The Detroit Red Wings have a young center playing above his years. The surprise: It’s Nate Danielson, not Marco Kasper.
Kasper was one of 14 players trimmed from Detroit’s roster today as the Red Wings prepared to play the final preseason game Saturday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prospects Alexandre Doucet, Marco Kasper and Amadeus Lombardi, defensemen Albert Johansson, Antti Tuomisto, Eemil Viro and William Wallinder, and goaltender Sebastian Cossa were sent to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Additionally, Red Wings-released forwards Joel L’Esperance, Riley Sawchuk, Dominik Shine and Tyler Spezia, defenseman Josiah Didier, and goaltender Michael Hutchinson are going to the Griffins. Hutchinson was released from his Red Wings’ tryout so he could sign a tryout contract with the Griffins.
Lyon Staying in Detroit
That suggests the Red Wings may keep three goalies — Ville Husso, James Reimer and Alex Lyon. There’s been considerable speculation around the league that Lyon would be claimed on waivers if the Red Wings tried to send him to Grand Rapids.
Meanwhile, Danielson and Simon Edvinsson are among the 37 players the Red Wings (4-2-1 in preseason) still have in camp. That certainly doesn’t mean they have made the team. More cuts are coming before next week’s season opener.
The Kasper decision is not a surprise. Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said recently that Kasper was having difficulty adjusting to the North American pro game.
“It’s just a little different,” Lalonde said. “I think adjusting to North American hockey’s a little bit different. And there’s nothing wrong. It’s a different time and space to where he probably played last year. I don’t mind, especially for a first year of development. But you can see he has a tendency to want to slow plays down, to want to regroup pucks. The turnover that ended up in the back of our net the other night… He tried a behind the back through his legs pass to the D for a regroup, which obviously you don’t see very often. That’s a no-no in our league but it’s probably a common play on bigger ice to regroup.
Kasper understands the adjustment issue.
“He has admitted that,” Lalonde said. “Watched a lot of one on one video. I think every game he’s progressively gotten better, which is a good sign, too.”