By bringing in defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere as a free agent and trading for Alex DeBrincat, the Detroit Red Wings are creating the potential to ice a very potent power play during the 2023[24 NHL season.
“I think so,” Detroit GM Steve Yzerman said. “But potential being the key word.”
Detroit’s power play was 17th in the NHL last season. The Red Wings were clicking at 21.1%.
While Yzerman is wisely couching his optimism, the fact of the matter is that both players are displaying a proven track record as producers when their teams are enjoying the man advantage.
✌️ games as a Hurricane, ✌️ power play goals for Shayne Gostisbehere pic.twitter.com/CF2o8iEY1J
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 5, 2023
Gostisbehere has accounted for 31% of his goals (27 of 87) and 35.3% of his assists (79 of 224) while his team was on the power play.
“Gotisbehere can really shoot the puck,” Yzerman said. “He has been on good power plays. He can score from back there, so it gives the coaching staff another option and a left-shot option on the top.
“With Mo Seider and potentially Jake Walman playing a little bit on the power play and Shayne, I think on the back end it gives you different looks, righties and lefties.
DeBrincat A Power Play Sniper
“And then Alex, he’s normally playing off the hash marks on the left wing. I expect him to play there.”
DeBrincat has potted 25 power-play goals over the past two seasons. His tallies are reaching into double digits with the man advantage in four of the last five seasons. With Ottawa in 2022-23, DeBrincat counted 30 of his 66 points while Ottawa was enjoying a manpower edge.
“I think I can definitely add that extra scoring punch,” DeBrincat said. “There’s still a lot of great players on the power play and I think we can just build chemistry throughout the year and be a top team on the power play.
“A lot of games are won on special teams, so if I can bring that little extra threat on the power play, I think I’m doing my job.”
Alex DeBrincat (@Brinksy97) knows a thing or two about lighting the lamp. 🚨
— NHL (@NHL) July 10, 2023
There are still some issues in need of resolution. Alex Chiasson became an effective net-front presence for the Detroit power play following his late-season arrival from AHL Grand Rapids. After the season he was turning down a contract offer from the Red Wings, so his role must be reimagined.
Regardless, Detroit coach Derek Lalonde figures to be going into training camp with a variety of choices to deploy when his club goes on the power play.
“What Derek and his staff decide to do, who plays where on it, I think we have more options,” Yzerman said. “I think we have more left and right shots, a bit better balance.
“So I would hope that both are units are a little deeper and we can put both units out there and be a little more effective and in turn bump that power play percentage up a little bit.”