Detroit Red Wings: Stop Being So Hard on Anthony Mantha


To anyone giving Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha a hard time; stop doing so. The only thing that has been in the news about Mantha as of late is how disappointed the team, fans and everyone is in his performance. If they aren’t disappointed in him, they are talking about how the Red Wings should trade him.

Yet, why are we giving this young 20 year-old kid a hard time? While yes he was rated as a top ten prospect in the 2013 NHL draft, he also went through a sometimes difficult injury. Many seem to forget that Mantha suffered a fractured tibia and how that may have affected him. Take into consideration some of these points when you think of Mantha and what his place is with this team.

The injury itself was a rough one

A fracture in any bone can be a difficult injury. Depending on the type of break and where the break happens are just a couple of things that can go into just how long someone may be out with that injury. Just know that to fracture a bone, it takes an immense amount of force to do so.

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With Mantha he didn’t have surgery on his leg. He was on crutches and was keeping weight of his right leg. This is seen a lot when you are healing a stable fracture. It is a fracture that is sometimes called a “perfect break”, the bone isn’t displaced and no screws or rods have to be placed in the bone through surgery to fix it.

At least with the other types of breaks, you can have surgery and for the most part it will heal up and you can be good. Yet, with a stable break you have to let the bone heal on its own. You have to let the body do the wonderful magic it can and heal for itself, sometimes that can be difficult. Giving this kid a hard time when you have never been through an injury that takes you away from the one thing you have spent your whole life doing, is highly unfair to him.

Players deal with and recover from injury differently

Every player is different in many ways. That includes the way they deal with injuries that they gotten. Mantha is a young kid who had to deal with a pretty serious injury early in his career. This is a kid who hasn’t had any major injury since playing in the QMJHL.

You can’t just expect every player to come back from an injury so quick and easy. Injuries have a greater effect on athletes than just the bones broken or the muscles pulled. They can mess with a player’s mind; it changes the way some play, it changes how some look at the game.

We don’t know exactly how this injury has impacted Mantha mentally. It is unfair to criticize the young player when we don’t fully know how this has impacted him. If you have never had a major injury the way Mantha has, then you really don’t know what it may be like for him or any player who gets hurt.

What is the rest of the 2013 entry draft up to?

I looked at the 19 picks ahead of Mantha to see how many of them where making a difference with the team that drafted them. Of the picks ahead of him, 14 of them had played a game in the NHL, 12 of those played in 50 or more games.

Of those 14 players who had played in the NHL, only half of them played more than one season. With those seven players who played two or more seasons, only five players played 50 or more games.

So yeah, Mantha isn’t contributing to the Red Wings the way Nathan Mackinnon is for the Colorado Avalanche, Seth Jones for the Nashville Predators, or Jonathan Drouin is for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Maybe he falls into the group of the players like Max Domi, Sam Morin and Josh Morrissey. He just needs a little extra time to get to where he needs to be.

Trading a young talent just seems so pointless when you don’t fully know what he can do yet. Give him a little bit more time to come back from his injury fully and don’t overreact to one poor season. You never know, next season he could be down with Grand Rapids and could have a break out sophomore season and come up and help the Red Wings midway through the season.

Next: Mantha trade rumors might be misleading

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