Recently, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland ripped top prospect Anthony Mantha. In a Detroit News article on Sunday, Holland said “Anthony Mantha was a spare part in the Calder Cup Playoffs a year ago. What makes you think he’s going to be the answer in Detroit?” This comes a year after senior vice president Jim Devellano ripped him, calling him “very, very disappointing”. This leads me to wonder why are the Wings saying this?
Mantha was called up to the Wings in March to try and provide a scoring spark and help the power play. However, he was demoted to AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday when Joakim Andersson was recalled to help solidify the defense. Mantha scored 45 points (21 Goals, 24 Assists) in 56 games played in the AHL this season and added three in 10 games in the NHL.
Let’s compare his AHL stats from last season to this season. I’ve already mentioned that he’s scored 45 points in 56 games this season. Last season, Mantha scored 15 goals and 18 assists (33 points) in 62 games played. His penalty minutes dropped from 64 in 2014-15 to 30 this past season. Based on these stats, he’s shown an improvement in goal scoring, playmaking, and discipline.
So, what’s the disappointment here? Are you expecting this kid to score 200 points a game? I doubt it, but I have a sense that the team may be thinking of moving on from Mantha. If they’re ripping him openly like this, what makes me or Red Wings fans think they want to keep him? The reports that are out there that say you don’t want to trade him?
Now, Mantha’s value is high. The Wings could deal him and get a great return. If the Wings are in a “win-now” mode, which they could be with their mix of veterans and youngins, trading Mantha makes sense. Yes, you don’t want to risk the future, but Detroit has a knack for finding gems in the draft (Pavel Datsyuk, case and point). Who says the Wings won’t go out and find themselves another Anthony Mantha, one that they’re pleased with?
On the flip side, maybe this is just some weird way of trying to make him push himself more. I’ll leave it up to you: do you think the Red Wings are seriously thinking about trading Anthony Mantha?
Photo Credit: The Associated Press