Hey, optimism! I’ve missed you, old friend.
The Detroit Red Wings should be improved as they enter the 2021-22 season. The team does not appear to be ready to challenge for a playoff spot, but do appear to be a better team both offensively and defensively. This should translate into a team that is more entertaining as they transition into the next phase of the re-build. The possible addition of youngsters Joe Veleno, Jonatan Berggren and Lucas Raymond by next season will help accelerate the team to a point where they can challenge on a nightly basis.
I predict that one or two rookies join the system next season. Moritz Seider is all but guaranteed a spot, but can one of Veleno, Berggren, or Raymond make the cut? Who do you think has what it takes?
Red Wings legend Brendan Perlini has signed with the Edmonton Oilers. For those who don’t remember, Perlini was part of the trade that sent Alec Regula to the Chicago Blackhawks. In 2019-20, he struggled to stay in the lineup, scoring just four points in 39 games. Regula, on the other hand, made his NHL debut last season and might fight for a roster spot this year. This is one of the only moves I’ve really questioned out of Yzerman. Well, that, and the bizarre fascination he and the Winnipeg Jets have with Eric Comrie.
This signing’s another Kenny Holland Head Scratcher™. The contract is a two-way deal, so if Perlini doesn’t make a case for himself, he’s off to Bakersfield. This is a low-risk, potentially okay reward deal for the Oilers. At worst, they’ve got an easy-to-bury depth player on an affordable deal. At best, they’ve got…a fourth-line grinder? It’s hard to tell with Perlini.
Considering the fact that Perlini struggled to earn a full-time spot on a historically bad Wings roster in 2019-20, I’m not going to get my hopes up.