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Rasmussen Happy to Wing it For Red Wings

Versatile Rasmussen ready to do whatever team requires of him



Michael Rasmussen, Detroit Red Wings
Michael Rasmussen will be starting the 2023-24 NHL season playing on the wing for the Red Wings.

When he suits up for the Detroit Red Wings, Michael Rasmussen’s scenario is reminiscent of those Miller Lite ads that were so popular in the 1970s.

Less filling. Tastes great.

Only in Rasmussen’s case, the debate is more about position than taste. He’s a center. No, he’s a winger.

“I’ve definitely answered that question quite a bit,” Rasmussen admitted.

Well, which is it?

For the foreseeable future, it would appear that Rasmussen is a Red Wing who is destined to be winging it.

In the past two offseasons, Detroit was making the addition of centers Andrew Copp and J.T. Compher. Captain Dylan Larkin is already in place. As well, there’s hope that 2018 first-round pick Joe Veleno will solidify himself as an NHLer this season. In the near future, Marco Kasper and Nate Danielson are first-round picks working their way down the pipeline to the show.

That’s a lot of depth down the middle. But it isn’t so much that Rasmussen lost out at center as it his value as a winger is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. With 10 goals in 56 games, he was on his way to a career season when a leg injury suffered while blocking a shot wwas scuttling Rasmussen’s season.

Rasmussen Delivers For Red Wings On Wing

“Completely different player on the wing last year,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of Rasmussen. “In the underlying numbers, he drove some offense. When he’s on the wing, he seems a lot more productive and can drive some lines a little bit.”

At 6-foot-6 and 211 pounds, Rasmussen can also drive some opposing players into the boards with authority. As for what drives him, it’s doing whatever is rquired in order to help the team win.

“I think it’s obviously a team sport,” Rasmussen explained. “It’s good wherever I slide in there.

It pretty much goes for all of us if the team’s doing well, you’ll probably do well. I guess it’s like a cliche but I just try to do whatever’s asked of me. I think that goes for a lot of us.”

Rasmussen’s trademark since coming to the Red Wings as the club’s first-round draft pick in 2017 has been to seek out ways to help the team, whatever they might be. He’s always willingly accepted and embraced whatever role the club is asking him to fill.

Just keep trying to getting better, keep finding ways to contribute and grow my role my on the team and help the team wherever I can,” Rasmussen lists as his objective every season.

Versatility Makes Rasmussen Valuable

Disciplined penalty killer. Net front on the power play. Grinding winger. Two hundred foot center. Rasmussen has taken pride in filling all of these roles and more for the Red Wings.

Lalonde loves the options that Rasmussen’s versatility presents to him.

“We would trust him at center,” Lalonde said. “We trust him on the wing. I think being on the wing frees him up a little more to maybe establish a forecheck, to play a little more north-south game, which I thought suited him.”

If the Red Wings are need of him winging it, Rasmussen is happy to do so. His approach when he comes to the rink never changes, even when his role sometimes does.

“Work as hard as you can in your role, do what’s best for the team,” Rasmussen said. “I guess that’s part of me.”