The rebuilding Detroit Red Wings look to take a step forward during the 2020-21 NHL season. Young prospects should get at the very least a nine game call up. Others may be on the opening night roster for the Red Wings. So who exactly will be on the roster. At this time that is unknown, based on the players now (free agency starts October 9, due to COVID-19) here is a guess.
The NHL is targeting December 1, 2020 as the season opener, the season would end July 5, 2021. The NHL is watching the NFL’s mold for allowing limited capacity attendance to see if it is possible.
The Detroit Red Wings are on a mid-November target for training camp. The camp will be at Little Caesars Arena and not Traverse City. The Red Wings are hopeful for a 2021 return to Traverse City for training camp.
The Red Wings have some glaring needs which general manager Steve Yzerman will need to address and fill during the free agent signing period. The Red Wings have the cap space to begin to improve the roster this off season, but not at the expense of prospect development.
So let’s look at who could be in the Winged Wheel opening night,
Goalie- Jonathan Bernier, He is currently the only goalie under contrat for Detroit. He will enter the 2020-21 season as the guy. His numbers last season were not bad. Bernier posted a .915 save percentage in 25 games.
There are good goalies that will hit the open market. This will be worth paying attention to for Red Wings fans.
The Detroit Red Wings first line, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi have excellent chemistry. While Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina can help the second line with scoring. Valtteri Filppula should once again center the second line. Filppula is not the goal scorer he once was but is solid in passing the puck.
Luke Glendening, Darren Helm and Adam Erne Should be the Red Wings third line. It is a solid yet not spectacular third line. With Helm the really only scoring threat and Erne providing the physicality of the line.
The Detroit Red Wings was (to put it nicely) a hot mess last season. This season, Frans Nielsen, Evgeny Svechnikov, Dmytro Timashov, Justin Abdelkader, Michael Rasmussen, Christoffer Ehn, Givani Smith and Mathias Brome will battle it out in training camp in hopes players step up.
On the defensive front for the Red Wings, Danny DeKeyser, Patrik Nemeth and Filip Hronek are locks for the top four. I fully expect 19 year old defenseman Moritz Seider will be in the opening night lineup as well.
The rest of the Red Wings defense needs upgrade. Otherwise it will be another tough season.