DetroitRedWings.com’s Arthur J. Regner examines Luke Witkowski’s 2017-18 season this morning, and any discussion of Witkowski’s campaign yields mixed feelings from me.
There’s no doubt that Witkowski gave the Wings significant “pop” and even an intimidation factor when he played…But his presence, which would’ve been even greater had he not been suspended for 10 games, took away from a 4th line spot that could’ve gone to a youngster.
Anyway, Regner’s article duly notes that Witkowski’s “numbers” were defined by the role he played on the team:
31 – Total number of games Witkowski appeared in during his first season as a Red Wing.
1 – Witkowski scored his first NHL and only career goal on February 17 against the Predators in Nashville. Witkowski’s father, John, was there as the team was on the dads and mentors trip.
4 – Total number of points Witkowski accumulated last season. That matched his point total from the 2016-17 season when he was with the Lightning.
68 – His 68 penalty minutes ranked second on the Red Wings. Justin Abdelkader led Detroit in penalty minutes with 78.
Regner continues, and it’s important to note that Witkowski, who has a year left on his contract, has a big supporter in the Red Wings’ coach, so it’s highly likely that Witkowski will remain on the Wings’ roster going forward.