Ah, the dog days of summer... As a way to pass the hockey doldrums I sent a set of some general questions out to the SBN sister blogs of the Florida Panthers' Atlantic Divsion rivals. Kyle from Winging It In Motown was the first to respond so here you go with a quick look at the Detroit Red Wings.
What are your thoughts on the Red Wings' performance during 2015-16 in a tidy nutshell?
I can't say I'm pleased with the performance overall. The team was very back-and-forth with being good, and being pretty bad. They were given the benefit of the doubt due to having a rookie coach.
What was the team's best offseason move thus far?
Trading a 3rd round pick for Dylan Sadowy. Yes, it's been that bad.
What departure will hurt the Red Wings the most?
Pavel Datsyuk. I don't think people truly understand the impact he had on the entire team's performance. He is arguably one of the best possession players in the analytics era, and provides two-way abilities that are second-to-none. Not having him is going to suck on monumental levels.
What prospect is most likely to crack the lineup and make an impact?
Who knows at this point. The Red Wings have a glut of forwards with very little room for even proven players like Andreas Athanasiou. Ideally I would like to see Athanasiou and Mantha be with the team full-time, but I don't find that realistic.
Realistically, what would constitute a successful 2016-17 campaign?
Some fans would say to miss the playoffs and force change to the ways the team operates, but I'm not on that boat. I always want to make the playoffs, because you get to watch your team play for longer. That being said, for this season to be successful, they would need to get past the first round in the playoffs in my opinion.. It's not likely.