The hero Detroit Red Wings need…

Here’s the Detroit Red Wings hero they’ve searched for and why.
Montreal Canadiens v Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadiens v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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“Why not take a crazy chance?” (Hilary Duff)

Another way I think we see a huge improvement in these aspects of Raymond’s game is a change in his position. To me, Raymond playing wing is a loss to him, his abilities, and the Detroit Red Wings.

He already plays like an assertive centerman. While he can drive play from the wing effectively, he’s smart enough to learn to adapt his game to a center position. His skating should be passable at worst, especially with his confidence in playing his game. It might involve a bit slower pace than say a Dylan Larkin-style line.

With a player like Jonatan Berggren, just the first player who comes to mind, who plays a more cerebral, east/west-style of game, I think they could do a lot of damage. 

Mixing in Larkin on the line before or following makes it challenging to defend against as well. The change of pace might leave opposing teams and coaches in tough spots. The players who might be most effective against a Larkin-driven line might not be so effective against a Raymond-type line. 

The Detroit Red Wings have a few centers cooking in Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson who seem promising. Both have found new levels to their games, albeit at different levels of competition, but I digress.

Along with J.T. Compher, it sets up the center position nicely for the Detroit Red Wings down the road. It might mean that center competition is high, driving players to work for the center position or allow the better-suited-to-the-wing candidates to transition to the wing. 

Guys like Joseph Veleno and Andrew Copp are okay as centers but might be better suited to the wing. Maybe over time, Raymond would be better shifting back to the wing once Kasper and Danielson are ready, but I think if he switches to center, the most he might do is share center duties with another player.