Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Fan Mail

12/20/2021 at 8:11am EST

Max Bultman of The Athletic answers some fan mail,

What does the defense core realistically look like next year?

The right side is easy: it should look the same as this year with Seider, Filip Hronek and Gustav Lindstrom.

The left is a bit trickier. Jordan Oesterle is the lone current left-shot ‘D’ not due to hit unrestricted free agency at season’s end, so pencil him in. I’d keep Marc Staal around for one more year, too — he’s having a strong statistical season, pairs well with Lindstrom and from what I’ve heard is an important part of the locker room.

The big variable here is 2021 No. 6 pick Simon Edvinsson. He’s having a strong season in the SHL, playing 20 minutes per night for Frölunda. After Detroit’s experience with Moritz Seider, it’s going to be awfully tempting to plug him into the NHL lineup next year if he keeps up his form through the second half. It’s a bit early for me to call that a lock, though, partly because Edvinsson hasn’t yet had the AHL experience Seider had, allowing the Red Wings brass to get a feel for how he looked in the North American style of play. That shouldn’t rule him out by any means, but it’s enough to give pause right now.

If Edvinsson goes and dominates the world juniors next week, then looks like he belongs at the world championship in the spring, that should do a lot to ease those concerns. But ultimately, it’s probably a decision that gets made in the preseason — more similar to Raymond’s situation this year, compared to the pre-determined spot Seider seemed to have.

For that reason, the Red Wings probably need to bring in at least one left-side defenseman via free agency or trade this offseason who they’d be comfortable using as a nightly regular. If Edvinsson looks the part, Oesterle can play a similar role to the one he’s played this year as the seventh defenseman — or Staal could fill that role, if his game slips. But if Edvinsson needs some time with the Griffins, Oesterle has shown he’s perfectly capable as a regular, so the Red Wings wouldn’t be caught in scramble mode.

many more ($$$) questions

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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.

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