Save for the massive Anthony Mantha trade at the trade deadline, 2021 was a relatively forgettable season for the Detroit Red Wings. A rebuilding team with plenty of talent just outside of the NHL. Let’s refresh our memory and take a look at a few of the players fans will be hard-pressed to remember a few years from now.
Games Played: 26
Borderline NHLer, possible AHLer.
2021 Season in a Nutshell
At 26 years old, Mathias Brome finally made his NHL debut. Expectations were there, but not ridiculously high. Unfortunately, he looked absolutely snakebitten for a majority of his time on the main roster. Playing during perhaps the worst stretch of hockey Detroit had all year, Brome didn’t get much help on the ice, illustrated by the rough -9 plus/minus goal differential. It didn’t help that he seemed cursed not to score. Brome had a bevy of chances throughout his time and just failed to finish. It was a frustrating stretch, as he was by no means as bad as the stat sheet indicates. When Brome finally notched that first NHL goal, his excitement was palpable.
However, Brome failed to do it again. As the season progressed, he started to float between the taxi squad and a healthy scratch. By the halfway point of the season, Brome had essentially disappeared from the lineup. Even as injuries piled up near the end of the season, Brome could not find a way back to the lineup. Soon after the season ended, it was announced that Brome signed with a team in Sweden.
They Said It
“I like Mathias, he tries to do it right. “The NHL is hard. It’s hard to produce offense, it’s hard when you’re not big or super-fast. But I think he’s gotten chances, and with chances I think he’ll eventually score. My understanding is he started the Swedish Hockey League a similar (way), where he went a number of games without scoring, and all the sudden he popped a bunch. We’re hoping he starts to gain that confidence. But I like him, he tries to do the right things and he plays hard.”
-Jeff Blashill via Mlive
I hate to give Mathias Brome a grade like this. I really do. Brome finally notching that first goal was one of the best (And underrated) moments of the season, you could feel the weight dissipate from his shoulders. However, Brome failed to make the roster. Expectations were not high whatsoever, but consider the facts in a vacuum: a player managed to only nab two points in 26 games, failed to make the roster after the midway point and was leapfrogged by a handful of younger players and veterans. Brome was a fun player and is a great guy, but his 2020-21 season cannot be viewed as anything but a failure.