🤔 Thinking about what Red Wings lineup could look like

Here we are wading into the deep end of summer where hockey season is but a distant memory for many. 

Not for me, obviously. No, for me it's more like a very extended, unwanted fasting. Sometimes I just start thinking about a random highlight from the past season while I sit in sweltering summer heat, longing for a cool October night filled with sticks and pucks on hard ice. The sound of skates scraping the newly-resurfaced sheet. Ah yes ... take me to that happy place. 🏒

OK, I'm being very dramatic, I know. In fact, I am enjoying this summer weather as much as the next person. I even played street hockey the other day! It was like 90 degrees -- what a workout! I felt like a child, then I felt pretty old again the next day. Worth it. 😎

Anyway, this time of the summer always leads to wild speculation about the upcoming hockey season. Free agency is old news for now, and players are settled into their offseason routines. We have a couple months to prepare for training camps, etc. Now is the perfect time to try to guess what a team's roster and lineup might look like come late September. And that team, of course, is the Detroit Red Wings. And I have done just that in this piece titled "Red Wings 2019-20 season lineup: Here's what it could look like." 👀

Take a look. Let me know what you think -- dbartkowiak@wdiv.com. I tried to stay as realistic as possible with this. Sure, I would love to see Joe Veleno playing second line center this season, but that probably isn't at all likely. And yeah, I would not be heartbroken to see Jonathan Ericsson out of the lineup more often this season ... but he's got that contract, you know?

So I put this together knowing that we have another year before the real bad Holland contracts start to come off the books. 

Offseason power rankings: Red Wings ranked 18 

Here's what SportsNet had to say about Yzerman's offseason moves:

"Steve Yzerman has taken a more patient approach to his first summer with his new/old franchise than we imagined. His big free agency purchases were 35-year-old Valterri Filppula and 27-year-old Patrik Nemeth (two years, $6 million each). Eleven Red Wings are set to come off the books in 2020. That should be the Summer of Stevie, when the full-scale renovations begin."

The "Summer of Stevie." I thought that was every summer from now on?

Greg Johnson dies

This is really bummer news I have to share. Greg Johnson, who played for the Detroit Red Wings in the early-to-mid 1990s, has died. He was only 48. He was still living in Metro Detroit. I really wish his family the best. This is terrible news for the hockey community. 

If you watched the Wings during the early 90s, then you remember Johnson playing a decent role on those teams that couldn't quite perform beyond the regular season. He was traded just months before the Stanley Cup arrived in Detroit, but I always feel like he was part of that winning team anyway. 

Around the league

Marner Watch 2019

Remember Nylander Watch 2018? Well, Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas decided to one-up himself with Marner Watch 2019 -- how much does the WINGER need to get paid to stay in Toronto? I mean, Dubas is going to get this kid to sign, too, right? I wonder if Marc Bergevin has offer-sheeted him yet. 🤔

Luongo retires

Roberto Luongo has been one of my favorite players in the league the past 19 seasons. He is finally hanging up the skates at 40 after a real tough season marred by injury. His body just won't do it anymore. He will be missed. The Ringer put this nice piece together to honor his career. 🙏

I always thought that Vancouver team with Kessler and the Sedins was one of the most disappointing we have ever seen. They should have won the Cup in 2011. If only they had better defense. Luongo held them together by pretty much standing on his head for five seasons. 

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.