Red Wings News & Rumors: Alternate Captains, Power Play & More

Get caught up on the latest Detroit Red Wings news and rumors as the 2021-22 season kicks off. The Red Wings take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night to get things started. Before then, find out who will serve as the team’s alternate captains, what’s new with the power play, and more.

Red Wings Name Alternate Captains

On Wednesday, the Red Wings announced that Marc Staal and Danny DeKeyser would serve as the team’s alternate captains for the 2021-22 season.

Apart from Staal and DeKeyser, another four or five other Red Wings would have been reasonable choices to wear an ‘A’ this season. Tyler Bertuzzi and Sam Gagner received a handful of votes in The Grind Line’s recent column on the matter. For a young team, this surplus of quality leadership is a great thing.

If you’re hung up on Detroit’s choices, DeKeyser’s seniority and determination to battle back from significant surgery shouldn’t be ignored. As for Staal, it’s my understanding that when his New York Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, Staal would have been the player to accept the Stanley Cup from Gary Bettman had they won – not fellow alternates Dan Girardi or Brad Richards. He’s well-respected around the league and has been for some time.

Red Wings’ Power Play Units

With Alex Tanguay at the helm, Detroit’s power play is already looking better. The 1-3-1 alignment remains intact, though there are tweaks to the five positions outlined below:

Detroit Red Wings power play setup.
Detroit’s 1-3-1 power play setup. (The Hockey Writers)

For starters, we’re seeing a mix of strong-side and weak-side deployments on the flanks. In addition, Filip Hronek has a new, more appropriate role.

Here’s the latest on Detroit’s two power play units:

Position PP1 PP2
Quarterback Nick Leddy Moritz Seider
Left Flank Dylan Larkin Filip Hronek
Right Flank Lucas Raymond Filip Zadina
Bumper Sam Gagner & Adam Erne Robby Fabbri
Net Front Tyler Bertuzzi Pius Suter

Based on preseason viewings, here are a few key takeaways from Tanguay’s new power play setup:

  • The quarterback is not stationary. Nick Leddy and Moritz Seider frequently walked the blue line to pull defenders away from the flanks, giving them more time and space to catch a pass and move in for a high-percentage shot.
  • Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter are not your typical Tomas Holmstrom net front. Both players move around the crease, often taking passes behind and off to the side of the net. The opportunity here is for them to create passing lanes to the bumper in the slot and flanks streaking to the back door.
  • Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond have chemistry with cross-ice passes. As Mickey Redmond likes to say, “Look out!”
  • Hronek is better off on the flank teeing up one-timers. Let Leddy and Seider use their impressive vision to quarterback the power play.

Already, Detroit’s power play is looking up.

Cossa Named WHL Goalie of the Week

After allowing five goals in the abbreviated 2021 Traverse City Prospects Tournament, Sebastian Cossa apparently decided enough is enough. The 6-foot-6 netminder opened his WHL season on fire, as evidenced by his goalie-of-the-week honors.

As the heir to Detroit’s crease, it’s encouraging to see a turnaround like this. A major part of goaltending is mental strength and the ability to bounce back after a goal or rough start. Clearly, Cossa bounced back from a subpar Prospects Tournament.

Related: Projecting Canada’s 2022 Olympic Hockey Team

If his stellar play continues, Cossa could find himself on Canada’s 2022 World Junior Championship team – perhaps even starting for his home country. Experience on the world stage would do wonders for Cossa’s development.

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