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 goaltender Magnus Hellberg.
2021-22 totals (GP – 1 W – 1 Save % – .870)
Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent
The biggest question that surrounded Hellberg in his short time with Detroit this season: When will he actually play?
Turned out it would be the final game of the season. Backstopping Detroit to a 3-2 victory over New Jersey, Hellberg expressed interest in returning and hopes that a conversation with general manager Steve Yzerman would happen in the offseason.
“We just talked about me coming here now the last couple of weeks and just be part of the team and practice,” Hellberg said when asked about any conversations with Yzerman. “That’s what my focus has been on and we’ll see what happens in the future. Let’s take one step at a time. I really enjoyed my time here so far. We’ll see what happens.”
2021-2022 Detroit Red Wings Highlights
One game. One win. Not bad.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 29, 2022
2021-22 Red Wings Lowlights
There isn’t enough body of work to say so, but it sure felt odd that after being signed, he wasn’t between the pipes more. So in terms of lowlights, that seems to be it. But in fairness, former head coach Jeff Blashill said this:
“He did a good job,” Blashill said after Hellberg’s lone start. “One of the reasons we didn’t play him earlier was we were at a spot at the end of the year where he didn’t practice hardly at all, so he really didn’t get full practices in.”
What Does His Detroit Future Hold?
With it likely that Thomas Greiss is most likely on the move, Hellberg seems to be a solid, economically friendly option to backup Alex Nedeljkovic. The 31-year-old netminder was once upon a time a second round pick for Nashville in 2011, but his career in the NHL hasn’t really taken off as expected. He was solid, however, in the KHL and that warranted another look at the veteran 6-6 goalie, and Yzerman inked him to a deal back in April.
With Yzerman likely to improve the defensive corps and add some more firepower up front, it seems mutually beneficial for both the Red Wings and Hellberg to hammer out a deal. Unless there’s a better goalie on the market, Hellberg would come at a very reasonable price.
For what it’s worth, he’s enjoyed his time with the Detroit Red Wings so far.
I think Detroit has a really bright future and of course it would be a place that I would like to be a part of in the future,” Hellberg said. So we’ll see what happens. I can just do my part and then we’ll see what happens.
I’ve had a blast these last couple of weeks I’ve been here.”
If he is indeed brought back, Hellberg should see a busier workload next season.