The Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo penned a column about the possibility of the Red Wings landing Rasmus Dahlin via “tanking” to earn the best lottery odds in the NHL’s draft. Caputo pens a thorough column discussing Dahlin’s “scouting report,” what the experts are saying about Dahlin’s potential and what landing him could mean for the Red Wings, and my biggest problem with this theory is the concept that Dahlin alone could turn around the franchise:
Of course, it would be foolish for this town to get their hopes up too high that Dahlin is coming. Odds are against it. They just increase a bit if the Red Wings continue to lose. The good part is this is a very deep draft, and contains a number of potentially NHL high-caliber, puck-moving defensemen, such as the University of Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, Swede Adam Bovqist, Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson and Ty Smith. None of those names are as familiar as Shaquon Barkley or Baker Mayfield, I know, but there hasn’t been a deeper pool of defensemen prospects for eons, in part because size isn’t as relevant for the spot as it used to be in a less-gritty, more-skilled era of the NHL. Boqvist and Hughes are very skilled but much smaller than Dahlin, who presents all the essential food groups, regardless of era.
Oh, there are high-end forwards such Russian power winger Andrei Svechnikov (brother of Evengy, the first-rounder who plays for Red Wings) and Brady Tkachuk (big, nasty and talented like his father Keith and brother Matthew).
Also, there is Filip Zadina (sniper with similar skill-set as Winnipeg star Patrik Laine).
But Dahlin would be like winning the Power Ball.
Tank Town would become Hockeytown again overnight should the Red Wings be fortunate enough to land him.
That’s just not true. Even landing a superstar in his prime is not going to turn the entire franchise around.
Ken Holland, love him or loathe him, is right when he says that the Red Wings have to draft well and draft well for years to re-stock the franchise.
It’d be fantastic if the Red Wings did end up drafting Dahlin first overall, but there is no player transcendent enough to turn the Red Wings from so thoroughly mediocre to thoroughly elite all by himself, and if the Red Wings land one of the “consolation prizes,” they’re not going to suddenly be elite again, ether.