In a way, the NHL has been drifting away from former players as GMs, though some do remain. One of the best general managers in the game was a former player, and he's now hired by the Red Wings. Steve Yzerman spent his entire 22 season hall of fame career in Detroit, and now he's back in the front office after a stint in Tampa Bay. Yzerman built a powerhouse there, and now Detroit hopes he can do it again.
Additions: Valtteri Filppula, Patrik Nemeth, Adam Erne, Calvin Pickard
Subtractions: Thomas Vanek, Niklas Kronwall, Luke Witkowski, Martin Frk
Dylan Larkin finally broke out, with his first 30 goal season, with 32. His 73 points and .96 points per game were career highs. Another very fast and young forward, Andreas Athanasiou scored a career high 30 goals with 54 points. Anthony Mantha has proven himself as a quality linemate for Larkin. He has scored 49 goals with 47 assists over the last two seasons. In his first full season, Tyler Bertuzzi scored 21 goals and was a +11 player. Valtteri Filppula played his first eight NHL seasons in Detroit, and now returns. He left after 2012-13. His 17 goals this past season was his highest since 2013-14, but an extremely high 21.8 shooting percentage is to blame. He is a very good defender and penalty killer. Two-way center Frans Nielsen has fallen since coming to Detroit. His 10 goals last year was his lowest in a non lockout season since 2008-09, his first full season. Luke Glendening was re-signed, coming off a career high 23 points. Darren Helm has fallen off, with just 17 points last year, and a career worst -11 rating. The same could be said for Justin Abdelkader, whose 42 goal two year stretch from 2014-15 to 2015-16 looks like a fluke, after his six goals and 19 points in 2018-19. He's a terrible -42 in his career. Adam Erne comes from Tampa Bay, where Yzerman drafted him. He had 20 points in 65 games in 2018-19. 2017 9th overall pick Michael Rasmussen had 18 points in his debut season. Jacob de La Rose had nine points in a career high 60 games, as did Christoffer Ehn.
Former 31 goal scorer Mike Green doesn't score as much nowadays. he had five goals with 21 assists, which isn't bad considering he played in just 43 games. At age 21, Filip Hronek had an impressive rookie season, with 23 points in 46 games. Detroit native Danny DeKeyser is a decent top four defenseman. He missed thirty games, but he did have 20 points still. Trevor Daley missed nearly half the season. He was a minus player for just the sixth time in his 15 year career. Patrik Nemeth comes to Detroit, after he was a +32 player in two seasons for Colorado. Former first rounder Dennis Cholowski was a terrible -20 in his first season, but he had 16 points in 52 games. Jonathan Ericsson is most likely in his last season in Detroit, and if he has a bad year, it could be his last NHL season. He has been injured a ton, and was a -10 with five points in 52 games. Madison Bowey had four points in 17 games after a trade from Washington.
Jimmy Howard was somehow an all star over Larkin. Howard had a terrible .909 SV% and 3.07 GAA. He has struggled since Petr Mrazek left. Jonathan Bernier was bad in his first season in Detroit, with a 3.16 GAA and .904 SV%. Goaltending is a big issue for Detroit. They signed Calvin Pickard, who was good as the Avalanche's backup for three seasons, but was never the same after he was picked in the expansion draft.
Matt Puempel played in eight NHL games in 2018-19. He has scored 11 goals in 87 career NHL games. Joe Hicketts played in 11 NHL games, and scored 27 points in 64 AHL games. Enforcer Dylan McIlrath played in seven NHL games. He had 98 penalty minutes in 52 AHL games.
Up and Coming
2018 6th overall pick Filip Zadina had three points in nine NHL games, and 35 points in 59 AHL games. After scoring 50 points in 36 college games, Taro Hirose came to the NHL, with seven points in 10 games. Ryan Kuffner didn't have the same success. After dominating at Princeton, he didn't have a point in 10 games. Evgeny Svechnikov had four points in 14 NHL games, and 23 points in 57 AHL games. Joe Veleno fell to 30th overall in 2018, and made every else pay, with 42 goals and 104 points in 59 games in the QMJHL.
2019 draft class
Round 1, 6th overall: Moritz Seider
Round 2, 35th overall: Antti Tuomisto
Round 2, 54th overall: Robert Mastrosimone
Round 2, 60th overall: Albert Johansson
Round 3, 66th overall: Albin Grewe
Round 4, 97th overall: Ethan Phillips
Round 5, 128th overall: Connor Moore
Round 6, 159th overall: Elmer Soderblom
Round 6, 177th overall: Gustav Berglund
Round 7, 190th overall: Kirill Tyutyayev
Round 7, 191th overall: Carter Gylander
Since taking over for Mike Babcock as Head Coach, Jeff Blashill made the playoffs in his first year, but hasn't made it in the three seasons since, ending a 25 year playoff streak. With a new general manager in Yzerman, Blashill could be on the hot seat.
Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Andreas Athanasiou - Valtteri Filppula - Filip Zadina
Adam Erne - Frans Nielsen - Michael Rasmussen
Justin Abdelkader - Luke Glendening - Darren Helm
Extras: Taro Hirose, Ryan Kuffner, Jacob de La Rose, Evgeny Svechnikov
Danny DeKeyser - Mike Green
Dennis Cholowski - Filip Hronek
Patrik Nemeth - Trevor Daley
Extras: Jonathan Ericsson, Madison Bowey
Extras: Calvin Pickard
The Red Wings are still in a rebuilding phase that doesn't seem like it will end soon. With Yzerman in the front office, it may end quicker, but not now. The Wings will finish 7th in the Atlantic Division in 2019-20.