The Red Wings have been one of the most veteran-savvy teams in the league for quite some time and that has made them a favourite among poolies year after year. The opening of the 2010/2011 training camp isn't too much different from other years, with some of the same old regulars kicking around, a new veteran acquired through free agency and then some good draft picks looking to squeeze their way in and make a name for themselves.
According to their Summer roster, there isn't going to be a whole lot of give for the training camp attendees, because it is already a pretty full house. Going into camp, I have the Red Wings with 14 forwards, six defense and two goalies, which is good enough for a full roster, possibly having a spot for an extra defenseman for a 23-man roster.
In the rumblings department, Derek Meech was placed on waivers during the week and he had cleared, so they should have some flexibility with him and their roster. This could also mean that there is another spot open on the blueline as well.
|Pavel Datsyuk||Nicklas Lidstrom||Jimmy Howard|
|Henrik Zetterberg||Brian Rafalski||Chris Osgood|
|Tomas Holmstrom||Niklas Kronwall|
|Todd Bertuzzi||Brad Stuart|
|Valtteri Filppula||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Dan Cleary||Derek Meech|
|Justin Abdelkader||Greg Amadio||Joey MacDonald|
|Joakim Andersson||Alex Cord||Thomas McCollum|
|Louis Archibald||Travis Ehrhardt||Petr Mrazek|
|Louis-Marc Aubry||Gleason Fournier||Jordan Pearce|
|Mitchell Callahan||Doug Janik|
|William Coetzee||Brenden Kichton|
|Aaron Downey||Jakub Kindl|
|Cory Emmerton||Siarhei Kolasau|
|Landon Ferraro||Brian Lashoff|
|Ilari Filppula||Sebastien Piche|
|Antonin Honejsek||Logan Pyett|
|Jamie Johnson||Ruslan Salei|
|Stephen Johnston||Brendan Smith|
|Brooks Macek||Marc Zanetti|
The way I have the Red Wings broken down on my list, I have their 22-man Summer roster and one contract overage penalty on the books for a projected annual cap hit of $57.4 million. This would leave them about $2 million in flexibility, which may get them to fit training camp invitee, Ruslan Salei, under the cap ceiling, if room was made for him by a Meech departure. The Wings are definitely in good shape this year.
It was kind of a down year for the Red Wings in 2010, having played a lot of hockey in the past three seasons, especially the superstars, who had to go to the Olympics as well. So, maybe with an earlier exit out of the playoffs, the veterans of this Red Wings team will be coming back refreshed and ready to dominate the scoresheets again, making poolies everywhere a happy bunch. There is a part of me that is buying into this theory and it makes guys like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg a little more inviting on draft day.