2018 Detroit Red Wings Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
Some of these previews are more depressing than others, and this may be one of the most depressing of all. For so many years the Red Wings were the perfect franchise. They were always competitive, always in the playoffs, and always a nightmare to play against. They were what you wanted your team to imitate. But that era has ground to a serious halt, and now they are just a team that seems to be floundering and trying to figure out where they are going. They are the longest shots on the board to win the Stanley Cup - tied with Ottawa. It's a little sad. And the team obviously can't let go of the past, because there is an odd split on this roster. They have four key forwards under 24 and as many as six or seven even younger guys who have a chance to make the team this year. But they also have nine guys on this team who are older than 30, including six who are 34 or older. To fit into this team you have to either be really young or really old. It's a little odd.
Detroit Red Wings Offseason Moves
The biggest news of the offseason actually came as training camp started. Henrik Zetterberg did not clear physical testing and has retired from the league. It's sad, but it felt inevitable. He will be 38 at the start of the season, and he has really struggled with back issues following 2014 back surgery. But he played every game the last three years somehow, and he was still the second-leading scorer last year, so he will clearly be missed. On the plus side, though, it's not like the team was going to be any good even with him anyway, so this opens up another roster spot to get a youngster experience.
The team hasn't been active externally - largely because they have so many
young options within the organization to work with and fit in. They have
not made a trade of note. There has been a lot of free agent shuffling, but
little that moves the needle. None of the departures hurt even a little
bit. On the acquisition side, the highlight was adding Jonathan Bernier,
who has been really strong lately, on a three-year deal to strengthen the
goaltending. They also added Thomas Vanek on a one-year deal. He is 34 and
is on his eighth team since 2013, so I won't pretend to understand why this
was done. He played reasonably well for the team in 2016-17 when he was
here for half the year, though, so maybe they are comfortable with him.
The team took care of some good contract business. They secured rising youngsters Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Manta up for two more years, and rising young star Dylan Larkin up for five. And they kept veteran defenseman and power play captain Mike Green around for two more years.
The most movement will come from the youngsters this year. The team took Czech forward Filip Zadina with the sixth pick in the draft and expect him to step into the top six this year. Last year's top pick Michael Rasmussen is also looking like he is ready. And defenseman Filip Hronek, the second-round pick in 2016, will look for time on the defensive end.
Detroit Red Wings NHL Outlook
They are not going to be competitive this year, but then they aren't trying to be. They are young, and they have a lot of promising players Right now it is all about getting them some experience, figuring out what you have, and trying to turn it into a winning roster in a couple of years. It's a very hard thing to do, and some teams can fall into the rebuilding pit for years, but if they can figure it out it can also lead to some very nice places. At this point it's not like they have anything to lose.
Detroit Red Wings Schedule
Detroit's longest road trip starts in March 19, and the person who designed it had clearly never seen a map. New York - St. Louis - Vegas - San Jose - Buffalo. That makes no sense at all, and it could be totally demoralizing if the team is as bad as they have the potential to be by that point.
Detroit Red Wings NHL Futures Odds
Detroit is not in a good place as a sports city right now, and the Red Wings may be the worst of the group. No, they definitely are. They are tied with Ottawa at +20000 to win the Stanley Cup, which is worst in the entire league. Fittingly. Last year the Red Wings had 73 points. For some reason, oddsmakers expect an improvement, setting the season point total at 75.5.
2018-19 Detroit Red Wings Predictions
I like the young talent and I hope that they play it a lot. And that will not always be pretty. It's going to be a long year, and I would definitely lead to the under on the points total.
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