In Red Wings Land
As he enters the fourth year of his six-year, $31.5 million contract, Nielsen is at the proverbial crossroads. He’s a solid third-line center, but he needs to find an offense spark on the retooling Red Wings.
If he cannot find more consistency offensively, the Wings will be forced to consider all their options moving forward with the affable Dane.
It’s a position the Wings would rather not find themselves in, because Nielsen is the walking definition of a pro’s pro.
Frans Nielsen is fine. He’s not great. He’s not terrible. He’s just fine. Is he overpaid? Absolutely... and we all pretty much knew this was a bad contract from day one. It would be great if he had a bounce back season and could put up 50 points or so, but I won’t hold my breath. I’m curious to see if Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman tries to move Nielsen in the next year or so.
Around the League
In case you missed some of the discussion in yesterday’s Quick Hits...
C: Henrik Zetterberg (154 G, 401 A, 0.85 PPG)
LW: Justin Abdelkader (106 G, 143 A, 0.36 PPG)
RW: Johan Franzen (104 G, 123 A, 0.73 PPG)
D: Nicklas Lidstrom (36 G, 109 A, 0.62 PPG)
D: Niklas Kronwall (67 G, 243 A, 0.45 PPG)
G: Jimmy Howard (243-168-68, .914 SV%, 2.54 GAA)
Coach: Mike Babcock (245-170-67)
Wyshynski makes his case for including Abdelkader in the article, but I probably would’ve gone with a different option. I think the obvious change is swapping him for Pavel Datsyuk. Yeah, sure, he’s technically a center, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg played together on the same line for so long that one of them can be listed as a winger.