Yesterday Jordan talked about why the Detroit Red Wings needed to bring in another top four defenseman. Today we will be talking about why they do not need to bring in another defenseman.
If the Detroit Red Wings are able to pick up a top four defenseman it could go along way to making people believe they are a top Stanley Cup contender, but they do not need one.
Niklas Kronwall had some grown pains when moving into the number one defensive spot, but in the playoffs he stepped up and help shut down the Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan line along with the Toews, Kane, Bickell line. On offensive side, in 48 games he was able to produce 29 points and given a full season, Kronwall would have had the best offensive season of his career.
Jonathan Ericsson, most fans’ favorite whipping boy, stepped up in a big way for the Red Wings and became a solid shutdown defensive defenseman. Ericsson became the go to defenseman to take penalty kill minutes and was physical in front of the net. His amount of physicality has always been an issue, but this season he made a big step forward and became a physical presence on the defense.
Brendan Smith was Detroit’s top prospect before joining the Red Wings at the beginning of last season. Smith went though a lot of growing pains during the season, especially in the playoffs, but he us still young and has a ton of potential.
Kyle Quincey has become Red Wing fans new whipping boy and while at times he might deserve it, he was a solid partner for Brendan Smith throughout the season. He made some big defensive plays in the playoffs and is good at clearing people from the front of the net. He is a steady defenseman who will be a mentor for Smith.
Jakub Kindl went from the seventh defenseman and possible trade bait to an impressive offensive defenseman in a huge growing season. By the end of the year Kindl took over the second line power play spot and even saw time next to Kronwall on the first power play. I expect great things from Kindl next season.
Danny DeKeyser came into the NHL and shinned right off the bat. He looked like he belonged on the Wings’ defense and him and Kindl paired together was the best defensive pairing, against their competition, that the Red Wings had. DeKeyser has a ton of potential left to be tapped and he already played like a veteran during his short NHL stint.
Brian Lashoff was an AHL defenseman who was projected not to make it into the NHL, but when players on defense started dropping like flies Lashoff was called up. He played 31 games for the Red Wings in the regular season and 2 playoff games. During that time he earned a new three-year contract and a spot with Detroit next season.
While the Detroit Red Wings defense is very young, they received a ton of experience from playing in the NHL during the regular season and playoffs. The Red Wings management is confident enough in this group that they bought out Carlo Colaiacovo and let Ian White walk as free agents.
I am not saying the Red Wings could not use a top two defenseman, but it is not a necessity for this young and growing defensive core.