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.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.