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By the Numbers: Luke Witkowski

Versatile player did not get to play much but always stayed ready for when he was needed

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

By the Numbers will highlight the Red Wings' on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season. Each week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player on the team, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on forward/defenseman Luke Witkowski.

The Detroit Red Wings are currently best known for being a fast team with some highly skilled young forwards.

But there is always a need for physicality in hockey and that's something that Witkowski has definitely been able to provide.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has often noted that the team seems to have a bit more of an edge when Witkowski is in the lineup, always ready to join the fray.

At the end of the 2018-19 season, Witkowski had finished his two-year, $1.5 million contract. However, new general manager Steve Yzerman had him with the Tampa Bay Lightning, so there could be some interest in keeping him in Detroit.

100 -- On Jan. 4 against the Nashville Predators, Witkowski skated in his 100th NHL game. He played 10:59 and was even for the game.

34 -- Witkowski tied his career high by playing 34 games this past season. When he was with Tampa Bay, Witkowski also played 34 games in 2016-17.

23 -- The normally pugnacious Witkowski did not drop the gloves as much as in previous seasons, which resulted in just 23 penalty minutes for the season. Last season, Witkowski had 68 penalty minutes in 31 games. In 2016-17, Witkowski had 39 penalty minutes in 34 games.

3 -- Although he didn't fight that often, Witkowski still led the Red Wings in fighting majors with three. He took on Boston's Joakim Nordstrom on Dec. 1, Nashville's Austin Watson on Jan. 4 and Boston's Noel Acciari on March 31.

67 -- Despite playing just 34 games, Witkowski recorded 67 hits, nearly two per game. For comparison, Anthony Mantha also had 67 hits in 67 games. Luke Glendening led the Wings with 198 hits in 78 games.

0 -- In a season when it seemed like everyone on the blue line suffered some kind of injury, Witkowski was notable for not missing any games because of any ailment. 

2 -- Witkowski recorded two points this past season, both assists. The first came Dec. 4 against Tampa Bay on Frans Nielsen's second-period goal, the only assist on that tally, and the other came on Dec. 31 against the Florida Panthers on Andreas Athanasiou's first-period goal, the first of the game. It was also the primary assist. 

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