Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted an article discussing the team’s potential as it relates to the young players on the roster:
There is a sense of optimism — or confidence — among players that this season won’t be another losing one for the Detroit Red Wings.
A more realistic outlook is that the growing pains associated with a youth movement will continue in the short-term, but they could lead to a growth spurt within a couple seasons. Two solid draft classes have added high-end talent to a rebuilding project headlined by Dylan Larkin. Henrik Zetterberg’s retirement last month because of a bad back has created an opportunity for the franchise’s next leader to emerge, and if the rest of the nucleus responds, the long-term outlook looks promising for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season.
“For us to be good, the young guys have to carry the team and be our best players,” veteran center Frans Nielsen said. “From what they have shown so far, you get a feeling they are ready to take the responsibility and be leaders. Hank is not here so there is going to be a lot of ice time and it really looks like they are going to thrive with that ice time. I for sure see light at the end of the tunnel. The way the young guys have been playing, especially Larkin, you see they support each other.”
Larkin, the Wings’ first-round selection from 2014, is the face of the rebuild because of his inner drive. He’s had one taste of the NHL playoffs, in his rookie season, and hungers to return.
“We have this chip on our shoulder,” Larkin said. “Everyone went home this summer and had a really good offseason, everyone looks really good, and that is giving me confidence. There are fresh faces and a new energy.”
2. MLive’s Ansar Khan also weighs in regarding the team’s potential vs. the reality of the team’s personnel limitations:
“Youth can certainly energize,” Jeff Blashill, starting his fourth season as Red Wings coach, said. “These young guys, in order to help us, have to be better than the guys who have gotten those minutes previously. It’ll be a great challenge for our younger players, not just the new faces but the guys that are trying to step into bigger roles.”
The Red Wings will be starting a new era without Henrik Zetterberg, one of their premier players of the past 15 seasons and their captain since 2012 who essentially (not officially) retired due to back issues.
“We have a good mix of young kids who can play the game and good older veterans,” forward Thomas Vanek said. “We’re not one of the top teams in the league, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win hockey games. I think we’re going to have to win by committee and hopefully that is going to be our identity — the strength of our four lines and the young kids.”
The team that finished 24 points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, tied for 26th overall, still isn’t ready to return to the postseason, in all likelihood. They aim to be competitive and exciting while the youth gains valuable experience and continues to grow.
“I think we’re going to be an exciting team to watch,” Larkin said. “We’re going to be youthful, we’re going to have a lot of speed and I think hard to play against. It may not be pretty but we’re going to outwork teams.”
3. And the Free Press’s Kirkland Crawford offers a timely reminder that the Red Wings are no longer accepting paper tickets:
This announcement came during the summer and may have flown under the radar, but now as the NHL and NBA have returned, you need to know that Ticketmaster’s mobile ticketing technology will be used at the doors of the new arena.
So the days of printing off tickets at work before heading to the game or cursing the ink gods after you run out of black at home.
If you have a smartphone, you can download The District Detroit app to buy your tickets and display.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you’re not totally out of luck. If you’re in this position, call the LCA box office (313-471-7929) ahead of time or head over the the box office on the day of the game to get your tickets.
Full-season ticket holders will receive a commemorative printed ticket to celebrate the upcoming season. Tickets should be loaded into season ticket holders’ online Ticketmaster account.