Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 10/17/14

DETROIT - JUNE 12: Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
For better or worse, Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall entered last season as the de-facto #1 defenseman, and while playing 24-27 minutes a night (or more) yielded both a minus-5 plus-minus rating and a tempering of his physical play to simply hold up under a tremendous workload...He proved that he could at least fill part of Nicklas Lidstrom's long shadow. This morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James' player profiles continue with an assessment of Kronwall's literal and figurative value (in this day and age, a $4.75 million cap hit for a defenseman earning $6 million in real-world dollars for the next three seasons seems almost ridiculously cheap by "open market" standards), and at present, there's no doubt that Kronwall is absolutely integral to the team's success as its "MVP on D": Continue reading "Red Wings overnight report: on Kronwall’s central importance and the sked ahead"
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