Detroit Red Wings' Present and Future Look Bright Ahead of 2013-14 Season

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Detroit Red Wings' Present and Future Look Bright Ahead of 2013-14 Season
Harry How/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings are the model franchise in professional sports.

Instead of rebuilding after veteran players retire or age past their prime, the team reloads with shrewd free agent signings, smart trades and the ability to find cornerstone players in the middle-to-late rounds of the NHL Draft.

Detroit extended its all-time record of consecutive playoff appearances to 22 years during the shortened 2013-14 season, which was originally billed in January as a "bridge year" with the development of young players being more important than winning.

Despite the losses of veterans Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom and Brad Stuart, the Red Wings upset the second-seeded Anaheim Ducks in Round 1 and took the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to overtime in Game 7 of the second round.

As the franchise prepares for its first ever campaign in the Eastern Conference, let's breakdown why the Red Wings' present and future look promising.

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