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Detroit Red Wings

by | NHL Blogger
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Pavel Datsyuk (Getty Images)  
Pavel Datsyuk (Getty Images)  
Imagine an NHL without free agency or trades, that once a player is drafted with a team he stays with that team for his entire career. What would the rosters look like? We at Eye on Hockey will take a look at the Home-Grown Teams of all 30 franchises -- three lines, two defensive pairs and two goaltenders. Three lines and two D pairs because this doesn't include undrafted free agents, only drafted players. We want to see who has drafted the best.

Line 1: Tomas Fleischmann-Pavel Datsyuk-Johan Franzen

With Pavel Datsyuk you have one of the best players in the NHL and one of the all-time great draft steals. Tomas Fleischmann, the Red Wings second-round pick in 2002, never played a game in Detroit before being traded to Washington for Robert Lang.

Line 2: Valterri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler

The Red Wings didn't own a first-round pick in the '02 draft and didn't pick until No. 58 overall but still produced three straight NHL regulars in Hudler, Fleischmann and Filppula. Henrik Zetterberg was a 7th round selection in 1999, and like Datsyuk, one of the best steals in draft history. It also always brings up a good debate: How much of it is good scouting, how much of it is player development, and how much of it is luck?

I thought about putting Zetterberg on a line with Datsyuk, which they have done at times in the past, but I'll leave him at his more natural position.

Line 3: Tomas Holmstrom - Darren Helm - Tomas Kopecky

Since Tomas Holmstrom hasn't officially made up his mind on whether or not he's going to return, I'll insert him into the lineup along with the speedy Darren Helm and Tomas Kopecky. Should Holmstrom decide to hang up the skates, slide Justin Abdelkader into that spot.

Offensive scratch: Justin Abdelkader

Defensive pairing 1: Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Normally this is where Nicklas Lidstrom would go but, obviously, his Hall of Fame career came to an end this summer and that leaves the Red Wings defense a little thin … not only for the purposes of our little game here, but also in real life. This isn't a bad pairing, but it's also probably not a great top pairing, either.

Defensive pairing 2: Kyle Quincey - Jakub Kindl

Yeah, as I was saying … the defense would be a little thin.

Defensive scratch: Brendan Smith

Goaltenders: Jimmy Howard - Tomas McCollum

Not much would change from a goaltending perspective as Jimmy Howard would still be the No. 1 and Tomas McCollum would replace Jonas Gustavsson (signed this summer as a free agent) to be his backup.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @AGretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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