by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
After qualifying for the NHL playoffs in 25 consecutive seasons, the Detroit Red Wings will be trying to end a three-year absence from the postseason in 2019-20 with what they hope is an improved squad. Despite making a few decent moves this offseason, oddsmakers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark still have the Red Wings as longshots on the 2020 Stanley Cup odds at +8000 (bet $100 to win $8000).
Detroit is looking to build upon a seventh-place finish in the Atlantic Division, as the team totaled 74 points and ranked third-worst in the Eastern Conference overall. The Red Wings obviously have a lot of work to do in order to get back on track, but they do have some good pieces, starting with leading scorer Dylan Larkin (73 points on 32 goals and 41 assists in 2018-19). Larkin was the only Detroit player with more than 54 points though, so scoring is definitely something the team will need to improve this season.
The Red Wings brought back veteran center Valtteri Filppula (31 points on 17 goals and 14 assists with the New York Islanders) on a two-year deal worth $6 million. The 35-year-old Filppula started his NHL career in Detroit and was a member of their last Stanley Cup-winning team in 2008 when he had similar numbers as last season (36 points on 19 goals and 17 assists). His experience will help young players like Larkin.
Defensively, the Red Wings also added defenseman Patrik Nemeth and goaltender Calvin Pickard mainly for competition and to add some depth to those positions. Nemeth agreed to a two-year deal as well while Pickard was simply brought in to push current goalies Jonathan Bernier and Jimmy Howard, neither of whom performed particularly well a year ago. Pickard has played for four teams in the last three years.
However, the return of Detroit legend Steve Yzerman as general manager is another bright spot for the future that may not pay dividends on the NHL odds right away. Filppula actually played very briefly with Yzerman at the end of the Hall of Famer’s career before the latter went on to serve as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning between 2010 and 2018.