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Go through the gallery to view The Detroit News' top 50 Red Wings in terms of organizational value, compiled by Ted Kulfan. Go here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.

Detroit — It’s never easy to rate the value of professional athletes.

They bring so many variables to the table, different strengths that can make a team better without necessarily being a terrific offensive or defensive player.

Leadership is a trait all coaches and front offices value, and potential, though both can be difficult to quantify.

NHL teams are allowed a 90-player maximum on their reserve lists, whether signed to a standard contract or unsigned. From there, there’s a 50-contract maximum (players primarily in the NHL and minor leagues, along with select draft picks in junior hockey) and the 23-player active NHL roster.

Every player brings a unique skill set, has specific strengths and weaknesses, and contributes different ways.

What to make of the Red Wings’ organization?

The Detroit News takes a stab at ranking the top 50 players in the organization, given success at the NHL level, age, potential, contract situation, and position played.

It’s a list that is getting younger and more inexperienced by the year. And this year there is an asterisk attached, in that the NHL, minor league, and junior-league seasons have been paused or ended by the coronavirus pandemic.

This list is done without including veteran unrestricted free agents — goaltender Jimmy Howard, defensemen Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Cody Goloubef, and forward Sam Gagner, all of whom are uncertain to return to the Wings next season.

tkulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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