The Detroit Red Wings’ signing of five free agents on Wednesday and another today should improve the lineup. But it also makes it more challenging for rookies Elmer Soderblom, Jonatan Berggren or Albert Johansson to make the team coming out of training camp this season.
Even Joe Veleno will be fighting for a job.
New coach Derek Lalonde is looking at roster that already has 14 forwards. That does include injured Robbie Fabbri and restricted free agent Filip Zadina. However, it doesn’t include the rookies or Joe Veleno who is waiver exempt. After the Red Wings signed 30-year-old veteran Mark Pysyk today, Lalonde has nine defensemen. That includes Steven Kampfer, who might move up and down from Grand Rapids this season, plus restricted free agent Jake Walman.
It doesn’t include rookie Simon Edvinsson who should make the team. The Red Wings are as excited about him as they were about Moritz Seider.
But GM Steve Yzerman also may not be done making changes. Yzerman has explored trade options during this offseason. He has $10,296,000 million in cap space remaining. We could see more players coming and going.
With a new coach in place, the Red Wings could be looking at different line combinations than we saw last season. But here’s one projection of what the Red Wings’ lineup could look like:
First Line: Lucas Raymond, Dylan Larkin and David Perron
Second line: Jakub Vrana, Andrew Copp and Tyler Bertuzzi
Third line: Pius Suter, Michael Rasmussen and Dominik Kubalik
Fourth line: Filip Zadina, Oskar Sundqvist and Adam Erne
Injured: Robby Fabbri. It’s unknown whether he will be ready for training camp. If he is ready, he could end up playing with Suter and Rasmussen.
14th forward: Givani Smith
First pairing: Ben Chiarot and Moritz Seider
Second pairing: Simon Edvinsson and Filip Hronek
Third pairing: Olli Maatta and Mark Pysyk
Fourth pairing: Jordan Oesterle and Gus Lindstrom
Extras: Jake Walman and Steven Kampfer
Ville Husso and Alex Nedeljkovic
When you lay out the roster right now, you can easily see that it will be difficult for Veleno, Berggren, Soderstrom and Johansson to earn a spot. The Red Wings will carry eight defensemen, 13 forwards and two goalies for their 23-person roster.
With the recent acquisitions and the belief that Edvinsson is going to be on the team., the Red Wings are three players over that, although Fabbri may not be ready for the start of the season.
Of course, training camp injuries could easily change that outlook.