DETROIT RED WINGS
2012-13: 24-16-8, 56 points
Where they finished: 3rd in the Central; 7th in the West; 13th in the NHL
Coach: Mike Babcock (9th season)
Key additions: RW Daniel Alfredsson, C Stephen Weiss
Key subtractions: C Valtteri Filppula, D Carlo Colaiacovo
Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Johan Franzen
Todd Bertuzzi – Stephen Weiss – Daniel Alfredsson
Joakim Andersson – Gustav Nyquist – Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller – Darren Helm – Mikael Samuelsson/Patrick Eaves
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith – Dan DeKeyser
Kyle Quincey – Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard – Jonas Gustavsson
Our take: The Red Wings will trade in their bitter rivalries with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues for new ones with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. And that’s a good thing.
The Red Wings barely got into the playoffs last season, but they’ll tighten the Eastern Conference playoff race and that could be a bad thing for a handful of bubble teams. Detroit will miss the playmaking abilities of Valtteri Filppula, but they’ll get a boost of offense from second-line center Stephen Weiss and veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson, who is hoping to win his first Stanley Cup after 18 years without one in Ottawa.
Strong up front and average on the blue line, the Red Wings will rely heavily on U.S. Olympic team candidate Jimmy Howard between the pipes.
Overall, the Red Wings will benefit from playing most of their games in the Eastern time zone and would make for an interesting first-round playoff opponent in their new conference. But it won’t be easy getting there.
Offseason Grade: B
Will they make the playoffs in 2013-14: Yes.