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Adam Almquist says he’s considering returning to Sweden to avoid AHL

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He doesn't want to stay in the system? Even if it means being GRR!?!? How dare he thumb a nose to the Wings!

Same things were being said by Jarnkrok. You don't tell them what is gonna happen...or you find yourself out. See ya! Enjoy your career on the Island!

To be fair, it does take approximately 17 years to get through the minors in the Red Wings organization. I don't think Almquist has as much of a case, as say Tatar or Nyquist did, but the writing is pretty much on the wall for Almquist in Detroit going forward.

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Almqvist is like 11th on the Dman depth chart. If he was better than lashoff, Kindl, Quincey, etc..... he would have been up. He isn't and wasn't. it is pretty simple. Just because a guy is a swede or has been scouted by hawken doesn't mean they can play at the NHL level. Far to many around here think every swede we have is going to be an AS player.

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Almqvist is like 11th on the Dman depth chart. If he was better than lashoff, Kindl, Quincey, etc..... he would have been up. He isn't and wasn't. it is pretty simple. Just because a guy is a swede or has been scouted by hawken doesn't mean they can play at the NHL level. Far to many around here think every swede we have is going to be an AS player.

It has absolutely nothing to do with him being "another swede". Like u said, he's low on the depth chart. If he doesn't like that then adios.

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Kindl is obviously expendable, but those suggesting that Almqvist is more valuable than Smith and Lashoff are guilty, IMO, of overvaluing potential and the unknown. He can't kill penalties, which Lashoff does quite well. By all accounts Almqvist is below at least three other defencemen in Grand Rapids, in terms of NHL potential. If he turns into Rafalski, I will be stunned.

Lashoff was burned at least once a game by players just skating around him with speed. Lashoff's skating is just far too bad to play 5 on 5 reliably. Sure, he PKs nicely, but we need players that can succeed in all settings. Add to that his non-existing offence and you have a borderline 7th dman.

I do believe that if Almquist had a RH shot he would get NHL looks next season with Marchenko - but he just doesn't provide enough as a LD to beat out the other players and prospects.

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I have nothing against him and I also prefer real scout reports instead of looking at some excel sheets. That being said if the organization doesn't think he has earned a spot yet then it would only be fair to let him entertain other offers. His hometown team is one of the best in the SEL and he could play infront of his family and friends.

If I were him I'd try the Gary Roberts school and bulk up as much as possible. Yes smaller players can make it but it's even more difficult for smallish defenders on a team that's already behind in terms of size and physicallity

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First, he doesn't want to be a call up or be given a chance. He wants the NHL or Europe. That won't happen in Detroit. Second, if he can't win puck battles he won't help offensively because he'll cough up the puck constantly. The team constantly evaluates their prospects. The fact that Ouellet got time in the playoffs over Almquist should tell you all you need to know. They know he'd be overmatched, which despite his goal and a few nice passes, he was in his 2 games. And don't talk to me about camp. Half the players he was up against were AHL, ECHL, or junior players.

Ouellet playing to me means that they think XO is safer. Which he is. He is great defensively, very reliable. I still look at our defense and see one of the worst groups in the NHL in terms of offensive play. I don't know where we ended up but I know at one point this seasons we were close to last in the league in points from our D. We have no one to man our 2nd PP, heck I don't even think Kronwall is that great at manning the 1st PP. XO doesn't help with that, neither does Marchenko.

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I've been saying for a while now that Almqvist's future probably doesn't lie with the Wings. But that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have a future in the NHL. I'd look to trade him, preferably to a team that might really have a need for him.

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Ouellet playing to me means that they think XO is safer. Which he is. He is great defensively, very reliable. I still look at our defense and see one of the worst groups in the NHL in terms of offensive play. I don't know where we ended up but I know at one point this seasons we were close to last in the league in points from our D. We have no one to man our 2nd PP, heck I don't even think Kronwall is that great at manning the 1st PP. XO doesn't help with that, neither does Marchenko.

