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Abel to Yzerman

The Benching Of Filip Hronek

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

The media does not know why Hronek has been benched, nor do we know when he will play again.

What else we do know is Hronek is 23 and a player who is considered to be part of the rebuild. This summer, the Red Wings gave Hronek a three-year deal worth an average of $4.4 million.

Blashill wouldn’t bench Hronek without discussing this with general manager Steve Yzerman. They talk daily about what’s happening with the team.

That’s important to factor in when you analyze what is happening. Some fans believe that Danny Dekeyser should have been benched before Hronek because he was playing worse. Dekeyser has a 33.6 Corsi and has been a minus player for four consecutive games. The team has an .870 save percentage when he is on the ice.

But when analyzing this situation keep in mind that Dekeyser is 31 and isn’t considered a player who will be with the team when it is ready to contend. Dekeyser is also part of the Red Wings’ leadership. He contributes off the ice as well as on the ice. He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent and may not be with the team even next season.

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Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

But when analyzing this situation keep in mind that Dekeyser is 31 and isn’t considered a player who will be with the team when it is ready to contend. Dekeyser is also part of the Red Wings’ leadership. He contributes off the ice as well as on the ice. He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent and may not be with the team even next season.

So what? If his play is poor, you bench the guy.

Posted by ilovehomers on 10/25/21 at 06:42 PM ET

nicksnick's avatar

Man, that last quoted paragraph has some strong “PuckStopsHere” writing style vibes.

Posted by nicksnick on 10/25/21 at 07:23 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Homers,

You may be missing the point. Dekeyser at this point does not need a lesson since he is not part of the future of this team and he is past his peak. There is not much to gain in benching DDK because you are not going to get much more out of him. Hronek on the other hand is very young and just maybe taking a step back for a moment may improve his overall game to sit and take it in. A brain refresh.
But I agree Hronek is a better Dman overall at this point this season and a better player than DDK has ever been.
Hronek’s Corsi is not much better at 39.9. Leddy and Seider are 50 plus for comparison. Hronek for his career is around 47. He is struggling. Not saying i agree with Blashill but I can understand his logic along with Kevin Allen.
Food for thought.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 10/25/21 at 07:23 PM ET

Avatar

The more I read about it the more I think something is there behind the scenes and not just about how he plays.

Posted by VPalmer on 10/25/21 at 07:47 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

“he’s not in the lineup, it remains a coaches decision and we’ll keep those likes and dislikes internally between the players and coaching staff, all of us in the last couple games need to be better and we’ll just leave it at that”

https://twitter.com/riger1984/status/1452383228841664516?t=1ZV-p5VaI6MHn5JsMbYR3w&s=19

That’s a quote from yesterday. That sounds like its disciplinary action, and not solely performance based to me.  Maybe I’m wrong, but my read is there’s more to it than just a botched play or three.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 10/25/21 at 08:22 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 10/25/21 at 08:23 PM ET

Fair enough. I just don’t see the point in benching one and not the other. Sit em both and get Oesterle in.

Posted by ilovehomers on 10/25/21 at 09:07 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Great quote Nate!  There sounds like there is something deeper going on. Thank you for posting.

I do not disagree with you Homer.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 10/25/21 at 09:28 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Sit em both and get Oesterle in.

Posted by ilovehomers on 10/25/21 at 10:07 PM ET

Especially if you’re contemplating moving one or both of them. Is Oesterle ready to step in? You’re not going to find out by keeping him on the sidelines.

Posted by calquake from Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst on 10/25/21 at 10:33 PM ET

Avatar

Yes @Nate, that odd, ambiguous quote jumped out at me too: what
“likes and dislikes”? (choices or effort at practice
or on the ice; personal or deployment disagreements?)

It’s easy to forget Hronek is “just” twenty
-three. He’s been force-fed huge minutes on almost
exclusively bad teams, and has been a guy with whom you sort of
have had to take the bad with the good, since he’s been about the only
capable offensive contributor.

You sort of think: these are growing pains for a talented young player
forced to do a lot on a rebuilding team. But that can also mean feeling entitled to 25 mins/game and top power play mins and longer mesh due to lack of alternatives.
It can mean developing bad habits while playing a lot but not necessarily better.
I still like him as a second-pairing right D. But he has seemed too error prone in relation to the offensive impact he actually brings. It doesn’t help DeKeyser has also struggled after being talked up so much as a top-four D and impact defender.

Posted by lefty.30 on 10/25/21 at 11:08 PM ET

Avatar

Osterle actually seems like a lower-pairing fill in for
a guy like Hronek: a mobile player with some offensive ability.
A left side defender maybe but one iirc who is also comfortable on the right.

