Detroit’s 25 year streak of reaching the playoffs is all but set to come to an end this season as the team sits dead last in the Eastern Conference. While GM Ken Holland isn’t surprised that it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Red Wings this season, he told Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News that he wasn’t expecting the team to struggle as much as they have:
“I expected more, I expected we’d be in the thick of things. I didn’t know if we’d be in the playoffs or not. When you look at the standings in our division and in the Eastern Conference, there a lot of teams, some of them are going to miss the playoffs by a point or two and some of them are going to get in by a point or two.”
Kulfan notes that free agency isn’t an avenue that Holland and the Wings are likely to pursue this summer. Part of the problem is the weaker than usual free agent class while the team is also handcuffed by some above-market value contracts that the GM has handed out in recent years to players like Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, and several others. As a result, they’ll have to hope to free up some cap room either via the trade or market or perhaps in expansion if the Golden Knights opt to take a pricey player off their hands.
Other notes from around the league:
- Bruins center David Krejci left practice early on Monday and interim head coach Bruce Cassidy told CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty that he is dealing with an upper body injury. However, it’s not expected to keep him out of Boston’s lineup when they take on the Predators on Tuesday night. If it turns out he’s unavailable, it’s expected that Ryan Spooner would jump in to fill his spot on the second line.
- With Logan Couture out of the lineup, the Sharks will shift Patrick Marleau back to center for the time being, notes CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz. Marleau is a natural center but has only played there four times this year as San Jose has opted to play him on the wing instead. In a separate column, Kurz provided an update on Couture. Head coach Peter DeBoer was pleased by how much the swelling went down today and while he will miss some time, it doesn’t appear that it will be a long-term injury. There’s no timetable for a potential return date yet although the team is expected to further update his situation in the near future.