The Red Wings Mis-Steps From the Off-Season

Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings have done a lot of unexpected things over the past couple months. Whether it’s through free agency, through the draft, or via. trade, the Red Wings have shocked us all. But, yet, something seems to keep nagging at us saying the Red Wings needed more.

When the off-season began, I felt like the Red Wings needed to do something to take a step in the right direction. Now, when I said that, I had no idea they were going to do everything they did. I thought that maybe they’d sign a defenseman, trade for a goalie, and maybe add some forward depth. I think at this point in time we can say that the Red Wings front office went above and beyond.

Having brought in David Perron, Andrew Copp and Dominik Kubalik, the Red Wings added two top six forwards and a very good depth piece as well that could be a good fit with Joe Veleno and Filip Zadina. But, that’s still not all they did.

On top of adding three key forwards this off-season, the Red Wings also felt the need to go add some defenseman help. And that’s exactly what they did.

The Detroit Red Wings going into the off-season were tied to left-handed defenseman, Ben Chiarot so that signing wasn’t overly surprising. However, the contract length and amount they spent to get him was a little rich for my liking. Nonetheless, I still feel that signing was the perfect signing for the Red Wings due to his veteran experience and style of play. Now, that brings us to the goalie position.

On day two of the NHL entry draft, the Red Wings acquired former St. Louis Blues goalie, Ville Husso.

Husso is coming off a terrific season with the St. Louis Blues, so adding a goalie of his caliber, and locking him up for the next few years really makes me think this team is going places. And that’s a fair statement I feel like. So, now the question is, why does this team still feel so lackluster? They’ve done everything right. So, why am I getting this feeling of regret? There’s a couple reasons.

First, the Red Wings added good players, not great players. They got players who fit they system that Derek Lalonde is looking to run which is a hard nosed, gritty, tough team.

David Perron, on top of the shot that he has, has been known for his strength on the puck and ability to keep puck possession when faced with tons of defensive pressure. He’s one of the more underrated players in the league in that aspect of the game. Perron is very strong on the puck and it makes it very difficult for the opposition to take the puck from him. But, as I said, the main reason for the signing is his shot. And he’s an above average power play winger, and an average shot during 5v5 play.

When it comes to Andrew Copp, same thing applies. He’s a strong player who is skilled in the offensive zone. But his versatility and offensive capabilities make him a great second line option. However, it would be quite a circumstance for me to see him play on the top line.

Then Kubalik is a strong offensive player. But, he was benched this past season due to pointless skating. He was benched on the Chicago Blackhawks. That’s not good. So, going into this season, I’m expecting him to really try to play hard and show he’s worth the signing. But, he does have to prove himself to me.

All of this leads me into my second reason, they aren’t in the same tier as guys like Alex DeBrincat, Matthew Tkachuk, Claude Giroux, or any of the other guys that were brought into the Atlantic this off-season.

The Red Wings made good moves, but when you measure them against the other teams in the Atlantic, they weren’t good enough.