Wanted: Detroit Red Wings for robbery (feat. Albert Johansson)

While the Detroit Red Wings have taken steps in the standings, it’s apparent that their prospects have suffered. None more so than Albert Johansson. 
2022 NHL Draft - Round One
2022 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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*Disclaimer: I love Steve Yzerman. I do not want Yzerman fired or in hot water, and no I don't think I could run the Detroit Red Wings better than him. However, I think it is fair to feel frustrated and express those frustrations in a healthy way.*

While creating my upcoming masterpiece of the assessment of Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman, I stumbled across a rabbit hole. 

It’s one I’m still falling in and I’m not sure how far it goes, but we’ll find out together.

Prior to 2022-23, there seemed to be a plan for the Detroit Red Wings going forward. Build through the draft, develop young players, and give them every opportunity to succeed.

Somewhere, somehow along the line, the Detroit Red Wings have abandoned this plan. Why? Seemingly for a shot at the playoffs.

I get it, I do. Playoffs are important. Winning the Stanley Cup is the only reason players play and fans watch. There is, however, a time and place for everything.

As the Detroit Red Wings chased a mirage, their prospects suffered.

If anyone, anywhere thought the Detroit Red Wings would be serious contenders for the playoffs in 2023-24, I’m not sure where your information was coming from–maybe it was a false hope. Happens to me all the time, but it doesn’t make the false hope plausible.

I miss playoff hockey. To be honest, I don’t even pay attention to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs as it makes me annoyed the Detroit Red Wings aren’t in it.

Mirage of playoff hockey

Realistically, the Detroit Red Wings shouldn’t have been in the conversation of the playoffs this season. Chasing it? Absolutely. At the cost of developing players? Absolutely not.

When the Detroit Red Wings, including Steve Yzerman, decided playoffs were more important than their prospects, the fate of the season was sealed. 

Choosing to play “defensively responsible” players who provided no hope of development over players who had their fair share of flaws, but had room to adjust to the NHL and grow was a cowardly choice. 

When Detroit Red Wings captain, Dylan Larkin, went down this season, it was a prime opportunity to try anything, something, someone, yet they folded quicker and harder than me when I have a bad hand of cards.

Instead of the possibilities of taking steps back to allow young players to develop, make mistakes, and learn from them during a trying period of time anyways, they chose to try to not lose. It didn’t work well, as they lost so many times.

The forward group had trouble, as did the defensive group. Although, Jonatan Berggren could very well be the poster child for this article, he’s not. At least he had more time in in the NHL this season. Was it fair? Was it helpful?  Was it worth it? No. Not in any way shape or form, but at least he had that opportunity.

Simon Edvinsson had some time in the NHL, showing he belonged. Why was he stuck in the American Hockey League (AHL) so long to begin with? Who knows? Guess contracts and veteran players’ feelings were more important than winning games, but oh well. At least we had veterans in the lineup who helped in the most difficult times this season. 

Even Marco Kasper had a regular season game. Granted, it was the previous season, but he at least had a game. He knows how truly fast it is playing on a broken kneecap against the Toronto Maple Leafs.