Let’s face it, the Detroit Red Wings were a bad hockey team during the 2021-22 season and general manager Steve Yzerman not only made the decision to move on from Jeff Blashill, but he also added some free agents to the team that should help them to be much more competitive during the upcoming 2022-23 season.
In fact, in addition to replacing Blashill with Derek Lalonde, Yzerman added a new goaltender, three forwards, and three defensemen to the mix, including G Alex Nedeljkovic, F Andrew Copp, F David Perron, F Dominik Kubalik, D Ben Chiarot, D Olli Määttä, and D Mark Pysyk.
“With several expiring contracts, we had roster spots open and available and needs to be addressed,” he said. “We felt that we addressed positionally some needs; we simply needed to add players to fill out our roster, but also address some needs. An important need at center in Andrew Copp, a right-hand shot in David Perron, and a pleasant surprise in what we considered a scoring winger in Dominik Kubalik. Adding some defenseman that we think will help us on our special teams and in particular our penalty killing, and defensively 5 on 5. These are all areas that we talked about in the spring that we needed to improve, and with some of our contracts expiring with holes in our roster, we were in a position to bring aboard new faces, and these players addressed those needs.”
Local beat writer projects Detroit Red Wings lineup for Opening Night
The 2022-23 regular season does not begin until October 14th for the Detroit Red Wings but writers are already releasing their projected Opening Night lineups.
The latest writer to release an Opening Night lineup projection is Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
Here is how Helene projects the Red Wings lineup pairings will look when they host the Montreal Canadiens on October 14.
First line: Tyler Bertuzzi-Dylan Larkin-Lucas Raymond
Second line: Jakub Vrana-Andrew Copp-David Perron
Third line: Dominik Kubalik-Pius Suter-Filip Zadina
Fourth line: Joe Veleno-Michael Rasmussen-Oskar Sundqvist
Top pair: Ben Chiarot-Moritz Seider
Second pair: Olli Määttä-Filip Hronek
Third pair: Simon Edvinsson-Mark Pysyk
*St. James notes that Nedeljkovic will likely get the nod if he and Ville Husso both play equally in the preseason.
Make sure to click here to read the rest of what Helene St. James has to say about her Detroit Red Wings’ projected lineup for Opening Night.