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Season 5 wrapup Written by hgimn - May 17th, 2009

The season started with high hopes after making the playoffs last season.Joel Bouchard and Stephane Robidas were brought in to help shore up the Defence and with the heralded arrival of Mike Green the defence was supposed to be the best that Detroit had even seen.Mats Sundin was supposed to gel with fellow countryman Johan Franzen,and in net Ilya Bryzgalov was supposed to continue his strong play.Sadly none of those things came to fruition,and the fans of the Wings were forced to endure yet another lackluster season,which is now widely excepted as the norm.


The Red Wings,fresh off of a 4-1 downing to the first  seeded Anaheim Ducks in the opening round of the playoffs last year were expected to make some noise come Summetime.They were believed to be interested in moving players for draft picks,and signing some big name free agents.In the draft the Wings first pick was at 42 after trading down from the mid teens to acquire future picks.The selected defensemen Yann Sauve(who was flipped later that day to the San Jose Sharks for Logan Pyett and a draft pick).Their next pick was at 50 where they selected Kristofer Berglund who is another defensemen.However in the 3rd round they took Mikhail Stefanovich at 62.Stefanovich could be a huge steal in the draft as he scored 49 goals in 56 games and had a whopping 76 points playing in only his second full season of North American hockey.He was ranked 43rd overall by the International Scouting Service and fell to 62nd overall due to concerns about his work ethic.If he pans out for the Wings this will be a huge steal for them.Other noteable draft picks included A.J Jenks(C),and a pair of whl teammates in Teigan Zahn(D) and Braden Holtby(G).Holtby had a monster season in the Whl as he piled up 40 wins and a 91% save percentage with a 2.62 gaa.Holtby is the highest ranking future goalie in the system,so look for him to turn pro within 2 or 3 seasons as a goalie on the Griffins.Zahn had a modest season at best with 16 points,and 5 goals,look for him to be a depth defensemen in the years to come.

Right after the draft came the free agency period in which Detroit re-signed the majority of it's free agent players and made bids for a few more.The Wings signed Stephane Robidas and Joel Bouchard to 3 and 2 year deals respectively(although Bouchard has let it be known that he has decided to retire).They also made a pitch for then Atlanta Thrasher Jiri Hudler to no avail.However they brought the smaller forward in with a deadline deal with the Sharks that included the Thrashers 2nd round pick this season,defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo in exchange for Sergei Gonchar and Cody Mcleod.After the initial pitches,Detroit was all quiet until the season started.

The Wings started the season off in a massive slump going 2-11,and then picked it up going 10-3 before falling back down the ladder to finish off the season 30-46-4-2,good for 66 points,the Wings worst ever output.The team faltered after starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov went down with a knee injury for 3 weeks,as Jimmy Howard,and Joey MacDonald split time between the pipes.Even after The Bryz came back,the team was never the same,and they battled hard just to be competitive for the rest of the season.As the season started to wind down the outlook for draft became positive as the team was sitting dead last in the league and had the best shot at getting the first overall draft choice,and a chance to select ether John Tavares,Victor Hedman,or Matt Duchene.Sadly,not even that could go right for the Wings in a season of struggles.They ended up finishing 27th in the league and will have to settle for the 4th overall pick.Which puts the Wings in a different situation,as they have never drafted higher than 23rd(2007 draft-Brendan Smith) and that being their only first round selection.Rumour has it that the team is looking to move to 2nd or 3rd overall to have a shot at a "now" player rather than 2 or 3 years down the road player.

Another significant move that was announced was that the Saskatoon Blades would no longer be the Red Wings ICHF team,their affiliate will move to Grand Rapids Michigan to be closer to the Wings in case of a recall,and will be called the Grand Rapids Griffins.The Wings also traded two of their three captains this year.Mats Sundin lasted just over a quarter of the way through the season before being shipped out to the Pittsburgh Penguins,and Sergei Gonchar was dealt to the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline.Marek Zidlicky,Dan Cleary,Matthew Lombardi,and Jason Williams all took turns wearing the three "A's" at the end of the season while management decided on who the next captain would be.


The top performers of the season for the Wings were as follows:(must have played at least 41 games)


Goals:30-Matthew Lombardi

Assists:41-Mikael Samuelsson and Jason Williams

Points:66-Matthew Lombardi

Plus/Minus:-5Kris Beech

Penalty Minutes:61-Matthew Lombardi


Goals:16-Marek Zidlicky

Assists:26-Marek Zidlicky

Points:42-Marek Zidlicky

Plus/Minus:6-Stephane Robidas

Penalty Minutes:126-Steaphane Robidas


Goals:10-Mike Green and Tomas Kopecky

Assists:24-Mike Green

Points-34-Mike Green

Plus/Minus:-5-Ville Leino

Penalty Minutes:39-Ville Leino


Games played:64-Ilya Bryzgalov

Minutes Played:3112-Ilya Bryzgalov

Wins:24-Ilya Bryzgalov

Loses:28-Ilya Bryzgalov

Gaa-3.03-Ilya Bryzgalov

Save Percent:896-Ilya Bryzgalov

Shutouts:4-Ilya Bryzgalov

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