Ever since Nicklas Lidström retired people have been quick to say that the Red Wings dynasty and the 21-year playoff streak will finally be coming to an end. One of the recent people to express his thoughts about this is Graham Hathaway, a Red Wings blogger at Winging It In Motown. His article, titled “The Inevitable Is Coming, But I Don’t Have To Like It “ has created quite a bit of buzz around the Internet and here is my opinion on the state of the Detroit Red Wings.
One of the biggest misconceptions with the Wings is that their prime is behind them and that their future looks grim. Yes, the current core is aging, however, our future may be one of the brightest in the NHL. Unlike most peoples beliefs the Wings have more than just Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist in their prospect core. With prospects like Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Petr Mrazek, Teemu Pulkinen and Calle Järncrok to just name a few, the Wings not only have one of the best prospect cores in the league but one of the deepest as well. To add to this, it makes it even more incredible that the Wings have done this without drafting in the top-15 in the past 2 decades.
The Wings are entering a transition period, or a major restocking period if you would ask Ken Holland. For the next two years the Wings will slowly but surely be bringing up all this young talent that they have accumulated over the past couple years. The core of Zetterberg and Datsyuk will be replaced by Nyquist and Jurco and Kronwall and Lidström will be replaced by Smith and Almqvist. If they can make it through these next two seasons the future looks extremely bright.
Another misconception is that Kenny Holland sat on his butt all summer long and didn’t do anything to try to lure Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to Detroit. This is false, not only did Kenny Holland offer both those players very generous contracts (13 years, $90 million) but he also, together with Mr. Illitch and other staff, went to personally visit both of the players. The Wings wanted to sign both Parise and Suter, however, in the end Parise and Suter chose the Minnesota Wild over the Wings not for money but due to it being close to where they both grew up and close to where their families lived.
The Wings lost Brad Stuart not because he wasn’t good enough and not because he didn’t want to play here, they lost him because he wanted to play close to his family, which was something the Wings couldn’t offer him. With exception of not signing Alex Semin (cause they should have) the Wings pursued the top free agents and they didn’t get them not because they didn’t offer but instead due to intangible reasons or because those players were asking crazy money contracts (see Shane Doan).
The Wings might not be a presidents trophy winning team this year but that doesn’t mean that they wont be a good team. They will still make the playoffs and the Winged Wheel will keep rolling. Even if it is inevitable that the Red Wings will eventually fall from the pedestal that they have been on the past 2 decades it isn’t now, or at least I hope it isn’t now.
Let’s Go Wings and Go Blue, beat ‘Bama tonight!