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Abel to Yzerman

Detroit’s Top 7 Defensemen Next Season

With the help of CapFriendly, it is time for you to list the top 7 defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings at the start of next season.

If you choose not to list a player who will still be under contract for the Wings next year, you need to include why he won't be back with the Wings.

I'll do the forwards in the coming days.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink



It won’t change much:
resign RFA’s
resign FA’s

Posted by akwingsfan on 03/03/21 at 12:21 PM ET

tekjansen's avatar

Djoos or Cholowski (could depend on remainder of this season and expansion draft results)
Nemeth or FA - Could see moving on from Nemeth if Merrill effectively replaces him and finding another value FA D

DeKeyser - LTIRetired?
Staal - traded at deadline or does not re-sign
Biega - not re-signed
Lindstrom - not good enough yet

Posted by tekjansen on 03/03/21 at 01:01 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Interesting question with the expansion draft, trade deadline and amount of UFAs and cap space.  I assume Yzerman is still another season away from signing a real UFA and/or making a huge trade, I think he stays in house one more season, Cholo is in a show me year. 

Hronek, for sure, will be protected.
Seider for sure, doesn’t need protection.
DDK because he’s signed. and I assume Seattle won’t take him.
Stetcher is signed, unlikely Seattle wants him, 1 year to UFA isn’t enticing on their end, but maybe? 
DJoos gets resigned, and protected. 
Merrill is likely back, but he’s an option to be traded this year, I assume he’d be our 3rd protected Dman.  If he’s moved, I assume Yzerman goes out and grabs a stop gap player on a short deal, like Detroit native Alex Martinez, or maybe he goes for a Tyson Barrie reclamation effort to see if he can help our PP.

#6 or 7 has to be Cholo’s spot or he’s done IMO.  I assume we’d see Lindstrom as the year plays out too.

As an aside, on the expansion draft, I’m struggling to come up with enough names to even protect according to Cap Friendly’s rules, its a cool tool to check out.  Knowing that we have to expose players by the way, very important to get DDK 11 more games according to cap friendly. , also shows why Cholo is maybe not playing.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 03/03/21 at 01:03 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via Barry A Craft on Twitter,

Hronek top 4 role
Seider top 4 role
Djoos bottom 4
Stecher bottom 4
Cholowski bottom 2
New UFA signing bottom 4
New UFA signing bottom 2
Johnansson Grand Rapids

Staal traded at deadline
Merrill not re-signed
Nemeth not re-signed
Dekeyser LTIR

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/03/21 at 01:13 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 03/03/21 at 12:03 PM ET

I mis-read the cap friendly rules on the expansion draft, the DRW do in fact have some interesting decisions to make on the front and back end comes down to protecting only two of DJoos, Cholo Lindstrom, interesting.



Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 03/03/21 at 02:14 PM ET


Bultmanjust did an Athletic piece that went over expansion draft protection and what were obligated to make eligible.  I think he agreed with you Paul that Lindstrom is the oddman out.  Nothing to worry about on Fs.  Will be hard to forecast as of now.  I think Seider could make the team but I could also see them putting him in the A and signing or trading for a tradable assets at the deadline then bring Seider up after.  We’re gonna be a top3 pick again next season, at last before the lottery.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very similar d corp

Posted by ThatGuy on 03/03/21 at 02:14 PM ET

d ca's avatar

(preface: Seattle selects Namestnikov. DDK LTIR /retires) I really think people here need to realize Seattle’s ability to grab a young d-man for nothing and the Wings ability to take on money (one of the few teams willing to do so—not just able in theory) will mean a trade for a young d-man. I mean Travis Dermott is a name everyone was linking to Detroit last summer. Seems like he’s going to Seattle for nothing so does Jake Bean.

Hronek 1st pair
Stecher 1st pair/2nd pair when Seider moves up

Seider 2nd pair/1st pair
Jake Bean 2nd pair (Rather than risk losing him to Seattle for nothing [Canes protect Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin, & Brett Pesce]). The other reason is he is a RFA coming off his ELC and they need/use the cap space to re-sign Dougie Hamilton). Though I could also see Haydn Fleury being traded instead.

Djoos 3rd pair
Merrill 3rd pair (re-signed)

Cholowski 6th/7th d-man to begin season. His ability to QB the PP will give him the advantage over Lindstrom.
Lindstrom AHL/lost on waivers after camp

Staal traded to Carolina as a rental along with Detroit’s 3rd round pick in return for Jake Bean.
Nemeth traded for 3rd round pick or later depends on salary % retained
Biega not re-signed.

Posted by d ca on 03/03/21 at 04:28 PM ET


I can’t imagine our front office is too terrified of losing
Cholowski or Lindstrom. Personally I’d rather we try to trade the
the former and would be mildly disappointed to lose a young, safe, affordable
bottom pairing D with some upside. Cholowski just seems far too passive and mistake prone to be an effective NHL D. Could he be a very sheltered 6/7 guy who can help a second PP? I guess so. But like hockey sense, the inner makeup to play intensely enough and assertively enough - not only physically in your own zone, but the capacity to create offense without being a total disaster in your own end seems like something that either a player has or doesn’t. Cholowski seems a bit like a somewhat smaller Jakob Kindl. Who was picked in a similar place in the first round.

Agreed the Wings might as well be creative and pick up better young D than we have currently who have to be protected.

To the question:

1) Hronek
2) Seider
4) UFA or better a pre-expansion pickup
5) DeKeyser is a bit of a mystery. A week or so ago it seemed like he was destined for possible LTIR or a buyout this Summer. Then he went back in the lineup including some time with Hronek and seems to be both playing more mins and being a little more effective. If this keeps up, don’t see why he wouldn’t be back for his final season under contract.
5) Stecher has a year left and has been a decent pickup
6) Merrill has been decent too and with the Michigan connection makers sense as an affordable guy to keep for another season or two.
7) Lindstrom or Cholowski if not chosen or traded

- Staal - I assume we move him as depth to playoff team

- Nemeth - same, if possible, even for a very late pick
Nemeth has struggled this year. We’ve asked too much of him
but we need an upgrade with a bigger, more physical, crease-clearing, PK type

- Biega is depth only even on a weaker team

It would be awesome if Albert Johansson were deemed ready for
Grand Rapids this coming season, but it would seem normal to give him another
season in Sweden to fill out a little and really round out his skill set before adjusting to NA ice.

Wouldn’t shock me if all of McIlrath, Lashoff, and Hicketts returned
in their depth veteran roles and leadership roles in GR.

Posted by lefty.30 on 03/04/21 at 01:09 AM 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