Welcome again to THN.com’s persevering with “Three Burning Questions” collection, during which we pose three large questions for each NHL staff previous to the beginning of the 2022-23 common season. This file comprises Three Burning Questions concerning the Detroit Pink Wings.
THREE BURNING QUESTIONS FOR THE RED WINGS IN 2022-23:
1. How shortly will Detroit’s slew of latest acquisitions slot in? Pink Wings GM Steve Yzerman used a lot of his wage cap area this summer time on veteran free brokers in any respect positions: in purpose, he traded for, then signed unrestricted free agent Ville Husso; on protection, he added UFAs Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta, Mark Pysyk and Robert Hagg; and at ahead, he signed UFAs Andrew Copp, David Perron and Dominik Kubalik. Immediately, Detroit’s outlook for 2022-23 improved considerably, to the purpose many observers consider they could be a playoff staff this season.
Now, it could take all these new acquisitions to pan out as hoped for the Wings to make the post-season, however on paper, they do have a vastly improved group of forwards, a greater protection corps, and a goaltending tandem (that additionally contains the returning Alex Nedeljkovic) that needs to be an enchancment from final season’s doubtful duo. Are the Pink Wings higher? No query. Does new head coach Derek Lalonde have sufficient expertise to work with to a minimum of be within the chase for a playoff berth within the improved Atlantic Division? Sure he does. Is it doable the Wings come up simply brief and end fifth within the division? Sure, that additionally might occur.
However this author appears like Detroit can be grinding it out within the last weeks of the common season, they usually’ll be within the combine for a playoff spot to the top of the 12 months. It’s not solely a query of the Wings being higher – it’s additionally concerning the Ottawa Senators being higher, and the Boston Bruins (who held the fourth and last playoff spot final season) being worse. A lot must go proper for the Pink Wings to make a notable leap within the standings, however far crazier issues have occurred in hockey’s prime league.
2. Is Steve Yzerman completed making strikes? Whereas Yzerman famously retains his playing cards extraordinarily near his chest, he is aware of in addition to anybody that his Pink Wings stay a work-in-progress. Yzerman additionally has a considerable quantity of cap room – greater than $8.1 million, in response to CapFriendly.com – to make use of in some unspecified time in the future throughout the common season. Do you assume he’ll hesitate to spend it if he can reap the benefits of one other staff’s cap woes? Us neither. Yzerman can be watching opponents like a hawk, ready to swoop in and extract draft picks, prospects, or NHLers that may present an immediate enhance in change for that cap area.
For a few years, the Pink Wings have centered on the longer term. However now, it’s about taking that subsequent aggressive step this season. For that motive, Yzerman is not enthusiastic about subsequent 12 months, or the 12 months after that. He needs to win now, and he’s going to make use of each cap greenback crucial to attain that purpose.
3. What’s the ceiling for Detroit budding superstars Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond? Yzerman hit the jackpot when he drafted German D-man Moritz Seider and Swedish winger Lucas Raymond, as each kids demonstrated their many abilities final season. Seider averaged a team-best 23:02 of ice time and rightfully gained the Calder Memorial Trophy as one of the best rookie within the NHL in 2021-22, whereas Raymond generated 23 objectives and 57 factors in 82 video games. And one of the best half – Seider is simply 21 years outdated, and Raymond is barely 20.
So, to reply the query: sure, each Seider and Raymond’s greatest days are but to return. Seider will seemingly proceed to guide the Wings in time on ice, and regardless of Detroit’s improved depth on ‘D’, he might common greater than 25 minutes per sport and enhance on the 43 assists and 50 factors he posted final season. And Raymond goes to be on Detroit’s prime line (together with star middle Dylan Larkin and winger Tyler Bertuzzi) in 2022-23; he’ll be enjoying greater than the 18:03 of ice time he averaged final 12 months, and his numbers on offense virtually assuredly will rise notably.
Together with Larkin, Seider and Raymond are the foundational gamers Yzerman can be persevering with to construct the Pink Wings round. And the sky is the restrict for each kids.