97.1 the Ticket’s Will Burchfield notes that the Red Wings’ defensive depth may be the best that it’s been over the course of coach Jeff Blashill’s tenure with the team:
“We have the most depth on D that we’ve had probably since I’ve been here,” Blashill said Monday. “That, to me, is for sure.”
The Red Wings open the season Thursday night against the defending Cup champs. And they’ll likely have two healthy NHL defenseman watching from up top: Troy Stecher and free-agent acquisition Jordan Oesterle. Stecher was a regular in last year’s lineup. Oesterle surely would have been. That was before Moritz Seider showed up, before Gustav Lindstrom showed up for more and before Nick Leddy arrived via a trade.
Seider and Leddy are slated to play on Detroit’s second pair. Filip Hronek and DeKeyser are slated to play on the first, which says a lot about DeKeyser’s ongoing recovery from back surgery in 2019 — and a lot about back surgery itself. Nearly two years later, DeKeyser looks and feels more like himself. The third pair will likely be comprised of Lindstrom, who’s entering his first full NHL season, and Marc Staal, who’s entering his 15th. And at the first sign of trouble, Stecher and Oesterle will be waiting to swoop in.
“As I said to those defensemen, there’s going to be good players sitting out and they’re going to have to find a way to keep their heads above water and not let the mental strain (cause them) to lose confidence, because I just think it’s going to be really competitive back there,” Blashill said.