5 teams in a worse position than the Detroit Red Wings
It can always be worse.
Of course, the Detroit Red Wings have one of the worst goal differentials in the NHL. Yes, other than their top line, the offensive depth is far from ideal. Moritz Seider is absolutely defending the team. But, when it comes to situations, the Red Wings are by no means in a bad patch.
The team is well on top of the Atlantic Division, a hair’s breadth away from missing the playoffs. With the Boston Bruins still having five games in hand over the Red Wings and just three points behind, it’s fun to see Detroit in for a playoff berth at the end of December. When it comes to rebuilds, the Red Wings are defying expectations and making waves with their top prospects. There’s a lot to love this season – and while the team still have a way to go before they fight for a Stanley Cup, they’re in a much better position than these five teams:
#Dorion says, âThe reconstruction is complete. Now we are entering another zone â, this does not mean that the #Sense are not going to continue writing as we have seen. We’re about to see what the rebuilt teams do. To pass. Add key players through commerce, moving leads, or choices. Focus on the ranking!
– Matty-Perth-Sens (@TrueFanNet) September 7, 2021
âThe reconstruction is complete.
Take a look at the NHL rankings. Now scroll down. Continue scrolling. Down there, just above the Montreal Canadiens and the Arizona Coyotes, you’ll see the Ottawa Senators. If this is what a completed rebuild looks like for GM Pierre Dorion, Senators fans will be struggling for the next few years.
The thing is, the Senses don’t fare badly when it comes to reconstructions. They beat the Florida Panthers 8-2 and shut out the Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning. Tim Stutzle looks like the real deal, and Thomas Chabot is really blossoming. Even Anton Forsberg showed up in a pleasantly surprising way. There are several reasons why the Sens ended up on this list, but the main one is with the owner of the team: Eugene Melnyk.
There has never been a time in Ottawa Senators history when a player has played his entire eight-year contract with Ottawa. Melnyk, known for his hands-on approach to the team, is the most unpredictable factor in how the team works. From expired McDonald’s coupons to its Twitter bot scandal, Melnyk always seems to have his hands in the mix when it comes to the team.
Giving Brady Tkachuk a big contract was like pulling teeth. Sooner or later Stutzle and players like Josh Norris will be looking for a big pay raise. Will Melnyk stand up or will this rebuilding continue for eternity?
The Chicago Blackhawks have decided to go for an âall-inâ approach, trading against Seth Jones, Tyler Johnson and Marc-AndrÃ© Fleury. Going with this strategy after publicly announcing a rebuild was a puzzling decision. What makes matters worse for the team is that they continued to fall hilariously prone with every effort. The Blackhawks spat two first-round picks, a second-round pick and Adam Boqvist for Seth Jones, a player who has fallen sharply in recent years. He was immediately extended for an eight-year, $ 9.5 million-per-year contract that will run until 2029-30.
This clip below is a microcosm of the start of Jones’ season:
He’s been solid offensively, but his defensive efforts fall far short of what he brings to the table with scoring. Jonathan Toews also took a production plunge, amassing just 13 points in 30 games this season. Kirby Dach, drafted third overall in 2019, has just 46 points in 112 career games. Even Patrick Kane, their roster’s best player, has been nothing short of a defensive black hole. Their only saving grace comes in the form of Alex DeBrincat, who appears on track for another 35-plus season.
Even if the team fixes the ship somehow and commits to a complete rebuild, they still have one of the worst pools of hope in the NHL. Combine that with sharply declining stars and controversy that left the team’s reputation irreparably damaged and you end up with a sobering fact: The Chicago Blackhawks are going to be bad for a very long time.
Too good to be bad, too bad to be good, the Predators are sort of caught in the doldrums of being âpretty goodâ yet again. The point is, the team could absolutely go either way. They have the talent to qualify for the playoffs, but they also have plenty of tradable assets that could start a serious rebuild. Whichever direction they choose to take, however, the ghosts of past deals seem poised to haunt them for years to come.
