Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock likes what he has to work with this season, according to the Detroit News. However, he’s well aware that Detroit’s defensive situation could use some work.
“We don’t have enough depth. You lose (Brian) Rafalski, (Brad) Stuart and (Nicklas) Lidstrom in just over a year, that’s a chunk of cheese leaving,” Babcock said. “We need people to step up and there’s opportunity for others. We’ll have that fixed up and we will.”
You can count Brendan Smith among the group of defensemen that the Detroit Red Wings are hoping take a significant step forward next season. Smith gave Red Wings’ fans a taste of what he could do last season with seven points and a plus-three rating in 14 games.
They also might add another blueliner, like unrestricted free agent Carlo Colaiacovo.
All the same, nothing they do will fill the void left by a legendary player like Lidstrom.
“When you notice it is when you get all the guys back and he’s not there,” Babcock said. “And when the puck drops for the first game, you’ll really notice it.”
Even if they can’t replace him, Detroit will attempt to make a smooth transition to life in the post-Lidstrom era.