Jan 17, 2013, 11:11 AM EDT
The last time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup.
That was in 1990, the same year Owen Nolan was taken with the first overall draft pick and Jaromir Jagr was picked fifth.
But according to Wings general manager Ken Holland, his team’s streak of 21 straight postseason appearances could come to an end in 2013.
“There’s the possibility that we might not make the playoffs this year,” Holland said Wednesday at the Detroit Sportscasters Association luncheon, per the Detroit Free Press. “But nobody can run and hide from you any longer in this league. You can’t stockpile players. You’re constantly tweaking. You’re constantly changing. And that’s why all 16 teams that make the playoffs now can win the Stanley Cup.”
Of course, the biggest difference in Detroit this season will be the absence of Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest defensemen of all time.
Holland tried to address that massive hole this summer, but ultimately failed to convince Ryan Suter to sign.
In fact, the highest pick the Wings have had in the last 20 years is No. 19 (Jakub Kindl) in 2005.
“If we get the improvements we want, we can be the best team in the Western Conference,” Holland said, “but if we don’t get them, it might be a struggle even making the playoffs. But you’ve got to understand that we’re doing this on the fly. We want to compete for the Cup this year, but we also want to compete for it in 2016.”
- Andre’s gigantic game: Caps push Rangers to the brink 63
- Quick strike: Lightning steal Game 3 from Habs with last-second goal 22
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 0
- Canada fights back to beat Sweden at worlds 20
- NHL hockey ops explains no-goal call 48
- Jack Adams Award finalists to be announced tonight 4
- Video: Flames stun Ducks in OT to get back in the series 10
- Video: Controversial no-goal call on Flames 15
- Video: Crawford, Kane help Blackhawks push Wild to brink of elimination 53
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 1
- Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits (103)
- ‘You can’t win,’ ex-NHL ref Fraser says of Prust incident (83)
- New York second: Capitals stun Rangers for 1-0 series lead (76)
- Red Wings’ Devellano calls Mantha ‘very, very, very disappointing’ (67)
- Andre’s gigantic game: Caps push Rangers to the brink (64)