The trade deadline has come and gone, but it still seems weird for the Detroit Red Wings to be without forward Anthony Mantha. In the waning hours of the trade deadline, Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman dropped a blockbuster trade onto the table.
The deal sent the Detroit Red Wings third-highest scoring forward to the Washington Capitals. Mantha has been a source of offense for the team in recent years as the rebuild rages on, sticking to the Yzerplan.
However, this rebuild and the years Mantha has spent here were adding up, and the 26-year-old forward needed a change of scenery. It might seem odd after a four-year contract extension was signed this offseason.
The finer details of Mantha’s game are what make it clear that he was open to a switch-up even after the extension. Beyond that, it seemed that Yzerman was not all that pleased with his core forward’s performance, which may have led to the decision to trade him.
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha needed a change of scenery.
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When it comes to the Red Wings and Mantha, it was not always the happiest of relationships.
There were times when it was a bit questionable if the effort level was there with Mantha or if his game would be one-dimensional due to effort.
Now, Mantha was a stud offensively and put up nearly fifty points before injuries would shorten his 2019-20 season, and in 2020-21 the effort level had fallen.
It seems like the rebuild has gotten to him; the change of scenery was quite kind to him right off the bat.
Granted, playing alongside Alex Ovechkin is going to be a nice treat for any offensively talented player.
In his first game with the Capitals, a talented team, Mantha, would bury a nice goal from the top of the zone and also pick up an assist in the first period of the contest.
With the Red Wings, Mantha logged 42 games where he had 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 total points. Early in the 2020-21 season, Mantha was labeled a healthy scratch by Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill, who tried to light a fire under him to get him going.
While the Red Wings do not score a lot as it is, Mantha was off to a slow start, and to look for some motivation, Mantha was a healthy scratch. It seemed like a common thread of having to do things to motivate Mantha, and in some games this season; he looked lackadaisical out on the ice.
To his credit, Mantha is a very gifted offensive player and will flourish with the talent and greatness that the Capitals have. It sucks to see him go, but the lack of motivation and appearance of deterioration from the rebuild might have been signs to Yzerman up in the front office.
Mantha recently signing a four-year contract extension makes it seem even more as if it was a decision driven by something that Yzerman had noticed or the fact that Brian MacLellan made an irresistible offer.
I’ll close with this: Trust in the Yzerplan.