Many Red Wings fans find the fact that the Wings are among the teams pursuing Ilya Kovalchuk to be a puzzling situation, and at best, a bad fit.
The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa would also prefer if the Wings and Kovalchuk steered clear of each other:
As of last season, the [Wings’ rebuilding] process, a generational transformation from a perennial Stanley Cup contender to the next contender, still required some acceleration and upshifting, despite collecting draft choices.
The Red Wings’ decisions to retain some of their support players, at considerable cost and for considerable duration, and the acquisition of more veteran help, in support roles, resulted last season in a team of no stars and, arguably, inadequate support.
Tomas Nosek, who performed well in the Golden Knights’ playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals, looked good in stints with the Red Wings. But the Wings never made him the $800,000 replacement for some guys now signed for a few to several millions more, who provide about the same performance.
Svechnikov, Dominic Turgeon, Joe Hicketts and Filip Hronek all played too much in Grand Rapids last season and not enough in Detroit.
Faced with a generational challenge, management and coaches are still not churning the roster to the point that younger players either prove their worth or signal they never will, and any reduced performance is accepted as a natural result of rebuilding.
And, its byproduct is better draft position.
The Red Wings are not there, yet. In some ways, the pursuit of Kovalchuk is more evidence.
Krupa continues, and “rebuild on the fly” or no “rebuild on the fly,” I simply do not see a “fit” in Detroit for Kovalchuk.