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The Detroit Red Wings have the brightest future in the NHL.
The Red Wings simply have not faltered since making the playoffs 22 seasons ago. Year in and year out, the Red Wings find ways to re-tool and re-stock the cupboards when their talent departs. The Wings' big signing this season was Jimmy Howard to a 6-year, $31.8 million deal (via NHL.com).
But the Red Wings have watched their team come together with a new identity right before their very eyes. It started when the Red Wings won their final four games of the season, making the playoffs for the 22nd straight season.
Players like Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith took a big step forward down the stretch and in the first round against Anaheim. Neither of these players was especially spectacular against the Ducks, but all three have shown flashes of brilliance in the playoffs thus far.
The Red Wings have also found a solid third line in Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner. The line has been one of Detroit's better forechecking lines and has accounted for a lot of the Red Wings' offense.
If the Red Wings can manage to keep all three players, they should have a wealth of talent coming back next year. The Wings also have Darren Helm back next year, who has missed all but one game this season with a back injury.
Detroit also has its AHL team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, in the AHL conference finals. That is the furthest that the Griffins have gone since 2005-06.
All statistics courtesy of NHL.com unless otherwise noted.
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