The Athletic’s Bultman offers a wise ‘question’ facing the Wings this season

Updatted at 4:47 PM: The Athletic asked its NHL correspondents to address the most important questions facing each and every one of the NHL’s 31 teams this upcoming season, and this suggestion for the Red Wings, per Max Bultman (who’s holding a Q and A on Monday at 12 PM EST) is apt:

Detroit Red Wings: Will they be able to find secondary scoring?

There’s no shortage of questions for the league’s reigning last-place team, but the biggest may be how the Red Wings can find some scoring beyond their top line of Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. Detroit gave itself a chance this offseason by adding Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov, but this answer will also hinge significantly on the progress of Filip Zadina in his first full NHL season. Those three and Robby Fabbri make up Detroit’s likely pool for a second line, and should give the Red Wings much more firepower to work with if everyone stays healthy. It’s still likely not going to be enough to score with the league’s best, but those additions, combined with Zadina’s development, should make Detroit much more competitive. -Max Bultman

Continued (paywall); if the Wings can’t score more regularly, they won’t win many games.

Update: Among Bultman’s other Red Wings-related questions:

Is the roster really complete?

Maybe this should have been question No. 1, since it’s the one that likely needs to be answered before skates meet ice. The last time Steve Yzerman spoke with the media, in early November, he left the door open to possibly bringing in another player — whether it be another free-agent signing or a trade. With an official start date now in place, this would be the time to do it.

The most significant potential move for Detroit’s rebuild would likely be something else in the mold of the Marc Staal trade from September, when Detroit took on Staal and the final year of his contract while receiving a second-round pick for helping the Rangers clear cap space. The Red Wings still have more than $9 million in cap space, and there are several prominent teams (including Tampa Bay and Vegas) that need to shed money to get under the salary cap by puck drop. That creates options.

Granted, it’s a style of trade that’s far easier discussed than executed, but in a flat cap world, a market may re-emerge.

If not, there’s still the chance for the Red Wings to sign another free agent, too. The roster crunch does look tight for the Red Wings, especially when it comes to young players looking to latch on at the fringes (more on that shortly), but neither Detroit’s forwards nor defense groups are strong enough to say the team couldn’t benefit in the short term from an acquisition. Especially if Yzerman sticks to his M.O. and looks for short-term (and potentially tradable) contracts.

Continued (paywall)

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

3 thoughts on “The Athletic’s Bultman offers a wise ‘question’ facing the Wings this season”

  1. No scoring = No Winning, I agree

    Buttman is very premature picking a 2nd line. 1st line is probably a good pick but taking in some potential additions, there might be a different mix to the top 6 or top 9.

    The factual blog entries are great but all this guessing is hard to keep reading.

    Picking the 2nd Line?? Not obvious to me, some ideas but no one is in StevieY’s head and he probably needs to see what they have in a short pre season and reports from on prospects in Europe.
    I guess they all can pick something but they are no better than most dedicated Wings Fans.

    Maybe a top 6 or a top 9 and remembering some changes may happen with Seattle, StevieY puling the trigger to minimize the loses he doesn’t want to lose or additions that will help this year or beyond. A lot of the prospects had great experiences in Europe. How many Wings or prospects are considered NO TRADE compared to Holland tried to give more thought to , maybe keeping a bit longer and cross your fingers.

    For me, I think Fil should be on the 4th Line, he is trusted defensively but his limited offense disappeared last year. Will it come back enough to fit in the top 9 somewhere. There is Svech, is one yr in the AHL a good test at this time? Ras doesn’t have any really low, lows but doesn’t have any high, highs. Sort of looks like he has one gear. Veleno is playing a good all around game but is he a fit for the NHL now?..Most of the prospects that were getting some great reviews I know nothing about them.

    At this point bI don’t like our Goaltending depth, in the NHL own. If your goalies can’t hold a building team in games, Wings should score more but not enough to carry two goalies with more bad games than good.
    Where ever the Wings finish is fine by me. StevieY doesn’t seem to miss much and doesn’t use emotions in his decisions. Someone even suggested picking up AA, I was one of his biggest supporters but the Wings don’t need him at any cost!

    1. That’s a lot to unpack…I think that the Wings are going to operate with a “top nine” for scoring instead of a top six, which is okay by me…

      Regarding Veleno and Seider, they have to play in Sweden until their regular season and playoff runs are over. They’re in the SHL for the long haul…

      We all have questions about the goaltending, but it’s going to take time to sort that issue out, to say the least!

      1. Actually Glad that Veleno and Seider remain in SHL, tem seem to be developing better (my thought) than the watered down AHL which , I think is starting.
        1 added to roster and Taxi squad , who to put on Taxi squad. Not much there for prospects unless they can push someone out of the 23 man to Taxi Squad. A little tougher with who plays and who gets the hot dogs. A little bit more pressure on the players and the coach and asst coaches.

        Just feels like a kind of temporary league but I felt the same about the last Stanley Cup. Just didn’t have the same excitement or feeling. I will probably feel the same way about the 56 game, thing. There will always be watching or reading about the kids and that is always interesting. Rebuilds can be Fun if you remember it is a rebuild!! Have a Great Holiday Season! Where has time gone, Yikes!

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