Bultman files a mailbag article

The Athletic’s Max Bultman filed a mailbag feature this morning:

Am I alone in thinking Nick Leddy’s been underwhelming so far? — Walking on a wire

You are not. Certainly, the statistics are in your favor, with Leddy having just eight points in 31 games and carrying underlying numbers much worse than the ones he turned in for the Islanders last season. I do think he’s added some much-needed mobility to the Red Wings’ blue line, and his ability to skate with the puck is something that Detroit hasn’t had enough of in recent years. He’s also still their best left-shot defenseman, which matters.

But in terms of the hope he could help provide offense, yes, it’s definitely fair to be a bit underwhelmed.

True or False: If Vrana is healthy at the start of the season, Raymond would’ve started in Grand Rapids. — Seth Walters

I love this hypothetical from Seth, partly because it now seems impossible to imagine Raymond — who has 28 points in 31 games — anywhere but his current spot on the Red Wings’ top line.

And yet, it’s still fair to acknowledge he might never have gotten the chance to play there in the first place had Vrana not been injured. Does Raymond’s talent shine through in the same way if he spends the preseason playing on the wing of Michael Rasmussen or Mitchell Stephens? Probably not, but I do think his shooting talent and smarts would have found a way to earn him a spot regardless.

In addition to his skill, he plays a reasonably mature game, and at some point talent finds a way. So I’ll say FALSE. But it’s a great question.

Continued (paywall)

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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.