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Monday, November 30, 2020

Infographic shows Detroit Red Wings as most-improved NHL team…by far

It has been quite the offseason so far for the Detroit Red Wings and general manager, Steve Yzerman. Not only has Yzerman added some key pieces to the puzzle via free-agency, but he also had what is arguably one of the best drafts in the NHL.

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But how much will the Red Wings be improved in 2020-21?

According to a piece recently published in The Athletic, Dom Luszczyszyn takes a look at the most improved teams in the league so far and the Red Wings top the list.

Here is what Dom wrote about the Wings, followed by an infographic that shows just how improved the Red Wings are (on paper) compared to other teams in the NHL.

Detroit Red Wings

Wins Added: 5.9 wins

Salary Added: $14.9 million

In: Marc Staal, Thomas Greiss, Vladislav Namestnikov, Troy Stecher, Bobby Ryan, Jon Merrill

Out: Jonathan Ericsson, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Madison Bowey, Christoffer Ehn

The worst team in hockey has only one way to go next season: up. That’s especially true with the offseason they had. No, they didn’t sign any big names that moved the needle — but they did replace serious drags with actual NHL calibre talent. Every player on the way out was a negative value player last season, worth a combined minus-4.6 wins. That’s where most of the team’s added value comes from: addition by subtraction. 

Aside from Marc Staal, who is comparable in value to the players on the way out, everyone else is projected to bring positive value. It may be small, but at least it’s on the right side of the ledger and not actively hurting the team. It may not make sense for a bad team like Detroit to sign all these players, but it helps create a less toxic environment of losing. There’s a difference between playing at a 45-point pace and one closer to 70. It still sucks but it’s a lot less demoralizing. 

Let us know what you think!

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