Which Position Group Red Wings Need Most

Debating which position group the Detroit Red Wings need most next season.

When you finish last place in the NHL, your franchise has a lot of needs.

So, whether there’s a season or not, let’s take a look at the three main position groups of offense, defense and goaltending, and determine which the Detroit Red Wings need most for next season.


The Red Wings were abysmal on offense this past season. They averaged only 2.00 goals per game, worst in the league, which equates to 142 goals in 71 games.

According to Detroit Free Press writer Helene St. James, almost 50 percent were scored by four guys who headline the rebuild: Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri.

This makes it imperative for the general manager Steve Yzerman to bring these four back – three of which are restricted free agents (RFAs) this offseason (Bertuzzi, Mantha and Fabbri).

Signing these four won’t be enough, though. They’ll have to do more.


Well, what do you know, the Red Wings rank last in the NHL in this stat, too. In 71 games before the season paused, Detroit gave up a league-worst 3.73 goals per game.

I’m chalking this up to the defense because Jonathan Bernier was good, all circumstances considered.

With Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley, and Cody Goloubef not expected to be back – with a likely no-go on Madison Bowey, either – the defense will need upgrades, obviously.


I can tell you right now this is the least of the Red Wings’ concerns. Of course, they’ll need to fill the backup position with Jimmy Howard unlikely to return, but they have a short-term option who is more than serviceable.

The Decision:

You ready for this? Despite needing offense and defense about the same (aka they really need both), this was a trick question. This team needs coaching more than anything.

With 20 picks combined in the next two NHL Drafts and a surplus of prospects in waiting such as Moritz Seider, Joe Veleno and others who’ve flexed muscles such as Evgeny Svechnikov, Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen, they need someone who can take them to the next level and I’m not sure that guy is Jeff Blashill.