The Free Press’s Helene St. James wrote two articles this morning, with the first previewing the Red Wings’ season to come…
The franchise’s past is still hard to avoid. Banners celebrating the Wings’ 11 Stanley Cup championships — the most for a U.S. franchise, and third in NHL history — hang over the practice facility, and pictures of the “hockey gods” that used to wear the Winged Wheel — Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Gordie Howe, to name three of the greatest — grace the locker room and hallways. The franchise has endured slumps before: When Mike and Marian Ilitch bought the club in 1982, the Wings had missed the playoffs 14 times in 16 years; when the Wings won the Cup in 1997, it ended a 42-year drought; when Yzerman hoisted the Cup for the first time, it had been 14 years since he was drafted.
The Wings’ average age is 26.86, seventh-youngest in the NHL. The arrival of players such as Seider and Raymond is good for the franchise’s future, but Yzerman knows it takes patience. The Wings had the greatest draft in NHL history in 1989 when they selected Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov and Vladimir Konstantinov, and it still took eight years before the team won the Cup.
What matters now is that the Wings improve from last season.
“It’s important that some of these young guys are moving in,” Yzerman said. “Does that translate into more wins than the previous year? I’m not sure. These young guys have to move in and kind of take over the role, but there’s generally a bit of a process to move younger players in.”
Continued (paywall); St. James also wrote an article regarding Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond stepping forward as contributors to the Wings’ cause:
[Red Wings coach Jeff] Blashill said Raymond and Seider both have a chance “to become great NHL players, and we’re going to work like crazy to help them become that.”
Raymond’s spot on the opening roster became official Monday.
“He deserves it,” Seider said. “I truly believe he will be an outstanding player for this team for a really long time. He’s been working so hard every day in practice and the gym, to put that jersey over his shoulders and walk out there. It’s really cool opportunity for both of us.”
Raymond looks like he’ll help the Wings produce more offense, which has been a definite weakness the past couple seasons. So will Seider, with the way he can handle the puck.
“Both those players have a chance to have a positive impact on the power play,” Blashill said. “Moritz has done a really good job of being on the top of that power play. He’s got real good simplicity but yet deception to his game — he’s really efficient offensively in his game on the power play.
“There’s a number of areas where Seids can help us. He’s going to go through growing pains, so for any of us to think this is going to be easy, we’re fooling ourselves. There’s going to be nights he looks great, and there’s going to be nights he struggles. That’s the reality of it. It’s magnified when you’re young and learning those lessons.”