ESPN has posted 31 sets of “All-Decade Teams” representing the best that each and every one of the NHL’s franchises has to offer, and here’s who they picked to represent the Red Wings from 2010-2019:
C: Henrik Zetterberg (154 G, 401 A, 0.85 PPG)
LW: Justin Abdelkader (106 G, 143 A, 0.36 PPG)
RW: Johan Franzen (104 G, 123 A, 0.73 PPG)
D: Nicklas Lidstrom (36 G, 109 A, 0.62 PPG)
D: Niklas Kronwall (67 G, 243 A, 0.45 PPG)
G: Jimmy Howard (243-168-68, .914 SV%, 2.54 GAA)
Coach: Mike Babcock (245-170-67)
The past decade has consisted of two starkly different eras for the Red Wings. It began after a Stanley Cup Final loss to Pittsburgh in 2009, in the midst of a playoff streak that would last 25 seasons. Gaze upon the talent on that roster: Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Marian Hossa, Franzen, Brian Rafalski, Tomas Holmstrom, Chris Osgood and so on. That was 10 years ago. It might as well feel like 90, with how the team has fared since.
As for the team selected above — look, Justin Abdelkader isn’t everyone’s bucket of octopi. You could easily make the case for Tomas Tatar here considering he had better numbers and is a better player. But outside of Kronwall’s 693 games, no one played more than Abdelkader’s 686 for the Red Wings in the decade. If you’re looking to define the past decade for the Red Wings, Justin Abdelkader is part of that definition (for better or worse).