The Detroit Red Wings have an odd situation on their hands with center, Pius Suter. Suter, who is coming off a less than ideal season, has almost certainly lost his center two spot. But more than that, he could be losing his roster spot.
Suter is one of the forwards on the Red Wings roster that have quite the predicament. He went from being the Red Wings center two last season to potentially being off the roster or a healthy scratch. Now, I’d like to think that he will still be playing in some capacity, but I just don’t see how.
This off-season the Red Wings signed David Perron, Andrew Copp, and Dominik Kubalik. Now, too most that probably doesn’t seem like enough to kick Suter off of the daily lineup. But, it does.
Looking ahead to the season, I’d wager that the top two lines are set. In some form, the Red Wings will likely line up Bertuzzi, Larkin, Raymond, Vrana, Perron, and Copp as their top six. I feel that is almost a given. There is no way that the Red Wings will have Perron or Copp playing minutes on the third line. Especially after just signing them to $4,000,000+ contracts. So, that leaves us with the bottom six.
Looking at the Red Wings current roster, Figuring out what the bottom six will look like is pretty hard. There are a lot of talented players on this roster, but figuring out where they belong is pretty difficult for me but I do know who I want in the lineups day-in and day-out.
The bottom six, at least for me, should look something like this: Kubalik, Veleno, Zadina, Sundqvist, Rasmussen, Hirose/Fabbri. Now, that’s based upon my projection, and I’m sure that many are going to disagree but here’s the dilemma behind the dilemma.
Suter, say he plays the fourth line- he’d be a fourth line player making $3,250,000. For a fourth line player, that seems like quite the overpay, no? Not to mention, when Suter was playing minutes in the top six, he still wasn’t producing. Or at least not to the extent in which we expected. That leaves the Red Wings with two options.
First, Suter is a free agent at the end of the season, so you can let him walk at the end of the season. But during the season you can play him and try and get him in situations to produce. Maybe increase his trade value to the point that you can get a prospect or a pick in return. Or second, you can simply bench him this season and try to put together a group of great skaters out on the ice.
Time will tell what they chose, but it will be interesting to see what they end up doing with him.