There’s always next year, right? For the Red Wings, it could be longer than that.
Sitting in second to last in the Eastern Conference, their run of 25 straight seasons of making the playoffs all but extinguished, the Red Wings’ return to the postseason isn’t going to be a quick turnaround, according to ESPN.
On Tuesday, Matthew Coller of ESPN broke down the NHL’s non-playoff teams chances of making noise next season (pay site). Some have “bright futures,” while others have a “long way to go.”
The Red Wings are the latter.
“Within the course of one season, the Wings went from the playoffs to dead last in the Atlantic Division,” Coller wrote. “With a catastrophic cap situation and very few young players to build around, it’s hard to see Detroit recovering quickly.
“The Red Wings currently have eight players who are 30 or older, seven of whom are under contract through next season and six of whom have deals through 2018-19. Any opportunity to trade those players and pick up some pieces for the rebuild should be welcomed.”
Those eight are forwards Justin Abdelkader, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Henrik Zetterberg; defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Mike Green, and Niklas Kronwall; and goaltender Jimmy Howard. A ninth — forward Ben Street (30) — was called up Tuesday.
The Red Wings (28-32-11, 67 points) are in Montreal on Tuesday night.