I will say the team’s trust in Lindstrom and his growing role
are encouraging. And Stecher is a perfectly reasonable right-side option.

It wouldn’t shock many of us at this point to see SY jump on
a trade if the right offer is there.

One odd thing about the article above
(and maybe this is simply what has happened to
writing a good two decades into digital (non)editing)
is the suggestion that DeKeyser is simultaneously too important
and also disposable, maybe on his way out at the end of the season.
I guess this is a young team and you do need some veteran leaders.
But Staal and Leddy are both veteran guys, too. DeKeyser was scratched and even waived last season when he was struggling with lingering symptoms from his back injury and surgery.

Another interesting ambiguity is Blashill, while saying he sees no
reason to talk about why he’s scratching Hronek, is throwing out:
“keep likes and dislikes private”; and simply needing to get the two other NHL D into the lineup. But none of that explains why the biggest minute and previously number one D (prior to this season, if only by default) is going from well over 20 mins to sitting. Hronek can be an important part of the future, but not necessarily.
The thing we see with Seider and Raymond is the long-awaited arrival of drafted players who not only get into the lineup or earn big minutes by default but who seize big roles and make the team clearly better while doing so. Ultimately, that’s how a team rebuilds. You need to draft and develop top of the lineup players who are very good players on a winning team. Is Hronek that kind of player? Or just the best we had until this season. I know this is beyond moot at this point. But can you imagine if Holland had simply drafted Chychrun, eaten the final year of Dats’ deal and not a) delusionally chased an already injury-prone star who was such a long-shot he ended up not even wanting to meet with us, or then throwing too much money and term at a fading 40 pt two-way center.

I know I know - one of these picks could have changed future picks, but can you imagine Chychrun, Hughes, and Seider as our D core?

Posted by lefty.30 on 10/25/21 at 11:28 PM ET

Chet's avatar

DDK probably wants to try to get one more deal before he’s totally washed. the wings probably don’t want him back, so they’re doing him and their draft chances a favor by playing him so he can get traded and maybe be a depth guy on a playoff team.

if you think the wings could make the playoffs and contend this year, you hate this. if you don’t, it’s just smart business. get a 3rd for the guy in January if you can. win win.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 10/26/21 at 02:35 AM ET

Avatar

we sure need Edvinsson to pan out.

Hronek has always been just meh for me.

 

 

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 10/26/21 at 06:01 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 10/26/21 at 07:01 AM ET

Agreed. Hronek was decent on a very bad team. He now has more support in all areas and is underperforming OR he wasn’t good to begin with and now there are quality players, he fades away. No idea but everyone has young players that people think are good but aren’t.

There’s a reason SY made trades to get players like Fabbri etc
Young guys that were picked at high spots but never pan out.

We waited Errorson’s entire career for him to pan out. Let’s not do the same with Hronek.

Posted by retrospecd on 10/26/21 at 09:30 AM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

We waited Errorson’s entire career for him to pan out. Let’s not do the same with Hronek.

If you thought the last pick in the draft was going to magically develop into a top defenseman, that’s on you.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 10/26/21 at 11:40 AM ET

Shanny_Fan's avatar

Hronek was pretty bad for the last month or so of last season, especially defensively IMO. Probably a result of being young and playing all those minutes on the top pair with a compressed schedule. To me it looks like he’s still trying to recover from that bad stretch and find his game again. This is a growing pain, Hronek will get back to being really good for us again in the not so distant future.

Blash is testing his sticktuitivness to help him trust the process…

Posted by Shanny_Fan on 10/26/21 at 11:47 AM ET

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Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 10/26/21 at 12:40 PM ET

You’re mistaken.

It’s irrelevant to what position he was drafted.

What matters is we kept a player around far longer than he should have ever been kept even in the face of multiple poor seasons simply because Holland had an emotional attachment to his players.

This is a business.

Do you see any of the SC winners in the last 5-8 years keeping players that are as bad as Errorson? Many teams have kicked off their “franchise” players because it’s a business.

We overpaid him considering what you could have gotten for the same price during his tenure. He had no offensive or defensive ability to speak of. The only purpose he served was his height.

Posted by retrospecd on 10/26/21 at 12:03 PM ET

awould's avatar

Man, that last quoted paragraph has some strong “PuckStopsHere” writing style vibes.

Posted by nicksnick on 10/25/21 at 08:23 PM ET

I almost forgot about that guy, thanks.

Posted by awould on 10/26/21 at 12:27 PM 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