MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a subscriber-only article which discusses the Red Wings’ seven new NHL faces in Bobby Ryan, Vladislav Namestnikov, Mathias Brome, Troy Stecher, Jon Merrill, Marc Staal and Thomas Greiss:
He will be sort of the team’s jack-of-all-trades, with the ability to play any forward position, the power play and the penalty kill. He began camp at left wing on the third line with Valtteri Filppula and Sam Gagner but has been moved to a line centered by Luke Glendening, with Mathias Brome at the other wing.
“He is versatile, that’s one of the best attributes for him, he does a lot of good things,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He said to me one of the things he takes pride in after being in the league a number of years is how well he plays defensively, his penalty kill. He’s a guy who’s mature in his game. He can move up and down the lineup and hopefully make each line better.”
Namestnikov grew up in Detroit a Red Wings fan because of uncle Slava Kozlov, part of Detroit’s famed Russian Five, one of many former players whose photo hangs in the dressing room.
“I sit directly across from it,” Namestnikov said. “When I look up, I see him, so it’s very exciting for me, for my family that I’m playing for the Red Wings.
“Every time I show up to the rink it’s like, ‘Oh my God, a dream come true!’ “