The Red Wings got their big man with a heavy shot, whom some observers are calling “a sniper.” Is he Bryan Bickell, Vincent Lecavalier or Nathan Horton, the unrestricted free agents? No. This was the 2013 NHL draft, not unrestricted free agency. As is often the case when it comes to the Wings these days, the fans simply are going to have to be more patient than that. The player is an 18-year-old from Quebec named Anthony Mantha. At 6-foot-4, 190 or 200 pounds — depending on which scouting report one reads — with good skating skills for a big man and a heavy wrist shot, Mantha was the only 50-goal scorer in the draft. Ken Holland looked happy at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Mike Babcock looked ebullient. The Red Wings may have the big sniper they have needed since Brendan Shanahan left town. But fans will not know for a while. Mantha is unlikely to play in the NHL until about 2017. Quick help unlikely But fans of the Red Wings ought to be excited, nonetheless. The fact of the matter is Bickell, Lecavalier and Horton are utterly unlikely to come to Detroit to play for the Wings. At this point in their careers, all three are still looking for a big payday. The Blackhawks, for whom the large, gritty Bickell scored nine goals on the way to the Stanley Cup, were intent Sunday on clearing as much cap space as it could, trading Dave Bolland to the Maple Leafs. By the end of the day, they had re-signed Bickell for four years at $16 million. Reportedly, the Red Wings are one of eight teams who have talked to Lecavalier, 33, who scored only 10 goals, albeit in the lockout-shortened season of 2013. It is conceivable most if not all of the other seven teams will offer Lecavalier more money and time.
Red Wings get needed 'sniper' in Anthony Mantha
Detroit News | Jul 1