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"The Wings Will Rise Again!"
Harrow, ON • Canada •
For most Detroit Red Wings fans, this off-season has been a complete disaster. I even heard an interview on the radio, that suggested it was an absolute meltdown in the front office and Ken Holland should be fired immediately. This is just ludicrous. Sure you could look at it from one perspective, we lost one of the best defenseman to ever lace them up in Nick Lidstrom. We lost another sturdy defenseman in Brad Stuart and we lost Jiri Hudler who put up 25 goals and 25 assists last year. Sure we lost out on some BIG names, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Rick Nash (most likely) and now Shea Weber. But really think about it, do you really think adding any one of those guys wins us a stanley cup? Something to mull over.

Lets say that we go into camp with the line-up we have right now,


Pavel Datsyuk-
Last year he played 70 games and scored 19 goals, 48 assists totaling 67 points, that's almost a point per game. May I remind you, that just three and four short years ago he scored 97 points a season missing just three games in those years. If this guy stays healthy, it's a giant boost for us.

Henrik Zetterberg-
Just one year ago hank put up 80 points, and is four years removed from putting up 43 goals and 92 points. He had an off year last year, and he still put up 22 goals 47 assists. He also played all 82 games last year with a nagging back. I think he still has plenty left in the tank and we could see the zetterberg of old this year.

Johan Franzen-
Everyone always complains that this guy takes nights off and floats around too much but in reality, at his cap hit, where are you going to find a guy as good as 'the mule.' Last year he put up 29 goals and 27 assists for 56 points. He only scored higher once in his career in 2009, with 59 points. When this guys is motivated he is unstoppable, just take a look at the playoffs a few years ago..if you've forgotten so quickly. Hopefully Babcock and Renney can light a fire under him and the things that he could do for us are endless.

Valterri Filppula-
66 points last year playing the wing on zetterberg's line. He finally had his breakthrough year we've all been waiting for! He's such a versatile two way forward and we underrate him all the time! He's such a smooth skater, he's good in his own end and he's finally shooting the puck! Another year like that from him means good things for us. As long as Babs doesn't put him back at center, I like how this kid looks and I think he's still got something more to give.

Mikael Samuelsson-
31 points in a short 54 games last year. Not to mention switching teams during the year can be tough on any player, with injuries to top it all off. But looking at those stats had he played all 82 games he surely would have topped 50 points, so losing Hudler and taking him kind of evens itself out doesn't it? The bonus is, he knows our system, he's played here before and understands how things are done. He's larger at 6'2 218 lbs. and he's right handed and will probably play on our top power play unit at the point.

Daniel Cleary-
Now this guy is a bit of a question mark for me. In 2010 he played only 68 games and scored 26 goals and 20 assists. Last year he played seven more games and he only scored 12 goals, 21 assists. There is the question of how much his knee bothered him throughout the year and if he can revert to how he played just one year ago this team will be better off because he can be a useful player for us.

Darren Helm-
One of the most underrated players on our team. His speed is incredible and if he can develop some finishing ability he is absolutely lethal. He only put up 26 points last year in 68 games but I think we could see much more offense from him this year even though that's not what he's known for. Entering his fifth season in the league the kid seems to be exuding confidence.

Todd Bertuzzi-
Yes, he's old. He'll never be the dynamic player he once was in Vancouver. However, for the price he is a great bottom six player and even top six if needed. He scored 14 goals and 38 points last year in 71 games. Not to mention the extra points he got us in the shootouts with those slick hands of his. Don't discredit bert, he does what he is paid to do.

Jordin Tootoo
The tootoo train has arrived in detroit. No, he is not an offensive player, he will not score many goals. But he brings this team something that it has needed, some physicality. Jordin plays a very hard-nosed physical game and will hopefully 'keep the flies' off and keep our skilled players healthy. He still managed 30 points in the bottom six of a defensive minded Nashville team. Very solid pick-up in my opinion.

Damien Brunner-
Perhaps the most intriguing player the wings added this off-season. On paper he appears to be what the doctor ordered for the wings. A highly skilled winger that has speed and may be small but plays a physical game. Last year playing in Switzerland, he put up gigantic numbers, scoring 24 goals and 36 assists totaling 60 points in only 45 games. The only question surrounding him will how long will it take to adjust to the north american game and can he. Playing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk should remedy that hopefully quickly. If he pans out, I promise no one will be complaining about goal scoring.

Patrick Eaves-
Hard to believe this guy once scored 20 goals eh? In his rookie year no less. He won't ever be that for Detroit and he knows that. Last year he suffered a concussion and only played ten games scoring just 1 assist. No way to tell if he will rebound, but if healthy he is a great PK guy and chips in 20-30 points.

Gustav Nyquist-
57 points in 55 games with Grand Rapids last year and 7 points in 18 games with the big club. I'm a huge fan of this kid. There seems to be no ceiling for his potential. If the club gives him more ice time this coming year, I think once he settles in he will flourish and I'm looking forward to him developing, he could be a very nice surprise to some people this year.

