The Detroit Red Wings: The Rebuild Hinges on Youth

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Detroit Red Wings Libor Sulak (47) skates during the third period in the preseason game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings on September 23, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 23: Detroit Red Wings Libor Sulak (47) skates during the third period in the preseason game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings on September 23, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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It is not necessarily the way any team would choose to start a season. Injured veterans that land on injured reserve. That is precisely where the Detroit Red Wings find themselves. The rebuilding Red Wings were going to see top prospects. Only now they are going to see them much sooner.

Growing pains are a part of every season in sports. Players come. Players go. The Detroit Red Wings have several young players that are being pressed into service. That is not a bad thing. It seems that the Detroit brass would have preferred to call players from the Grand Rapids Griffins for a look at their pace and time.

Due to injuries that is out the window. Suddenly tomorrow is today. Two solid back-to-back drafts have put the Detroit hockey team in a position that allows them to see what they have. To start the season at least it will allow the front office and coaching staff to identify the next franchise nucleus.

The short-term does promise a lot of growing pains. There is no way around it, and the Red Wings must now go through it. The long-term outlook provides optimism for an organization that has not seen the playoffs since 2015-16.

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Dylan Larkin leads the charge by default. The retirement of Henrik Zetterberg forced Larkin to the top line.  A rash of training camp and preseason injuries has opened the door for Detroit defensive prospect to begin the year in the Motor City.

What to make of all of this? The Detroit Red Wings were never going to make the playoffs or a run at the playoffs this season. This was a swan song for veterans on expiring contracts. It was supposed to be a gradual mixing of prospects, not a right-out-of-the-gate.

For the unexpected misfortune of Mike Green, Niklas Kronwall and Trevor Daley the Red Wings will now see Libor Sulak, Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski sooner and perhaps for a more extended period.

This is a time that Detroit Red Wings should be interested in. This day was coming. Perhaps later this season or maybe not until next season. It is time to embrace the youth movement. The Red Wings with a top 10 prospect pool are in good shape.

Next. Where are the tipping points in a new season?. dark

I for one am beyond excited to see the kids in action. To see what the next wave of Red Wings greats can and will do. It seems odd. But enjoy the bumps and bruises of watching the start of the 2018-19 Wings season. Growing pains will lead to great things.