A bit of a ramble regarding Moritz Seider’s probable readjustment to NHL-sized rinks

When I posted my initial assessment of the Red Wings’ prospect tournament roster, I’m sure that you noticed that Moritz Seider isn’t taking part in the tournament.

As Pro Hockey Rumors’ Zach Leach notes, that’s by design, as Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff told The Athletic’s Max Bultman:

The Detroit Red Wings are looking forward to prodigious defenseman Moritz Seider developing into a leader for their club in the future. Yet, he was nowhere to be found on the team’s roster for the upcoming Traverse City Prospects Tournament. However, Red Wings Director of Player Development Shawn Horcoff tells The Athletic’s Max Bultman that this is actually an endorsement of Seider’s position in the organization rather than an indictment. Although Seider has yet to see any NHL action, Detroit is so confident in his ability to make the roster this season that they did not feel they needed to use a roster spot on him in the development tournament. “With Moritz, he’s played two years of pro now – he spent a full year in Grand Rapids, spent a full year over in Europe playing,” Horcoff explained. “Frankly, there’s some younger players that we wanted to see on the (Traverse City Tournament) roster and we just wanted to make sure that Mo was ready to go for main camp.”

Now Leach suggests that Seider is a lock to make the Red Wings’ NHL roster out of camp, but I’m going to be a sticky wicket here, and suggest that the Wings will in fact not hesitate to place Seider in Grand Rapids if he has any trouble readjusting to North American ice after a season spent in Sweden with Rogle BK.

The Wings already have Danny DeKeyser, Filip Hronek, Nick Leddy, Gustav Lindstrom, Jordan Oesterle, Jordan Staal and Troy Stecher on their NHL roster, and that adds up to 7 defensemen: if Seider isn’t earning regular playing time “up here,” I believe that he’ll be best-served by a final half-season’s worth of finishing in Grand Rapids.

Where does my concern for Seider come from regarding his re-acclimation to North American ice, given that he played in 49 games for Grand Rapids during the pre-pandemic 2019-2020 season?

Look no further than Filip Hronek. Hronek launched 10 bomb one-timer goals toward the opposition net during his stint with HK Hradec Kralove in the Czech League, posting a total of 23 points in only 22 games played. He was used as a mainstay on the left point on the power play, and he would sneak into the left wing faceoff circle and wind up for some masterful shots.

But he came back to Detroit and fired all of 2 goals (both empty-netters) into the cage when he came back and posted 26 points in 52 games with the Wings. In my view, Hronek looked to struggle with the angle of his shot and the angles with which he was facing the net on the Wings’ power play.

If a player who’s the Wings’ de-facto #1 defenseman can struggle that mightily readjusting from the 100-foot-wide European rink to the 85-foot-wide NHL rink, there’s no guarantee that Seider won’t have trouble dropping bodies with his nasty hip checks in a league where players are far more wily and well-prepared for bodily contact than they are in the SHL, where Seider was able to wind up and “Kronwall” opposing players.

Let’s give Seider some patience and understand that he’s going to be readjusting to a different style of game than he was excelling at in Sweden, and not fear imminent doom if he displays some hiccups along the way, or–gasp–needs time in GR.

A little “finishing school” before graduating to the NHL full-time never hurts.

By the way, “Pro Hockey Rumors” is sort of like those misleading commercials for “The General” car insurance…They’re actually a very legitimate website which offers concise summaries of NHL news. The rumors are few there.

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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.