. Getting Bertuzzi, Mantha and Athanasiou extended should be a priority early on. Erne, De La Rose and Svechnikov will have to “prove it”. A lot of activity throughout the year with 21 contracts coming up between Detroit and Grand Rapids. Plenty of room to let kids take over if they can prove it, and room to bring in someone else if they can’t.
I’m hoping the Wings will go 1-1-1 here and at least make a good showing. It stinks to lose, even in the preseason. We’re facing 2 teams loaded with talent and considered to be contenders. Will be an interesting 3 days