Many put Detroit at the bottom of the standings when predicting this upcoming season. And for teams trending downwards, "rebuilding" is a term used quite often. In DET case, rebuilding is definitely is something we've seen happening with the team over the past couple seasons. The issue however is all of the Wings long term contracts that their veteran players own. It's really hindering this rebuild.
Frans Neilsen, 33 years old, $5.25mil cap hit for another 5 years
Justin Abdelkader, 30 years old, $4.25mil cap hit for another 6 years
Darren Helm, 30 years old, $3.85mil cap hit for another 3 years
Jonathan Ericsson, 33 years old, $4.25 cap hit for another 3 years
Tevor Daley, 33 years old, $3.16mil for another 3 years
Not counting the contracts still left to vets like Zetterberg (36yo, $6mil X4), Franzen (37yo, $4mil X 3) <- he's on IR but still costing the team $$$, and Kronwall (36yo, $4.75 X 2).
While most of these vets a still good NHLers, their contracts aren't exactly movable ones.
Detroit does have a solid prospect pool building up (Larkin, Mantha, Frk, Rasmussen, Cholowski to name a few) but when it gets to the point that they can't even sign their guys to bridge deals (see A.Athanasiou), somethings gotta give...
Usually moving bad contracts requires giving up picks or young assets, but for a rebuilding team this isn't really an option.
Anyone have any thought s on how to fix Detroit's messy situation?