Detroit Red Wings beat writer Ansar Khan answered questions from readers on a range of topics. Here are some of the highlights from Khan’s column:
- On the chance of Teemu Pulkkinen seeing more ice time, Khan writes that the AHL scoring machine, aside from being injured, missed a chance to secure a regular roster spot. A constant cry from several fan blogs and even analysts who use advanced metrics argue that Pulkkinen, Anthony Mantha, Tomas Jurco, and Andreas Athanasiou have not been given the proper ice time or chance to succeed. Khan does acknowledge this claim, but argues that it falls on the individual player to “seize” the moment. With the signings of Thomas Vanek, and Steve Ott, it pushes out a number of bubble players. But Khan states that Ott will not be a reason Mantha doesn’t see more ice time.
- More on Athanasiou and Mantha: Khan predicts that Mantha will begin the season in Grand Rapids while Athanasiou could get the 2013 Gustav Nyquist treatment that saw the dynamic forward bottled up in Grand Rapids until injuries forced his call up. Khan states that burying Athanasiou in Grand Rapids would be a mistake should he show the same speed and offensive prowess he did during the latter half of last season.
- On Luke Glendening’s new contract: Khan claims that the feedback he has received from fans has been mixed regarding Glendening’s new four-year, $7.2MM deal. Many fans bristled at the long term, and higher dollar amount for Glendening. Carolyn Wilke created a number of graphs that shows the value of players through a number of metrics. Wilke’s quantitative work reveals the irritation that many Wings fans had with the signing. Khan argues that Glendening “brings more to the table than people give him credit for.” While he points out that former coach Mike Babcock, current coach Jeff Blashill, and general manager Ken Holland like his work, the Red Wings are known for their loyalty to certain players.–often to a fault.
- On trades and Jimmy Vesey: Khan indicates that the Red Wings, like every other organization except Nashville, will certainly be in on pursuing Hobey Baker winner and free agent Jimmy Vesey. Additionally, he says to watch Colorado’s Tyson Barrie as another possible defensive target should the Avalanche make him available via trade.