A lot ended for the Detroit Red Wings last season.
After making the playoffs for all 26 seasons since 1990-91, the Red Wings finally failed to reach the postseason in 2016-17.
There was a sad symbolism of this being the end of an era in another way, as the Red Wings played their final games at Joe Louis Arena.
So … what now?
At the moment, the Red Wings still seem primed to be a big-spending team. After somewhat surprisingly reaching a deal with Tomas Tatar and with Andreas Athanasiou still in need of a deal, it looks like Detroit will be close to the cap ceiling to begin 2017-18.
This comes even though the Red Wings don’t really seem like a dramatically different team on paper. Aside from adding another veteran defenseman in Trevor Daley, this is largely the same group, especially after Petr Mrazek wasn’t scooped up by the Vegas Golden Knights.
Detroit still employs an array of aging players, and in the case of its forwards in specific, the Red Wings possess a lot of worrisome deals. One would assume that, eventually, GM Ken Holland and/or someone else needs to start cleaning that up.
But, could this team still scrap together a decent season in 2017-18? If so, which factors work for and against them? PHT tackles the Red Wings on Thursday, so stay tuned.