Detroit Red Wings: with the streak over, now what?

Well, it finally happened. Something that some Detroiters thought wasn’t possible has come to fruition. The Detroit Red Wings 25-season playoff streak has officially ended. Some people are sad or pissed or just have mixed emotions, while others see the irony of how the year went. It truly is the end of an era. Beloved owner Mr. I has passed away and it’s the last season played at Joe Louis Arena. It definitely has been a sad week in Detroit and for the many Red Wings fans across the world.

To be honest though, some people might be breathing a sigh of relief. It’s about time that the streak ended and that it send a message to the front office that this team isn’t good enough to compete the way it stands. Over the last few years it’s been hard watching the Red Wings stumble into the playoffs during the last week of the season, just to get bounced in the first round, pretty handily too. This just seem very convenient that it happened this year with the Red Wings moving to Little Caesars Arena next year as a new era can begin in a new barn and with that new barn should come some free agents and some motivation for the current roster to try to start-up a new streak.

The Red Wings have a very unfamiliar offseason ahead of them. For the first time in what seems like forever the Wings will likely have a top ten pick in this years draft and will also have to think about who they will protect for the upcoming expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights franchise. General manager Ken Holland will have some thinking to do and the ability to be a little more creative than normal if he doesn’t want to go into a long and painful rebuild. Holland will have to make decisions on guys like Jimmy Howard, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar.

Could 2016 be Jimmy Howard’s last season in Detroit? Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Howard could be used as trade bait early on in the offseason, as it seems unlikely the Red Wings will protect two goaltenders in the expansion draft. The only problem is that not many teams are in need of a starting goaltender and it’s doubtful a team would want an expensive backup. Holland might have to work some magic if he wants to offload Howard and his contract.

Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar could be coupled together here. They are both in the same spot, as they seem to have fought consistency trouble this year. They both have surged recently, though and seem to be back on track. They both have pretty modest contracts. Tatar is a restricted free agent after the year and Nyquist has a full no-trade clause that kicks in next year. If there were a time to deal either of them, it would be this summer for sure. It would seem unlikely that both would be dealt but one of them could be moved for the right return.

The 2016-17 season has been a roller coaster one for Red Wings fans and the offseason is shaping up to be the same way.

Yardbarker: NHL

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