Talking Red Wings Hockey with the Grind Line Podcast

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings community has a number of voices and as we’ve been trying to do during our weekly reviews, showcasing those voices either through the written, word video or audio.

Another pretty prominent voice is the Grind Line Podcast, which is composed of Greg, Ryan, and Tyler  who were kind enough to sit down and dialogue about some Red Wings topics as training camp gets closer.

We look at the long view on the Nielsen buyout, would you offer sheet Elias Pettersson at the tier that would cost four firsts, which young player do you hope gets the open roster spot, and what a successful season looks like–while still being in the draft lottery

Nate:  Perhaps it’s me looking too much into it, but it always feels like Yzerman is taking the long view, even when he makes hockey trades. In the case of Nielsen’s buyout, do you feel like something else is coming or is it simply like the Abdelkader buyout?

Greg: I think we have said from pretty early on that it looked like Steve had a 3 or so year window of making it back to the playoffs and it looks to still be on track. To me, the Nielsen buyout is simply for a roster spot. They clearly don’t need the cap room but the space on the bench is the big win here.

Ryan: I want to go along your line of thinking in that Yzerman is about to make some wondrous trade for a 1st round pick, but I think it really is something as simple as opening up a roster spot for one of these talented younger guys to show their stuff to try and crack this roster.

You’d have to think this should give Joe Veleno a huge boost to being on the opening night roster

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(I’m not yet convinced Mitchell Stephens is your 3/4C). Though, after Veleno, it gets a little bit murky for me as to who else is likely to make a quick jump – I’d love to see Berggren but I think you see him logging top line minutes with Raymond in GR.

Tyler: I believe that Yzerman is always looking at the long term because this project isn’t close to finished. Is it closer than it was when he took over absolutely but still not there yet. Steve isn’t gonna make any moves that are going to set the rebuild back. In this case with Frans being bought out I think it’s just to make room for a younger cheaper player. Who that is well I think we’ll find out in the next month or so with camp right around the corner.

Nate: This has been debated at length across a lot of Red Wings Nation. Would you give up 4 firsts to offer sheet Elias Pettersson (assuming it would take the $10.276 threshold?)

Greg: 4 firsts? Nope, but I don’t think it would cost 4. If you offered him say 5 years at $10 million a year you would only have to give up 2 firsts, a second, and a third. That I would absolutely do.

Pettersson is the superstar center this team needs at only 22 years old. Allowing Larkin to slide down to 2C which he is overqualified for would be absolutely deadly. Now follow that up with Pius Suter at 3C and Rasmussen at 4C and you would probably have one of the best center lineups in

the league. That is 100% worth 2 first round picks in the years where you are getting closer and closer to the playoffs and further from the lottery.

Now Vancouver says they will match any offer that is made but it sure as hell would be fun to watch them, squirm to try and then sign Quinn Hughes.  (Vancouver general manager Jim) Benning says he isn’t worried but every day that a contract is not done is one day closer to a potential offer sheet and if any GM in the league has the stones to do it–it’s Yzerman.

Ryan: My initial answer is: No. Though I could potentially be convinced. There’s no doubt that he’s an electric player that would immediately improve this team, now and for the long run. But I say “No” with the thought that they wouldn’t even have to spend that much to *potentially* get him.

It is no secret that Vancouver has put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation financially after making that OEL trade. They’re a year away from Brock Boeser needing a new contract and a raise; they still must pay Quinn Hughes – who by Evolving Hockey’s model is deserving of a 6yr deal worth $7.017mil per year.

Now, sure, they have $10mil in cap space, but you’re telling me Hughes and Pettersson are going to sign for $5mil each? If they do, it’ll be some masterful work.

I say all this to circle back to my “No” answer. Petterson, per Evolving Hockey, is projected to a deal around $4.95mil with VAN. Again, if they pay Hughes what he’s projected at, VAN is in trouble. DET **could** offer him between $8.222 and $10.276 and get away with only losing 2 1st, 1 2nd, and 1 3rd.

