The Athletic’s Max Bultman proposes a scenario in which the Red Wings lose traction in the standings this upcoming season in order to earn a higher draft position:
Thanks to the number of young, still-developing players on their roster, the 2019-20 Red Wings have a chance to be an improved hockey team from the one they were last year. They also have a chance to stagnate, or even fall lower, in the NHL standings. And it’s perfectly plausible that those two outcomes could exist concurrently, strange as it may sound.
It’s a concept that came up in the comments of a recent story, which posed one question about each skater on the Red Wings’ roster. With a handful of young players entering, or currently in, their prime years, improvement from those players is a fair expectation. Decline from some aging players could always negate that progress, but if not, that might be enough for at least a marginal step forward in the standings. And that’s probably what you’re looking to see from the Red Wings a couple years into their rebuild. (Although our Dom Luszczyszyn does have them losing half a win based on their offseason moves, which also is a relevant consideration).