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Frans Nielsen Wants To Put 2020 Behind Him

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Let’s face it: For both Nielsen and the Red Wings, 2020 was a dud.

“It was a tough year,” Nielsen said from his native Denmark, after helping put his kids to bed and thinking about the past season past and the season ahead (whenever that'll be).

From a team perspective, the Red Wings finished last in the NHL and won just 17 of 71 games (17-49-5).

The Wings weren't very good — and Nielsen didn't help.

Nielsen had, statistically, the worst season of his 14-year career. In 60 games, Nielsen had nine points (four goals, five assists), with a minus-13 plus-minus rating.

On a Red Wings’ team that needed more offensive production from a valued two-way center, Nielsen’s season was a gut punch.

“For me personally, I wasn’t, for sure, not even close to being happy about it,” Nielsen said. “About what I did (for the team).”

read on

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink



Four goals is better than zero I guess.

Not sure how realistic but an approx 10 goal, 25 pt.
fourth line center who can help kill some penalties
and break in younger players would be plenty at this point.
Not for 5.5 million, but relative to expectations.

Maybe playing with guys like Svechnikov and Timashov,
Brome, who have some skill and upside as well the ability to play a grid jig game would help him. Nielsen has never been an offensive star other than maybe on shootouts. But if the effort and fitness are there I’d like to think he’d be better off with the above than with Erne, Abdelkader - guys who have almost no offensive ability.

In any case, this team badly needs a second line center, even if only a passable one.

Posted by lefty.30 on 09/20/20 at 03:14 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Remember when he signed that contract and everyone said the last couple years were going to be bad and the deal was 2 years too long. He’s was a good two-way 3rd line center with the Isles that was moved up to the 2nd line and couldn’t sustain his offensive output. Another of the Ken Holland panics because a guy retires/walks away from the wings (happened when Lidstrom announced and when Datsyuk walked away)....and they’ll be paying for it another 2 years.

He’s become Stephen Weiss. If Yzerman didn’t have loyalty with Martin St. Louis or Vincent Lecavalier I hope he doesn’t show any with Nielsen. It’s time to bury him and Abdelkader in the minors.

Posted by d ca on 09/20/20 at 06:29 PM ET


If there’s a minors to loan him to…

Nielsen got off to a horrid start and no it didn’t really get
better but when you’re looking at zero goals months into the season
and the team is going from bad to worse I’m sure it’s hard to regain

I wonder if it’s possible to loan Nielsen to the top Danish league
to finish out his career while paying out his contract(?)

For now, I’m more worried about Abdelkader who seemed suited to a
leadership role in Grand Rapids. If that isn’t possible, we could looking at a
14th forward almost every night.

Posted by lefty.30 on 09/20/20 at 07:17 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

Nielsen is a terrific player - he should have stayed with the Isles. 

I did not see him play enough last year to have an opinion, except to say how much we loved him on Long Island and do hope that he is able to battle his way onto the Wings roster and get back to his old self.  Best shootout guy I ever saw.

He is too good to play in Denmark - if he lives in Copenhagen - I hope Malmo could use him if he has to play in Europe.  It’s a short ride from there.

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 09/20/20 at 07:30 PM ET


There must be good reason one hears Nielsen praised so much for his character and professionalism. I’d much prefer he have a bounce back year as a useful 4th line center, too.

No idea if contracts can be paid out via loans, but the thought was more:
would he prefer playing close to home rather than enduring another frustrating season deep in the basement? Especially with circumstances around the coming season so uncertain.

But it’s not like the Wings have so many proven centers.
A PK and shootout guy who can tutor young players, especially
Scandinavians since we suddenly have so few such vets, is still worth something.

Posted by lefty.30 on 09/20/20 at 10:01 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com