Just like that, we’ve got more Detroit Red Wings news to cover. A couple of bombshells dropped – both involving the team’s goaltending situation. Beyond that, we’ve got news involving a prospect the team already has, as well as a mock draft that projects which prospect the team might add.
So let’s dive in:
So Long, Jimmy Howard
In what seemed like a foregone conclusion, goaltender Jimmy Howard recently confirmed that his time with the Wings is likely over.
While I wouldn’t write off a return to Detroit entirely, this frees up the 11-year veteran to chase that elusive Stanley Cup championship. Under the right situation, Howard could make for a great backup option behind a solid starter. By all accounts, he’s good in the locker room, and he gives it his all – even if the results aren’t there.
For some, Howard will be remembered for injuries and inconsistency. For others, he’ll be remembered for a run of strong goaltending from 2009 to 2013, as well as keeping his team afloat while it slowly became the mess that it is now. You can read a full recap of Howard’s Red Wings‘ legacy here.
Eyes On Markstrom
With Howard likely moving on, it seems the Red Wings may have their eyes on a potential successor:
At 30 years old, Markstrom recently enjoyed arguably the most successful season of his NHL career. He helped lead the Vancouver Canucks to the playoffs and appeared in 14 games in the Edmonton bubble. While his .919 save-percentage during those games is nothing to scoff at, the Canucks may hand the starting gig to 24-year-old Thatcher Demko, who stole the show and nearly eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights on his own after Markstrom went down with an undisclosed injury.
Markstrom would absolutely improve the Red Wings’ roster, but the cost and term are going to be key here. Furthermore, it’ll be interesting to see if Markstrom is willing to leave an up-and-coming team like the Canucks for a team that won’t be in the playoffs anytime soon. Personally, I think a team like the Edmonton Oilers would make a great match for Markstrom.
McIsaac Sent to Finland
Prospect defenseman Jared McIsaac was loaned to HPK of the Finnish league.
The 20-year-old was drafted 36th overall in 2018, and this season is set to be his first at the pro level. McIsaac joins a growing list of prospects and players to head overseas to get some games in while the Red Wings continue to sit idle.
As a projected middle-pairing defenseman, this season is an important one for McIsaac. Not only will it show where is development is at, but it should help elevate his game to the next level. Playing against men over in Finland will help, and if the AHL can hold a 2020-21 season, McIsaac will surely find himself on the Grand Rapids Griffins’ roster when that happens.
The Athletic Does a Mock Draft
Max Bultman, who covers the Red Wings over at The Athletic, recently participated in Corey Pronman’s annual staff mock draft. With the fourth pick, he picked the forward that seems to be constantly linked to the team in Detroit: Cole Perfetti.
Bultman writes, “He can run the Red Wings’ future power play. He can score. He can make plays. And if he ends up being able to do all of that from the center position, it’ll be all the better.” (from ‘NHL staff mock draft 2020: Changes in the top three, plus an audit by NHL scouts’ – The Athletic – 9/21/20)
Related: The Best of ‘Mr. Goalie’ Glenn Hall
While Perfetti wouldn’t be my pick at fourth overall, that shouldn’t take away from the undeniable talent that Perfetti possesses. If Bultman is correct and the Red Wings select this versatile forward, their prospect pool will receive a considerable boost.
News and rumors pertaining to the offseason are starting to trickle in at a faster pace, so stay tuned to The Hockey Writers for your Red Wings fix!