Go through the gallery to see Gregg Krupa’s rankings of the top 25 Detroit Red Wings players based on their value for the 2017-18 season.
Detroit – Neither one nor the other, an unresolved position.
Measuring the value of Detroit Red Wings players in the coming season, the first after not making the playoffs since 1990, leaves one betwixt and between.
Is a player valuable because of the contribution he may make in the 2017-18 season, or is his longer promise more important?
For two seasons, a changing roster has mostly underperformed. The sense has only grown that the Red Wings are less about the coming season, or perhaps even the next, than campaigns farther down the road.
Do not expect to hear about that in the marketing of Little Caesars Arena and the first season in “the new building.” But it is the state of the franchise.
As the players cleaned out their dressing stalls three months ago – far earlier in the spring than the recent, local tradition, and for the last time at Joe Louis Arena – Ken Holland said he intended to work in the offseason to provide for a better future and a return to the playoffs.
None of the draft choices are likely to be a regular in the NHL until at least 2020. Neither free agent is a star.
Hopes were for a more active offseason.
They were spurred by the lagging performance of the team, the switch to sellers’ mode at the trade deadline and the asserted suggestions of Holland and Jeff Blashill that the roster required harsh scrutiny.
Amid these circumstances, the most valuable Red Wings are Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, because if none of the strategic triad works out there are likely no future stars in a lineup starved for them.
But, there are seasons to play before Athanasiou, Larkin and Mantha entirely prove their worth.