'Great culture guy' Luke Glendening making Wings pleased he wasn't traded

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
View Comments

The rumors come around every trade deadline that Luke Glendening is going to be dealt.

For the last several years the speculation has been rampant, as playoff contenders, presumably, fight over getting the defensive forward who happens to lead the NHL in faceoff percentage victories.

But the rumors never come true. Glendening has yet to be traded.

And the Red Wings continue to be the primary beneficiaries of it.

Wings center Luke Glendening has five goals and nine assists in 45 games this season.

Glendening continues to win faceoffs and check effectively while being a respected leader as an alternate captain. And on Monday, he chipped in with two goals as the Red Wings lost, 3-2, to Dallas in a shootout.

“He’s a great culture guy because of where his work ethic is at,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We talk all the time about outworking, outcompeting the other team, and he embodies that.

"And then he’s an effective player on the ice, certainly with his faceoffs but his defensive play and his ability to win battles, and also grinding teams in the offensive zone. They (the Glendening line) don't create offense, or doesn't result in offense as much as any of us would like, but they (Glendening’s line) create momentum shifts by playing in the offensive zone.

"I would also say the better your team is, the more valuable he becomes."

Glendening, centering Darren Helm and Adam Erne, has arguably been the Wings' most consistent line this season. 

Blashill believes their success stems from the fact they know who they are as players.

"That line has been consistently pretty good. They do it right," Blashill said. "They keep it simple and they're good around the net. Luke has always been a guy who finds his way to be a good screen guy and he got a tip on the one (goal) and he drove the net on the other.

"They (the Glendening line) just do it right and they kind of embody what we need our team to be. That's shift after shift after shift of doing it right and outworking the other team." 

More: Final weeks of Red Wings' schedule are important for young players

Monday's two goals gave Glendening five for the season.

“Goals haven’t come easy for me this year, or last year really,” Glendening said. “It’s nice to get a few, but it would have been a lot nicer if we could have gotten a 'W.'”

In the last year of his contract, and with a salary cap hit of a modest $1.8 million, it would have been easy to understand why Glendening would have been in demand at the trade deadline.

But the Wings' decision to keep the Grand Rapids native, who starred at Michigan, is quite understandable given the intangibles Glendening brings.

The Wings could have traded Glendening earlier this month, likely received draft picks in return and then attempt to re-sign Glendening in the summer.

But there's always the risk in that scenario that the player suddenly enjoys that new organization more than the one he came from.

General manager Steve Yzerman is likely to re-sign Glendening before free agency begins this summer, as neither side seems particularly interested in splitting any time soon.

Glendening, for his part, wasn't consuming himself on social media with all the trade rumors.

"You can only control things you can control. I believe there is a plan for my life and I'm still here and I'm excited to be here," Glendening said. "I try to stay away from that stuff (speculation) as much as I can. Every year there's speculation and it can really stress you out if you see that stuff every night. 

"Like I said, you can only control what you can control and I'm happy to be here."

Vrana sick

The Wings were without forward Jakub Vrana for Monday's game, and Blashill wasn't sure Vrana would be available for Tuesday's game with a non-COVID related illness.

The Wings didn't have a morning skate or media availability Tuesday before the game.

Vrana, who was acquired in the trade that sent Anthony Mantha to the Capitals, scored in his debut last Thursday.

Mantha has goals in his first four games with Washington and has goals in his past five games overall (dating back to his last game with the Wings).

Ice chips

After missing two games, Evgeny Svechnikov returned to the lineup Monday and had an assist on Glendening's first goal while playing almost 14 minutes.

"He had his ups and downs," Blashill said. "He was a little bit rusty coming back. His last game in Carolina (April 12) he was excellent, and it might have taken him a bit to get back into the game."

… Monday's 3-on-3 overtime session didn't have the up-and-down, back-and-forth vibe of other overtimes, and that's been the case increasingly around the NHL this season. Teams are playing a more defensive style in overtime.

"We haven't done a whole lot different in terms of messaging," Blashill said. "We've given up some easy goals on 3-on-3 during the course of the year, so our guys are more conscious defensively.

"In overtime, you get your chances when you give up chances. Everybody is trying to win the hockey game. How do you win hockey games? You can't win it by being careless. If both teams are doing a good job of not being careless, then it's hard to create a whole bunch (of offense), whether it's three or five or one guy on the ice."

… Robby Fabbri (upper body) was unavailable Tuesday, marking the ninth consecutive game he's missed.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

View Comments