Quick Hits: The Battles Edition

In Red Wings Land

Detroit Red Wings benched Justin Abdelkader. Was it a one-time thing, or the new normal? | Freep

“What’s the message? He’s just got to play a little bit better. At the end of the day, he’s in a group of guys that different guys could sit at different times. We made the decision to sit him the other night. Whether that moves forward or not, we’ll see. I’ll decide the lineup on Saturday. But I expect him to do a couple of things – one is to work like crazy to get back in and I know he will, and one is to be a great mentor in how he handles this adversity, and I know he will do that as well.”

It’s the new normal. Unless Justin Abdelkader gets on a hot streak and starts putting up points left and right, he’s probably going to continue to be in the group of players battling to suit up like Jeff Blashill mentioned above.

Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi lives up to ‘hockey player’ accolade | Detroit News

“I’ve said it before, he’s just a hockey player,” Larkin said. “He battles, he plays hard, blocks shots, scores goals. He’s always in every battle. He gets himself there and when he’s there, he’s over the puck, getting his stick on it, a skate, or a glove, and getting something on it.

“He’s always in battles.”

I want Tyler Bertuzzi to be on the Red Wings for a long, long time.

Around the League

NHL Power Rankings: Christmas Trade Rumour Freeze Edition | Sportsnet

31. Detroit Red Wings

The trouble with the Red Wings’ no-good, very bad tank year is the rental pickings are slim. Veteran defenders Mike Green, 34, and Trevor Daley, 36, both hold modified no-trade clauses. They could bring savvy, but the league is speeding by. It’s doubtful Steve Yzerman re-signs all seven(!) of his RFA forwards. Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha are the most intriguing targets. Does Yzerman want to build around them, or nah? The sooner he decides, the better.

Mantha should absolutely be a part of the rebuild.