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Red Wings listed with seventh-best forwards in ESPN’s Custance’s ‘summer skate’ lists

As part of ESPN's Insider-only "summer skate" series, ESPN's Craig Custance penned lists of the NHL's top 10 forward and defensive groups, and the Red Wings made the former's cut, but not the latter:

7. Detroit Red Wings: GM Ken Holland had one of his best offseasons in recent years, and the forward group is the biggest beneficiary. The surprising addition of Daniel Alfredsson gives Holland the veteran eager to win a Stanley Cup he likes to have on his roster. And Alfredsson, as he showed in the playoffs, can still play at 40 years old. Stephen Weiss replaces Valtteri Filppula and is more of a natural center with better playmaking abilities.

During the playoffs, young players such as Justin Abdelkader, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist emerged as important contributors for coach Mike Babcock behind stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. As always, the health of Darren Helm will be a key for this group and at some point, Holland has to create room to bring back veteran leader Daniel Cleary.

NHL talent evaluator's take: "I think Alfie will have a good year. He can still skate. He's smart. You get him in that environment for a year -- he'll be all juiced up around good friends. He'll be fine. He'll be a really good player. Weiss is the interesting one for me. I'm just interested ... I just don't know. He's a good player but he's been a good player on a bad team for a lot of years. We'll see."

Both the forwards and defensemen's lists continue behind paywalls.

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I’m shocked espn didn’t work the nba into an nhl top 10

Posted by SlimChance on 08/21/13 at 05:39 PM ET


Abbie a prospect? Guys been in the nhl for at least 3 seasons 4 if you count playoffs…anyway top 10 sits right with me.

But I have to say ESPN continues to do nothing but keep people away from NHL hockey with the paylock on most of their interesting articles. Why pay money when i can easily navigate Nhl.com Yahoo sports or just type in google and get better and more indepth articles lime what i read here. I seriously can not count the times i got turned away while looking for lock out news and it ended up coming from the locked out ESPN stuff.

Secondly i recently found this sight and so far i really enjoyed this summers hockey news from here better than i have ever before

Posted by 3rdshift on 08/21/13 at 07:34 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Nobody seriously thinks DET’s defensive corps is Top 10 anyways, right?  Maybe not even Top 20?

Posted by Primis on 08/21/13 at 11:50 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

ESPN’s pay articles are the stats guys, Custance, and articles on the young players (e.g, minor league/draft) mainly, if I recall correctly. As I’ll quickly plug again, if you want ESPN on the cheap, discountmags.com has their occasional specials where you buy the magazine and the paywall access comes with it. The last 2 holiday seasons, I signed up for the $4.99/year special. For $5/year, it’s worth it, since I follow almost every major sport/minor sport, and you can buy up to 4 years at a time, but need at least a few months I believe between each subscription purchase/renewal.

Posted by Bugsy on 08/22/13 at 04:51 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.