Detroit Red Wings: 3 players that will not return next season

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

It’s been a rough season for the Detroit Red Wings.  General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman is trying to rebuild the organization that Ken Holland drove into the ground.

When Steve Yzerman decided to take the Detroit Red Wings GM position, he surely understood there was a tough row to hoe, but did he think it would be this bad?  I mean the Wings are flat out horrible, embarrassing.  I can safely assume that when/if the NHL season does resume, the Red Wings won’t be playing another game this season.  I’d expect the season to continue with the start of the playoffs.

Detroit’s long-time GM Ken Holland skipped town, heading West to Edmonton to manage arguably the top duo in the entire league, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.  Sure, Holland decided to help the Wings out by returning to the well to acquiring pending free agents Mike Green and Andreas Athanasiou.

I can’t help but wonder if Yzerman is second-guessing his decision returning home to manage the reeling Red Wings.  Yzerman built up the Tampa Bay Lightning after some bleak years; in doing so, he traded away Martin St. Louis after forgoing to initially select him as a part of Team Canada’s Olympic roster.  St. Louis would eventually make the roster, but after being overlooked by his NHL GM, it was a strained relationship that wouldn’t be repaired.

Yzerman also made the difficult decision to buy-out captain Vincent Lecavalier‘s lucrative long-term contract after the former superstar started to show signs of decline.  It’s the tough decisions like these GM’s are forced to make, especially after deciding they need to trim the fat.  Eventually, shortly after that occurs, organizations generally start to propel the rebuild from the rubble to riches.

Yzerman has added some nice building blocks since returning to Detroit like Robby Fabbri, Patrik Nemeth, and perhaps Dmytro Timashov.  He’s also had a few swings and misses early, too, with Brendan Perlini, Adam Erne, and Valtteri Filppula.

Moving forward, Yzerman will have decisions to make with this current Red Wings roster.  It’s a franchise that’s been taking on water for quite some time at sea.  Here are three long-time Red Wings that should have played their last game in a winged wheel jersey.