No matter what you celebrate, these 3 Christmas wishes would be sure to make any Detroit Red Wings fan smile.
The holidays are upon us, and the Detroit Red Wings are scheduled to return to the ice in 2021. Christmas came early for NHL fans. Last weekend, the NHL announced the official return to play. With a 56-game season, new divisions, and increased safety measures, hockey is here to stay for 2021. For Red Wings fans, the divisional realignment may come as a bit of a shock.
The newest division features old foes and new, with the Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, and the Columbus Blue Jackets joining the fold.
Despite newer, tougher opponents, there is a lot to be optimistic about in the 2021 season — especially for Red Wings fans. With that in mind, here are three stocking-stuffing wishes every fan hopes to see for the coming future.
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1. Prospects flourishing
The good news about this wish is that it’s already half-true. Today, seven of the Red Wings’ prospects have been slated to play in the World Junior Championships.
The Swedish Hockey League has been dominated by Red Wings prospects, with Moritz Seider delivering crushing blows and Lucas Raymond reminding scouts why he was chosen so early. Even Jonatan Berggren, who led the SHL in scoring earlier this season, remains in the top-five scorers alongside grown men.
In an ideal situation, the prospects continue to flourish and develop until the end of the SHL’s season in mid-March. After that time, they’ll return to North America and spend the rest of their season with the Red Wings or the Grand Rapids Griffins.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see at least one of the prospects don the winged wheel for the foreseeable future. Who and when that will be remains to be seen — though this writer is hedging his bets on Moritz Seider.
2. Smart trade deadline deals
The Red Wings will not contend for the playoffs this season. Sharing a division with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Florida Panthers makes this statement practically a no-brainer.
With those expectations in mind, orchestrating well-thought-out trade-deadline deals should be a top priority for general manager Steve Yzerman. With his slew of signings this previous season, he has much more room to work with as the season develops.
There are a few candidates that could fetch a fine return for the Red Wings. Whether it’s newcomer Vlad Namestnikov or veteran leader Luke Glendening, Yzerman has a lot to work with. In a perfect scenario, the Detroit Red Wings trade a series of players on expiring contracts for picks and prospects that bloom into difference-makers for the Red Wings’ future. Patience is key, but the payoff will be more than worth it.
3. A top-tier draft pick
The Red Wings have dropped more in potential draft choices than any other team in the NHL. Every year, it seems like the draft lottery’s odds are stacked against them.
With the highest odds of the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, Red Wings fans were rightfully furious when highly-touted Alexis Lafreniere went to a playoff team in the New York Rangers. This year, the team and fans alike hope the cards fall in favor of Detroit.
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft is full of top-tier defensive talent. From Owen Power to Brandt Clarke, it’s hard to find a prospect that doesn’t offer their own share of excitement.
With a top-tier defenseman to join Moritz Seider on the backend, the Detroit Red Wings of the future look as lethal as they do efficiently. Maybe this is the year the Red Wings find luck in their favor. All it takes is a little wishing.