The new year is here which mean brand new things and fresh starts. Everyone has a new year goal or resolution that they want to achieve. So what do we want to see with the Red Wings in 2018? Some of our writers talk about what they want to see from Detroit in 2018. Let us know what you would like to see from the Red Wings in 2018. Comment below.
Matthew: Committed Rebuild: I want the Wings to finally commit to a full on rebuild. No not this rebuild on the fly crap that the team has been doing for the last few years by signing aging vets and overpaying certain guys due to “loyalty”. This team should be allowing the young players in Grand Rapids to play if they earned the time and get rid of the bad contracts via trade or buy out. Easier said than done, I know, but this is a process that should’ve started a while ago.
New General Manager: This is Ken Holland’s contract year and honestly this should be his last year as Red Wings GM or anything that has to do with making decisions on the roster. During this “Cap Era” the team has regressed and his mismanagement has led to the current state of this team. Holland has done more harm than good in the last few years. Detroit needs to go in a new direction and hire someone who not only has an understanding of the current cap situation in the NHL, but who also understands today’s NHL.
Logan: One thing I would like to see the Red Wings do in 2018 is tank for a better pick in the NHL draft. I know Red Wings fans are loyal and never want to see their team lose, but it’s for the organizations own good. A day before the New Year the Wings are the fourth worst team in the NHL. With the cap problems that have occurred over the years adds to the importance of getting an NHL ready player from the draft. Therefore they need to keep losing in order to get a top two pick which lands them a starting player for next season.
The one player that every NHL team would love to have is Rasmus Dahlin. Dahlin is a 6’2 defenseman from Sweden. This would be a great fit for the Wings because they struggle at his position. In addition, Dahlin will have multiple years of team control at a low price. This helps because they are tight on cap space with all the contracts to aging players. This year Dahlin has played 26 games in the SHL and has five goals. To go along with that he has six assists. Dahlin has shown that he is a two-way defenseman. Some scouts say that he can defend like Nicklas Lidstrom who was a Red Wing for 20 years. The fans of Detroit would be ecstatic if they land a player like Dahlin in the draft.
In 2018 I want to see Ken Holland fix the salary cap problems that he created. Holland is in a tough position on what do with the Red Wings organization. He has plenty of aging players with large contracts like Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen, Niklas Kronwall, and Jonathan Ericsson. That is just the start of bad contracts. Due to these deals, Holland has to clear cap space so they can resign the young stars who are restricted free agents after this season. Those players are Dylan Larkin, Martin Frk, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha. Red Wings fans would be devastated if Holland couldn’t sign the future back to Detroit.
In order to fix the salary cap, Holland has to make some much-needed trades. One move that has to be an automatic at the deadline is dealing Tomas Tatar. Tomas has ten goals and six assists on the season. He can help a playoff team or a team in the hunt. Tatar will especially help a team in the scoring department. The Anaheim Ducks is a team that would be a good fit for Tatar. The Ducks have five left-wing men on the roster, and two of them have zero goals. To say their productivity at left wing is bad is an understatement. Tomas Tatar would jump into that lineup and would be the second leading scorer on the team. That is just one trade scenario that I want to see. In addition, I would like to see Mike Green, Darren Helm, and Gustav Nyquist traded. With these four players gone it will clear a lot of money. With the cleared cap Holland will be able to sign the young players like Larkin and Mantha.
Midajah: Midajah here. the two things I want to see change for the Red Wings in the new year are definitely a change for our coaching staff and focusing on keeping our lines similar and having players who work well together on the same lines for the majority of the season.
