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Roster Opportunity Exists For Anthony Mantha

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

Mantha will have an excellent opportunity this preseason as injuries have sidelined captain Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen and several other players are competing in the World Cup.

Forwards Justin Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen, Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek are all on World Cup teams....

One advantage Mantha has over most players is something that can’t be taught.

Forwards who are 6-foot-5, 214 pounds can be a great asset, especially when it comes to trying to block the view of some of the bigger goaltenders.

“Obviously it could help me out,” Mantha said. “I think last year was a good first year for me to do net-front. It was the first time for me practicing it. I worked on tips a lot during our practices, just getting the feel of being in the right position in front of the goalie’s eyes. So yeah, it could be a good advantage for me, being 6-4, 6-5.”

Ideally, Mantha would be playing a top-nine role among Wings forwards but he said he’s open to anything.

“To play up here, I think you can adjust your game any kind of way they want you in,” Mantha said. “Obviously for me right now it would be easier to play in the top nine, it’s just how I play, that’s my kind of game. But I’ll be ready for any kind of position they put me in.”

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Comments

Avatar

This is stoopid. A guy with his shot and they’re going to make him play with his back to the net?

Posted by teldar on 09/16/16 at 07:03 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

This is stoopid. A guy with his shot and they’re going to make him play with his back to the net?

Posted by teldar on 09/16/16 at 08:03 AM ET

I agree but they tried puny little Helm as a net front presence so….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 09/16/16 at 08:00 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Don’t knock it, he has great hands close in too, with a knack for getting to those pucks that drop into the paint off of point shots.  With that big body and those skilled hands he could do some damage.

Besides, I’ll take any reason the Wings can find to get him up with the big club.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 09/16/16 at 08:44 AM ET

Primis's avatar

“Hah hah hah, just kidding, we’ve already got Mantha’s Griffins jersey ready”.

Posted by Primis on 09/16/16 at 08:54 AM ET

Avatar

A guy with his size and shot should be able to play the wall, the circle, and the net-front at need, on the cycle, a la Brendan Shanahan or Luc Robitaille.

Posted by captaineclectic on 09/16/16 at 10:22 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

The future is bright with Mantha, Athanasiou, Larkin, Mrazek, Bertuzzi, Hicketts, Russo.  It won’t be long before we are serious contenders for Stanley Cup.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 09/16/16 at 11:57 AM ET

Avatar

I noticed a real reluctance to go to the front of the net by Mantha when he was with the Wings last year.  Since he was only here a relatively few games, I’d be interested in hearing from Griffin fans as to what they saw from him last year.  I saw him once here in Milwaukee and he was on the perimeter.

Posted by Wisconsindale on 09/16/16 at 01:06 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’ll believe it when I see it.  I’d rather that he be a Shanahan-, Leclair- type of power forward.

Posted by SYF from fishing with Vicky Stark on 09/16/16 at 02:23 PM ET

Avatar

The future is bright with Mantha, Athanasiou, Larkin, Mrazek, Bertuzzi,

I would much rather prefer seeing a team this season with all these young players so they can get experience. We could have this team next season:

Z-Larkin-Abby
Tatar-Sheahan-Mantha
Nyquist-AA-Jurco
Bertuzzi-Glen-Sadowy

How much will this team be worse than the team we have now with Vanek, Nielsen, Helm, Miller and Ott?

Maybe 10-15% worse. But neither team is going to contend for the cup this year anyway. Neither team has a real chance to advance past the first round anyway. But at least we will not be on the hook for 5-6 years with contracts to average players and will have cap flexibility going forward. And our young guys will gain valuable experience.

Posted by VPalmer on 09/16/16 at 03:49 PM 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.