Chutes and Ladders: Detroit Red Wings


Over the next few days, I will be looking at each team in the NHL and identifying a couple of players in particular that fit into one of two categories based on the once popular kids game, Chutes and Ladders.  The players in the “chutes” category will be players who exceeded expectations last season, and will have a difficult time avoiding a slide in the coming season.  The “ladder” category will consist of players who are ready to climb a level in their play and step up a notch.  Feel free to brows back to see previous teams, and look for more teams in the coming days.


May 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson (11) reacts as the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate a goal by left wing James Neal (18) during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Chutes:  Daniel Alfredsson – Moving to a new environment after 17 seasons in Ottawa, Alfie will find the transition difficult, no matter how many of his fellow countrymen are there.  He will not have the same level of fan support he did in Ottawa, and lets face the truth, he was more valuable to the team in a leadership role than a scoring one at this point in his career.

May 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (left) defends against Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55) during the first period in game seven of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ladders:  Niklas Kronwall – After the adjustment that was forced upon him to step out of the shadow of Nicklas Lidstrom, Kronwall had a good season that I would expect him to only build upon.  He could develop into the player that could contend for a Norris Trophy in the coming years, even with the emergence of the younger talented defensemen in the league.