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TPL Profiles :: Brett Lebda

22 Brett LEBDA
Defenseman / Buffalo Grove, Illinois
AGE :: 27
SIZE :: 5-9 / 195
ACQUIRED :: Signed to a contract after a 2004 Tryout
CONTRACT :: Entering the final year of a 4-year deal [2010]
CAP HIT :: $650,000
DRAFT :: Was not drafted
EXPERIENCE :: 2009-10 will be his 5th NHL season – all with the Red Wings
LIKELY ROLE :: Sixth / seventh defenseman
ACCOMPLISHMENTS :: 2008 Stanley Cup Champion
1. Very fast skater
2. Not afraid to pinch I the offensive zone, yet still gets back to play D
3. Has shown a willingness to play wing if it keeps him in the lineup

ONE REASON TO HATE HIM :: Participated in the Detroit Sucks chant growing up in the Chicago area. Bastard.

RANDOM FACT :: Scored his first NHL game on opening night in 2005 – the first Red Wing to do that since Greg Johnson twelve years earlier.
1. Speed
2. Offensive potential
1. Small size
2. Lack of physicality

ONE-LINER :: “We’re glad we don’t have to practice in the morning.” – at a stage we like to call “Professor” Lebda

HE’S A FAVORITE OF :: Leprechauns, Speedy Gonzales, Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow, Charlie Weis.

BIO :: One of a handful of Fighting Irish in the NHL, Brett Lebda joins Brian Rafalski on the Wings’ blueline as every day contributors that had gone undrafted. Invited to camp on a free agent tryout, he impressed the brass with his speed and smart play enough to earn himself a contract.

After spending the lockout season in Grand Rapids, Lebda was in the Wings lineup for the first post-lockout game – scoring his first NHL goal in the second period of his first game. He bounced back and forth between Grand Rapids and Detroit, but was soon a regular for the Red Wings.

FUTURE :: As we’ve mentioned before, the Wings plan on moving a defenseman after training camp if Lilja’s healthy enough to play. The popular choice seemed to be Derek Meech, but I’d argue that Lebda is more likely to be traded. He counts a bit more toward the cap (although still not much), he’s more NHL-polished, and he’ll garner a higher return. If he’s not traded in September, it’s a safe bet this will be his final season in red and white, with guys like Ericsson and Kindl gearing up to take over in 2010-11.


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