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Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is hoping to end the team's seven-year playoff drought with major trades and free agency signings. The team has made improvements and hopes to compete for a playoff spot. Other teams with a chance to make the playoffs after missing out last season include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, and Buffalo Sabres.
The Detroit Red Wings have been stuck in a playoff drought for so long that they have tied a team record. Fans have become apathetic as the team has been in a rebuilding mode. However, the team's general manager, Steve Yzerman, is determined to spark a change. After seeing some progress in the past couple of years, Yzerman felt that it was time to make major trades and spend significant money in free agency.
The Red Wings hope to snap their seven-year playoff drought, which is equal to a terrible run they had in the 1970s. This is a trend in the NHL, as at least five teams have made the playoffs each year after missing out the previous year since the current playoff format started a decade ago. The Vegas Golden Knights are a recent example of this, as they won the Stanley Cup in their sixth season after not making it to the postseason the year before.
While the Red Wings may not be considered title contenders, they have made improvements in their forward, defense, and goaltending positions. Yzerman made moves in the offseason, signing forward J.T. Compher to a $25.5 million, five-year contract in free agency and trading for forward Alex DeBrincat from Ottawa. These additions, along with captain Dylan Larkin and young players Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, give the Red Wings their best chance to end their playoff drought.
Yzerman's goal is to build a team that can make the playoffs on an annual basis. He wants to establish a strong foundation that can sustain success. The Red Wings have made improvements without sacrificing their future, and Yzerman will continue to work towards making the team better.
Other teams that have a chance to earn a postseason berth after falling short last season include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, and Buffalo Sabres. The Penguins, despite finishing one point behind a wild card spot, are expected to bounce back and make the playoffs. The Predators have a talented goaltender in Juuse Saros and have made some key signings to improve their roster. The Senators have made win-now moves in the offseason and have given themselves an opportunity to end their drought. The Sabres, who have failed to make the playoffs for 12 straight seasons, have made improvements to their blue line and have a star player in Tage Thompson.
Overall, there are several teams in the NHL that have a chance to make the playoffs after falling short last season. It will be an exciting season as these teams look to end their droughts and compete for a spot in the postseason.