In Red Wings Land
The head coach on the newest Red Wings player, Oliwer Kaski:
“He’s going to compete for a job. He’s got real offensive ability. He’s got a real NHL shot. Knows how to get it off. Does a great job of one-timing pucks, does a great job of getting a wrister off. Most importantly has a shoot-first mentality, whether it’s on the power play or on the offensive blue line. As the tournament went along he became a little more important on that team. They had eight defensemen dressed most nights and early on he didn’t play as much. But certainly he was a factor on their power play and that to me is the one area where he can make a real statement that he can be a guy who can help us.
I would be thrilled to see Kaski not only compete for a job this fall, but make the opening night roster. It’ll be interesting to see what Steve Yzerman will do. There is a bit of a log jam on the blue line with plenty of veterans — Danny DeKeyser, Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson & Trevor Daley — and plenty of youth — Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, Madison Bowey & Kaski. Plus, the possible return of Niklas Kronwall.
In a perfect world, both Ericsson and Daley aren’t on the roster come next season and Kronwall retires. Turn the keys to the car over to the younger players and maybe trade for another defenseman? Maybe Jacob Trouba?
Around the League
As a player he holds tons of value. A right shot defenceman in the middle of his prime, coming off his best season. But without a contract extension that value is stunted to some degree as he could walk away from anyone in 2020.
Speaking of Trouba, there has to be a way for Yzerman to trade for the Michigan native without giving up a player player like Hronek or Cholowski or a young forward. The Jets are in a bit of a cap crunch needing to re-sign Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, so send them all three of our 2nd round picks? Maybe two 2nds and Mike Green with 50% retained? I have no idea if that would be enough for Winnipeg to give up on Trouba. Probably not, but we can dream, right?