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Red Wings Rasmussen a True Team Player

Rasmussen does whatever asked without question



Michael Rasmussen, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen is the epitome of a team player

The first purchase he plans to make now that he’s put his signature to a big-ticket contract with the Detroit Red Wings tells you everything about Michael Rasmussen the person.

What’s he gonna buy? A Lamborghini? His dream home?

How about none of the above.

“I’ll get the guys a nice dinner and that’s gonna be my purchase,” Rasmussen was explaining Wednesday following practice. He and the Red Wings agreed to terms Tuesday on a four-year contract extension with an AAV of $3.2 million.

Ras, as he’s known to his Red Wings teammates, isn’t about the bling bling. There may be an M and and E in Rasmussen, but in the case of this Rasmussen, he’s never about me.

Center the fourth line? No problem. Check on the third line? His pleasure. Kill penalties? He thrives on that assignment.

Do the dirty work in the corners and at the net front? Bring it on.

Red Wings Coaches Big Fans Of Rasmussen

“You see the way I use him,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “The staff is a fan of him, know he’s a valuable player.

“Last month alone, he centered a quality fourth line, he’s been on a checking line, we put him on our top line to give us a spark. Obviously, he kills for us.”

Penalties, that is. Rasmussen kills penalties for the Red Wings. There are some lines even he won’t cross.

In general, though, no matter what the Red Wings coaching staff asks of him, or in some instances, throw at him, Rasmussen embraces the role without complaint.

“A good pro, a good human, a good individual,” Lalonde said. “Really happy for him. Sometimes it feels earned and it feels like there’s a little team success with it.

“We’ve improved as a group the last couple of years and he’s been a big part of it.”

Rasmussen The Ultimate Team Guy

In some manner through the roles he so willingly embraces, Rasmussen feels like a cliche. But the fact of the matter is, every team that wins is populated with guys like him. A club can’t get over the hump without role players who are prepared to take the lesser, often thankless roles that comprise a true team.

Thankless to the general public. Inside the Red Wings locker room, everyone understands that value that Rasmussen brings to the team.

They embrace him for what he does, appreciate that he accepts playing without the spotlight shining on his accomplishments for the greater good of the team.

For Rasmussen, knowing that is all that really matters to him.

“That’s kind of just what I needed to do to be successful,” Rasmussen says of the NHL role he’s come to fill. “Just tried to work my best at it.

“That’s the constant thing that I’ve tried to do, is prove it to myself. Just work hard and above all, prove it to this organization and the guys in the locker room. I think I’ve done that pretty well.”