The Detroit Red Wings
' move to the Eastern Conference was expected to be met with domination by a franchise that has been a stalwart among the elite in the Western Conference for years.
Detroit pushed the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks to the limit in 2013, and the reloaded Red Wings, complete with the additions of Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss and a few younger players who played so well in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, were expected to challenge for the top spot in the conference.
It didn't go that way, in part because of an avalanche of injuries to key players. The Red Wings kept their incredible postseason streak (23 seasons) alive, but lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins.
General manager Ken Holland has been trying to upgrade the defense corps through free agency for three years but hasn't been able to. The forward group looks deep and talented, as several prospects have proven they can play at this level in the past two seasons.
Whether Detroit can be more than a fringe playoff team could depend on better health and possibly an addition on defense at some point during the season.
Here is the projected 2014-15 lineup for the Red Wings: