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The Malik Report

The Expected Season For Riley Sheahan

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Looking at money: Signed through this coming season with an annual average value of $2.075 million, then a restricted free agent.

Looking ahead: Here’s the thing about Sheahan – he scored 14 goals in 2015-16, and 13 goals in 2014-15. For that matter, he had nine goals in 2013-14. Even in his small body of NHL work, this past season stands out as an aberration, not a pattern. Sheahan, 25, came into pro hockey with a reputation as a defensive player, honed by his years at Notre Dame.

Encouraged first by Mike Babcock’s coaching staff and then Jeff Blashill’s, Sheahan showed growth in his offensive capabilities. It speaks to his reputation around the league that even as his numbers were so bad last season, there was still a fair deal of interest in Sheahan at the trade deadline (the Wings opted to hold onto him to see if he can bounce back). His confidence by the midpoint last season clearly was shot, and it’s tough to recover for a young player.

Sheahan enters next season with a contract on the line, which tends to motivate most players just a little bit extra. He got a little reminder in the season finale, too, that he can score. If he can shake off the travesty that was 2016-17, odds are he can once again chip in in the 10-12 goal range. Put it another way – who would take a Vegas bet that Sheahan will again go 79 games without scoring a goal? 

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Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

I guess the question is if he will be worth more if he does bounce back. I would think not that much more and he will be worthless if he has another season like last year. Solve that cap crunch and trade him now. I have pretty much written off this year and want a high draft pick next year.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 08/10/17 at 09:48 AM ET

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If Sheahan stinks it up again this season and has no trade value, just don’t re-sign him. $2 million off the books use on Larkin or Mantha.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 10:03 AM ET

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I have a feeling Shehan will be sitting at about 8 goals at the trading deadline at which point he will have some trade value and on the other hand KH will be preparing a 7 year deal for him with NTC.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/10/17 at 10:03 AM ET

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the up side for Sheahan is, at least for the start of the season, teams may ignore him (due to last season’s poor play) enough and he may get some goals early and end up with something of more value at the trade deadline.

A follow up question is, who replaces him if he is traded?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 10:05 AM ET

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I have a feeling Shehan will be sitting at about 8 goals at the trading deadline at which point he will have some trade value and on the other hand KH will be preparing a 7 year deal for him with NTC.

I agree, except that I think Holland re-signs him the day after he scores his third goal of the season.

A follow up question is, who replaces him if he is traded?

Bert. Frk. Svechnikov. Street. Lorito. Take your pick.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/17 at 10:50 AM ET

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If Sheahan played almost 17 minutes a night and was a staple on the PP…would he have scored more than the TWO even-strength goals that Abdelkader achieved?

Hilarious that a fanbase has villified Sheahan, yet somehow Abby gets a bit of a free pass. But I guess Datsyuk said he likes how Abby plays the piano so that gives him immunity.

I would love to see these two players swap roles. Let’s see Sheahan play 17 minutes a night, alongside skilled players, with plenty of PP time. And then have Abby in a bottom 6 PK role where he belongs. But as they say, Abby is a self-accountable leader that got married so that’s kind of important too.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 10:58 AM ET

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yet somehow Abby gets a bit of a free pass.

sorry? where have you been reading that fans are giving Abbey a pass? oh, just stirring the pot again. nothing to see here.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 11:08 AM ET

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Bert. Frk. Svechnikov. Street. Lorito. Take your pick.

any of those, but Svech. Svech should be playing 2nd, 3rd lines. As almost everyone here has said, Sheahan is a 4th line player. I have to go with what the collective thought is.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 11:10 AM ET

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yet somehow Abby gets a bit of a free pass.

sorry? where have you been reading that fans are giving Abbey a pass? oh, just stirring the pot again. nothing to see here.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 12:08 PM ET

I sense people are disappointed in Abby’s season. But still incredible support for him. He’s a leader. He’s physical. He does things that don’t show up in the box scores. His contract isn’t that bad, maybe just a couple years too long. I mean, we actually protected him in an expansion draft and lost Nosek because of it.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 11:16 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 11:58 AM ET

I almost made it a week of not commenting…and it’s inflammatory crap like this that plagues the comments. If this is what is desired here, then fine? but FS is quite literally nothing more than a troll who has some good hockey knowledge.

