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Matt Shepard

Shep's Take: Now What?

 

Sports is a copycat business. So many NFL fans want their teams built like the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks. In the past, many copied the West Coast offense, the spread, the read-option and the Wildcat (briefly).

General managers see the success teams have with big-bodied WRs, and they go out and draft players with similar traits. And then they draft guys to counteract that player. It goes on and on, depending on what team wins it all. 

The Red Wings used to be that blueprint in the NHL. They were the club every team wanted to emulate: puck possession, fast-moving and highly-skilled defensemen.

Photo/Getty Images

The Bruins elimination of the Red Wings leaves us with a ton of questions that are not easily answered. And because of the current structure in the NHL, there might not be much the Wings can do about it anyway.

Here's what we're certain of: Todd Bertuzzi, Dan Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Kyle Quincey and David Legwand won't be back. I think they'd like to re-sign Daniel Alfredsson. If he comes back at the age of 42, he told me Saturday, this is where he'd like to play. 

They want to give contracts to Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar, who are all restricted free agents. That would mean 15 (including Jordin Tootoo) forwards and six defensemen. We know the salary cap will go up, but there aren't many free agent forwards worth signing.

We also know that Mike Babcock wants at least one right handed shot on defense. That right-handed trigger might come from Ryan Sproul or Alexey Marchenko from Grand Rapids, or maybe a guy like Dan Boyle (37-years-old), Derek Morris (35) or Matt Niskanen (27) via free agency. 

This means tough choices for Ken Holland, but it also means he might have to get creative, trading what is viewed as a valuable commodity for a proven need. The Bruins did it this past off-season, trading Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley for Loui Eriksson (among others). It has worked out because the B's won the President's Trophy and should represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. 

Rather than the Red Wings setting the standard, maybe the Bruins are the blue print, not as much for their style, but for their willingness to make moves and shake up a roster.

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