As we look ahead with much anticipation to October 2nd when the 2013-14 NHL season officially kicks off, it appears that the future holds many great things for our beloved Red Wings. As we know, the young pups in the farm system just won the Prospects Tournament in Traverse City and the Griffins are coming off their first ever Calder Cup victory in the AHL.
Of course some new veteran pieces have been added to the mix of Wings players (Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson) and it will be interesting to see how these guys fit into the Wings system. While we know the Management loves its veteran players, in the preseason I would argue that by far the most interesting and exciting thing happening is watching the young players grow into their roles. It was truly beautiful to see Almquist score two rockets from the point in the preseason and Tatar has been on fire all preseason. Sproul and Ouellette have been the dynamic defensive duo and both of them have impressed me greatly.
One also can't help but notice what has happened to the crop of players who were added last year. Nearly every single player who was brought in for the 2012-13 lockout season is either already gone (Brunner, Colaiaccovo, Huskins) or has one skate already out the door (Tootoo). While other players we are simply stuck with (Sammuelsson). It seems that if most of the fans had their way they would have him hurled out of the team jet mid flight as a means to bypass his pesky no trade clause.
Of course the Wings were in a dramatically different position last year with losing Lidstrom and Holmstrom to retirement and I think that lead Holland and his team to operate in panic mode.
What do you guys think about the players that were added last year? Was 2012-13 a bust year for Ken Holland and his team? From my perspective it seems like Danny DeKeyser was the only player from the lockout season signings who seems to have a long term chance with this team, though it is far to early to even draw any real conclusions about him as well.