Back to observing. Not that anyone missed me. raspberry

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/10/17 at 11:16 AM ET

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I would also add that media attention on Sheahan’s poor season was intense.

Where were all the articles on how Abby just scored TWO even-strength goals all season?

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 11:18 AM ET

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I almost made it a week of not commenting…and it’s inflammatory crap like this that plagues the comments.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/10/17 at 12:16 PM ET

I don’t comment much lately either. I’ll be a Wings fan no matter how bad things get. I have my opinions and disappointments, but I mostly keep them to myself.

But the fact that I still dabble in the comments section makes the “ignore” feature very convenient. I have one person that I “ignore”. It shouldn’t be difficult, from the direction this thread has gone, to guess who that is.

Posted by Steve in SE MI on 08/10/17 at 11:32 AM ET

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I sense people are disappointed in Abby’s season.

what people? the media? haven’t you been paying attention? the media surrounding the red wings is nothing more than song birds. stop reading what the media says as some kind of absolute truth on any subject. don’t you know, it’s all fake news.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 11:32 AM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 08/10/17 at 12:16 PM ET

feed the troll. he needs love just like everyone else does. probably more.

I’ll be a Wings fan no matter how bad things get. I have my opinions and disappointments, but I mostly keep them to myself.

Or at least bring them up in an environment where people are respectful and mindful of what they say back to other people.
(yeah, that comment is going to arouse some people) I’m not perfect, but I try.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 11:37 AM ET

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As almost everyone here has said, Sheahan is a 4th line player.

Right, but the Wings have too many fourth liners as it is (Sheahan, Helm, Abdelkader, Glendening, Witkowski), so there’d be no reason to make Svechnikov play on the fourth line.

And they have enough talented players that they can have a third line that isn’t actually just another fourth line.

With Z, Larkin, Mantha, Tatar, Nyquist, AA, Nielsen the Wings have seven top-six players, which means that one skilled player (at least) will be on the third line. You could have Helm centring the third line with, for instance, Tatar and Svechnikov on his wings, then the fourth line could be Glendening, Abdelkader and Witkowski(or a GR grad)

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/17 at 12:35 PM ET

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You guys should try to chill out. Stick to hockey. Complaining about other people’s posts are counter-productive. Just skip them.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 12:36 PM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

Cut bait on Sheahan. How hard is it to replace a player that struggles to score, isn’t physical, and has a terrible +/-? How about Bert, Frk, heck even Tangradi. At least he’s physical.

As for Abby, no doubt he, along with most of the team, disappointed last year, for him it was partially due to injury. But Abby scores better than Sheahan and is arguably the teams most physical player. I prefer him on either the 3rd or 4th line, but he can be effective on the forecheck and along the boards on higher lines as well when needed but if Abby is in the top 6 that just tells you how weak the roster is. Like everyone else I wish KH hadn’t given him such a long term contract but if slotted in the right role I think Abby is fairly effective and a hard worker.

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 08/10/17 at 12:55 PM ET

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But Abby scores better than Sheahan

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 08/10/17 at 01:55 PM ET

Based on what evidence? This is my point. In Abby’s first 327 games of his career, he was mostly used as a bottom 6 forward. He scored 38 goals in those 327 games. That’s 9.5 goals per 82-game season.

Then suddenly he finds himself playing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg for a couple of seasons and he scores 23 and 19 goals. By the way, 1/3rd of those goals were on the PP where he was a fixture. That earns him a 7-year extension worth $30M. He follows that up with, wait for it, a 7-goal season, just 2 at even-strength. I guess he misses Datsyuk.

Meanwhile, Sheahan has played 284 games, almost exclusively in a bottom 6 role, with far less PP time than Abby has enjoyed. And Sheahan has scored 38 goals (same as what Abby delivered in 43 less games). That’s an 11-goal pace per 82 games. That number would likely be higher if Sheahan wasn’t so incredibly unlucky last year, as any advanced stats might suggest. But even with that awful year, his scoring rate was higher than Abby.

So when in SIMILAR ROLES, Abby has scored at a 9.5 goal pace, whereas Sheahan was at an 11-goal pace. So why do people continue to claim Sheahan can’t score, while Abby is somehow an automatic in our top 6 and a fixture on the PP. Sheahan has better hands guys. The only thing missing on his resume is 2 or 3 years in a top 6 role alongside a prime Datsyuk and pretty effective Zetterberg to boost his point totals and earn him $30M contracts.

