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Red Wings prospects Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen on development camp finale. June 30, 2018 at Little Caesars Arena. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press

HSJ: Luke Glendening could appeal – he’s speedy, an excellent penalty killer and capable of 8-12 goals a season. That’s a good package for a 29-year-old with a $1.8 million salary cap hit and three more years on the contract. Glendening has the versatility to play in a number of roles, too – grind-line type center, or puck-retrieving winter if needed in the top six mix. I’m less inclined to see a trade materializing involving Darren Helm, even if he approved it and waived his no-trade clause. He’s 31, and has three more years left at a $3.85 million annual salary cap hit. That said, he’s another speedy, defensively sound forward who can score in the 12-14 goal range. 

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HSJ: Once restricted free agents Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha are re-signed, that will put the Wings at 12 NHL forwards towards next season. From what I hear within the organization, Michael Rasmussen would have to play himself out of a spot in training camp – that’s how high the confidence is the 6-foot-6 forward is ready to grab a spot. Hard to think he wouldn’t be a help on the power play. There’s hope Filip Zadina can, too, but it’s a big advantage for the Wings that the NHL has sided with them and determined Zadina was on loan to Halifax, making him a European-status player and AHL eligible. If Zadina looks like he can make the Wings better out of camp, the onus will be on them to find a spot, but if he doesn’t, it’s easy to start him in Grand Rapids. (Rasmussen, on the other hand, will either play in Detroit, or have to go back to juniors). 

Gustav Nyquist has a no-trade clause, but hopefully he’ll be willing to waive it near the trade deadline if the Wings get a good offer from a contender. 

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HSJ: Filip Hronek’s very good first year of pro hockey (11 goals, 28 assists, 39 points in 67 games with Grand Rapids) gives him the edge to grab a spot going into camp over fellow defense prospects such as Dennis Cholowski, Libor Sulak and Joe Hicketts. Hronek ran one of the Griffins power play units, contributing 18 points on man advantages. He’s 6-0, 178 pounds, but he’s not afraid to go into corners. Sulak is more of a defensive defenseman – that’s the role he played for the Czechs at the World Championship this past May.

I’m intrigued by Cholowski because he’s a good package of size (6-1, 195 pounds), skill (14 goals, 52 assists, 66 points in 69 games between Prince George and Portland) and he skates beautifully. He may well end up starting his pro career in Grand Rapids, but if he has a good start, I’d expect to see him up at first opportunity. Hicketts plays with such a swagger and gained immediate popularity in the locker room with his spirited play when he made his NHL debut in January, but I don’t know that both Hronek and Hicketts (5-8, 181 pounds), who are both undersized, will be in the lineup together much.

HSJ:Henrik Zetterberg told me in June he is training and planning on playing, so until I hear otherwise, I’m expecting Zetterberg will play. If he does not, I’d expect the Wings to go with three alternates and down the road name Dylan Larkin the next captain.

Contact Helene St. James: hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Check out our Red Wings Xtra app on Apple and Android!

 

 

https://www.freep.com/story/sports/nhl/red-wings/2018/07/11/detroit-red-wings-mailbag/771284002/

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