from Max Bultman of The Athletic,
Sunday, the NHL announced it will play a 56-game regular season for 2021, set to begin Jan. 13. A marathon offseason has now officially become a sprint toward training camp. It’s been more than nine months since we last saw the Red Wings in action, with a busy offseason mixed in the middle, and that leaves plenty of open questions about the league’s reigning last-place team....
Is the roster really complete?
Maybe this should have been question No. 1, since it’s the one that likely needs to be answered before skates meet ice. The last time Steve Yzerman spoke with the media, in early November, he left the door open to possibly bringing in another player — whether it be another free-agent signing or a trade. With an official start date now in place, this would be the time to do it.
The most significant potential move for Detroit’s rebuild would likely be something else in the mold of the Marc Staal trade from September, when Detroit took on Staal and the final year of his contract while receiving a second-round pick for helping the Rangers clear cap space. The Red Wings still have more than $9 million in cap space, and there are several prominent teams (including Tampa Bay and Vegas) that need to shed money to get under the salary cap by puck drop. That creates options.
Granted, it’s a style of trade that’s far easier discussed than executed, but in a flat cap world, a market may re-emerge.
If not, there’s still the chance for the Red Wings to sign another free agent, too. The roster crunch does look tight for the Red Wings, especially when it comes to young players looking to latch on at the fringes (more on that shortly), but neither Detroit’s forwards nor defense groups are strong enough to say the team couldn’t benefit in the short term from an acquisition.
more ($$$), other questions inlcude Can they find secondary scoring behind their top line and What will an overhauled blue line and new goaltender mean.