The Athletic’s Scott: Wings still need more ‘difference-makers’

Today, The Athletic’s Topher Scott wraps up a season of examining the Red Wings “on film” from a coach’s perspective, and Scott suggests that the Red Wings simply need more talent to compete for a playoff spot:

Let me be clear: I would take almost every player on the Red Wings’ roster on my team. I think they battled hard a majority of the year and got the most out of their potential. But it’s almost like they have a team of second, third and fourth lines. Good, honest, NHL players. But no superstars in their prime.

Larkin and Mantha can be those guys if they have a great offseason of training. I think they are ready to take that next step. Ken Holland and the management team have a stable of picks in the first few rounds of the draft. I think they can hit on one or two of those picks.

The foundation and culture are there. The difference-makers are not. But if Detroit can find a way to draft or develop a few of those guys, I think you’ll see a successful rebuild sooner rather than later.

Scott continues at length (paywall)…

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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.

13 thoughts on “The Athletic’s Scott: Wings still need more ‘difference-makers’”

  1. Time to move AA. I would hope to get a mid to late 1st round pick.

    A contender looking for immediate impact might be willing to make the trade. There is value in not waiting the 3-5 years to develop a player.

    Add a third rounder to make it happen.

    1. I agree. I’m not sure what AA brings to the team that can’t be replaced. In the last week Larkin has shown us all he can provide a highlight reel goal without needing to out race a defender to the puck.

      Maybe New Jersey will want him?

    2. A mid 1st round pick for AA? I’m sorry but I’m not sure you are valuing assets correctly. Adding a 3rd doesn’t even move the needle.

  2. I believe the going rate for a first rounder is 1 Mr. Tatar. Do we have any more of those?

    1. It’s a weird time to assess AA’s value. He doesn’t have a contract. We’d be trading away his rights.

      If he were to be signed to an offer sheet, it’d be either one of these two compensations comping back to Detroit:
      Over $1,962,986 to $3,925,975 Second-round pick
      Over $3,925,975 to $5,888,960 First-round and third-round pick

      AA, with the correct usage and lady luck on his side, can be a 20+ goal scorer. Draft picks are never a sure thing, and while AA isn’t a very solid “sure thing” you know he can score. If a coach has a place for him where he can be sheltered, 1st rounder is a good hope for him. Tatar went for a 1, 2 & 3, scoring just 20 goals. Different time frame, contract situation, etc. but at least a similar enough player.

      1. Detroit could sign and trade him. That’s not out of the relm of possibilities. I’m sure the other team would be saying to Holland, we would like AA at $$$$ contract and Ken would negotiate it probably saying if you sign you won’t have to play for a coach you clearly do not get along with or something else enticing.

        Let’s not forget about the unwritten “code” that a lot of people talk about when it comes to offer sheets. No GM worth their salt is going to sign AA to north of $3,925,975. He’s not worth that and if they offer something lower Detroit wins by getting AA to sign at a value. Is AA worth a second pick? That’s the question? If he is worth more and a team pays him closer to $3,925,975, why not just trade for him and let Detroit leverage him to a lower salary?

        While AA can be a 20 plus goal scorer, it’s not the goals that he scores that are important but the ones that go in while he is on the ice. A one dimensional, offensive player is a liability when he isn’t scoring 35-40 goals per season and controlling possession.

        1. I am with you on the part of the defensive liability. I just didn’t want to get jumped for saying it. 🙂

  3. One of the stipulations of the trade would be the new team gets to negotiate the contract prior to finalizing the deal. They set term and duration…..added bonus.

    1. Just curious, why would you want to keep Helm, Aby, Nyquist, etc etc over a player that is younger, certainly cheaper and might have more upside over these three over rated, on the down side of the Hill and as most Wing Vets , OVER PAID? Nyquist can be moved, despite the NTC

  4. Never said I wanted to keep them. If you have some magical solution to moving Any and Helm with there NTC and bloated contracts, please tell Holland.

    I believe Nyquist will be moved just before next years trade deadline. At that point, the season will be over and he will want a shot at the playoffs again. Detroit will retain salary to facilitate the trade.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think AA has an upside. What you see is what you get.

  5. Regarding the cost of poaching an RFA, I don’t believe the contract amount penalty translate to actual trade value.

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