We do need more "O" from our "D," particularly with the man advantage. But Almqvist isn't our only option, even if we don't sign or trade for a top-four guy. On the roster, Smith should probably be seeing time on the power play. Of the kids, Sproul stands out as a bona fide weapon with the man advantage.

The New School is size, mobility, and being good with the puck. The concern with Almqvist is that he's neither big nor an especially good skater. (And he's not very good on the defensive side of the puck.) So, even when he's quarterbacking the power play (which is pretty much the only situation where he's not going to be a liability), if he gets caught flat-footed at the blue line and coughs up the puck to a speedy NHL PKer, he doesn't have the skating to be able to bail himself out. That was an issue with Alfredsson this season.

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kipwinger, I would by no means say that you are clueless, you definitely seem to be very knowledgeable, however you're hatred for Smith is laughable. I understand that he has made his fair share of defensive blunders, some even cost us games. But name a defenseman that hasn't done the same in his first year or two in the league? It happens to every young player and Smith is no exception. The fact that you refuse to see his improvements is quite humorous. He has steadily improved over the past two years, and I strongly believe he will be a top pairing defenseman in the near future. Only time will tell...

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kipwinger, I would by no means say that you are clueless, you definitely seem to be very knowledgeable, however you're hatred for Smith is laughable. I understand that he has made his fair share of defensive blunders, some even cost us games. But name a defenseman that hasn't done the same in his first year or two in the league? It happens to every young player and Smith is no exception. The fact that you refuse to see his improvements is quite humorous. He has steadily improved over the past two years, and I strongly believe he will be a top pairing defenseman in the near future. Only time will tell...

My "hatred for Smith" has less to do with his game and more to do with how his apologists seem incapable of even acknowledging simple facts which may suggest he's less the "future top pair" defenseman than he may seem. Has he improved? Sure. He had a better than average half year on the top pair with Kronwall. But lots of guys have had good half years (Kindl, Abdelkader) and nobody bangs the drum for their promotion into exceedingly important positions (top pair, top six). If Abby or Kindl even sniff the top pair or top six people get pissed, but those same people are ready to anoint Smith based on a stretch of play which has certainly been atypical of his career thus far.

He's a offensive d-man who doesn't score much, a puck mover who turns the puck over at an exceptionally high rate, and a "tough guy" who doesn't hit. I don't expect him to be Lidstrom...or even a cut rate Lidstrom. But I do expect him to improve in those areas for a full season before I'm sold on his "improvement".

And it's not like I'm unwilling. I didn't like Ericsson at first either, thought he was a bum. I was pissed about his previous contract. But then, he strung together a strong campaign (or two or three) and I had to eat crow and sing a different tune. When/If Smith does similar, I'll be glad to do the same thing.

hillbillywingsfan likes this

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My "hatred for Smith" has less to do with his game and more to do with how his apologists seem incapable of even acknowledging simple facts which may suggest he's less the "future top pair" defenseman than he may seem. Has he improved? Sure. He had a better than average half year on the top pair with Kronwall. But lots of guys have had good half years (Kindl, Abdelkader) and nobody bangs the drum for their promotion into exceedingly important positions (top pair, top six). If Abby or Kindl even sniff the top pair or top six people get pissed, but those same people are ready to anoint Smith based on a stretch of play which has certainly been atypical of his career thus far.

He's a offensive d-man who doesn't score much, a puck mover who turns the puck over at an exceptionally high rate, and a "tough guy" who doesn't hit. I don't expect him to be Lidstrom...or even a cut rate Lidstrom. But I do expect him to improve in those areas for a full season before I'm sold on his "improvement".

And it's not like I'm unwilling. I didn't like Ericsson at first either, thought he was a bum. I was pissed about his previous contract. But then, he strung together a strong campaign (or two or three) and I had to eat crow and sing a different tune. When/If Smith does similar, I'll be glad to do the same thing.

