Kevin Allen, a well respected hockey writer for USA Today, gave out his off season grades for all 30 NHL teams.
Coming in last in the Eastern Conference were the Detroit Red Wings, who received a grade of D.
Allen’s grade was based on the team’s failure to sign a right-handed defenseman, a position tgey desperately need help at. Maybe a defenseman like Matt Niskanen who joined the Capitals or Dan Boyle who joined the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers. The Red Wings also missed out on Thomas Vanek and Christian Ehrhoff.
There were rumors of Jarome Iginla possibly repping the wing wheel but instead he found himself joining the Colorado Avalanche.
Cleary, played in 52 games and came away with 8 points and a -11 rating.
However, Ken Holland did promise Cleary a contract and Cleary turned down a 2 year 6 million dollar offer from the Flyers
Kyle Quincey played a full 82 games but only mustered 13 points to go along with a – 5 rating, somehow resulting in a pay raise
Not only that, but Tomas Tatar and Danny Dekeyser are yet to resign. Both very young players who stepped into bigger roles and had solid seasons last year.
To make matters worse, Mike Babcock, who should earn his 500th career win this season, will enter the final year of his contract.
Babcock is known as one of the best coaches in the league. However some feel as if his intense approach is to blame for the Detroit Red Wings being losers in free agency
While Mike Babcock is a hard-nose guy who might rub some free agents the wrong way, the numbers don’t lie.
He’s a Stanley Cup champion and two time Olympic gold medalist. He was also a finalist for the Jack Adams this year.
So I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t deserve any of the blame. He said it best himself; “If you don’t want to be coached, don’t come here.”
While the Detroit Red Wings did have one of the worst off-seasons this year, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost for the 2014-2015 season.
Datsyuk and Zetterberg are finally healthy. They both only appeared in 45 games last season and the team still manged to get the 8th spot in the east and with that keep the playoff streak alive.
It’s hard to imagine the Wings’ spot in the standings not being higher if they had a healthy Datsyuk and Zetterberg all season young.
Gustav Nyquist played in only 57 games but netted 28 goals. Wings’ fans are excited to see what he do with a full season this time around.
The Red Wings failed to improved this off-season and now must relay on their star players like Datsyuk and Zetterberg to stay healthy and for young stars such as Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar to continue to improve.