The 2022-23 NHL regular season is right around the corner for the Detroit Red Wings, as they'll be welcoming in their Original 6 and Atlantic Division rival Montreal Canadiens to Little Caesars Arena tomorrow night for their first game of 82. But according to the comments made by new head coach Derek Lalonde following this morning's skate, forward Filip Zadina was designated as one of the odd men out of tomorrow night's lineup.
What was the reasoning for sitting Filip Zadina?
According to Lalonde, the Red Wings can afford to sit him due to their level of depth in the lineup, and that he and fellow healthy scratch Pius Suter will likely factor into the lineup soon.
“He’s an offensive guy that judges himself on offense,” Lalonde said. “Obviously, we’d love him producing offense but just managing his game. There’s some risk, there’s some turnovers in his game. All great players, skilled guys are going to have those natural turnovers, but just limiting them.”
“There’s times during the week we had him in (the lineup). It (depth) is a luxury we had, which is probably different than they’ve experienced in the past in that we could have gone many different directions. Suter would be in that same boat. Those are really tough decisions. A lot went into it. I see it changing a little bit, especially early in the season.”Ansar Khan, via MLive
Zadina was drafted by Detroit with the 6th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, though he was originally expected by fans and pundits alike to be taken by either the Ottawa Senators or Montreal Canadiens. Zadina promised to make them regret not drafting him by promising to “fill their net with pucks”.http://gty.im/1430548139
Filip Zadina will need to produce more offense
However, things haven't exactly gone according to plan for Zadina with the Red Wings since making his debut during the 2018-19 NHL season. In a total of 74 games played during the 2021-22 season in which he was expected to shoulder a higher load of the offensive attack, Zadina managed only 10 goals with 14 assists. Certainly not the kind of production that the team expected from Zadina, especially given the fact that forward Jakub Vrana was absent for the first three months of the campaign recovering from surgery.
Despite this, general manager Steve Yzerman made the call to keep Filip Zadina around in the Motor City, extending their relationship in the form of a three year contract extension that carries an AAV of $1.8125 million.