Quick Hits: The to Play or Not to Play Edition

In Red Wings Land

Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin not worried about ‘nagging’ foot injury, hopes to play soon |  Detroit News

Larkin called it a “nagging injury, I don’t even call it an injury,” bothering his foot and heel.

“It’s just a thing going on with my foot and heel, (we’re) just trying to figure it out. It’s something that came up during training (over the summer), running, and trying to figure it out, to settle it own.

The Red Wings should just make sure Dylan Larkin is healthy for the season opener. If he gets in an exhibition game, great. If not, no big deal! Long term health is key. The season isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

Red Wings didn’t think Taro Hirose looked like a player. He proved them wrong | Freep

Hirose, 23, is making a case for playing wing on the second or third line. Blashill said he’ll audition Hirose with different line combinations to find the best fit. Nielsen and Valtteri Filppula are both defensively sound centers, and Andreas Athanasiou could be an option (he and Hirose also played together last season), while newcomer Adam Erne will retrieve pucks and go to the net. Blashill plans to play Hirose in as many as five more exhibition games to get as many looks as feasible.

I’d like to see Taro Hirose on a line with Athanasiou and Frans Nielsen. Let Filppula play with Filip Zadina and Erne.

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Around the League

31 Thoughts: Byfuglien decision will have major ripple effect | Sportsnet

No Red Wings-related items in this one, but 31 Thoughts is always worth a read.