Troy Stecher aims to bring intensity and a high level of competition to the Red Wings
Undersized and undrafted, Troy Stecher beat all odds of reaching the NHL, spending four seasons with his hometown, the Vancouver Canucks.
Today, he is entering a new phase of his career, after signing a two-year, $ 3.4 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
Canucks general manager Jim Benning spoke about the type of player and person the Red Wings have, tweeting, “Stech brought intensity and a high level of competition to every shift. He has been an incredible ambassador for our team and we wish him and his family all the best.
Stecher, 26, is the Red Wings right-handed defenseman Steve Yzerman was looking for after acquiring lefties Marc Staal (trade with Rangers) and Jon Merrill (free agency). They will join Danny DeKeyser, who was limited to eight games last season due to back surgery, Filip Hronek and Patrik Nemeth on a revamped blue line.
Yzerman expects Stecher to play in any situation.
Stecher (5-10, 186) said the current state of the organization and where it is headed has challenged him.
“I take pride in my work ethic, I try to set an example in training and throughout games,” said Stecher. “I know I’m not the biggest guy out there, but I’m definitely trying to spark a spark for my teammates in a 60 minute game and I rely on my work ethic and my skating.”
He also listed the areas he seeks to improve.
“Just boxing in the front is one of the biggest,” Stecher said. “Being a shorter guy you have to find different leverage points. And then continue to support the rush and have a good gap. I think it works both ways, offensively and defensively.
The Canucks missed the playoffs four years in a row before having a strong run in the Edmonton bubble. They defeated Minnesota in the qualifying round and defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis in the first round before losing in seven games to Vegas in the second round.
He hopes to be part of a similar progression in Detroit.
“There were some tough times,” Stecher said. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you just have to stay focused on your process and your goals. I think the most important thing is to understand that it’s not going to happen overnight, it’s a process to make it happen.
Stecher played 286 games with the Canucks, registering 11 goals and 64 assists as he was mostly paired with Alexander Edler. He will join former Canucks teammates Alex Biega and Sam Gagner in Detroit.
He called his time in Vancouver “super memorable”.
“Anytime you can play in your hometown it’s a great experience,” Stecher said. “Obviously as a band we would have liked more success, but from a personal point of view I don’t have any bitter taste. I definitely met some lifelong friends and memories that I will cherish for a long time.
“There is no bitter taste with Vancouver. Business decisions have to be made. Unfortunately, I was one of them. Fortunately, this presented a new opportunity that I’m super excited about.