I reached out to our friends over at Wingin’ It In Motown to get the low down on the 29-year-old Russian center. They said he’s a guy that plays with a lot of passion. “May sneak a knife onto the ice at some point,” JJ told me (jokingly, but that tells you how much of an edge Namestnikov plays with).
He’s been compared to Loui Eriksson in the sense that he’s a decent defensive forward that can occasionally pop in some depth goals, but isn’t as elite defensively as prime Eriksson was. This season, he’s been moved throughout the Detroit lineup, spending time on the top line and also as a middle six player. He’s a good support player with good puck skills and sound positioning, but his lack of finish can be frustrating.
Gee, that sure does feel like something the Stars already have in spades on this roster with the likes of Luke Glendening, Radek Faksa, and Michael Raffl.
However, he is having a very good offensive season this year. He’s already got 25 points, the most in three seasons (when he had 31 points with the New York Rangers). His shooting percentage is 16%, a touch higher than his 12.8% career average. His 13 goals will become the sixth-highest on the Stars so far this season.
Namestnikov is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He carries a $2 million cap hit, which Detroit is retaining half of according to general manager Jim Nill:
Stars GM Jim Nill said the Red Wings retained 50% of Vladislav Namestnikov’s salary. The trade is not yet official with the league, but Nill announced it when speaking with reporters right now.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) March 21, 2022