Kirk Maltby, one of the remaining 2 members of the famed Grind Line, is an unrestricted free agent this year. He has been a Red Wing since 1996 and his average points per season is 17. His best 3 years was 2002 through 2004 where he averaged just over 31 points per season.
Maltby never had the role or expectations to put up massive points. He was more of a utility player, a third or fourth liner that would kill some penalties and battle for the puck in the corners. His job was to wear the other team down physically so Datsyuk and Zetterberg could skate around their defense.
Unfortunately, the “new NHL” hasn’t been too kind to Maltby. He seems to be the one wearing down. Since the lockout he hasn’t surpassed 11 points per season, the Grind Line is no more, and he’s put on 4 years.
If I was Ken Holland I’d push him to retire. Even though he is making a measly $750k I think he could be replaced by a younger and faster grinder that could put up 20 to 30 points per season.
Tags: Kirk Maltby