The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn offers his Red Wings season preview this morning, and it’s not all gloom and doom…okay, mostly, it is:
Even after six years at or near the bottom, the Red Wings still find themselves in the exact same spot. The team’s likeliest landing spot is right around the bottom five once again with a near 50-50 shot at being a bottom five team. Being in the bottom third is even more certain at 80 percent, which is roughly the same as the team’s chances of being one of the bottom three teams in the Atlantic. There’s a wide chasm between the top four teams and the bottom three teams, but even fifth in the division looks like a bit of a pipe dream.
The division isn’t the main reason Detroit’s chances are so low — the Red Wings have a poor team — but it does play a role. The next best team, a Pacific-based team, is projected to finish with just one more point but has nearly twice the odds of making the postseason. Either way, Detroit is a long shot.
That’s probably for the best though as this roster isn’t quite ready to take the next step. While the rebuild has been going on for a while, it hasn’t exactly been fruitful in terms of building a future core. Detroit has been consistently bad, but that hasn’t resulted in a top-three pick, which has led to a lower chance of drafting a franchise cornerstone.
It’s been slow and steady, but for this rebuild to be worthwhile the Red Wings need to find some elite pieces to build around. The current roster isn’t exactly flush with those, although there is one very exciting newcomer that looks ready to check some boxes.