Now THAT scenario I would be extremely happy with. Because you’re truly straining VAN on what they can potentially do. Really it comes down to who they are able to sign first between Hughes/Pettersson and then things my get interesting.

Tyler: 4 firsts is a lot for anyone but with a situation like the Wings have maybe giving up 4 players for a budding superstar like Elias Pettersson isn’t as far fetched as one might think. Imagine a 1-2 punch down the middle Pettersson and Larkin that would fix a gaping hole that the Wings have in their pipeline.

Larkin is a #1 center now but after Larkin the Center depth isn’t exactly what you’d like to see. Sure Veleno could end up being a #2 C but you could make an argument that a few years from now Pettersson could be the #1 C and Larkin could be the #2 C. Either way it would be a great problem to have. I don’t think the Red Wings would do it but I don’t put anything past Steve Yzerman so I guess you never know.

Nate: With an extra spot now on the roster, which young players are you hoping to see in Detroit should they have a successful preseason?

Greg: Veleno would be the obvious answer for a roster spot given his tryout at the end of last season but I really want to see Berggren blow the doors off in camp and pre-season. The kid has had some unfortunate injuries but showed his talent last season and is extremely exciting to watch.There will probably be a lot of people that would say Lucas Raymond but I don’t think there is much of a chance he starts the season in Detroit.

Ryan: Veleno, as I mentioned earlier is my top pick to be on the team. Next would have to be Berggren. I left out Seider because I think he’s a lock on D and that shifts my entire attention to this forwards group.

Tyler: Assuming former 1st round pick Moritz Seider makes the team which I think is more of a foregone conclusion the more I think about it. I would say a combo of Veleno and Berggren would be amazing to see in the NHL. Not sure Veleno has much more to give/show in the AHL. The dream scenario would be Raymond gets to camp and just out plays everyone and he makes it but I don’t see it happening not right out of camp.

Nate: This has felt like the biggest jump forward during the rebuild with the acquisitions of Nick Leddy, Alex Nedeljkovic, and Pius Suter. With the loaded 2022 Draft in the back of our minds, what are you watching for this season as the lottery seems the likely conclusion, but maybe not as high of a pick as year’s past?

Greg: Gotta stick with improvement. I’m excited to see a full season of Jakub Vrana and what the top 6 can do. The bottom of the lineup has also improved so we should be even more competitive than last season which ended really well.

I think I can speak for the entire Red Wings fan base when I say that Hockeytown is ready for the arrival of Mo Seider. Those that didn’t see the clinic he put on in Rogle last season are in for a real treat. This kid is a reverse hit machine and has plenty of offensive upside. He is the future top Dman this team desperately needs and with Edvinsson close behind Detroit’s defense is about to be really scary.

Also don’t count on the draft. I expect we will finish 8-10th from the bottom.

Ryan: I’m going to be a bit of a Blashill homer here, but to use something he says quite often (or along those lines) – are these guys improving? If so, then it’ll be a successful season. I think we can safely say that has been the case for the last several years – though, for whatever reason, there’s a lot of debate regarding Larkin on that point.

I think for us to see the “breakout” we hope for with some of these guys, the team just needs to stay healthy. We’ve talked about it countless times on the podcast that IF they were healthy, we’d be a far better teams in terms of the record, stat line, etc.

For how the 2022 draft is looking, if the Wings still manage to be in the top 10, you can likely constitute that as a win; I refuse to get excited for winning the lottery unless it actually happens – I hate the lottery set up with all that I have and wish it was destroyed, haha.

Tyler: For me it’s not about wins and losses as weird as that might sound, it’s about constant improvement from the younger guys. Less games like the Tampa game earlier this season or other games that the team seems to be defeated 10 mins into the game.

We just need to play well and be competitive. If we arrive a year early and push for a playoff spot and get in, that’s good for kids’ development too. I am not holding my hopes up for a lottery anymore. It would be great but it seems like when the ping pong balls are bouncing they don’t bounce the wings way. This absolutely is the biggest step forward on paper. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds this season.

Many thanks again for taking the time to sit down and discuss Red Wings hockey. You can find their show on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Make sure you to give them a listen!

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