In 2016-17, the Detroit Red Wings begun their demise, finishing with 79 points, for 7th in the Atlantic division. Going into 2017-18, the Red Wings have cap problems, and still need to sign RFA Andreas Athanasiou (he\’s in their lines at the bottom assuming he\’ll sign). They didn\’t do much in the offseason, but they did sign defenseman Trevor Daley to a three year deal, and extended Tomas Tatar (four years). Here\’s a look at the few things GM Ken Holland did this offseason.
Notable additions: D Trevor Daley, D Luke Witkowski.
Notable subtractions: F Drew Miller, F Tomas Nosek, F Mitch Callahan.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Justin Abdelkader – Frans Nielson – Gustav Nyquist
Henrik Zetterberg – Dylan Larkin – Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar – Riley Sheahan – Andreas Athanasiou
Darren Helm – Luke Glendening – Evgeny Svechnikov
The first line is okay, but it would be a second line on most teams. Larkin and Mantha are looking for another good year, as Zetterberg looks to once again avoid a decline. Athanasiou had a good season last year. Sheahan only scored two goals in 80 games last year. He needs to bounce back this year. He is a trade candidate for the Wings. At just 20 years of age, Svechnikov has the chance to make the team this year, or he\’ll be in the minors. Ben Street is the extra forward.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Danny DeKeyser – Mike Green
Trevor Daley – Niklas Kronwall
Jonathan Ericsson – Nick Jensen
DeKeyser is, in my opinion, their best defenseman. Kronwall isn\’t a top four defenseman on most teams, but still is in Detroit. There will be a big battle for the six spot in training camp, but I think Jensen wins it. Honestly, Xavier Ouellet could beat out Ericsson. Dylan McIlrath, Robbie Russo, Ryan Sproul and Luke Witkowski are also in that battle.
This is a 1A, 1B situation between a younger guy, Mrazek, and a vet, Howard. If there\’s an injury, then Jared Coreau could get the call.
Still rebuilders, I think the Red Wings will take a step back in 2017-18. I think they will finish eighth in the Atlantic division, also known as last.