Detroit Red Wings: It’s last call for Filip Zadina

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Detroit Red Wings

General manager Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings are coming off what feels like a very successful NHL free agency period. Yzerman identified the team’s needs and promptly filled them.

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The organization had a few glaring needs this offseason. Detroit needed to replace backup goaltender Thomas Greiss. Like Yzerman acquired Alex Nedelijovic a year ago from the Carolina Hurricanes, he traded a third-round pick to the St. Louis Blues for netminder Ville Husso. Following the deal, Yzerman immediately rewarded the goaltender with a three-year extension that averages $4.75 million.

Husso appeared in 40 games last season for the Blues, going 25-7-6 with a stellar 0.919 save percentage and a 2.56 Goals Against Average.

The next area Yzerman needed to address was down the middle of Detroit’s lineup. The Red Wings have been searching for a genuine second-line center for years. Someone to follow captain Dylan Larkin without seeing much of a dropoff. Yzerman elected to fill this role by signing former Michigan Wolverine Andrew Copp. Copp is a reliable two-way center coming off a 21-goal season. Copp is likely best suited as a third-line center on a cup contender but will be asked to anchor the second group in Detroit.

The signing of Copp does lengthen Detroit’s lineup down the middle forcing Pius Suter to play as the third-line center leaving Michael Rasmussen to anchor the fourth line. Rasmussen proved to be a valuable shutdown center last season for Detroit. Although the organization had higher hopes for the 6-foot-6 center, he will still have a valuable role with the club. He also can move up and down the depth chart if injuries occur.

Detroit also desperately needed to add a left-handed defenseman. Well, Yzerman added two by signing veterans Olli Maatta and Ben Chiarot.

Detroit Red Wings Free Agency Review

Where does Filip Zadina fit in with the Detroit Red Wings?

The icing on the cake came later on the first day of free agency for the Detroit Red Wings when they added David Perron and Dominik Kubalik. Perron will help bolster Detroit’s second line. Perron is a perennial 20-plus goal scorer. Kubalik scored 30 goals as a rookie three years ago and is coming off a 15-goal campaign last season with the Blackhawks and will add some much-needed depth scoring to the third line.

It seems to me that the addition of Kubalik, in particular, sends a message to Zadina. Detroit desperately needs depth scoring. Zadina had been a highly-touted draft choice with sniper ability but has yet to put it all together.

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It’s clear that Yzerman is not only looking to put a competitive roster on the ice for the first time in quite some time, but he’s also trying to send a message to some of the Ken Holland holdovers; it’s time to produce or start packing your bags. It’s also noteworthy that Robby Fabbri will miss the start of the season as he recovers from an ACL injury. The injury also buys Zadina a few months to prove he belongs.

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I expect Zadina to start the season on Detroit’s third line flanking Suter, playing opposite Kubalik. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zadina has a short leash with others chomping at the bit to earn a roster spot. Keep an eye on rookies Jonatan Berggren and Elmer Soderblom. Additionally, veteran players such as Adam Erne, Oskar Sundqvist, and Givani Smith will compete to stay out of the press box.

Over his career, Zadina has scored 25 goals and recorded 61 points in 160 NHL games. Last season he scored ten times in 74 contests.

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Posted by Bob Heyrman
Bob currently serves as the Editorial Director at Detroit Sports Nation. Bob's writing is comparable to the third starter in a rotation. Sometimes he throws junk that finds the barrel of the bat and gets smacked over the fence, but the odd time he can toss a complete game shutout. Bob is a passionate lifelong Detroit sports fan. Bob loves the city and can often be found downtown taking in a sporting event or a cold beverage at a local watering hole.