Mid Summer Report: Detroit Red Wings

download (13)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Detroit Red Wings

Last Season’s Finish:  41-30-11, 93 pts, 3rd in the Atlantic Division, lost in round 1 of playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Frans Nielsen (UFA)
  • F Thomas Vanek (UFA)
  • F Steve Ott (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Joakim Andersson (Sweden)
  • F Brad Richards (Retired)
  • F Pavel Datsyuk (Russia)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Andreas Athanasiou

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $77,867,042
  • Current salary cap space: $0 (OVER by $4,867,042)

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Tomas Tatar, Thomas Vanek, Riley Sheahan, Drew Miller, Dylan Larkin, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen, Steve Ott, Luke Clendening, Andreas Athanasiou, Johan Franzen (IR), Joe Vitale (IR)
Defensemen
Mike Green, Danny Dekeyser, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith, Alexey Marchenko
Goalies
Jimmy Howard, Petr Mrazek

 

Outlook:

Detroit is a veteran team that is beginning to get themselves into cap hell.  As of the day this was written, they were actually over that salary cap maximum by almost $4.9 million.  That is ok, as long as Johan Franzen ($3.9M) and Joe Vitale ($1.1M) remain on IR.  But if those two players become healthy, they will need to free up enough space to fit them under the cap.  That’s something worth keeping an eye on.  As for the rest of the team, it will look very close to the team that squeaked into the playoffs last season.  The only major changes were at the forward position, where Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek were brought in to replace retiring Brad Richards and Pavel Datsuyk.  The defensemen and goaltenders remain the same as last year.  The Wings should continue to be a strong team in the east, and their streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances should continue for a 26th season.