Blashill: Red Wings still looking to ‘get better’ this off-season

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The Detroit Red Wings made plenty of changes this off-season. They lost Pavel Datsyuk to the KHL, but added Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott in free agency and they might not be done.

The Red Wings aren’t opposed to making more changes according to head coach Jeff Blashill.

“We’d like to try to continue to get better if we can,” said Blashill, per the Detroit News. “I know Ken (Holland) would like to and I would like to, but can you?

“Just making a move doesn’t make you better, and there are very few out there that can make you better. And so I think you have to be careful to make sure when you make a move it actually helps you, just like on July 1st (the start of free agency) you better be careful that who you sign actually helps you.”

Nielsen and Vanek can provide the Wings with an offensive boost, but it won’t be easy to overcome the loss of Datsyuk.

Like every other team, the Red Wings would probably like to add another goal scorer. Detroit ranked 23rd in goals scored last year (the lowest among playoff teams). If they’re unable to make a trade, they’ll need to count on players from within to improve their offensive output.

No player on the Wings roster scored more than 50 points and only two players surpassed the 20-goal mark (Dylan Larkin, Tomas Tatar). Larkin, who had a solid rookie campaign, will need to take another step forward, while players like Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist will need to score more than 30 goals between them like they did last season.

“I still maintain that our number one growth as a hockey team is going to have to be from within, and our young guys continue to take steps and to get better,” Blashill said

“Part of that getting better is that someone has to become an elite player, and we need one or two or three guys to become elite, elite players; go-to type players. And it’s the hardest thing to do.”