Each day over the next month or so, we’re taking a look back at the season that was by going through each player’s season. We have had two great reviews thus far, Dylan Larkin and Brendan Smith. I get to start off with the grit and sandpaper of the Detroit Red Wings, Luke Glendening.
Glendening is currently playing on the US World Championship squad, so his hockey playing season isn’t over just yet. His time with the Wings though was middle of the road at best. He is a fixture in the bottom six and utilizes the minutes given to him moderately well.
He will consistently get love for what he brings to the team as he isn’t a flashy player and personifies what many want this team to be about. Hard work and determination is what got this former ECHL player to move up and be what he is now in the NHL.
The Hero Chart does not paint a pretty picture for Mr. Glendening. To be fair to him though, his teammates weren’t really anything to write home about. The likes of Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller aren’t names that get you shaking in your boots. I would say he has room for improvement but at 26 years of age, he doesn’t have much more time to improve before he is on the wrong side of 30.
His stat line from this year isn’t great but other players in similar roles produced at a lower clip then he did on the Red Wings. If you are comfortable with what he does and know that he won’t ever be anything more than that, you gain a better understanding of what he is as a player.
Data via Corsica Hockey
As far as his Corsi numbers go, Glendening has nothing underlying that shows much promise. He is more or less a possession blackhole. The league is going to continue to move towards a possession style of hockey and a player like Glendening won’t fit that mold. As long as he continues to produce points though I am sure he will continue to find a place in the lineup.
Data via War On Ice
I know at this point I am going to sound like a broken record but the numbers don’t really show good things for Glendening. Defensively you would hope that some of the goal based stats would be in his favor, once again at 5v5, none of these are particularly great.
Yeah. Not good.
Glendening is in his “prime” currently and they have him under a cost effective contract that doesn’t hurt them like other contracts on their payroll. His 21 points on the season are not bad and he looks like he will be a stable option in the bottom six for a couple more years.
So what do I think the Red Wings should do with him?
Trade him while he still has value. It is very unlikely that he will get any better and with a 20+ point season on his resume he won’t fetch much but it is a lot better then nothing. The team will need to restructure and become something different if they want to compete for a Stanley Cup in the years ahead. The first step may be a young, effective bottom six. The antithesis of Luke Glendening.
Glendening isn’t a solution to any of the Red Wings problems. I am also not entirely sure if he is weighing them down that much either. He is one of the many problem areas on the Wings and is one of the players that is causing a death by a thousand cuts effect. A team like the Red Wings can’t miss on these type of position players. He will admirably play on this team until his contract is up but I am not sure he warrants an extension after the fact.
I could have given him a lower grade considering what I wrote about him but I am in a giving mood. His production is perfectly fine while his underlying numbers are poor at best. Eventually the underlying numbers will coincide with his on ice production and fans will see what he actually brings to the table.