Detroit Red Wings: Thoughts About Latest Roster Moves


The preseason is finished and I can’t remember ever being as impressed as I was this year with the depth that the Detroit Red Wings possess. Almost every big name prospect for the Red Wings made a solid case to contend for a spot on the team. Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Bertuzzi all displayed why they are creating such a hype in “Hockeytown” and making Ken Holland‘s job all the more difficult. 

More from Red Wings News

There were a few disappointments when the Red Wings released or sent down 11 players incuding Mantha, Athanasiou, and Bertuzzi. Many feel that any one of these players deserves a roster spot over Joakim Andersson and/or Dan Cleary. John Fisher makes his case for Athanasiou. I agree with John especially considering that Andersson had 3 goals, 5 assists, and a -4 plus/minus rating in 68 games for the Red Wings last season. It is nice that Andersson can play the penalty kill but the Red Wings have many forwards able to play the penalty kill. I personally feel Mantha would be another good choice to replace Andersson. Mantha has been playing with a renewed energy and has way more offensive potential than Andersson has. Alas, with Mantha, Athanasiou, and Bertuzzi already sent down to Grand Rapids we will have to wait to see them later in the season.

Announced yesterday, Dylan Larkin will play in the season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Check out Patrick Brown’s article. This is great and unexpected news that I am sure put a smile on most Detroit Red Wings fan’s faces. It is true, Jeff Blashill is going to end the prospect over-ripening period in Detroit Red Wings history. With this announcement expect Dan Cleary to end up on waivers and most likely end up in Grand Rapids. With D Brian Lashoff, C Andy Miele, and RW Mitch Callahan all on waivers putting Cleary on waivers would bring the Red Wings down to the required 23 man roster.

Larkin practiced on the first line with Abdelkader and Zetterberg after Blashill announced he had made the lineup. Even though it is not guaranteed that Larkin will end up on the top line it is an interesting idea. If Larkin gets that opportunity I expect him to make his presence felt early in his NHL career. If Larkin stays on the top line I would think Nyquist would move to the second line with Tatar and Richards. Just imagine that line, it might end up being one of the most dangerous second lines in the NHL.

More from Octopus Thrower

The only other change I can see happening is that the Red Wings could either wave or trade Joakim Andersson. With Darren Helm close to being game ready the Red Wings will need to open up a spot for him. Since they already announced that Larkin will play I would expect the Red Wings to do something with Andersson. When that will happen depends on if Darren Helm will be ready for opening night. Detroit can afford to lose Andersson and should do so to lessen the overabundance of forwards that they have.

Overall I am satisfied because I was not expecting the Red Wings to start Larkin in Detroit. Yes they could have done better and given another prospect a chance too but at least they are going in the right direction. With the addition of Larkin the opening night roster is interesting and the projected lines give fans plenty of reason to watch opening night.

Next: Red Wings, the NHL, and Concussions

More from Octopus Thrower