What’s Next for the Red Wings?

Matthew Whipple, Sports Writer

The 2022-2023 Detroit Red Wings season has not gone as many fans had hoped. Entering the year, the expectation of many Red Wings fans was to push for the playoffs and maybe make them. As of right now, the Red Wings are not reaching this goal. They do, in fact, have a record sitting over.500, but they have not been the team many had hoped for. They have struggled to score, sitting at 26th in the league in goals scored, and just overall not been able to score consistently. This keeps them from escaping the bottom to the middle third of the league. They beat the bad teams but cannot compete with the good ones. It is a tough spot to be in because it is kind of a gray area as to what they should do at the trade deadline. The question is, what’s next? 

First things first. The Red Wings must decide what to do with their hometown hero and Captain Dylan Larkin. The offseason is looming, and Larkin is without a contract. He is set to hit unrestricted free agency, with many teams already showing interest in him. The Red Wings must decide if they will give him the money he wants and keep their best player in-house or if they will trade him and get a haul in return. Only time will tell, but if General Manager Steve Yzerman’s track record says anything, he is not afraid to make big decisions. This will be the biggest of Yzerman’s tenure to this point, and everyone will be on the edge of their seat until a final decision is made.

The other decision that needs to be made is where this team is heading in the next couple of years. Yzerman made a statement this past offseason and was one of the most active GMs of the Free Agency period. He signed five impact players that were supposed to push this team to the next level. However, the signings have been pretty hit or miss, with a big hit in Dominic Kubalik and a big miss in Ben Chiarot. This has led many to wonder if Yzerman hit free agency too early and if this team was not ready to compete yet. Yes, the Wings have a great core of young players, but they are still learning and growing into their games, and the rest of the supporting cast is lackluster. So whats next? 

Only time will tell, but this offseason will surely be an interesting one in which everyone moved by Yzerman will be under a microscope. This is a critical time for the rebuild that may determine if the rebuild was successful or not.