The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn posted an article discussing the NHL teams that have improved the most and least during the 2020-2021 offseason (based on a statistical model), and he gives the Red Wings solid praise for their offseason moves…mostly…
Detroit Red Wings
Wins Added: 5.9 wins
Salary Added: $14.9 million
In: Marc Staal, Thomas Greiss, Vladislav Namestnikov, Troy Stecher, Bobby Ryan, Jon Merrill
Out: Jonathan Ericsson, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Madison Bowey, Christoffer Ehn
The worst team in hockey has only one way to go next season: up. That’s especially true with the offseason they had. No, they didn’t sign any big names that moved the needle — but they did replace serious drags with actual NHL calibre talent. Every player on the way out was a negative value player last season, worth a combined minus-4.6 wins. That’s where most of the team’s added value comes from: addition by subtraction.
Aside from Marc Staal, who is comparable in value to the players on the way out, everyone else is projected to bring positive value. It may be small, but at least it’s on the right side of the ledger and not actively hurting the team. It may not make sense for a bad team like Detroit to sign all these players, but it helps create a less toxic environment of losing. There’s a difference between playing at a 45-point pace and one closer to 70. It still sucks but it’s a lot less demoralizing.
Continued (paywall); yes, we are at the point where “there’s some hope” is about the best situation one could ask for at this stage of the Wings’ rebuild.