No longer the "Dead Things," I think that old catchphrase has been lost for a while in regards to the Detroit Red Wings. With their latest trip to the record book with 21 home game winning streak, 20 years in a row of making the playoffs. In those 20 years the Red Wings have won 4 Stanley Cups '96-97, '97-98, '01-'02 and '07-08. But with all the champagne bottle popping came excruciating heart ache, losing in the finals twice '94-'95, '08-'09 and two Conference finals '95-'96 and '06'07. Not to mention the early round knock-outs, (Anaheim) that one still stings. Within the Red Wings remarkable 20 year playoff run they haven't received a top 10 draft pick, that says a lot about the Wings organization, especially their scouting. Here are some gems in late rounds: '89 Sergei Fedorov 4th round #74, '89 Nicklas Lidstrom 3rd round #53, '94 Tomas Holmstrom 10th round #257, '98 Pavel Datsyuk 6th round #171, '99 Henrik Zetterberg 7th round #210, '04 Johan Franzen 3rd round #97. The Red Wings take pride in their scouting prowess and it shows, developing prospects in the minors is also very important to the success of the Red Wings. The way i see it is they introduce a player to the line-up, with the player they will ultimately replace, for example Darren Helm 5th round #132 taking the place of PK specialist Kris Draper. The Detroit Red Wings have become the blueprint organization for many, if not all NHL hockey clubs.
With the upcoming trade deadline fast approaching, the Wings are in a position to not panic and make a deal that can be detrimental to their team. True they can go after a Rick Nash, they have the players and prospects to pull the trigger on a deal, but it's one deal I don't think we'll see. That being said, stranger things have happened at this time of the NHL season.
Ken Holland said, "This time of the year you're looking for veteran players. We've got some kids in Grand Rapids that we think can play, but I think when you come playoff time, the coach isn't sure what those young players are going to do, and one bad play can turn a game and one bad game can turn a series. So everybody's looking for veteran defensemen, veteran forwards. … I still think there's going to be 15, 20, 25 moves between now and trade deadline day. Most of them are going to be depth players, and that's really what we're looking for -- just a little more depth, a little more veteran experience if we can find it."