The Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo penned a column in which he suggests that the Detroit Red Wings’ 2019-2020 season may not produce as much hand-wringing or frustration as many pundits–and the Hockey News’s annual yearbook, specifically–have suggested:
[Dylan] Larkin is the leader of a group of five, solid young players, who should be coming into their own collectively this season, along with forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha and Filip Hronek. It is not out of the realm of possibility first-round draft picks Filip Zadina and defenseman Dennis Cholowski join this group in ’19-20. Former Michigan State standout Taro Hirose also showed promise, and is advanced.
Year-to-year improvement from Hronek and Cholowski on defense is especially imperative. The Red Wings’ puck possession stats have been a disaster, primarily because of a lack of puck-moving skill during an era of the NHL’s forechecking being particularly fierce.
No one is expecting a Vezina Trophy, but the goaltending with veterans Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier should be respectable.
Yzerman inherited a lot of dead-weight, overvalued contracts from Ken Holland. Anything the Red Wings get from Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson or Darren Helm would be unexpected at this stage.
But defenseman Danny DeKeyser does have some room to grow, Luke Glendening is good in his specific role and Frans Nielsen probably has more left in the tank than the other overpriced vets Ken Holland strapped onto the franchise.