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Red Wings Player Grades: The Guys That Were Traded

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Dallas Stars v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Player Profile

Name: Thomas Vanek

Born: Vienna, AUT

Age: 33

Height/Weight: 6’2”/214lbs

Position: LW

Player Stats

GP: 48

G: 15

A: 23

PIM: 16

ATOI: 14:37

Season Narrative

Thomas Vanek came to the Red Wings on a one year, $2.6 million low-risk, high-reward deal. The winger had success out of the gate putting up 4 goals and 8 points in the team’s first 7 games. The Wings were 5-2-0 during that stretch. He missed about a month due to injury after that, but when he returned he was a pretty key cog in Detroit’s offense. Vanek’s 11 power play points during his time with the Red Wings would still be good for 3rd on the team if he wasn’t traded. There were some lofty expectations that Vanek would fetch a 1st rounder at the trade deadline, but Ken Holland and company only came away with a 3rd rounder.

What He Did vs. Expectations

Low-risk, high-reward is a pretty good way to sum up Thomas Vanek’s tenure with the Red Wings. He was cheap and expectations weren’t sky high entering the season. If he did well, awesome. If he floundered? Oh well. It was a one year experiment. Thankfully for Holland and the Wings, the Vanek experiment was a success. He put up 38 points in 48 games. That point total would be 5th best on the Wings.

Final Grade: A

Vanek exceeded my expectations. He scored goal. He put up points. He seemed like a good fit in the dressing room. Would I have liked to have gotten more for him at the deadline? Yeah, sure. That isn’t factored into this grade though. Vanek’s tenure — albeit a short one — was a success for this team.

Poll

What Grade Should Thomas Vanek Receive?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    A
    (945 votes)
  • 20%
    B
    (254 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (28 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
1238 votes total Vote Now
Detroit Red Wings v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Player Profile

Name: Steve Ott

Born: Summerside, PE, Canada

Age: 34

Height/Weight: 6’/193lbs

Position: C

Player Stats

GP: 42

G: 3

A: 3

PIM: 63

ATOI: 10:28

Season Narrative

Steve Ott was signed by the Red Wings on July 1st and the majority of the fanbase collective groaned while muttering WTF. I guess Holland thought the team needed a little more grit, sandpaper and veteran leadership. Ott was in-and-out of the lineup at times. He played a fair amount thanks to injuries to the roster. Quite frankly, it appeared like his teammates liked him and looked up to him. He was very bad on the ice, but at least he was good in the room.

What He Did vs. Expectations

He didn’t do much. He wasn’t expected to do much.

Final Grade: F

The high point of his season was when he was traded to Montreal for a 6th round pick in 2018. The Red Wings would’ve been better served giving Ott’s 10 minutes of ice time a night to a younger player to gain experience.

Poll

What Grade Should Steve Ott Receive?

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    F
    (547 votes)
547 votes total Vote Now
Detroit Red Wings v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Player Profile

Name: Brendan Smith

Born: Mimico, ON, Canada

Age: 28

Height/Weight: 6’2”/211lbs

Position: D

Player Stats

GP: 33

G: 2

A: 3

PIM: 34

ATOI: 18:44

Season Narrative

Smith went into the season on the final year of his contract. It was basically a make-or-break season for the defenseman. He had his typical Brendan Smith moments of making things happen for both teams at times, but he seemed in neutral most of the time. He didn’t show enough really to warrant re-signing for big term and money, but Holland tried to bring him back nonetheless. The reports out there are that Smith was offered a 3-year deal worth $3.5 million per season. Not totally unreasonable, but not what the d-man was looking for. Ultimately before deadline day, Smith was shipped off to the Rangers for a 3rd round pick this June and a 2nd round pick in 2018.

What He Did vs. Expectations

Smith didn’t do too much. Expectations weren’t enormous, but they were decently high for the defenseman this season. He showed some promise last year and, according to my good friend Prashanth, his analytics were pretty good, so entering the year there was a hope — not a strategy FYI -- he would finally become that top 4 (maybe top 2?) d-man this team needed. History shows that it didn’t happen. Whether he was injured, scratched or simply didn’t play well... expectations were not met. Only two goals and five points is sad. He never really took advantage of the few opportunities he got on the power play. There were always some flashes of brilliance, but the whole package was never there. It was a disappointing.

I don’t know if it’s his fault, the coaching staff’s or the organization as a whole, but he’s never going to live up to the top pair, 1st round pick expectations when he was drafted in 2007.

Final Grade: D

It’s hard to give Smith a much better grade then that. This was supposed to be the year he broke out and solidified himself. That didn’t happen. If he reaches his full potential elsewhere, good for him. He still has a fan in me.

Poll

What Grade Should Brendan Smith Receive?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (17 votes)
  • 10%
    B
    (100 votes)
  • 45%
    C
    (444 votes)
  • 23%
    D
    (230 votes)
  • 19%
    F
    (191 votes)
982 votes total Vote Now

Let’s Go Red Wings.