I think the thing with Smith is that he has tons of potential (or appears to, to my eye). When he's not turning the puck over or making ill advised pinches, he's shows flashes of brilliance that make you wonder how high is ceiling might be. I like Smith, but I also feel it's important to acknowledge it's going to take him a while, to the point where he may not end up that great. Yes his mistakes are infuriating, and every defensemen makes them when they are young, and I certainly want to shout at him when it happens, but I think I'm prepared to be more patient with him than say Kindl because of the perceived potential.

As for Kindl, I guess I'm just not seeing it for him anymore. I feel like there are other D men in the organisation that use their size better and are much more solid defensively. Time is definitely ticking for him I reckon.

Edited by wings4thecup06

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He's an offensive defenseman that doesn't score much because he hasn't really been utilized properly in my opinion. Sure he started getting top pair minutes toward the end of the season, but why he hasn't gotten any PP time is beyond me. He is a great puck moving defenseman and he will learn to protect his end of the ice more efficiently as he matures as a player. I wouldn't necessarily consider him a tough guy. He may have been earlier in his career but so are a lot of players until they reach the NHL and realize they can't intimidate and throw their weight around like they did in college / junior / AHL.

I'm in no way saying that I know all about the sport or that I have an exceptional eye for talent and I should be an NHL scout or anything of the sort, but I will say that I loved Ericsson right from the beginning and never gave up on him. I knew he was going to be a top 4 defenseman in the league, even when everyone else was constantly bitching about his play. I think Smith has even more potential then I seen in E at the time and I believe he will be a top end talent in the near future.

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I think the thing with Smith is that he has tons of potential (or appears to, to my eye). When he's not turning the puck over or making ill advised pinches, he's shows flashes of brilliance that make you wonder how high is ceiling might be. I like Smith, but I also feel it's important to acknowledge it's going to take him a while, to the point where he may not end up that great. Yes his mistakes are infuriating, and every defensemen makes them when they are young, and I certainly want to shout at him when it happens, but I think I'm prepared to be more patient with him than say Kindl because of the perceived potential.

As for Kindl, I guess I'm just not seeing it for him anymore. I feel like there are other D men in the organisation that use their size better and are much more solid defensively. Time is definitely ticking for him I reckon.

Well I can agree with almost everything you've said here. And with that I'm going to turn the conversation back to Almquist because I've derailed the thread with Smith talk and want to be responsible.

Adam Almquist is not Torey Krug. I think that those advocating for him see what Krug has done in Boston, and see Almquist's point totals in the AHL, and think "hey, that looks familiar". Leave aside the fact that Krug's a better skater. But even then there's a problem. Krug scores a lot for Boston because A) he gets extremely sheltered minutes, pp time, and all the offensive zone starts you'd ever want, and B) His defensive shortcomings are excusable on a team full of first rate defensive forwards and rear guards. He's a liability, but he's the only one. Our team is terrible defensively, and AA won't help because suck as they might, both Kindl and Lashoff are better than AA defensively.

He's an offensive defenseman that doesn't score much because he hasn't really been utilized properly in my opinion. Sure he started getting top pair minutes toward the end of the season, but why he hasn't gotten any PP time is beyond me. He is a great puck moving defenseman and he will learn to protect his end of the ice more efficiently as he matures as a player. I wouldn't necessarily consider him a tough guy. He may have been earlier in his career but so are a lot of players until they reach the NHL and realize they can't intimidate and throw their weight around like they did in college / junior / AHL.

I'm in no way saying that I know all about the sport or that I have an exceptional eye for talent and I should be an NHL scout or anything of the sort, but I will say that I loved Ericsson right from the beginning and never gave up on him. I knew he was going to be a top 4 defenseman in the league, even when everyone else was constantly bitching about his play. I think Smith has even more potential then I seen in E at the time and I believe he will be a top end talent in the near future.

