**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Detroit Red Wings
2010-11: 104 points, #3 in Western Conference
Returning: Jimmy Howard
Arrivals: Ty Conklin
Departures: Chris Osgood
I’m giving the Wings a goalie grade of 0 because I see replacing Osgood for Conklin as a push. Too bad they couldn’t land Vokoun.
Returning: Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl
Arrivals: Ian White, Mike Commodore
Departures: Brian Rafalski, Ruslan Salei
The Ian White signing was a great value pickup for Detroit, but it just doesn’t come close to replacing Brian Rafalski. The Commodore signing may have been a good one, but switching out a steady veteran in Salei for a guy who spent last season in the AHL is a questionable move.
Returning: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Todd Bertuzzi, Dan Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller
Arrivals: Jan Mursak, Cory Emmerton
Departures: Kris Draper, Mike Modano
It’s a positive that the Red Wings are starting to replace some aging veterans with some promising young players, but for the upcoming season, replacing Draper and Modano with Mursak and Emmerton is a push, given the likelihood of limited minutes in the bottom 6.
OVERALL RATING: -2
2011-12 Prediction: #1-#3 in Western Conference
Detroit will probably win their division again, although it won’t be easy. The forwards are getting older, their defense is changing and Jimmy Howard remains unproven. GM Ken Holland does have cap space to use if he chooses to add a piece or two to his lineup.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.