All That Has Transpired: Detroit Red Wings

We’re going to take a look at each NHL team, breaking down every new addition and subtraction, as well as promising prospects.

Today, we take a look at the Detroit Red Wings.
By:  Ken Will (@PensNation_K)


2014 Season: 39-28-15, 93  pts (4th Atlantic Division, 8th Eastern Conference)

C Kevin Porter
C Andy Miele

C      Daniel Alfredsson (UFA)
RW  Todd Bertuzzi
LW  David Legwand
RW  Michael Samuelsson

It’s been a long time since anyone could accuse the Red Wings of being young or inexperienced. With names like Franzen, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall and Cleary still on the roster and Mike Babcock behind the bench, they’re not going to carry those labels in the 2014-15 season. But make no mistake, winds of change are blowing in Detroit. Younger players will be filling in the roles of Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Alfredsson and Michael Samuelsson. General Manager Ken Holland, who is often lauded for his work at the draft, was given a four-year contract extension. Now a new generation of prospects are about to be tested as they begin to take over the identity of the team.

In 2013-14, there were a lot of reasons for the Detroit Red Wings to fail to reach the post-season for the first time since 1991. You could argue that the one reason that they did was Gustav Nyquist. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg missed 37 games each and put together 85 points between the two of them. Filling that void was Nyquist with his own 45 points–many of which came in the stretch where the Red Wings were without their biggest stars. Those 45 points were only four shy of the team leader, Daniel Alfredsson, who enters the season still in search of a team.

Nyquist wasn’t the only young player making waves in Detroit. Thomas Tatar fell just shy of 20 goals and put up a total of 39 points at left wing. Meanwhile, Anthony Mantha was turning heads in the QMJHL with his 57 goals and 63 assists in just 57 games. Unfortunately for the Red Wings, his season will start in rehab after breaking his tibia and he won’t be back on the ice for at least 6-8 weeks.

Between the pipes, fans should know what to expect with Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson. Howard is the obvious starter, but he will need to be better than he was last season for the Red Wings to continue their playoff streak. If there is anyone who can get the most of their players, it’s Mike Babcock. But will it be enough? In their old division, which is as strong as any in sports, then it would be a difficult sell. But in a wide open Eastern Conference, it’s anyone’s game.

Ken Will (@PensNation_K)