Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall Moves to Top on Defense

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Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall Moves to Top on Defense
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and departure of Stuart has left Kronwall, 31, as the Wings' No. 1 defenseman. He's shown for the past five seasons he's got the skills and smarts to be a standout, and his position as a leader on the team was cemented last fall when he was rewarded with an 'A' on his sweater. At 6-feet, 190 pounds, Kronwall isn't physically imposing, but neither was Lidstrom -- and as numerous NHL stars can attest, Kronwall can hit like a Mack truck. He's got a good head on his shoulders, and isn't likely to get overwhelmed by the prominent new role he'll have.

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