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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Reward Rasmussen For His 200-foot Game



Michael Rasmussen, Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings showed they appreciate how Michael Rasmussen is developing as a player by signing him to a four-year deal worth $3.2 million per season.

Detroit management hoped they had found a 6-foot-6 scorer when they drafted Rasmussen ninth overall in 2013. Instead, he developed into a hard-working, two-way forward who can score 15-plus goals, play with grit, kill penalties and check with purpose.

Last fall, coach Derek Lalonde called Rasmussen a “proud 200-foot player.”

He has transformed himself into a crucial player in the Detroit lineup, a player who can match up with top NHL players. Former Detroit coach Jeff Blashill used to talk to Rasmussen about becoming a Jordan Staal-type player and he has accomplished that. He plays a playoff style, even though the Red Wings have missed the postseason for seven consecutive seasons.

Rasmussen has 11 goals, 12 assists for 23 points in 55 games this season. He’s also +12. The Red Wings like Rasmussen on the ice when they are protecting the lead. They are also comfortable moving him up on a scoring line, depending upon the situation or the opposing team’s lineup.

With Rasmussen signed, Moritz Seider, Joe Veleno and Lucas Raymond are the three regulars who will become restricted free agents this summer.

Rasmussen, 24, will be 29 when this contract expires. This deal could end up a bargain if Rasmussen increases his scoring into the 20-goal range. Even if Rasmussen’s scoring stays in the 15-goal range, the Red Wings will get their money’s worth because of Rasmussen’s complete game.