Klim Kostin is The Enforcer Detroit Desperately Needed

PHOTO CREDIT: PERRY NELSON-USA TODAY SPORTS

Klim Kostin hasn’t even played for the Red Wings yet, and he’s already becoming one of my favorite players. With his play style, he’s guaranteed to be a fan favorite in Detroit.

Klim Kostin Stats

Kostin is a 6′ 3″, 215-pound winger from Penza, Russia. He was drafted in the 1st round back in 2017, 31st overall, by the St. Louis Blues. Kostin made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2019. He played in only four games in 2019 but scored his first career goal in that stint. He got his first real opportunity to shine in the 2021-22 season, as he appeared in 40 games. Despite scoring only four goals and assisting on five goals, Kostin made it clear what role he’d be taking on in his career-An enforcer. Kostin played in 57 games during the 2022-23 season. He scored 11 goals and collected ten assists for 21 points. He dropped the gloves often and created some of the more memorable fights NHL fans have seen over the last few seasons in 2022 as well.

One of Detroit’s biggest needs this off-season was a big offensive player who could drop the gloves. They needed someone who played with intensity and was mentally tough. Someone who played with physicality. Klim Kostin checks all the boxes. He doesn’t need to be a 20+ goals scorer to make an impact on this team. Since Tyler Bertuzzi was traded, the Red Wings haven’t had an enforcer. That will change this season with the addition of Klim Kostin.

What exactly does being an enforcer mean in the NHL?

The definition of an enforcer in sports is a strong, aggressive, or intimidating player whose role is to protect teammates or dominate an area of the field of play. The Detroit Red Wings organization has produced some of the best NHL enforcers in the history of the sport. Two great examples are Bob Probert and Darren McCarty. As a younger Red Wings fan, most people would think my favorite players from a few years back to watch highlights of would be Steve Yzerman, Pavel Datsyuk, or one of the many other great players who were productive in Detroit… but it’s actually Probert and McCarty. You just don’t see players like them anymore. Hopefully, Klim Kostin can make a similar impact as Probert or McCarty this upcoming season.

Before I continue talking about Kostin, I want to share some of Bob Probert and Darren McCarty’s highlights. Starting with Probert. This was his very first NHL fight.

Bob Probert feared nobody, but he was feared by many players in the NHL. Listen to this interview with former NHL player Jody Shelley, who fought Probert 4 times in two days.

We can’t leave out Darren McCarty, who was one of the most beloved Red Wings players in history. Here’s McCarty defeating Claude Lemieux, who was hated by Red Wings fans.

The reason I wanted to talk about Probert and McCarty is they were both a big reason why the Red Wings were so competitive.

Now that we have seen Probert and McCarty drop the gloves, let’s dive into Klim Kostin highlights…

You know Klim Kostin is going to fit in with his new team, heck, he’s already battled a Lemieux and won!

Brendan Lemieux is the son of Claude Lemieux, who we saw earlier in the article in a battle with McCarty.

Klim Kostin doesn’t just hurt you with his fist… Kostin can hit you like an NFL linebacker as well. Watch him send Bruins player Hampus Lindholm into the bench.

Before I continue with this article, I want to make it clear that I’m not at all saying that Kostin is on the same level as Probert and McCarty. Just using two of the greats as an example. In my opinion, all playoff contending teams should have an enforcer.

How did the Red Wings acquire Kostin?

Detroit made a trade with the Oilers on June 29th to acquire both Klim Kostin and Kailer Yamamoto, except Yzerman didn’t want Yamamoto. Apparently, Detroit needed to take Kailer too, in order to get a deal done. The Red Wings bought out Yamamoto’s contract, and a few days after being traded to Detroit, he signed with the Seattle Kraken. Klim Kostin ended up signing a two-year, $2 million dollar AAV contract extension with the Red Wings a couple of days after the trade.

Detroit is a couple of moves away from contending, landing their enforcer is big. I’m still not sold on the goalie position just yet. I’d keep an eye on a potential move to get Husso a solid backup.

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