 

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 01:09 PM ET

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  Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 02:09 PM ET

I don’t know what alternate reality you’ve been in? I don’t see many talking abby up as much as you’re claiming they have been. In fact I’m pretty sure the majority of the fan base see abby as a bottom 6 player that can slot into the top 6 during injuries. Now the coaching views that differently but not the fan base. Of course everyone wabts to give him the benefit of thw doubt but I’ve seen the same thing applied to Sheahan as well. Personally, I’d take Sheahan over Abby anyday of the week.

It feels more and more that you’d rather stir the pot with your self righteousness as a self proclaimed hockey guru than anything else.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 01:18 PM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

<FatSavage> You’re missing my point. I’m not praising Abby. My point is that if you have to choose between Sheahan and Abby that Abby brings the additional physical element on the forecheck as well as along the boards. Sheahan does not.

As for goals, since 2012-13 (half season 10 goals which would pro-rate to 17 goals), then 10, 23, 19, 7. When he was in a top 6 role he scored more goals than when in the bottom 6. Naturally. But he bounced around lines.

Sheahan scored 9 in 2013-14, then 13, 14, 2G. Each season he scored fewer goals than Abby. Now you can conjecture (and did) that if Sheahan had only played with better players his goal numbers would have been better than Abbys… but it’s just that conjecture. When given time on the powerplay he was ineffective.

So if given the choice, I still take Abby because all things being equal he has the added element of physicality.

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 08/10/17 at 01:54 PM ET

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so there’d be no reason to make Svechnikov play on the fourth line.

just one sentence back, that is pretty much what I said. so I am not certain why your comment looks like a disagreement?

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 01:36 PM ET

which is exactly what you just did. :(

I don’t know what alternate reality you’ve been in?
ha ha hah ahh ahah aha…..I can guess…....

but seriously, as probably the only person here who defends Abbey for his minuscule offensive gifts it is almost certain that Abbey takes as much heat for his (lack of) skills as he does his contract. Look no further than VPlamer. I’m surprised he isn’t here stating his disdain for both Abbey and Sheahan. Maybe he realized that this subject, like many others, is about as flat as we can beat it.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 01:58 PM ET

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  Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 08/10/17 at 02:58 PM ET

Personally, I’d prefer the wing’s to move on from both of them. With Abby it won’t happen do to his contract. I do like what he brings though, I won’t lie. I just believe we could’ve have found or used someone else just as good in his place for far less. I’d like Sheahan more and want to keep him, if he didn’t follow the rest of the team in their inability to just shoot the damn puck. Sheahan has a wicked wrister, he just doesn’t use it nearly as much as he should. Also, if he’d use that 6’3” frame of his to smash some bodies he’d be a very effective player. I do think Sheahan has a far better year this year though. Last season I’m sure was a anomaly

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 02:14 PM ET

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Sheahan scored 9 in 2013-14, then 13, 14, 2G. Each season he scored fewer goals than Abby. Now you can conjecture (and did) that if Sheahan had only played with better players his goal numbers would have been better than Abbys… but it’s just that conjecture. When given time on the powerplay he was ineffective.

So if given the choice, I still take Abby because all things being equal he has the added element of physicality.

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 08/10/17 at 02:54 PM ET

Yes when you look at each season individually Abby scored more goals…but how much of that is due to being used in different roles with different levels of skill on their lines. Accuse me of conjecture all you want, but it’s not rocket science to think that when you play with guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and get lots of PP time you’re going to produce more than a guy in a bottom 6 role. Go flip to the Larkin article. People are making the same statements that Larkin’s struggles were due to playing with inferior linemates. How can larkin pile up assists when his wingers suck and can’t score. I call that common sense. You call it conjecture.