Starting with our coaching staff. As all of you know we aren’t that put together when it comes to coaching. We could definitely do better, but we could also have worse. One thing that really bugs me about the staff is they’re not so vocal from the bench. They don’t look very in to the game and that’s kind of disappointing. Most coaches are at least somewhat vocal in a way whether they’re screaming their heads off or just radioing their voice. I also feel like our coach likes to think it’s okay to just constantly play our starter and only give our backup a chance when we’re playing a team that he knows we won’t be able to beat. Having both of your goalies play regularly gives the backup a chance to learn from his mistakes, instead of just benching him and what the starters mistakes and not learning much. While coaching a hockey team is very hard I can tell Blashill isn’t the one for us. In the beginning I was thinking sure, a change. Maybe he’ll be good. But as the days and seasons pass I’m realizing we can do better. I’m not at all saying he’s a bad coach or anything, I just think he doesn’t suit us. I definitely think having a change in the staff would improve the team. Having a good coaching team is only half of having a good team. I definitely think you should value your coaches and such just as much as your players. They’re a huge part of the team and they definitely are part of making a good team and having a good look at the future.
Onto my next topic : Lines!!
I 110% believe that having good lines can create success. I think if there’s a set of players who play extremely well together or their work together stands out, they should be together for the majority of the time. If you think of any team really, they have a power line. A line that usually gets all the points or just a killer line; better than any other. I hate the fact that some of the best players are being mixed up all the times with the lineup. Two players, (such as Larkin and Abdelkader) who play well together and it’s noticeable, shouldn’t be split up or rarely play with each other. They should be put together with more killer players to create a killer line. I’m not saying only have one killer line, but spread them out. Have a set of forwards who work extraordinary together with some defence and another forward. Even having two good defence already together and give them any 3 forwards ( or preferably 3 they work well with). In practices you can try new lines and see if some forwards work well with different people or newly called up players. If you notice that there’s a line that works better together than apart, don’t separate them! Having a lineup that will work well together or that doesn’t need adjustments is another key for having a good team. Mixing up your lines all the time and never usually having the same players play together may not have the best outcome. That’s why I hope in the new year we can focus on keeping good players together instead of just throwing together random lines once gameday comes.
Michael: Heading into 2018 it’s no secret that the Red Wings can improve many aspects of their game. Personally, I have two areas that I would like to see focused on: consistency and accountability. Both of these are rather broad categories, so allow me to explain. Consistency applies to many aspects of this team, such as individual players playing lights out one night and getting smoked the next game. Bring the same intensity and effort every night, and I guarantee you’ll see players improve and grow. Glendening has more goals than Larkin, Helm, and Abdelkader because he is one of the best about bringing it every night. Coach Blashill needs to establish consistency with his lines, quit the line juggling and let your guys grow accustomed to their partners. Granted injuries are going to disrupt lines, and against certain teams shuffling will occur, but for the most part the same guys need to stick together. When the skaters begin to learn their partners habits and positions, which comes with consistent play time, good things happen. Another issue I have with this team is their accountability, which relates closely to consistency.
So you just got blown out by a mediocre Canadians team? Don’t give us that old “We got embarrassed tonight, we’ll improve for our next game.” BS. Give me some accountability, some emotion, and go destroy whoever you play next. I don’t even care if you win, but make the other team earn every inch of ice and make them quake to touch the puck. Show us you have some guts. You went minus 3 and turned the puck over in front of your goaltender resulting in a goal? Then you better be busting your ass trying to make up for your mistakes. Show some pride to be a Red Wing, EVERY GAME. No games off. No periods off. No shifts off. BE ACCOUNTABLE. A lot of players spend their whole careers hoping to wear the Winged Wheel, it is an honor and a privilege, so act like and honor those who wore it before you. Same goes for our coaching staff, stop with the “We will work on it.” crap. No more words, go out and do it. And if they can’t, like many fans have been screaming for some time, then the front office needs to be accountable and make the changes to get this historic franchise back on track. By the way, front office folks? Be accountable for your contracts, please. Stop overpaying players for ridiculous lengths of time, and stop handing out NTCs like they are candy. Handicapping our current team’s ability to contend isn’t helping anyone, so look to the teams who have figured out the cap era and take notes. Perhaps if we start stressing those two ideas throughout our franchise, we might see 2018 bring some pleasant surprises to our team.