The Detroit Red Wings have grown accustomed to a certain level of success, so even when it came time for the team to start rebuilding, they opted to do so piece-by-piece, phase-by-phase. That prevented them from finishing near the bottom of the league and getting a top pick, but it’s allowed them to get younger while still being legitimate contenders for a playoff spot every season.
Fast forward to the present day and the Red Wings are in position to make the playoffs for the 23rd straight campaign despite the onslaught of injuries they’ve had to endure. That’s been possible because the fruits of their unconventional rebuild like Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar have been able to step up.
Still, with their spot less than secure and the trade market heating up, the question of what the Red Wings will do next has naturally been raised. Last week, Red Wings GM Ken Holland suggested that he was willing to be a buyer if his team’s position warranted it.
That might still be the case in theory, but in practice Detroit isn’t likely to make a major move.
“I don’t envision us trading away players who could be part of our future,” Holland explained, according to the Detroit News. “Those are the players other teams will be asking about.”
That decision puts one of the longest playoff streaks in NHL history at risk, but Detroit has stuck with their plan this long and now it’s starting to pay off.