It’s OK to say you prefer Abby to Sheahan because of the physical play. I get that. But when people claim that Abby is the better goal scorer I take objection to that. When you adjust for the roles that they are used in, Sheahan has been the better goal scorer. Again, look at the first 327 games of Abby’s career (ie before his bizarre promotion to our top line). He was used as a bottom 6 forward, just like Sheahan has been used. And in those games (which is a large sample size)...Sheahan scored more often. That’s just the dead straight facts.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 02:16 PM ET

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    Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 03:16 PM ET

This I will agree with, put Sheahan on the top lines and he’ll be at least just as productive as Abby. Shoot when on a line with Tats and Jurco he was on pace for a very very productive season had he played all games that season. Why that line was ever broken up? I have no idea, the chemistry in that line was very apparent, never should’ve been broken up.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 02:26 PM ET

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To add Sheahan was on a pace for 2nd line center numbers with that line. Coaching mismanagement to T IMO

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 02:28 PM ET

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This I will agree with, put Sheahan on the top lines and he’ll be at least just as productive as Abby. Shoot when on a line with Tats and Jurco he was on pace for a very very productive season had he played all games that season. Why that line was ever broken up? I have no idea, the chemistry in that line was very apparent, never should’ve been broken up.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 03:26 PM ET

Agreed. I’d say Sheahan has better hands than Abby. Better passing skills. Better hockey IQ.

Abby trumps him with physical play. And that’s about it. Oh and he’s from Michigan and was recently married.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 02:30 PM ET

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There is something to be said for role players that have the ability to play with skill players, to compliment them.  As of yet not sure sheahan is that guy, although hasn’t been given that chance.  Abby earned that with his effort and physicalness to compliment a very unphysical top 6.  Putting sheahan there doesn’t add that dimension, though he is a decent puck protector.  You still might be right but Abby has proven it sheahan has not regardless of opportunity.  Sheahan is a very defensive minded guy too vs Abby.  If he changes that then sure otherwise he’s not nearly as effective as a forechecking winger as abs.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 08/10/17 at 02:30 PM ET

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Agreed with as well diebythewing

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 02:36 PM ET

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I feel that’s what this team lacks the most honestly, is in your face forecheckers. I mean who do we have? Helm and Abby. That was one of the most glaring things i saw watching the Preds and pens this past playoff season. They forechecked and forechecked and forchecked. They always had one player in the other teams face during the breakout. Sadly i haven’t seen the wings really up their forecheck and sustain it from game to game since the 08-09 season.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 02:48 PM ET

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I feel that’s what this team lacks the most honestly, is in your face forecheckers. I mean who do we have? Helm and Abby. That was one of the most glaring things i saw watching the Preds and pens this past playoff season. They forechecked and forechecked and forchecked. They always had one player in the other teams face during the breakout. Sadly i haven’t seen the wings really up their forecheck and sustain it from game to game since the 08-09 season.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 03:48 PM ET

Remember when Zack Kassian was on waivers? I guess if we claimed him we would have had to waive Miller, Jurco, or Glendening. So it’s best we didn’t. Our PK would have definitely suffered big time without Miller.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 03:05 PM ET

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But I guess Datsyuk said he likes how Abby plays the piano

Yeah, he liked it so much that he left for Russia with 1 year remaining on his contract…
As to Sheahan vs Abby, I prefer Abby in a vacuum. Sheahan to me just does not do anything great, he is kind of average in every aspect of the game, he almost never stands out in a good or a bad way. Abby at least is capable of making a difference in a game. And Abby is probably vocal in the locker room, a needed element for this team as I honestly do not see anybody on the roster who can get in your face Draper style. Sadly, we cannot look at them in a vacuum though without taking their contracts into account.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/10/17 at 03:17 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Sheahan has been told to use his fairly good shot more, use his big body more, again.

We will see, seems timid to me for lack of a better word.  He seems to have a lot of skills he is not using and never has.

Hope he gets some help from someone as he is not very good the way he has been playing.

Boot in the butt, Sports psychologist or waive him. Taking up a roster spot (not earned), not good rebuild idea.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/10/17 at 04:24 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I feel that’s what this team lacks the most honestly, is in your face forecheckers. I mean who do we have? Helm and Abby. That was one of the most glaring things i saw watching the Preds and pens this past playoff season. They forechecked and forechecked and forchecked. They always had one player in the other teams face during the breakout. Sadly i haven’t seen the wings really up their forecheck and sustain it from game to game since the 08-09 season.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 03:48 PM ET

Disagree for a few reasons.

