MLive’s Ansar Khan filed a locker room clean-out day article regarding Niklas Kronwall, who’s currently serving a role as a mentor as much as a player (though his ice time is still a bit “heavy”):
Kronwall is the ideal mentor and role model for young defensemen, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said.
“Everyone that has been in this locker room and has spent a lot of time here knows what he’s gone through the last 10 years with his body and how he battles through everything with his work ethic and how he shows the young players how to do things right,” Zetterberg said.
Said Gustav Nyquist: “My first couple of years, I’ve probably never seen anyone work as hard as him.”
Coach Jeff Blashill said he has as much respect for Kronwall as any player, calling him a long-time underrated defenseman.
“I was here as an assistant when he was in his prime (in 2011-12); he was always in the shadows of Nick Lidstrom, but he was such a two-way defenseman,” Blashill said. “He brought the physical element, he brings the offense, he’s done such a good job over the years and there’s not a better pro. Probably sometimes he does too much. There’s been times where we’ve kind of said to him, ‘Do you need to work that hard in the gym?’ He’s just got that inner drive that makes great players.”
Khan continues at length…