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Abel to Yzerman

Predicting Frans Nielsen’s Season

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

In this edition of Detroit Red Wings Fast Forward, a series that projects how a player will perform in 2020-21, the subject is Frans Nielsen....

Nielsen’s role on the team has diminished, an organic development as younger players have pushed for a bigger footprint. He didn’t play with scoring wingers this season, drawing the likes of Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Adam Erne and Luke Glendening. Nielsen used to be a regular on the power play but that changed this season, and he spent more time killing penalties. That played into numbers that stand out against his career output: He’d never before tallied below double digits in assists as a full-timer.

There are two years left on Nielsen’s contract. It is doubtful GM Steve Yzerman will buy him out because it’d be prohibitive — it would cost around $3.4 million against the salary cap in 2020-21 and roughly $4.4 million in 2021-22. Nielsen is still a good skater and passer, and is a dependable penalty killer.

He can still be of value to the Wings, and if he can earn some confidence with a good 2020-21, then there’s a chance Yzerman can unload him at the 2022 trade deadline, similarly to how veteran Mike Green was dealt at the 2020 deadline.

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About Abel to Yzerman

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