Like I said, lets switch gears back to the Almquist discussion. I'm not trying to disregard what you're saying, and some of your points are certainly valid. But it's probably annoying for anyone who wants to come here and talk about AA when they seem me ranking about Smith and his proponents again and again.

But I genuinely do appreciate your level of civility. You could have called me names lol.

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Lol let's agree to disagree on this one, and like you said, I don't think either of us completely disagree with the other, just on some particular points. I've been reading here for a long time, pretty much whenever this site was first up and running, although I just signed up a few years ago and I very rarely comment but I do generally agree with most of your posts.

Anyway, to comment on Almquist, I agree with both sides of the argument here. I think he definitely deserves a shot through training camp and preseason, but I think in the end he will be cut and for good reason. He will only receive a contract from the Wings if he is the 6th/7th best defenseman available or is willing to play in Grand Rapids again (which he clearly isn't). I think he will end up back in Sweden.

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Kip if I may ask...who said smith is a tough guy? I know I've said stuff like it's sad when E smith and Abby are the toughest guys on the team(Abby is more so than the other two but still not legitimate threat).

And since you're so down on smith and corsi stats what is your reasoning behind it then? Why is that when he crap minutes with a crap partner verse crappy opposition he does poor. But when he plays top minutes with kronwall against top competition he does well. Also don't forget kronwalls play elevated when he was matched with smith compared to Ericsson. So please te me what it is. How is it someone so bad makes someone like kronwall better?

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Brian Rafalski was 5-9 190lbs.

Brian Rafalski could skate.

And then look what happened to him the last couple of years when his knees and back gave up. He still had the elite puck moving skills, but lack of size and inability to skate made him a defensive liability.

ogreslayer and marcaractac like this

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Kip if I may ask...who said smith is a tough guy? I know I've said stuff like it's sad when E smith and Abby are the toughest guys on the team(Abby is more so than the other two but still not legitimate threat).

And since you're so down on smith and corsi stats what is your reasoning behind it then? Why is that when he crap minutes with a crap partner verse crappy opposition he does poor. But when he plays top minutes with kronwall against top competition he does well. Also don't forget kronwalls play elevated when he was matched with smith compared to Ericsson. So please te me what it is. How is it someone so bad makes someone like kronwall better?

Again, Corsi stats don't even come close to telling the whole story about a player. As already stated, Mike Green has a better Corsi than Ryan Suter and David Booth has a better Corsi than John Tavares. It's completely skewed by zone starts. Smith starts in the offensive zone way more than a guy like Dekesyer, so he naturally gets more shots at the net. The miracle is not that Smith has a better Corsi, but rather that Dekeyser had more points than Smith despite having to go 200 feet to get a point.

I'd certainly agree that anybody is more likely to see their offensive zone stats increase with Smith as a partner, he's an offensive defenseman, that's what he's supposed to do. Surely he should generate more shots than than Ericsson. The problem is not that he generates shots, it's that every pair he's on...including the one with Kronwall... is noticeably worse defensively. Last I checked you still need to play defense in this league.

Everybody's ready to pat Smith on the head for playing better when paired with Kronwall, but nobody even mentions how much better Quincey looked when NOT paired with Smith during the second half of the season. Losing Smith as a partner made Quincey better defensively. Gaining Smith as a partner made Kronwall better offensively and worse defensively. Sure you get more offense zone time (not points since Smith doesn't score much), but your defense suffers with him.

Finally, you know who else did crappy with crappy partners and crappy minutes and did well with good partners and quality minutes? Ian White. But that doesn't mean he's worth a damn. And I never, ever, want him on my top pair.

Edited by kipwinger

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Is this a threat from Almquist?

I hope not. If it is, it's a bad one. Aren't threats usually more effective if the person you're trying to threaten actually gives a damn?

