Nick Lidstrom is gone.
While Red Wings fans mourn, the pressure falls squarely on the shoulders of two men - Ken Holland and Henrik Zetterberg. Holland has to try to replace Lidstrom on the roster, while Zetterberg has to replace him as captain.
Neither one is going to have an easy time of it.
Holland's job comes up first. With Lidstrom heading for the Hall of Fame and Brad Stuart going west, he is going to have to fill 45 minutes a game of high-quality play on defense. He's going to have a lot of money to work with - the Red Wings are more than 20 million under the salary cap - but those aren't easy players to replace.
There's a persistant rumor that Detroit has two big free-agent targets on their radar - Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and New Jersey captain Zach Parise. Suter and Parise have known each other since they were teenagers and reportedly want to play together in the NHL. Detroit has the money, and Suter would certainly help on the blue line, but New Jersey's run in...