Do you agree with Frans Nielsen?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports


First try at one of these. I was waiting for this discussion to come up but it hasn't so I'll try.

Here are some quotes from locker room cleanout day from Frans Nielsen. I find these quotes shocking coming from him.

"We just got to bring a little more mean attitude and play harder and do it a little more simple sometimes,"

"I know they always had a tradition of playing a lot of nice hockey here with skill guys, but I think we got to learn how to play the other side of it, too. ... It's a tough league and you have to pay the price every night. ... You can't skill your way through this league today. It's too hard."

"Every time we'd get the puck down in their end, he'd (Ott in the context supplied by reporter) finish checks on their D," Nielsen said. "At some point, they're going to be tired of that and they're going to back off and that's going to give our skill guys a little more room. They're going to give up that four or five feet at the blue line and you can come in and hit guys coming in late.

I bring this up for two reasons:

1) Frans Nielsen is not a "grit" guy, he's a strong 2 way player but not a physical player. So it is surprising for me anyway to read that he thinks the Wings need to get tougher. I respect his hockey skills and for him to basically say that the team needs more "Ott" kind of gives my brain a jolt. Is it possible that I have echo chambered my ideas on how to improve the Wings as a team into just one category i.e. "High End Skill or Bust". I have always thought personally that the Wings need to be tougher but it was more attached to the idea of fighting back against teams that play us hard then being directly related to winning. I want to see them fight back and lay some hard hits when they are getting hit hard; it's just pride but does not mean goals. Is Frans right?

I mean basically this isn't news for anybody who reads anything outside of WiiM; as the thought that the Wings need to get "grittier" has been a common refrain from most casual and not so casual fans for over a decade or more. But to hear it from one of the team's best "skill" players? I personally haven't heard this from anybody on the team before, said quite like this.

2) Frans quote on playing nice hockey hits a little to close to home for me. If the Wings are rebuilding and this is his take on how to make the team better is it possible that KH has the same ideas? Using that idea and looking at the Ott signing I am suddenly starting to worry about what path the Wings might take to get "better", if high skill guys are near impossible to obtain or trade for; is it likely that KH and Co. decide that getting meaner is the easier path to take in the future? This could be a huge change in drafting and FA signing strategy. And if Frans is right and the Wings need to get meaner over skill; then this is good, we need a more grit/60. Which doesn't sit right with me for some reason. Maybe it would be because I would have to rethink all those posts I read to be about becoming like the Flyers as actually correct and that would mean that all those "git tough" comments were actually right...I mean Frans is saying it....

What do you think?

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