The Red Wings are doing Jonatan Berggren a disservice by making him a healthy scratch

The Detroit Red Wings need to make a decision when it comes to Jonatan Berggren.

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The Detroit Red Wings need to decide which direction they are going regarding young forward Jonatan Berggren. The 23-year-old winger was recalled by Detroit and joined the team in Vegas about two weeks ago but has played sparingly, which is less than ideal.

There is an obvious catch when it comes to Berggren; if he plays in one more NHL game, he will no longer be exempt from waivers. Is that why the Detroit Red Wings have kept him in the press box over the past few games? Perhaps it's the holes in his defensive game, but if that were the case, why wouldn't the Red Wings have sent him down by now and recalled someone else? It's a bit mind-boggling at the moment.

If Detroit has no intentions of playing Berggren, return him to Grand Rapids, where he can play as a top-line winger; he needs to be playing in games at this point of his career, regardless of whether it's at the AHL or NHL level. Sitting in the press box is doing him no good, and aside from taking part in NHL practices, which are few and far between with their rigorous schedule, he's not developing as a player. I am speculating here, but reading the tea leaves, it seems as though general manager Steve Yzerman may feel that Berggren has peaked at the AHL level as he's become a point-per-game player but isn't reliable enough or well-rounded enough to play every day at the NHL level.

The Detroit Red Wings need to make a decision when it comes to Jonatan Berggren.

Remember, there had been much speculation this past December about Berggren rejecting a contract extension offered by the Red Wings because he wanted an opportunity to be a full-time NHL player. It reminds me of Filip Zadina's wishes this past summer. The Detroit Red Wings would not guarantee Zadina a roster spot, but they also wouldn't block him from earning one despite their busy off-season and obliged his wishes when he requested a fresh start elsewhere.

In addition to the reports from The Fourth Period this past September about Berggren possibly turning down a contract extension, David Pagnotta also mentioned that Berggren had been the center of some trade discussions, although nothing materialized. There has been a clear focus put on team defense following Detroit's disastrous seven-game slide that's seen head coach Derek Lalonde remove fourth-line sniper Daniel Sprong and his 17 goals from the lineup in favor of Austin Czarnik, who, although is a reliable 200-foot player, provides little-to-no offensive.

It's clear that the Red Wings don't want to lose Berggren on waivers, but it seems as though contract talks could become complicated this summer between the two sides, and maybe that's when Yzerman will look to trade him and get something in return. Or, maybe Detroit will eventually play him down the stretch and hope to keep him in a Daniel Sprong-like role next season for a fraction of the price in hopes he eventually improves his defensive awareness. Regardless, he needs to play, so a decision on whether it's in Grand Rapids or Detroit needs to come soon.

With the Griffins this season, Berggren has totaled 19 goals and 46 points over 43 games. With Detroit, he's notched two goals and six points over 12 games in less than 11 minutes of work. That pace is good for 41 points over the course of a full season. In comparison, Sprong has totaled 17 goals and 40 points in 68 games while averaging a touch over 12 minutes per night. That's good for a 48-point pace over a full season.