Detroit Red Wings: ‘When we get there, we want to be sustainable’

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings enjoyed a very hectic yet eventful off-season. General manager Steve Yzerman injected a ton of new blood into what had been a mediocre lineup ahead of the 2023-24 regular season.

Not only have the Detroit Red Wings finally added a bona fide top-flight scoring threat in Alex DeBrincat to the mix, but the organization also upgraded a bunch of their middle-six and depth forwards. Plus, Yzerman made a conscious effort to revamp Detroit’s backend by bringing in multiple veteran defenders, which suggests he is angling for the team to at least make a run at making the playoffs for the first time in what feels like, at times, a lifetime. As Red Wings fans, we have grown so accustomed to making the postseason. The last time Detroit appeared in the NHL playoffs was 2016.

Last year, for the first time in a long time, the Red Wings reminded us (the fans) what it’s like to be in the midst of a playoff push when they rattled off seven wins out of a possible eight and held a wild card position tied with the Florida Panthers, and had three games in hand. Then Detroit lost to the New York Rangers and traveled to Ottawa for back-to-back games. I need not remind you what happened in Ottawa, but it certainly reassured Yzerman that he’d better sell ahead of the trade deadline, which had been vastly approaching. Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde, who recently joined Stoney and Jansen with Heather on Audacy’s 97.1 The Ticket, described it as the right decision.

"“We did the right thing at the deadline”  it’s the reality of where we’re trying to be, not where we were at the moment. But this was a group that pushed last year and overachieved, and I don’t see why this group can’t do that again, especially with some of our additions.”"

Although saying a team four years into the Yzerman era of the rebuild overachieved seems like a bit of a stretch, I am not about to get into the psychological aspects of being a head coach who is trying to motivate professional players, but isn’t this right where the Detroit Red Wings should be by now? Right on the cusp of the postseason? We’re now entering year five and should expect better results from here on out.

The Detroit Red Wings are angling to make a playoff push following a busy off-season.

Lalonde called the addition of DeBrincat a ‘necessity,’ and I don’t know anyone who would disagree with that. Some may not believe in DeBrincat the same way as others, but no fan of the Detroit Red Wings can confidently admit that this organization has been lacking a top-end scorer for quite some time.

"“A necessity,” said Lalonde. “We had a lot of really good team games last year where we did a lot of things right and a lot of things that were asked of us, and we just couldn’t put it in the net. We would find ways to lose some of those tight games. We need goals, and that’s something he can do, so it’s a necessity for us as an addition. “I love the fact that he wanted to be here. Very attractive piece for us.”"

Lalonde also mentioned that he expects his team to be right in the middle of the playoff race this season and also says that following a hectic off-season, it’s simply on ‘us now’ to perform. Yzerman isn’t just hoping to reach the playoffs once; he’s trying to build a roster that will be in the mix year after year.

"“I love what we did this offseason,” he said. “We’ve improved, there’s no doubt about it. We’re going to be significant (in the playoff race). That’s all I ask, that’s all I want. We just gotta keep pushing in the right direction.“That said, I also understand why there’s not a single projection or a single expert out there that says we’re going to make the playoffs. It’s on us now. We’ve added some nice pieces, but we’re still not there. And what more motivation can you have as a group than that?”“If we played in the West, we would have made the playoffs,” said Lalonde. “What does that mean? We’re still not good enough to win the Stanley Cup. That’s Steve’s job to get us there. I’m a coach, I want it right now, but Steve reminds me all the time: ‘When we get there, we want to be sustainable.'”"

In addition to DeBrincat, the Detroit Red Wings added former Michigan Wolverine J.T. Compher, Klim Kostin, Christian Fischer, and Daniel Sprong up front. The Red Wings added Shayne Gostisbehere, Jeff Petry, and Justin Holl on the backend. In goal, the organization added veterans James Reimer and Alex Lyon to support starter Ville Husso.

Red Wings release 2023-24 training camp roster. light. Trending

This group will replace the likes of Tyler Bertuzzi, Oskar Sundqvist, Alex Chiasson, Dominik Kubalik, Filip Zadina, Filip Hronek, Gustav Lindstrom, Robert Hagg, Jordan Oesterle, Alex Nedeljkovic, and Magnus Hellberg.