The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan led the beat writers to the grading department in issuing 2017-18 Red Wings player grades on Tuesday, and this morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James gives her final marks.
Let’s take a look:
F Andreas Athanasiou
Key stats: 16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points in 71 games.
Salary cap hit: Restricted free agent.
The buzz: With his ability to accelerate and his soft hands, he should not be as quiet as he was at times, going without a goal for stretches of 15 games and 13 games. Lost his spot on the power play because he was a non-factor (three points his first 24 games despite averaging more than two minutes per game in man-advantage time). Very skilled, but needs to show more assertiveness.
Update: St. James appeared on WDET on Wednesday as well:
Helene St. James covers the Wings for the Detroit Free Press. She says Christopher Ilitch is relying on Holland’s experience to rebuild the roster. The thinking is he did it once, he can do it again.
“I’ve noticed (Holland) has done more scouting this season than he probably has in quite a while, because there’s renewed emphasis on drafting,” St. James says.
Detroit currently stands fifth in the NHL’s 2018 draft order, but that could change depending on how the draft lottery plays out. But it could be years before any of this year’s picks will be ready for the Wings. Even those that are ready might not turn the team around right away.
“Edmonton has a generational player in Connor McDavid, and they’ve missed the playoffs for the 11th time in 12 seasons,” St. James says. “It’s incredibly hard, and you need a lot of luck along the way.”