Drew Miller-
Another under valued player. Drew plays his heart out every night, blocking shots and killing penalties and making smart plays. He scored 14 goals, 11 assists. For as cheap as he comes, it's nice to have a guy like drew hanging around, he does the right things out there.

Jan Mursak-
We haven't got to see too much of Jan's ability due to his ankle injury last year. But I absolutely love his speed, I think he could rival helm. and a healthy year for the big club could be beneficial for him as well as us. I'd rather him on the fourth line than Cory Emmerton at any rate.

Cory Emmerton-
This guy is a non-entity for me. A fourth line player that fills up the roster, I haven't seen enough from him to want him to stick around and take up space. He scored 10 points in 71 games last year.

Justin Abdelkader-
Another guy, I'm not sure what to do with, he played 80 games last year collecting 22 points. He's not a scorer however he led us in hits and physical play is never a bad thing.

Tomas Holmstrom-
Will probably hang 'em up with his pal nick. However if he returns, there's no one better in front of that net. But needs reduced ice time, his body can't handle it anymore.


Niklas Kronwall-
Had an excellent year last year compiling 15 goals, 21 assists. But the real eye catcher was his play in his own end improved immensely. He even threw a couple of his trademark hits and those are always fun to watch. I think he will thrive with a bigger role on this team.

Kyle Quincey-
Last year was a tough year for him, making a move at the deadline. He put up 23 points in 54 games with the Avs and then just 3 points in the remaining 18 for the wings. Kyle knows our system as well and once he gets comfortable again and plays a full year, he'll be back to normal. He's can be a very solid defender.

Ian White-
He had a nice year for us. 7 goals, 25 assists, but he played well defensively and played very consistently which I think is something to be valued. Another year like last and you'll hear no complaints from me. He sees the ice well and moves the puck accordingly.

Jakub Kindl-
We have yet to see what all the hype has been about with this kid. He put up 13 points in 55 games with the club and his play in his own end was spotty at best. If he stays with the club and is in the top six all year, lets hope he can show us why the wings brass show so much faith in the kid.

Jonathan Ericsson-
Showed so much promise. Has excellent size and an absolute rocket from the point but just seems to lack confidence. 11 points in 69 games and mediocre defense will not cut it after his pay raise, lets hope he can have a good year.


Jimmy Howard-
This guy has the ability to steal games, he faced quite a bit of rubber last year and won 35 out of 57 starts with a 2.13 gaa and a .911 save pct. No worries in net jimmy is more than capable of getting the job done.

Jonas Gustavvson-
This guy gets a lot of grief, but lets face it folks, he played for the leafs. He's big, 6'3 192 lbs, 'the monster' covers a lot of the net and seems to be pretty agile considering some of the saves he makes. He could play really well without the whole city of toronto breathing down his neck to get them to the playoffs. In 42 games with toronto he went 17-17-4 with a 2.92 gaa and a .902 save pct.

This team is a lot better than some people make it out to be. Yes we could definitely use another defenseman as we only have six currently and it would help if he was a good defenseman and rest assured Ken Holland and co. have been around long enough they will do what it takes to get the job done. Sure it would have been nice to get Shea Weber or Ryan Suter, It would have been great to nab Zach Parise or Rick Nash. But we can't control what players and GM's want in this league. Kenny will put the best team he can possibly assemble on the ice next year. And if no more moves were made, I guarantee this teams playoff run will go on. You heard it here first. Please folks, we've been the best team in the league for two decades, that wasn't for no reason. Stop acting like it's the end of the world.
Filed Under:   Detroit Red Wings  
July 20, 2012 9:26 PM ET | Delete
Good write up, Detroit has more scoring depth than I originally really looked at.As for Gus, this is a coin flip. But my gut is telling me he will fit right into the Detroit system as a solid backup. Less pressure, and new environment, he could benefit from vets in front of him. The thing with this guy, is he is athletic and flexible as hell, and makes some phenomnal saves...but then he lets in the softest beach-ball.
July 23, 2012 7:58 PM ET | Delete
Is Detroit going to dress only 5 D men? Kronwall is a great player but I don't think he's an anchor for the D core. Any young players going to step up?
July 24, 2012 2:40 AM ET | Delete
I left out brendan smith my bad. and he is bound to make great strides and in all likelyhood they will gett another dman and kindl will be number seven.
July 25, 2012 12:49 AM ET | Delete
Brendan Smith steps up big time
July 25, 2012 12:52 AM ET | Delete
But we still need some new blood I feel too spark fans and bring some excitement too locker room. Player like bobby Ryan just hard too lose Any of the above mentioned pieces. And the other D man Holland said is gonna add
July 29, 2012 10:00 PM ET | Delete
Nice stuff! Your 1st point holds true for any team. No team wins a championship on paper. The Red Wings are one of the resilient organizations and are always in the hunt. They will compete and be in the thick of things for sure. Happy Hockey this year! Lets hope they figure a new CBA
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