Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon gave a nod to five sets of free agency moves which should improve the fortunes of the respective teams that made said moves, including the Red Wings’ decision to sign Bobby Ryan…
Bobby Ryan and the Red Wings: Everyone in hockey is rooting for Bobby Ryan to re-discover his game in a new locale. The former Senators forward can leave all that contract baggage behind and start anew on a team that can provide him plenty of quality ice.
It will be a long climb out of the basement for Detroit, but adding pros like Marc Staal, Thomas Greiss, Troy Stecher and Vladislav Namestnikov means the Wings won’t roll over against anybody.
And, in a subscriber-only article, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan estimated probable fits for each and every one of the Red Wings’ four lines, three defensive pairs and goaltending pair:
►Vladislav Namestnikov – Robby Fabbri – Filip Zadina: A caveat here is the possibility of simply flipping Fabbri and Namestnikov.
Right now, it appears the Wings really want to try Fabbri at center, so this is assuming that scenario. But Namestnikov, though he can play all three positions up front, is a natural center and might thrive playing with two offensive players such as Fabbri and Zadina on the flanks. Playing with these two players would also help Zadina.
►Sam Gagner – Valtteri Filppula – Bobby Ryan: It’s easy to see Ryan flipped with Zadina, but let’s assume Ryan stays here.
This is a veteran line that knows how to play and they could create scoring opportunities with their hockey instincts and natural skills.
Ryan did say, however, one of the reasons he signed with the Wings was the opportunity to play with the likes of Larkin, Mantha, Bertuzzi and Fabbri. You have to expect Ryan will get that opportunity, often.