Feb 17, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar (21) against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Red Wings 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Tatar Deserves Spot On Big Club

If Mikael Samuelsson makes the Red Wings and Tomas Tatar gets cut I will:

A. Blow a gasket.

B. Blow my top.

C. Blow my socks off.

D. Blow chunks.

If you answered all the above. You’re right. Congratulations.

Basically, if Tatar gets cut that would totally blow.

Everybody knows that Detroit has an abundance of talent up front, and they will all be fighting for limited positions during camp.  The competition for forward spots is bound to be a fierce and intriguing battle…something straight out of a Steven Seagal action sequence.

Speculation is that names such as: Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson, Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo, Gustav Nyquist, and Tomas Tatar are all potential Red Wings who are on the bubble for making the club.

First off, let me say that Gustav Nyquist’s name should not even be in this conversation. I don’t give two you know whats if he can be sent down to Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers, the guy is too good of a hockey player to be playing for the Wings’ AHL affiliate.

If I even need to explain why he should be on this team than you’re already more of a lost cause than I thought you were.  Anybody who thinks Nyquist should be playing for the Griffins this season needs to take a walk.

Now, on to the matter at hand: Mr. Tatar.  Unlike Nyquist, Tatar cannot be sent down to Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers first.  So, if the Wings do not include him in their top 14 forwards Tatar is as good as gone because he will not clear waivers.

For those of you who believe Tatar is expendable let me remind you this is a player who won the AHL MVP during the Griffins run to the Calder Cup title.  Tatar is a 22-year-old who has the skillset to be a very productive player for the Wings for the next 15 years.

If Detroit chooses to risk losing Tatar in favor of a veteran like Bertuzzi or Samuelsson I believe they would be making a huge mistake.

Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s most likely that this would be Bert and Sammy’s last season with the Red Wings anyway.  So, I don’t think it makes any sense to keep them over a young talented player who will play for this team until 2030.

I like Eaves, but, if you’re asking me Tatar has a lot more upside. As for Tootoo, the writing is on the wall for Jordin to be moved sooner rather than later.

If veteran leadership is your reasoning for keeping Bertuzzi than spare me.  Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Cleary, and Alfredsson have that front covered already.

Shootouts you say? Personally I think Tatar would be pretty solid in that category as well so take that.

What the Wings need is another injection of a youthful, gifted, offensive talent like Tomas Tatar.  This is a guy who has been a proven performer at every level and who is seemingly always in the right place at the right time on the ice.

I’m going to channel my inner Lanny Poffo and express how I would handle this situation the only way I know how… through poetry.

Past Their Prime

Bertuzzi and Samuelsson it’s time to clear out your locker,

You’re over the hill, and when you’re hurt it is no real shocker,

Todd has low back pain and Mikael’s groin is weak,

Trading both of you is something the Wings should seek,

Tatar take Samuelsson’s stall there’s plenty of room for your sticks,

So long Bert and Sammy, we got new blood now, time to hit the bricks.

Do you want Tomas Tatar on the Wings this season?

Loading ... Loading ...


















Tags: Detroit Red Wings Tomas Tatar

  • Matt

    I agree that in a perfect world both Nyquist and Tatar make the team out of camp, but as things stand that’s almost impossible unless Ken Holland goes full wizard. The Wings are nearly $2.39m over the salary cap, and they need to shed 3 forwards before the season begins. For the sake of argument let’s assume there’s a 90% chance the top six looks like this :

    Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Abdelkader
    Franzen – Weiss – Alfie

    Next consider that Helm going on LTIR doesn’t really help much since all it does is buy them time to move someone until he’s back. For that reason I’m including him in the bottom six as follows:

    ? – Helm – Cleary
    Miller – Anderson – ?

    That leaves 2 line spots and two reserve spots with the following 7 players remaining: Nyquist, Tatar, Bertuzzi, Samuelson, Eaves, Tootoo, and Emmerton

    You gain almost nothing by putting Bert or Sammy through waivers because according to capgeek they both have 35+ contracts meaning you only get $100,000 of cap relief if they clear. And they’re very likely to clear, especially Sammy.

    You can send both Tootoo and Eaves through and if they get picked up, great, if not you get a cap relief of $925,000 each. That would leave you with $540,000 to shed, and 1 more player to move with Tatar, Nyquist, Bert, Sammy, and Emmerton left fighting for 4 spots. Bert and Sammy going to GR doesn’t shed enough salary, and Emmerton is likely to get picked up. I don’t think they’ll risk moving Emmerton because of Helms health, which means you have to either put Nyquist in the AHL or let Tatar go.

    Now if Holland can swing a deal for Bert, Sammy, Tootoo, or Eaves that doesn’t being an nhl contract to Detroit you could make it work, but it doesn’t look like there’s many takers for them. Also Bert and Sammy have a modified no-trade-clause and a regular ntc respectively, so good luck trading them.

    That means you likely need to trade Tootoo or Eaves, someone has to get picked from waivers, or Emmerton has to go and you rely on someone younger in GR if Helm gets hurt for both Nyquist and Tatar to make the team. It looks grim.

    • Jordan Hoy

      Yup I broke it down the same way. Feel free to disagree with me but here are my lines:

      Z Dats Abby
      Mule Weiss Alfie
      Nyquist Helm Cleary
      Tatar Andersson Miller

      • Matt

        I agree completely with those lines. Depending on how things work out you can always swap Cleary and Tatar as well. Not to mention that the most likely way this happens is with Bertuzzi and Samuelsson in reserve, which actually gives you loads of situational options. Even though they’re past their primes they’re both still serviceable in a few roles when healthy. Sammy still has a great shot. Bert has world class hands, good instincts, and be brings some size and grit that would be lacking a bit with how small Nyquist and tats are. You can play Bert when you need the third or fourth line to play a little more like a talented checking line that can burn you when you let, and play Sammy on the powerplay on the point of you want /need to. As it stands that third line would basically be a super-speed forechecking 3rd scoring line as opposed to the traditional pressure based forechecking line.

        • Jordan Hoy

          I’d be alright with Samuelsson and Bert as the 13th and 14th forwards. My main concern is them stealing a regular roster spot from a guy like Tatar. Although I might only keep 1 of them because I’d like to see Eaves stick around. Either way the Wings have a lot more depth up front than they did last year which is great. Appreciate you reading my article.

  • Pingback: Blackhawk Up: Dump & Chase 9/14/13 - Blackhawk Up - A Chicago Blackhawks Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

  • Floski

    >Anybody who thinks Nyquist should be playing for the Griffins this season needs to take a walk.

    Then Ken Holland needs to take a damn walk. He’s caused this mess. He’s openly made comments about how Nyquist could very possibly start in GR because of his self-created issues. It was already a problem and then he goes and signs Cleary again?

    The guy’s losing it.

  • Pingback: Octopus Thrower's Preseason Predictions - Octopus Thrower