Take a look at our 10 BOLD Detroit Red Wings predictions for 2024. What is your BOLD prediction for the Detroit Red Wings?
The Detroit Red Wings have kicked off the new calendar year in impressive fashion, sweeping their California road trip—an accomplishment they hadn't achieved since the 2008 season. This success has propelled them back into contention within the tightly contested Eastern Conference playoff race. What lies ahead for the Red Wings between now and the start of the next season?
Goaltender James Reimer is traded
Reimer was signed by the Red Wings as a backup to Ville Husso. While he had a promising start in the Winged Wheel, his recent performances haven't been as positive, while Alex Lyon has since taken the reigns as starter. Rumors suggest Reimer might become a trade asset for the Red Wings, possibly appealing to teams seeking goaltending depth, like the Edmonton Oilers under former GM Ken Holland.
Moritz Seider is locked up to a lengthy extension
Moritz Seider, the Red Wings' 2019 first-round pick and the recipient of the 2022 Calder Trophy for the NHL's best rookie, is due for a new contract this summer. It's evident he won't be leaving, but the details of his extension remain the lingering question.
Lucas Raymond signs a bridge contract
Like Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond is also due for a new contract this summer. He also fits into Detroit's long-term plans. With the contract of David Perron coming off the books at the same time, look for Raymond to agree to a deal that would pay him a similar amount as the veteran forward.
Alex Lyon takes the reigns as starter
Lyon initially began the season as the third-string goaltender behind Ville Husso and James Reimer, not seeing game time for Detroit until several weeks into the season. However, due to Husso's injury and Reimer's difficulties, Lyon found himself pushed into action and has impressively capitalized on his chance to shine.
It's unsurprising, considering Lyon's previous ability to replace Sergei Bobrovsky as the starter for the Florida Panthers last season, even earning the starting position for their initial pair of playoff games. Lyon's signing in Detroit is shaping up to be one of the more underrated free-agent acquisitions of the 2023 offseason.
Detroit finishes in one of the 2 final Wild Card spots
The Red Wings endured a tough month in December, but they possess the necessary personnel to attribute it to a mid-season slump, a phase most franchises experience at some point. The hope is for Detroit to maintain health and revert to the style of play that initially had them competing for a top-three position in the division during the season's early months.
Moreover, it would benefit the team if divisional rivals like Toronto and Boston faced challenges of their own.
Patrick Kane agrees to a contract extension
When Kane joined the lineup in early December, concerns lingered about his performance following hip resurfacing surgery in the summer. Surprisingly, Kane has exceeded expectations, showcasing a nearly point-per-game pace and impressive gameplay for Detroit. As he grows increasingly comfortable with the Red Wings, and with his close friend Alex DeBrincat also on the roster, there's a possibility he may choose to stay rather than embark on another move to a different team.
Detroit replaces assistant coach Bob Boughner
Detroit's defensive performance this season, particularly in the last month, has noticeably declined. The recent victory against the Anaheim Ducks marked the first time this season, in regulation, that they secured a win without scoring at least four goals. There's a pressing need for defensive improvement from Detroit, and under assistant coach Bob Boughner running the defense, they're falling short. A new voice and strategy behind the bench on the defensive front could go a long way in alleviating the porous blue line.
Andrew Copp's contract is bought out
Essentially, Copp hasn't met the expected production levels since joining the Red Wings on a lucrative five-year deal, nearly valued at $6 million per season. His inaugural year in Detroit faced challenges as he underwent abdominal surgery before the season, causing him to miss training camp and the preseason. Ultimately, he tallied 42 points (9 goals, 33 assists) for the season.
This season, he's projected to achieve only 37 points, falling short of previous expectations. Furthermore, he hasn't scored a goal since early November. Detroit anticipated a higher level of contribution from Copp, but unfortunately, they're not seeing the desired output.
Simon Edvinsson becomes a full-time NHL player next season
The composition of Detroit's defense next season is uncertain, pending Shayne Gostisbehere‘s status with the Red Wings. If he departs in free agency, the team's 2021 first-overall pick is expected to transition to full-time NHL play.
Detroit makes an addition at the Trade Deadline
In recent seasons, Detroit became accustomed to trading expiring assets to contending teams for Draft capital, signaling a focus on future seasons. However, this year, with the team positioned for a strong second half, Detroit is expected to bolster its roster at the Trade Deadline rather than trade away assets.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Look for the Red Wings to trade goaltender James Reimer, while veteran forward Patrick Kane will be open to re-signing in Detroit rather than depart for another team
- The Red Wings will acquire assets at the Trade Deadline rather than trading them, while also re-signing both Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond this summer
- Don't be shocked to see the contract of Andrew Copp bought out, assistant coach Bob Boughner replaced, and Simon Edvinsson to become a full-time NHL player next season
Bottom Line: What does the future hold?
Steve Yzerman's strategic moves in the offseason, including signings and acquisitions, signal Detroit's readiness to progress in their rebuild, especially with additions like DeBrincat and Kane. Furthermore, both Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are franchise cornerstones who will be re-signed.
Here's to hoping 2024 brings better fortunes to Detroit, potentially marking the return of playoff hockey as a regular occurrence in the Motor City come springtime.