The Free Press’s Jamie Samuelssen (who also hosts the Jamie and Stoney Show on 97.1 the Ticket) wrote a very long column this morning, discussing his expectations for the Red Wings as the rebuild progresses this season:
You look at the Detroit Red Wings. You look at the division. You look at the conference. And you realize this season may bear a strong resemblance to last season. There will be pain. There will be losses. And barring a ton of things going right, there will be a third consecutive year without making it to the postseason.
And that’s fine. The Red Wings need players, and a first-round exit in the playoffs would benefit this team less than adding another top prospect. The motto “Lose for Hughes” (Michigan product Jack Hughes) has gained steam already among Red Wings fans. When we interviewed Holland on the radio Thursday morning, he understood the sentiment, but wasn’t about to talk about anything other than his team winning as many games as they possibly can.
Holland is also doing his job this year under the shadow of Steve Yzerman who stepped down as the Lightning GM last month and will essentially be a free agent after the season. Nobody knows what he wants to do next. Nobody knows what the Red Wings want to do next. But the facts are Yzerman’s family lives in Michigan, and his track record has been much better than Holland’s over the past five years.
Whatever off-ice drama takes place behind the scenes should have little effect on what happens on the ice. The Red Wings have a talented, young team which should delight us on certain nights and frustrate us on others. Did I mention they were young?
Here’s the good thing about watching the Red Wings this season: When we watch them on the ice, we know we are watching the future right here in Detroit. Sure, there are some holdovers from the past like Darren Helm, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson. But for the most part, you know whenever the Red Wings are a playoff team again, you are watching a core group of players that will get them there.