MLive’s Ansar Khan bids us “good morning” with a column discussing the state of the Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall-less defense:
Green, Danny DeKeyser, Patrik Nemeth and Filip Hronek are expected to form the top two pairs, providing the team with two lefty-righty combinations, an offensive-minded player with a stay-at-home type.
Green, who missed the start and the end of the season due to a virus, and DeKeyser likely will form the top pairing, having played some together.
Nemeth, signed to a two-year, $6 million contract on July 1, figures to join young Hronek on the second pair. Nemeth (6-3, 219) was described by general manager Steve Yzerman as “a big, strong, solid, defensive defenseman,” shoots left and could complement the more offensive-minded right-shooting Hronek, who struggled defensively at the start of his rookie season, getting sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins, but improved significantly after being recalled in February.
Ericsson and Daley, who played together last season, likely will comprise the third pairing. Young Madison Bowey, acquired in the Nick Jensen trade, could be the seventh defenseman and will compete for a lineup spot.
Rookie free agent Oliwer Kaski, 23, will be pushing for a job. The 6-3, 190-pound right-handed shooter was the MVP of the Finnish League (SM-liiga), leading the Pelicans in goals (19) and points (51) in 59 games.
Continued; I agree with Khan that Dennis Cholowski is most likely to start the season in Grand Rapids, and I just don’t see Moritz Seider cracking a crowded Griffins blueline unless he blows away the competition at the prospect tournament.