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He has steadily improved over the past two years, and I strongly believe he will be a top pairing defenseman in the near future. Only time will tell...

Smith's a top-pairing defenseman right now, though, admittedly, it's a learn-from-the-master situation. Still, he was one of our better players in the Boston series. He largely restored my confidence in him by playing to his strengths. He's got size, he's not afraid to use it, he's an exceptional skater, and - as long as he keeps it simple - he's one of our better puck-movers on the back end. I think if he gets time on the power play and first pairing, his production skyrockets and he becomes a legitimate asset in our top four. Might as well put him in a position to succeed and find out if he can do it, provided he remembers to keep it simple.

I'd take Smith over Almqvist any day.

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Smith's a top-pairing defenseman right now, though, admittedly, it's a learn-from-the-master situation.

I'd take Smith over Almqvist any day.

Smith's not in a "learn from the master" situation, and he's definitely not "already a top pair" defenseman. He's was in a "Ericsson got hurt and Dekeyser can't come up to the top pair or we'd only have one good pair" situation. Now he's in a "Now that Ericsson's Healthy I'm heading back to the Third Pair" situation. Unless you think Babcock is going to demote Ericsson (something he hasn't done even once in about 3 years now), or that somehow Smith played his way onto/Ericsson played his way off of the top pair. We'll acquire a d-man in the offseason and our pairs will look like this...count on it:

Kron-Ericsson

Player X - Dekeyser

Smith-Marchenko

Lashoff

I'll agree with the Smith over Almqvist part though.

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I don't think that Ericsson playing on the 3rd pairing is a demotion. It's about balancing pairings and believing that Ericsson can run his own pairing, and that Smith still needs to be paired with someone stronger. Who knows what Babcock will do, but my philosophy is "why not get the most out of both guys?"

Smith has the potential to be a 30-35 point guy next season in the right situation - E's not going to put up over 20. I don't think that being paired with Smith is going to hurt Kronwall, or that being paired with E is going to benefit him to a much greater extent. Putting Ericsson with either Sproul or Marchenko will allow for them to make some mistakes that he can cover for, ones that Smith can't help with at this time. He'll still get ample minutes (the team seems to balance the defensive minutes), and will surely be the top PK guy.

As far as Almqvist is concerned, his size and lack of speed were concerns when he was coming over. The consensus seems to be that he didn't do anything to rectify either of those issues. I think he's got great hockey IQ and does very good work on the PP, but I would take any of the big four defensive prospects over him. If what's being said about his work ethic is true, and they're willing to put in the off-ice work and he's not... he kind of just let his job slip away.

Edited by Jesusberg

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I hope not. If it is, it's a bad one. Aren't threats usually more effective if the person you're trying to threaten actually gives a damn?

right? if anything this will hurt his chances if there was any.

Smith's not in a "learn from the master" situation, and he's definitely not "already a top pair" defenseman. He's was in a "Ericsson got hurt and Dekeyser can't come up to the top pair or we'd only have one good pair" situation. Now he's in a "Now that Ericsson's Healthy I'm heading back to the Third Pair" situation. Unless you think Babcock is going to demote Ericsson (something he hasn't done even once in about 3 years now), or that somehow Smith played his way onto/Ericsson played his way off of the top pair. We'll acquire a d-man in the offseason and our pairs will look like this...count on it:

Kron-Ericsson

Player X - Dekeyser

Smith-Marchenko

Lashoff

I'll agree with the Smith over Almqvist part though.

You are bold sir.

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You are bold sir.

Well it's an internet forum, if I'm wrong, so what?

But I don't think I'll be wrong. Marchenko is the most NHL ready out of him, Sproul, and Ouellet. Ericsson is definitely NOT getting displaced by Smith. And we will more than likely sign a top four guy who's at least better than Smith.

The only thing that might be off about my prediction is that Kindl might start the season on the third pair until Babs scratches him, at which time Marchenko takes over full time...so it's a technicality.

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