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Wings Nation 2017-18 Player Review: Trevor Daley

The biggest free agent acquisition the Detroit Red Wings had last offseason, Trevor Daley was the worst defenseman on the entire team. That’s a tough task to accomplish considering the rest of the blueline.

Expectations not as high as there usually is for a Stanley Cup Champion signing for your team, Daley was still able to provide the much-loved leadership and guidance on the blueline for these Wings. Although, having the oldest defense corps in the entire league doesn’t require much extra experience added.

I like Daley as a person and want to see him succeed in his career, but this season was a rough one on-ice.


This is ugly.

Daley’s play this year was a negative all over. Other than some offense and not being lucky with his PDO, he was a complete dud this season. Basically letting the opposing offense have their will on the Red Wings and not creating any offense going the other way. He did not pass the puck well, leading to minimal shot attempts and goals for the Wings.

In the neutral zone, Daley was non-existent. His best attribute in this area was exiting the Wings’ defensive zone, and even that was below average compared to the rest of the league. Going the other way, he allowed a ton of forwards to gain access to the Wings’ zone and create problems for Jimmy Howard or the other defenseman he was paired with.



His fifteenth season in the league on his fourth team, he had one of the worse seasons of his career, by this chart. When one of your defensemen has more goals than assists at the end of the season, that’s a problem. Likely not skating well and moving the puck enough – never giving it to your forwards in prime scoring positions makes it tough.

This is a problem when you consider that he has two more years in his contract and has a no-trade clause on that contract.


As stated before, Daley has basically attributed nothing defensively and it shows up here. Among defensemen that have played minimum 1000 minutes this season, Daley is 9th-last with his 46 CF% at even-strength. Some names that surround him are names that you do not want to be associated with defensively. Dion Phaneuf, Marc Staal, Brooks Orpik, Cody Ceci, Andy Greene – these are terrible, slow, defensive blackholes.


There are so many negatives on this table that Daley might as well be nicknamed “Electron”. When he is on the ice with Mantha and Larkin, it should be called the Atom lines. Since Larkin and Mantha are positive players, like protons…

Other than terrible nicknames, Daley has not created anything positive so far in his Red Wings career. It’s unfortunate since he’s such a likeable and good person, but Daley as a hockey player is someone that you do not want playing the number of minutes he did for the Wings. But he did play around the same amount of minutes for the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won the Cup – I guess that helps when you have two of the greatest players ever to pass the puck to.


I really want Trevor Daley to succeed. However, I do not want him to have another season like this again for the Red Wings.

It was a mistake for Ken Holland to sign him to such a contract right after he won the Cup, but we are stuck with him for now. He does have a clause on his no-trade, that allows him to submit a 15-team no-trade list ten days before the deadline of this upcoming 2018-19 season. I’m not sure if just ten days is long enough to successfuly shop him around the league and find a suitor, but we shall see. He did win a Cup after all.

I believe any of the young defensemen coming up through the organization can do more with the minutes that were awarded to Daley last season.

I guess this is good for the tank.