Fantasy Take: Greiss To Detroit Ice, Baby

Michael Clifford

2020-10-10

The Detroit Red Wings moved on from Jimmy Howard, the guy who had been more-or-less their starter for the last decade. It opened up a spot in net but with the plethora of goalies available, it wouldn't be hard to replace him. The Wings did just that by signing Thomas Greiss to a two-year contract carrying an AAV of $3.6M.

To me, Detroit are one of the most interesting teams in the league. They have a really good top line, lots of good prospects, and their bad contracts are expiring/being bought out (Ericsson, Abdelkader). They are probably another year from truly making noise as far as playoff contention is concerned, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Detroit's big issue remains the blue line. Filip Hronek is probably the best option in totality, and he's likely a 4/5 on good teams. Marc Staal, Danny DeKeyser, Alex Biega… these aren't great options at either end of the ice. They were in the bottom-third of the league last year by expected goals against/60 at 5-on-5, and bottom-third of the league by high-danger shot attempts allowed/60 at 5-on-5. Better forwards will help team defence, but the actual defence remains too big of a problem to say that things will be considerably better for Greiss than they were for Howard.

So, what about Greiss?

 

What does Detroit get

Greiss is a good goaltender. Like any goalie, he can have really good years (2015-16, 2018-19) and really bad years (2017-18). But when we look at his last five years in totality among regular goalies, these are his ranks among key metrics that aren't SV%/GAA (from Evolving Hockey for five years and