In Red Wings Land
“I’m hoping and expecting that two, maybe four or five kids, between the ages of 19 and 22 are on the roster next year that weren’t on the team (this season),” Holland said. “I want to get those young people onto the roster when they can help us be competitive.”
My understanding is that this two-to-five kids (or whatever number the beat writers want to report given the day) means new faces on the 2018 opening night roster that weren't on the 2017 opening night roster. So that means Tyler Bertuzzi would count towards that number. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he’s a given to make the team.
So who else?
The Red Wings have made it quite apparent that they want Michael Rasmussen to make the roster this year. There’s number two.
We know Trevor Daley, Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser and Jonathan Ericsson will be on the blue line. I’m guessing that Nick Jensen won’t be traded, but Xavier Ouellet will be gone. It’s not what I would do, but let’s assume Mike Green is re-signed or another vet d-man is brought it. That means there is one open spot for Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski to fight for. There’s number three.
I’m not confident that Evgeny Svechnikov will be number four, but he should be. I’d rather have him playing less than 10 minutes on the 4th line and practicing every day with NHL players than facing lower competition in the AHL. If it comes down to it, there should be no hesitation waiving Luke Witkowski to make room for Svechnikov. Hell, I’d waive Martin Frk in order to get him in Detroit full time.
So where are we? Barring someone like Gustav Nyquist or Andreas Athanasiou getting traded or a free agent forward being signed, the 2018 opening night could very well look like this:
Bertuzzi — Zetterberg — Nyquist
Mantha — Larkin — Helm
Rasmussen — Nielsen — Athanasiou
Abdelkader — Glendening — Svechnikov
(Witkowski — Frk)
Ericsson — Daley
DeKeyser — Green or UFA D
Kronwall — Jensen
(Hicketts or Hronek)
Around the League
John Tavares - New York Islanders
Ilya Kovalchuk - San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson - Vegas Golden Knights
Mike Hoffman’s fianceé allegedly behind campaign of harassment against Melinda and Erik Karlsson | Ottawa Citizen
What the hell.