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RED WINGS SEASON SPOTLIGHT

2016-11-01

DETROIT RED WINGS SEASON SPOTLIGHT

2016-10-31

After a great run in the 2015 Toro Cup Playoff’s things have been difficult for GM Olson and the Red Wings organization.  The off-season saw a record 18 players depart the organization through retirement, free agency, or defection.  During the Draft, Olson was overheard asking Tippet and Eakins if they “had the guys learning Russian instead of reviewing game video.”  In any case, the writing was on the wall.  Olson could not replace that many players through the Draft, so he knew he was going to have to shed some salary just to compete in the Frenzy.  He put Karlsson on the block and received an underwhelming response from the rest of the league.  At one point it was rumored the Karlsson was headed to a division rival for some pretty good young talent, but ultimately the price was too steep.  Olson was only approached by one other GM and a deal was struck for Voracek and a pick.  The ensuing media outcry was as expected.  In an interview with Sports Illustrated, when asked about the media response after the Karlsson trade Olson was quoted as saying, “Pepper ridicules me for not making any trades, and then he squeaks when I make a blockbuster.  You know what… only 2 teams made it further than the Wings in their quest for a Toro Cup, so the critics can suck it!

Heading into the Frenzy it wasn’t clear exactly what the status of Wings’ superstar goaltender, Carey Price was going to be.  It was understood that his durability was certainly going to be diminished, so Olson went out and paid top dollar for the best available goalie.  The Wings are happy with their acquisition and they feel that Ward will be able to share that #1 role with Price.  It was a move that is really pressuring the CAP, but it had to be done to salvage the season.  With careful management of playing time they hope to avoid any lengthy injuries.

NOTABLE LEAVERS:

Erik Karlsson

Zdano Chara

Martin St. Louis

Ollie Jokinen

Val Filppula

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS:

Cam Ward

Jakub Voracek

David Legwand

Kris Versteeg

PA Parenteau

Brian Gionta

PLAYER/PROSPECT PROMOTIONS:

Oscar Lindberg is expected to make the jump from the prospect pool right to a 4th line C role.

Colton Parayko is another guy who has rocketed through the prospect pool right onto a meaningful role on the big club.

Josh Manson has impressed in his time with the Griffins and is expected to be a steady defensive force for the Wings in a 3rd pairing role.

Tim Schaller is another guy who has earned a good look.

PROJECTION:

Sports Illustrated asked Olson if the addition of so many new players was going to have a negative effect on their chances of repeating as playoff contenders?  Olson just smiled and said, “I’m not saying we are going to make it to the Conference Finals again, but I’m not saying we aren’t either.

Hugh E Lewis

Sports Illustrated