Ansar Kahn of MLive had Detroit fans all wired up today with the latest run down of Red Wings due to return from injuries… and suddenly they look like a post-Olympic contender. There’s no doubt that the Red Wings have battled the most difficult of injury situations this year and unlike the Oilers, they have been able to stay in contention for the playoffs.
Players set to return:
- Johan Franzen (64% owned) plans to return before the Olympics from his torn ACL. Franzen went down in the third game of the year with a goal and an assist on the year. Franzen was expected to be a big part of the Wings’ Hossa-less offense this season and build off a career-year last season where he scored 26 points in his final 28 games of the year. Franzen is projected to join Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary on the Wings’ second line – not a bad combo.
- Niklas Kronwall (65% owned) is set to return from his sprained MCL as early as next week. Kronwall is a top-4 Wings D-man and would easily serve in many other teams’ top pairing. The plan for Kronwall was to mold him into Lidstrom’s role with the team and give him more powerplay time. Kronwall has 13 points in 21 games on the year and ended last season with 25 points in 33 games played from February until April.
- Tomas Holmstrom (25% owned) is set to return from his broken foot around the same time as Kronwall. Known for his presence in front of the net, Holmstrom isn’t a pure goal scorer but will get his fair share of chances.
- Jason Williams (5% owned) plans to return from his fractured tibula in fewer than 2 weeks. Williams isn’t expected to score 29 points in 39 games like he did with Columbus last season but he could see powerplay time. In order to get any returns from Williams, you need to be in a deep league.
Justin Abdelkader will be sent down to the minors, where he was meant to play all year, so the 1% of you that own him will be terribly disappointed. The Wings will no doubt be rejuvenated with the return of everybody and it will benefit fantasy owners and bettors, alike.
If players like Franzen and Kronwall are available in your league, you definitely need to look at who you have on your roster and if you could benefit from these guys.
For the bettors, the Wings might present the best value in the league with 15/1 chances to win the Stanley Cup at Bodog. The Wings currently hold the 9th spot in a tight Western Conference playoff race and are only 5 points shy of Nashville in the 4th spot.