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Red Wings Role Call: Carter Rowney’s Future



Carter Rowney, Detroit Red Wings
Injuries limited Red Wings forward Carter Rowney to 26 games.

Red Wings Role Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the just-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature forward Carter Rowney

Carter Rowney

Position: Center

2021-22 totals (GP-G-A-P-PIM): 26-4-2-6-0

Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Season Synopsis

If you forgot that Carter Rowney played for the Detroit Red Wings this season, don’t feel badly. The fact of the matter is that the memories of Rowney’s tenure as a Red Wing will be remembered mostly as forgettable. It wasn’t entirely his fault. Rowney began the season as a healthy scratch for eight of Detroit’s first 15 games.

After he finally cracked the Red Wings lineup on a regular basis, a knee injury suffered in January cost Rowney 17 games.

He was barely back from that ailment when injury would be striking Rowney down again, this time for good. Blocking a shot in a game at Tampa Bay in early March, Rowney was lost for the remainder of the season due to a lower-body injury. In total, he managed to play just 26 games.

A knee injury also scuttled much of his 2021 campaign with the Anaheim Ducks. Rowney ended up playing only 19 games last season.

2021-22 Red Wings Highlight

Just back from his knee injury, Rowney tallied goals in back-to-back games. He scored Feb. 26 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and March 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Both goals came at Little Caesars Arena.

2021-22 Red Wings Lowlight

Absent for a total of 45 games during the season due to injury, Rowney played only four games from Jan. 4 through to the end of the regular season.

What Does His Detroit Future Hold?

On paper, the addition of Rowney made some sense. He was a veteran player who’d proven capable of playing a role on a Stanley Cup winner with the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins. Offering effectiveness as a penalty killer, Rowney is a good skater and is a right-hand shot capable of winning key faceoffs in the defensive zone.

Perhaps most importantly of all, as a career fourth-line player, Rowney knew how to play 8-10 minutes a night and make an impact on the game. That’s a learned skil. Players who play 8-10 minutes a night at the lower levels of hockey never make it to the NHL.

Unfortunately, circumstances that Rowney never got an extended opportunity to display his wares in Detroit. Rowney turned 33 earlier this week.

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He’s an unrestricted free agent and with young talent on the way up the Red Wings prospect ladder, it’s time for him to get away. If Rowney is playing in the NHL in 2022-23, it won’t be for Detroit.