In your face forechecking is post season hockey, and the Wings didn’t make the post season.  The nightly grind of the NHL regular season doesn’t have a lot of in your face knuckle drag forechecking of that nature, aside from a national TV game with a rival is amped up or in the final stretch. Both sides of that equation wouldn’t last a full season.

What matters more in today’s NHL is closing speed IMO, speed forces quicker decisions, forces turnovers, unlike Pittsburgh and Washington.  We do have a lot speed comparatively speaking but we just do not have the north and south talent to capitalize on that, we have spinners like Z, Tatar and Nyquist who play perimeter hockey and favor the curl.  Montreal went the grit and hit route and failed because of it. Mantha might change that for us, the kid can snipe, i wouldn’t mind seeing a more forecheck focused AA getting minutes with Mantha.

Just as importantly, in order to forecheck, we need to be out of our zone while we still have fresh legs or are not wholesale changing, and that’s something our coaching staff and/or defense are poor at. Nashville cleared the dzone like a swifter mop on hardwood, and they forced the play 200ft from their net with fresh legs to bring it in waves. It takes Blahill’s wings a full shift to exit, and we have to dump and change to survive.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/10/17 at 04:37 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Oops moved some stuff aroudn there, let me try that 2nd paragraph again…

What matters more in today’s NHL is closing speed IMO, speed forces quicker decisions, forces turnovers, Montreal went the grit and hit route and failed because of it. unWe do have a lot speed comparatively speaking but we just do not have the north and south talent to capitalize on that like Pittsburgh and Washington.  We have spinners like Z, Tatar and Nyquist who play perimeter hockey and favor the curl.  Mantha might change that for us, the kid can snipe, i wouldn’t mind seeing a more forecheck focused AA getting minutes with Mantha.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/10/17 at 04:40 PM ET

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  Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/10/17 at 05:37 PM ET

I’ll agree with a lot of your points, especially in your face forecheck throughout a whole season and that it’s more playoff hockey. I just see many even during the regular season always send a lone forechecker who hangs back but still closes in on the puck carrier (I guess I’ll call it 3/4 forecheck) Now what I notice with the wings is usually the lone forechecker hangs back towards the blue line (I’ll call this a 1/4) ive notice when the wongs play a better game that lone forechecker is usually closer to the hash-marks or closes in on the puck carrier at the same time usuing his stick to block the passing lanes.

I feel we don’t have the team for dump and chase. From my observations dump and chase teams are usually larger and like to bang bodies. I wish Blash would back away from the dump and chase.

I can’t say we dont have the talent for north and south as I believe the players who would be our good north south players are told to hang back, play safe and dump a chase. When I feel many of our players can sucessfully enter the zone and hold possession. I think many of the younder players are scared of any mistake causing reduced ice time or cleary cabana time.  This may be bias as I don’t like Blash. I wanted him to take over after Babs but not to pleased with his results.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 05:17 PM ET

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  Just as importantly, in order to forecheck, we need to be out of our zone while we still have fresh legs or are not wholesale changing, and that’s something our coaching staff and/or defense are poor at. Nashville cleared the dzone like a swifter mop on hardwood, and they forced the play 200ft from their net with fresh legs to bring it in waves. It takes Blahill’s wings a full shift to exit, and we have to dump and change to survive.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/10/17 at 05:37 PM ET

This part you hit the nail right on the head.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 05:21 PM ET

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As far as Blash goes, I don’t think he’s the right coach for this team. It had became fairly obvious that Babs had wore out his welcome and I think a freindly version of him wasn’t what the team needed. I honestly believe a different coach would’ve/can gotten/get more out of this team.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 05:29 PM ET

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Remember when Zack Kassian was on waivers?

Would have loved to see us pick him then, not so sure about now.

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 05:30 PM ET

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My favourite forechecks are when Miller and Glendening dump it in. They are so slow to actually force a mistake, but they wave their stick around and look busy while the opposing d-men calmly start the transition game. Once in awhile they do pressure the puck and it juggles loose. Then Miller and Glendening proceed to dry hump the boards with the puck in their skates to achieve a whistle. It’s not only a winning recipe but highly entertaining to watch.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 05:59 PM ET

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  Posted by fatsavage on 08/10/17 at 06:59 PM ET


Hahahahaha

Posted by benzanato on 08/10/17 at 06:06 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.

 

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