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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?

Swiss Star Damien Brunner to Sign With Detroit

The Detrot Red Wings dipped into the free agent market a little bit early, reportedly agreeing to terms with Swiss League scoring star Damien Brunner.

Brunner is a 26-year old, right handed forward played for Zug the past four years. He is very skilled and can score points, as evident in his Swiss League stats, where he has scored over a point per game in the past three seasons.

The Red Wings haven't officially signed him because it isn't July 1st yet, but the terms of the deal have been agreed on and reports suggest it is a one year, two-way contract. This is very low risk, high reward for the Red Wings. If Brunner shapes out to be Jiri Hudler's cheaper replacement; excellent. He's faster than Hudler and shoots right on a team full of lefties. If Brunner can't make the cut in the NHL, he can be sent to Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers.

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

Gill Out, Black Aces Recalled

Hal Gill will be out of the Nashville Predators lineup for Game Four, still battling a lower body injury. The hulking 6 foot 7 Gill would give the Wings fits, blocking even MORE shots than they already have throughout the series.

The Red Wings have also toyed with moving Dan Cleary up to the top line, for what reason? I don't know. Cleary is a third line player at best. He doesn't score and isn't a setup man, so having him up on the top line while Gustav Nyquist rots with Cory Emmerton and Tomas Holmstrom makes no sense to me. Speaking of rookies, elevel Grand Rapids Griffins were called up to be Black Aces for the playoffs.

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.

Helm Out for Playoffs

The Red Wings were dealt a blow after last night's 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Nashville Predators; Darren Helm is out for the playoffs with severed tendons in his right forearm. Helm was skating after Alexander Radulov in the Detroit zone and layed a hit on the Nashville forward. As Radulov went down, his skates went up, catching Helm in the wrist and effectively sliced it open. Helm didn't realize for a second, but once he did he dropped his glove and skated hard to the bench. He immediately went to the dressing room with trainer Piett Van Zant and left for the hospital where he underwent surgery to reconnect the tendons.

Skating in the Music City

Strap yourselves in, the Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight! The Detroit Red Wings will take on the Predators in Nashville in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. This is the third time the two teams have met, with Detroit winning both series in six games (2004, 2008). Many hockey 'experts' are predicting a series win by the Predators, making the Red Wings an underdog, something that they aren't used to being and something they might not be.

Wings Win Despite Inconsistent Effort

I thought this would be a recap that highlighted what the heck is wrong with the Detroit Red Wings. It still will be, but more importantly, they still control their own fate after a 3-2 shootout win in St. Louis tonight. Johan Franzen showed up for his last two shifts and scored twice and Todd Bertuzzi won it in the shootout. David Perron and Andy McDonald scored for the Blues.

The Wings now sit 4th in the West with 101 points, one up on Nashville. Noth teams have two games left.

The game was a chess match until the third period, where things got weird. Jimmy Howard and Brian Elliott were both spectacular in net, but in the third, both were solved twice.

Ryan Reaves...

No One Shows Up in Cali

This is what happens when a team doesn't have any compete level. The Detroit Red Wings got demolished 5-2 by the Los Angeles Kings.

No, a 5-2 loss including an empty net goal doesn't seem too bad, but if you assumed that you are dead wrong. Let's put it this way; Tom Hanks was in attendance, and he probably thought the Red Wings were the worst team in the NHL.

Let's forget about the fact that your top forward and defenceman are out in Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom. These are NHL players. They should be pushing for that win with everything they have. Only a few guys did tonight; Gustav Nyquist, Darren Helm and Brendan Smith. The rest of them were poopo...