Detroit Red Wings: 2014-2015 Season In Review


When the Detroit Red Wings season ended on a April night in Tampa Bay, there was little doubt about changes that could and will happen regarding the Red Wings.

No, I’m not talking rebuilding, this team going forward bodes well with the minor league system they have in Grand Rapids, The drafting and the minds behind the operation in Ken Holland and Jim Devellano. There’s zero secret the Red Wings need have a great off-season, they haven’t had the good off-season in quite sometime.

One reason being most people thought the Red Wings were “Rebuilding” last season was when Ken Holland tried to get some of the top defenseman in free agency, but they opted to go elsewhere. Talking with an NHL player back in the summer of 2014, I asked him “What is the feeling around the league about the Detroit Red Wings?”

He said “Everyone thinks they’re on the up and up, but need a year or so.”

Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings /

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings “Transition” as Ken Holland would put it, is going as planned. However, the Red Wings need some help going into next season specifically on the blue line.

The Red Wings were close to landing Dion Phaneuf the defenseman of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Who is highly blamed for the struggles in Toronto. Detroit instead opted for Marek Zidlicky who is a great offensive defenseman, but struggles on the defensive end.

The Wings constantly showed their defensive ineptness by turning the puck over which was a huge issue in 2015, most would be quick to point out “What about the goalies!!!” and coming down the stretch goaltending was the problem, but not the main problem.

Detroit’s problem started and ended with the defense. The Red Wings would constantly miss assignments, that was Detroit’s fatal flaw in 2015.

So, How can Ken Holland correct this?

I think Ken Holland will be more aggressive this off-season and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Red Wings make a run at Dion Phaneuf once the draft comes, and that would be wise as bad as Phaneuf was this year it wasn’t all him. I could see a change in scenery being good for Phaneuf, as the Leafs look to rebuild they’ll be looking to cut some payroll.

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The Wings could also do some work in Free Agency as players like Mike GreenChristian Ehrhoff, Cody Franson, Jeff Petry and John Erskine are all names to watch for the Red Wings this off-season.

Another dilemma the Red Wings face is their head coach Mike Babcock.

Babcock’s contract is up, he is also one of the best coaches in the league. Babcock is bound to get paid, but how much does Mike Babcock want? Does Babcock want to go a team rebuilding to have more power in the situation or does he want to go to a contender?

“I want Mike to stay,” general manager Ken Holland said. “Money isn’t going to be an object.”

Babcock said, “My wife’s the boss”

Mike Babcock has said multiple times “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Babcock said Friday, “Me and Ken will talk about it in the next 10 days.”

The Red Wings losing to Tampa Bay was a microcosm of their season, In a position to win but couldn’t seize the opportunity.

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