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Breaking: Zadina, Suter Will Sit Out Red Wings Opener; Soderblom to Make NHL Debut

Rookie forward Elmer Soderblom will be making his NHL debut for the Red Wings on Friday against Montreal.

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Pius Suter, Detroit Red Wings
Pius Suter and Filip Zadina are to be Red Wings scratches for Game 1 of the NHL regular season.

Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is settling on his lineup for Friday’s NHL regular-season opener and it does not include veteran forwards Filip Zadina or Pius Suter.

Both players will be healthy scratches as the Red Wings face off against the Montreal Canadiens (7 pm ET) at Little Caesars Arena.

Suter and Zadina skated as the extra forwards in Detroit’s Thursday practice.

“That’s going to be our lineup tomorrow (how they skated today),” Lalonde confirmed following practice. We’re going to have Suter and Zadina out. The 12 that repped today (are in).

“Tough decision, went back and forth. Expect both those guys to see some time sooner than later. Kind of keep that competition going.”

Suter was one of three Red Wings to play all 82 games last season, along with rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond. He was tied for fifth on the team with 15 goals. Zadina, the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NHL entry draft, counted 10 goals in 74 games.

Zadina Must Manage Game Better

Lalonde was listing Zadina’s game management skills as the cause of the outcome that will see him sitting out Game 1 of the season.

I think there’s some things in his game,,” Lalonde explained. “(He has to) manage his game a little more. He’s an offensive guy that judges himself on offense.

“Obviously, we’d love him producing offense but just managing his game. There’s some risk, there’s some turnovers in his game. All great players, skilled guys are going to have those natural turnovers, but just limiting them.”

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In both cases, the Detroit coach was viewing the situation as a postive. It simply means the Red Wings are a mauch deeper clube when they can afford to sit down two players who combined for 25 goals last season.

“Hoping for tough decisions but it’s always coaching when they do come,” Lalonde said. “They’re tough. We literally went back and forth with this as a staff this week on what our lineup would be.

“I just think it came through a decision on where our lineup is going to be and the luxury we had, which is probably different than they’ve experienced in the past.”

Soderblom To Suit Up For Red Wings Debut

Of course, the decision to scratch Zadina and Suter means that rookie winger Elmer Soderblom is going to be making his NHL debut in Friday’s game.

“It’s a long journey,” said Soderblom. He was selected 159th overall in the 2019 NHL entry draft. Last season, he led Frolunda of the SHL with 21 goals.

“I’ve been improving my game for the last three years. I feel ready and it’s going to be fun. Of course, NHL has always been a dream. Ever since I got drafted I wanted to come here.

“Now that I’m finally here, I’m really honored and excited to be in the lineup.”

The 6-foot-8 Soderblom will be skating on a line with 6-6 Michael Rasmussen and 6-3 Oskar Sundqvist.

Detroit’s other expected lines:

Tyler Bertuzzi-Dylan Larkin-Lucas Raymond
Jakub Vrana-Andrew Copp-David Perron
Adam Erne-Joe Veleno-Dominik Kubalik

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