MLive’s Ansar Khan answers a number of Red Wings questions from readers as the regular season inches closer. Khan begins by analyzing the Red Wings’ dismal shootout record over the past four seasons (13-29), a record that included shootout wizard Pavel Datsyuk. With the Magic Man and Brad Richards gone, Khan figures that Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist will be the ones to step up and score the timely goals. Nielsen is a sparkling 52.6% in his career during shootouts while Vanek and Nyquist are 48.4% and 33% lifetime respectively. Khan adds Tomas Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou as other possible options for the shootout. Other topics Khan covers:
- When asked about the future of Swedish stalwarts Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, Khan predicts that both have a couple seasons left in them. Further, Khan writes, he doubts the two would retire early, causing the Wings salary cap recapture penalties. Khan throws out a couple figures should both retire early: Kronwall at a tune of $2.125MM for two seasons and Zetterberg’s figure would near $3MM for four straight seasons. Khan believes the LTIR is a more likely scenario should both players truly hang up their skates for injury purposes.
- Khan also touches on Little Caesars Arena, reporting that the sight lines will be good for fans while the slope of the stands will make it feel as if they are over the ice, pumping up the noise level. As for the fate of the Joe Louis Arena, Khan cites an article stating that the Joe will be demolished and most likely replaced by a residential high rise.
- Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News writes all about Detroit’s 2016 second round Givani Smith, who quoting Wayne Simmonds, calls Smith a “tank.” Simmonds goes on:
“He skates well, he shoots well, he thinks the game the right way. Detroit got a great pick there in the second round. He’s sure of himself but not cocky. That’s good for a young kid.”
Though his days in Detroit may still be down the road, Smith has earned a reputation as a tough forward who isn’t afraid to drop the gloves when he’s not scoring goals. With Guelph last season, Smith had 42 points in 65 games (23-19). Kennedy writes that the 18-year-old winger believes he can be a top six or bottom six forward, depending on what the Red Wings need.