When you’re the defending Stanley Cup Champions, most people wouldn’t expect you to do much in the offseason. The Red Wings did just the upset, landing perhaps the biggest fish in the 2008 free agency pool, and adding a serious offensive threat to one of the best offenses in the league. Signing Marian Hossa to a one year deal gives the Red Wings one of the deepest, most talented collections of forwards in the NHL today.
With Hossa likely projected to play on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings will have arguably the top line in the league. Adding that combination to a team which has already proven itself capable of beating anyone else in the league makes it very difficult to see Detroit finishing next season anywhere short of the top of the Western Conference again.
Detroit also acquired Ty Conklin at the start of free agency, giving them a capable backup for Chris Osgood, who played admirably in the playoffs. Conklin is coming off a year in which he filled in for an injured Marc-Andre Fleury in the regular season, and helped the Penguins finish near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Detroit also locked up deadline-acquisition Brad Stuart to a four year deal after his solid performance in the 2008 postseason.
In the end, as is usually the case, the rich got richer. While Detroit lost Dominik Hasek and Dallas Drake to retirement, the team that won the Cup this past season has only gotten better in preparation for next season.