Kevin Allen on all things NHL

December 29, 2005

Of the two consistent contributors to USA Today’s hockey section, Allen is the one I find to be credible.  The other, Ted Montgomery, is a joke.  He’s the guy at the bar who will play devil’s advocate just to see your reaction, and hope that he’s right so that his well-formulated prediction looks genius in the slim chance that it actually bears fruit.  More on Teddy when the opportunities present themselves.

Now..on to his qualified counterpart.  In Allen’s most recent chat he made some interesting points.  Responding to a question about young Swede Nils Backstrom and where he may end up in the NHL, Kevin said Hockeytown would be a comfortable spot for him:

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“Most scouts like his total package of talent, although they still wish he was a bit bigger. But that’s less of a factor in today’s game. He could be a good fit for the Detroit Red Wings, who seem to like Swedish players quite a bit, or Vancouver. Both of those teams will be picking late. “

——–

Heck yes, I say.  Make it 8.  The Wings have evolved from the Russian 5 to the Swedish 7 without missing a beat.  Heck, our best scouts where Samuellson was concerned were the Swedes themselves.

Allen was also asked whether he believes the Wings will be active as the deadline approaches.  That’s the question we’d all love answered.  But consider the last time Ken Holland tipped his hand.  I know I can’t remember.  Do we need defensemen? Yes.  Even with Kronwall back? Yes. 

Great player and an all star for years to come, but more experience and a bit more grit–intelligent, but violent, grit–on the blue line this Spring would be nice.  Brendan Witt, meet Kenny Holland.  And vice-versa.  Every year the last five seasons I’ve been hoping for a deal to bring Bob Boughner to Detroit at the deadline. Witt’s my new Boughner.

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“Too early for rumors about the Red Wings. They will probably have some money to spend at the trade deadline, presuming that Jiri Fischer isn’t coming back this season.”

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Kevin said a deal for a goalie isn’t out of the question…we know, we know.  It’s NEVER out of the question in Detroit.  He also made a more perceptive point regarding the Wings’ strength down the middle.

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“The Red Wings seem to have a crowd at center with Datsyuk, Lang, Zetterberg, Kris Draper, etc. The Red Wings may like Michigan native Weight, but another center doesn’t help much.”

______

Ahhhh….Weight would be nice, but unnecessary in my opinion.  If Holland makes a move, let it be on the back end.  If you look at our centers it’s hard to find a team out there stronger than Detroit at that position already.

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