The Red Wings Roster: As it Stands

Sure, Kenny. We'll let the kids play.

I'm going to wildly speculate here about the Red Wings' roster as it stands just so we can take a step back and take a look at what we're dealing with. I'm going to make the assumption that Detroit re-signs Quincey and Abdelkader based simply on the idea that RFAs rarely move these days. If it changes, then so can our perspective.

Gustav Nyquist - Pavel Datsyuk - Johan Franzen
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Mikael Samuelsson
Todd Bertuzzi - Darren Helm - Danny Cleary
Drew Miller-Justin Abdelkader - Jordin Tootoo
Jan Mursak - Cory Emmerton - Patrick Eaves
Damien Brunner

Ian White - Niklas Kronwall
Jonathan Ericsson - Kyle Quincey
Brendan Smith - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Right now all lines and pairings are just my guess. I don't believe that Nyquist will be used on the top line regularly and I don't necessarily think that a White/Kronwall pairing should or would be the Wings' top defensive unit if nothing else changes. I just couldn't bring myself to put Jonathan Ericsson up there in Ian White's spot, despite that being where I think he would most likely slot in this breakdown.

There's also the problem of having one defenseman short of the seven that Detroit typically carries and two forwards over the 14. All this does is tell us that there are definitely moves. We'll work on that roster once we see it.

After the jump, we'll break it down a bit farther

Ok, so looking at the roster above, there's enough talent there to say the Wings can make the playoffs with this roster. There's also enough uncertainty there to say it's a very real possibility the Wings could miss the playoffs with this roster, so let's just leave the guessing out of it and agree that we want to see a better lineup than this one going into opening night, deal?

Let's color-code this bad boy for you visual-types.

Red = Top-six / Top pairing all-around defenseman
Blue = Physical, grinding forward / Big-minute defenseman (2nd-pairing-capable)
Green = Transitional scoring/grinding forward (Not a true top-six, but not necessarily a grinding bottom-six guy)
Purple = Depth defenseman

Bolded text indicates a player established in his role while a non-bolded player is growing into that role.

The Forwards

Gustav Nyquist - Pavel Datsyuk - Johan Franzen
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg
- Mikael Samuelsson
Todd Bertuzzi
- Darren Helm - Danny Cleary
Drew Miller - Justin Abdelkader - Jordin Tootoo
Jan Mursak - Cory Emmerton - Patrick Eaves
Damien Brunner

The Defensemen

Ian White- Niklas Kronwall
Jonathan Ericsson - Kyle Quincey
Brendan Smith
- Jakub Kindl

Well that was pretty. What does it all mean though? It means we have too much green and not enough red in our roster. I'm actually fairly comfortable with the top-six as it stands, but obviously would be happy having another red guy up there instead of having five green guys in our roster who don't quite fit a slightly more traditional model by where you'd have six red guys on your top two lines; a combination of red, green, & blue on your third line; and three blue/green guys on your fourth line.

As for defense, there's not a single bolded red guy in there and that's what has most fans frightened. Niklas Kronwall is absolutely the Red Wings' best defenseman right now and he's not established as a guy who can play the top pairing as well as we expect. Brendan Smith is a non-bolded blue with hopes that he'll turn red in the near future, but D-men don't work like forwards. He will have to grow into that top-pairing role and to do that, he first has to grow into a capable 2nd-pairing guy.

There were obviously a handful of judgment calls in here and feel free to discuss those, but if you're looking for reasons why the Red Wings are looking for a top-pairing defenseman and a top-six scoring winger, look no further than the color-coding above.

Ken Holland has work to do and he has assets with which to do it. I'm looking forward to analyzing those changes when they happen.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Winging It In Motown

You must be a member of Winging It In Motown to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Winging It In Motown. You should read them.

Join Winging It In Motown

You must be a member of Winging It In Motown to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Winging It In Motown. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker