The “Farewell Season at the Joe” is underway as the Detroit Red Wings hosted and defeated the Ottawa Senators by a convincing score of 5-1 last night. It was a good all-around effort by nearly every individual, with teammates standing up for each other by dropping the gloves as they have characteristically been doing through three games.
Still, this has not stopped the organization from being treated to the ire of Red Wings fans, with most unsure if the 25-year playoff streak will come to an end in 2017. Personnel decisions have raised more than their fair share of eyebrows, including sending promising forwards Martin Frk and Teemu Pulkkinen to the waiver wire at the conclusion of the preseason schedule. Moreover, reassigning Anthony Mantha to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins seemed unfair to a young player who managed three goals in five exhibition matches, and loyalists were hoping that the team would prefer a youth movement over free agent signings and other fourth-liners such as Steve Ott and Drew Miller.
As it stands, there is still a chance for the organization to add a key piece that could bolster their chances of making the playoffs. Although it might be too early to call for a rebuild, it appears that the Red Wings brass has no intention of moving forward with anything of the sort.
Nevertheless, general manager Ken Holland will remain under much scrutiny for the next few months.
He told the Detroit News: “…a rebuild could take six to eight years, and there’s no guarantee it’ll work. Other teams have done it for 10 years and made the playoffs once or twice. There are no guarantees in anything.”