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Will Detroit Sink or Swim in Lockout Shortened Season?

With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.

Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.

Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.

Too Many Forwards, What Does It Mean?

Something has got to give. The Detroit Red Wings made four signings today, two of which are forwards. This is a strange predicament the Red Wings are in. They have $17 million left in cap space and are still in on the Zach Parise sweepstakes.

Parise will likely make a decision by tomorrow, but with Jiri Hudler out of the picture, the Red Wings still need a top line winger, which might come in the form of Parise or Alex Semin (or possibly Hudler, although unlikely).

The Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson signings give Detroit 16 forwards under contract, not including Justin Abdelkader, who is an RFA, or Tomas Holmstrom, who is UFA.

In a league where you usually dress 12 forwards a game, 16 is too many. Factor in a spot for Abdelkader and a Parise type player, and that's 18 forward spots. What is Ken Holland going to do?

Gustavsson Signs 2 Year Deal With Detroit

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two year deal with the Detroit Red Wings for $3 million a year. The cap hit is a modest $1.5 million.

Gustavsson played last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, posting a 17-17-4 record with a 2.92 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Gustavsson signed with the Leafs in the summer of 2009, and if anyone remembers, the Red Wings were one of the teams in the mix for him.

Jimmy Howard will start next season, but Gustavsson will push him for games. Joey MacDonald is also in the mix, but 'The Monster' will most likely push him out of the way. MacDonald has back issues and a one way contract, and if Gustavsson beats him out of the backup role, MacDonald will be waiver to Grand Rapids.

Gustavsson's first choice was to go to Detroit. His rights were traded to Winnipeg a few days ago, but nothing transpired.

Handful of Updates

In what is going to be the longest offseason in Detroit Red Wings recent history since 2006, there are still things happening that will affect the team going forward. More on Patrick Eaves' condition, the World Championship, Jakub Kindl and Dan Cleary's knee,

Grading The Wings

It's the time of year where General Managers that are not in the playoffs assess their team's talent and see what needs to be done. Writers can do that too! The Checking Line - Red Wings Edition team of Kyle Busch, Rachel Bellono, Eric Huffman, A.K Bennett, Robert D'Aurelio and Justin Doddie gave every player on the Red Wings a grade and what they thought of their seasons

Red Wings in World Championship

While the NHL season is over for the Detroit Red Wings, some of their players are quiting up for their respective countries at the World Championship in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

Change Wanted and Needed

I predicted that the Detroit Red Wings would go down in six games to the Nashville Predators. I didn't expect them to beat the Preds, but I did expect a great effort. Boy, was I wrong.

At a time where playoff hockey is the focus in Detroit, the Red Wings totally disappointed. Nashville steam rolled Detroit in five games and the Wings are already in golf mode. Being down 3-1 in the series, the Wings turned in their worst performance of the playoffs. Reading through some fan replies, it is obvious that some people have no idea who to place the blame on, but I can help them out in this instance.

Typical Wings Loss at Home

That just happened. You've seen it before, just in different styles, but Game 3 in Detroit was a typical playoff home loss for the Red Wings. The Nashville Predators came into the building and took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 win.

The fact of the matter is the Wings played another incomplete game. They were lackluster the first half and dynamite the second half. For those who are wondering what a 'typical Red Wings playoff home loss' is, here it is, step by step, and most Wings fans will concur with this.

Wings Can't Afford To Lose

Call it a prediction, a guess or a feeling, but if the Detroit Red Wings go down tonight in Game 2 in Nashville, they'll be hard pressed to win the series.

Following a 3-2 loss in Game 1, Detroit is looking for answers, some that might be answered with a net front presence and a better finishing touch. Henrik Zetterberg missed two empty nets and two Predators goals were lucky defelcetions and one on a bad giveaway by Brad Stuart. Jimmy Howard was solid in net, going toe to toe with Pekka Rinne.

TCL Round 1 Staff Predictions: Nashville Predators vs Detroit Red Wings

( 4 ) NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs. ( 5 ) DETROIT RED WINGS

The pundits are out and predicting doomsday for the Detroit Red Wings and a much better fortune for the up and coming Nashville Predators. Detroit has knocked off the Preds in the only two meetings in the playoffs between the two clubs, both in six games in 2004 and 2008. The Central Division foes split the season series at three games a piece. That sets the tone for what can most likely be the most exciting series of the first round.

There should be plenty of saves and a ton of skill when the Wings and Preds...