Some polite disagreement regarding the specter of Rasmus Dahlin

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.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

7 thoughts on “Some polite disagreement regarding the specter of Rasmus Dahlin”

  1. I think its more about hope than expecting an immediete turn around. Drafting Dahlin would lessen the bitter taste of these last few years. We need hope that we have a franchise defensmen again.

    Wings fans havent felt this low in a long time so have to have something to get excited about

    1. While it would definitely provide hope, the best they can realistically get in the next few years is early exits from the playoffs, unless they get an actual defensive system the coaches and players are committed to.

  2. Well, yeah. Even Crosby and McDavid can’t carry a team on their own. But he could be that key piece you build around.

  3. Watching Bob Mackenzie compare his potential to Karlesson and Lidstrom is pretty meaningful as Bob is probably the most knowledgeable and trustworthy reporter in hockey IMO. I totally agree that 1 player can’t single handedly turn around a team, but man would Dahlin ever help.

    If they don’t land Dahlin, Hughes or Bovquist would also be great adds. Its a weird draft having no centers near the top of the board.

  4. Well, there would be plenty of holes left to fill, true.

    But how many NHL teams even have a true #1 D?

    If that’s what Dahlin is or could quickly become, that’s
    a huge difference-maker.

    You’ve added a player at arguably the most important, hardest to find position, and done so at the very beginning of his career with team control into his mid-late 20s.

  5. Bottom line.

    IF,IF it happened. It would be HUGE step forward. A contender next year, no. That’s alright.

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