The 2022-23 Detroit Red Wings look very different from the 2021-22 version of the team. Former assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Derek Lalonde will take over as the new head coach. This was after general manager Steve Yzerman’s decided not to renew the contract of then head coach Jeff Blashill. In his media availability after the Red Wings’ first practice at training camp, Lalonde said that he “told everyone there is going to be a fresh start.”
Lalonde has preached patience regarding the Red Wings team in every chance he has gotten to speak to the media. What has come out recently is the fact that he introduces himself as “newsy.” Dylan Larkin said recently that he did not get the reference. Édouard Cyrille “Newsy” Lalonde, who is a former forward for the Montreal Canadiens and hockey Hall of Famer, played for the Canadiens from 1918 to 1927. Lalonde (Derek) said that he started being called Newsy in college. The Red Wings made plenty of news during the offseason with the number of free agents they brought in.
Red Wings Season Preview: The Emerging Star
Lalonde made it a point to work with the leadership group on the Red Wings during the summer. That included Larkin. That isn’t always necessarily about hockey. It could be something as simple as working with Larkin on the team’s travel schedule. “Those relationships are vitally important,” Lalonde said. Larkin is heading into his final year under contract with the Red Wings. When Lalonde was in Tampa Bay, he felt that Steven Stamkos was a “true captain” and he has said that Larkin is the same.
That is not to say that Lalonde was not nervous headed into his first practice as the head coach of the Red Wings. He said that even assistant coach Bob Boughner, who was hired to be the experienced coach on the staff, was pacing before the first practice. Lalonde said that the first-day jitters are out of the way and that he could see improvement from session one to session two on the first day of training camp.
Red Wings Season Preview: Looking Forward
Lalonde was cautious about reading too much into the lines deployed throughout training camp and the preseason games that the Red Wings will play. There are 8 total preseason games that the Red Wings will play, the first of which is this Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This will be the first game for Lalonde as the new head coach of the Red Wings. Perhaps Lalonde will take a step back before this game to reflect on what a special occasion this is. This is something that he said he has not done yet.
Perhaps the Red Wing most in need of a fresh start is right-winger Filip Zadina. Zadina was frustrated at times during the 2021-22 season with his lack of offensive production. In 74 games played the 22-year-old scored 10 goals and added 14 assists for the Red Wings under Blashill. The Red Wings have shown faith in Zadina by recently signing him to a three-year contract.
Prospect Simon Edvinsson had a good showing in the three games he played at the Red Wings prospect camp, according to Lalonde. The key for Edvinsson and the Red Wings defense as a whole is not doing too much and “playing hard in the d zone.” This is something that Yzerman thought the Red Wings did not do enough under Blashill during the 2021-22 season. This is something that starts with the goaltending position.
The Red Wings brought in goaltender Ville Husso from the St. Louis Blues where he did not have the opportunity to earn the net. Lalonde said that both Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic will have the opportunity to do. Nedeljkovic played in 59 games for the Red Wings and finished with a record of 20-24-9. The issue was that Blashill would take Nedeljkovic out of a game in which the team fell behind and then put him back in after the backup goalie struggled.
Red Wings Season Preview: The Calder Kid
Rookie defenseman Moritz Seider made plenty of news during the 2021-22 season, which ended with Seider winning the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year in the NHL. Seider finished the 2021-22 season with 7 goals and 43 assists in 82 games played. The reaction to Seider being drafted went viral at the time.
Whether or not the Red Wings improved enough to make the Stanley Cup playoffs at the end of the 2022-23 season will be known in time. If both Seider and Lucas Raymond take the next steps in year two of their careers along with the new veteran presence on the team this could happen. If the team does in fact make the playoffs it will certainly be newsworthy.
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