Ryan Johansen, who scored 64 points three years ago, will earn $ 8 million for the next four seasons. Matt Duchene, who hasn’t scored nearly 70 points in over a decade, is getting $ 8 million a year for the next five years. Roman Josi, the team’s best player, is signed until 2027-2028 with a contract of $ 9.059 million per year. He will be 32 years old after this season. The team could absolutely do one last big push, but it might be safer to sit down, sell assets and make the long and expensive contracts.
Unfortunately, many of these high priced offers have become non-negotiable. The cost, duration and age make transferring these agreements an uphill battle at best. In addition, Managing Director David Poile has dedicated himself to âcompetitive reconstructionâ. If this sounds familiar to you, I implore you to remember the Ken Holland âkicking tireâ era. So the Predators are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The good news for Nashville fans is that there is still hope on the horizon: goalie hopeful Yaroslav Askarov appears to be the real deal and pairing him up with Juuse Saros should keep the backend locked in. the foreseeable future.
The resurgence of Erik Karlsson is one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. Beyond that, however, the San Jose Sharks are a team with a lot of questions and few answers. Their current salary cap situation is nothing short of a nightmare. Logan Couture, 32, is signed until 2026-2027. Brent Burns will be 40 when he enters free agency in 2024-25. Marc-Edouard Vlasic will be 39 years old in 2025-2026, the last year of his contract. Together, the three and Karlsson account for $ 34.5 million in earnings, nearly half of the team’s salary cap.
To make matters worse, that doesn’t even take into account Evander Kane’s deal, which leaves the team an extra $ 5.785m / year (or $ 7M / year if he returns to the NHL). . They’re in a situation similar to that of the Red Wings of the mid-2010s: a fairly shallow prospect pool exacerbated by a caustic contract situation. Unfortunately, the Sharks don’t have Datsyuk or Zetterberg caliber players on their books; they’re stuck with declining talent and a lack of overall roster leadership.
The good news is that they have resources on their side. Tomas Hertl will get a massive comeback at the end of the trading season. Jonathan Dahlen was such a nice surprise for the team. As for the future, William Eklund seems to be taking a big step forward into next season. There is no doubt that the Sharks are having a hard time for the next few years. But when it comes to rebuilds, they can kick this one off on a high by swapping players like Hertl and Timo Meier for a plethora of choices.
Honorable mention: Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes just can’t take a break. Every time they look over the precipice of something big, things only get worse. From illegal training drills to completely taking down the roster, it seems like it’s back to square one for the dogs of the desert. Their mountain of choice earned them a spot on this list. They have eight picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft – three in the first round and five in the second. If they trade Jakob Chychrun this season, they will have even more draft capital at their disposal.
Until they keep recruiting Barrett Hayton-caliber players, this hard reset could be just what the Coyotes need to start fresh. Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz and Chychrun are the only players signed over the next three seasons. The cards are in place – now it’s up to General Manager Bill Armstrong to make it count.
Poor Ox. Every time they seem ready to take the next big step, something is wrong. Last season was just a shocking lack of effort all around. Every player seemed to be regressing in the worst possible way. Jack Eichel’s injury – and the team’s failure to handle it properly – has led their star to be dispatched to Vegas, where he looks set to take on the starring role with the Golden Knights. Rasmus Dahlin, who has been compared to Nick Lidstrom, looks like a shell of himself.
This season, while full of pleasant surprises (hello, Jeff Skinner resurgence!), Looks like another washout for the Sabers, who will be in their 11th straight season out of the offseason. Organizational disorder seems to radiate from above. They have gone through three general managers and four coaches in the past five years. With so much turnover and not enough consistency, the Sabers are struggling to stabilize the ship on another tough season.
The good news is Owen Power is exceptional. The University of Michigan product shows exactly why he was selected first in the 2021 draft, absolutely dominating the NCAA over a stacked Michigan team. Jack Quinn is also poised to be a solid threat at depth. In addition, the Sabers have three first-round picks in this year’s draft. The problem, however, extends beyond their ability to draft. Developing their players and providing them with the resources they need to be successful has been the Sabers’ biggest fight over the past decade. Will power be enough to break Buffalo’s generational curse?