Sportsnet’s Sean McIndoe, a.k.a. “Down Goes Brown,” has posted, “Hopeful thoughts for non-playoff teams,” including the Red Wings:
The issue: The core is old and locked into long-term contracts. But they can’t do a full rebuild, partly because management doesn’t want to and partly because they’re never bad enough to end up with a top draft pick.
But just look at: The Wild. Neither team has had a top-five pick in the cap era. Both teams have a challenging long-term cap situation. Both teams have a questionable path to contention. But the Wild have managed to be consistently good for years. Not great, but good. Maybe we’re damning with faint praise here, since most teams aspire to be more than first-round fodder for the real contenders. But if the Red Wings don’t want to bottom out, maybe that’s the best they can hope for.
I hate to say it, but I firmly believe that the Red Wings’ destiny for the next 3-5 years is to “max out” by making the playoffs and possibly win a round or two. Until the team strikes a home run or two at the draft–perhaps in the later rounds thereof–fans like you and me are going to have to deal with mediocrity.
McIndoe continues at length, of course…And don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that “the kids are coming,” but until then, it’s gonna be rough sledding.