The new season is nearly upon us, for the Detroit Red Wings this means a new GM and a couple of new faces on the ice. Let’s preview what the 2019-20 season could look like for the 11-time Stanley Cup Winners.
First Key Game: Montreal Canadiens, October 10th.
Odds to win the division
200:1 (7th overall) (via Betway)
Is this a bet worth taking?
Well if we look at the intangibles and consider the moves made… the answer is still no. It’s not just because the competition in the division is too good, it’s that the Red Wings are just not in a position to be seriously competitive yet. The Yzerplan looks to be in full swing, but it’s going to take time for the pieces to fall into place.
Keys To The Season
Story to watch
It’s the Yzerplan, what’s going to happen to the team as it takes its biggest step of the recent rebuild? There are a lot of new names at the Little Caesars Arena. So this season is focused on finding what pieces fit where in the Red Wings’ roster.
The addition of Adam Erne is the first player to have followed Yzerman from Tampa. The new GM is in a great position of not having to give the fans a team that’s instantly able to compete for the cup. The situation under Ken Holland was becoming stale, which frustrates the fanbase. The big jump from Holland to Yzerman has essentially bought the Wings a reprieve. For now. Soon the fans will be expecting a Tampa Bay Lightning level of performance (we can dream).
Player to watch
Anthony Mantha – You can guarantee that Dylan Larkin will be the Red Wings’ best forward (and player), and that Tyler Bertuzzi will have a great season alongside Larkin. But who plays on Larkin’s right on that top line? Anthony Mantha has to be the best bet, but it’s a position that has some competition from Filip Zadina.
The job on the top line is Mantha’s to lose, and if he demonstrates that he can be consistent then he should be able to avoid the reshuffle. Zadina only played a handful of games for Detroit last season, but impressed enough that he should be a regular this season.
Leadership on the ice. Since Henrik Zetterberg left the team, the Red Wings haven’t had an official captain. It’s pretty much obvious that Dylan Larkin will be the next captain. But this (at time of writing) is yet to be announced. This isn’t an argument for who should where the C, rather that somebody needs to, and that decision needs to be made pretty sharpish.
There’s a lot of experience on Detroit’s roster, and with all of the fresh faces joining the team, that experience will be the key ingredient that’s going to gel this rag tag bunch into an effective scoring machine. Now that Nik Kronwall has announced that he’s hanging up his skates, the experience on the blue line now sits with Mike Green. The Wings will be hoping that the 14 season NHL veteran can provide leadership in the rear half of the ice.
If the Detroit Red Wings were an animal, what would they be?
The noble hermit crab, a crustacean that discards its shell when it needs to grow. Making this big change helps the crab to keep developing, but also leaves it vulnerable. If this isn’t a perfect metaphor for the place the Red Wings are at right now, then I don’t know what is.