4 Big Questions for the Detroit Red Wings in 2020-21

Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Dylan Larkin (71)
Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

There’s Four Big Questions facing the Detroit Red Wings in 2020-21.

With the start of the 2020-21 NHL Season just a couple of days away, we continue our Season Previews by putting the spotlight on the Detroit Red Wings today.

It was a historically bad 2019-20 season for the Red Wings who broke records for just how god awful they were, finishing 31st with a lowly 39 points.

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For context, the second worst team, the Ottawa Senators, finished with 62 points so that gives you some idea as to just how bad the Detroit Red Wings were last year.

They finished dead last in most statistical categories and it was just a continuation of what has been a pretty bleak period for sports fans in Detroit, particularly Red Wings fans who were so used to winning for so long.

However, there is a much-larger plan in place for this franchise and that is now being overseen and led by Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman, who is stocking up on assets and stud prospects to ensure that the glory days can return to the Motor City in the not too distant future.

After making some smart additions in Free Agency and via the trade market during the offseason, Yzerman has ensured that the Red Wings should be a lot more competitive in 2020-21, although they will more than likely end up as a lottery team again.

That isn’t a bad thing for Yzerman who wants to continue bolstering the farm system with elite talent, although the losing does have to stop at some point.

Anyway, without further ado, let’s delve into the 4 Big Questions the Detroit Red Wings will have to answer in the 2020-21 NHL Season…

Little Caesars Arena
Little Caesars Arena. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /

4. Will the Detroit Red Wings be more competitive in 2020-21?

Yes and no.

Yes because General Manager Steve Yzerman did a superb job of adding some proven and high-end veterans to this team in the ilk of defensemen Jon Merrill and Marc Staal and forward Bobby Ryan, not to mention reliable goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Signing top-four blueliner Troy Stecher to a two-year, $3,400,000 contract was a very smart pickup, while Yzerman also picked up 26-year-old defenseman Christian Djoos off waivers over the weekend.

Those additions, coupled with the invaluable leadership and experience Staal in particular will bring to the table, will ensure that the 31st ranked defense in Goals Against Per Game (3.73) in 2019-20 is much better in 2020-21.

New York Rangers, Red Wings
Marc Staal, New York Rangers (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

A highly-motivated Bobby Ryan should also add a scoring punch to the offense, one that also ranked 31st in Goals For Per Game last year (2.00), while if the top line of Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi can stay healthy and wreak some damage together, then that will also ensure that the Red Wings are a tough out this season.

However, after missing out on the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, and therefore the chance to accelerate their rebuild by taking generational talent Alexis Lafreniere, despite having the worst record in the NHL, the main goal for the Red Wings will still be to get another high draft pick so that they can add a legit game-changer to this organization.

The 2020-21 season will be about striking that perfect balance between giving the young players some experience of winning, while still remaining bad enough that they get a high enough pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft to be able to take a player they feel can really put this franchise back on the map.

Therefore, don’t be surprised if the Detroit Red Wings pull off some shocks during the regular season, before trading away some of their recently acquired veterans at the Trade Deadline in order to stock up on Draft capital and more assets for the future.