Detroit Red Wings: 2011-12 Projected Depth Chart

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Detroit Red Wings: 2011-12 Projected Depth Chart
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

October is right around the corner, and we're getting ready to drop the puck on another NHL season...well, a writer can dream, I suppose.

While we may be a ways off from the regular season, it's never too early to look at the depth charts and wonder up some lines that could materialize.  We're all coaches to a degree.  And I'm no different.

So how are the Detroit Red Wings looking for the upcoming season?

The offense remains intact, and there will be few changes to the names and numbers we watch on a nightly basis.  But this could be the year players like Tomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi sink down the depth charts a bit, and some of the younger blood starts to make more of an impact.

Nicklas Lidstrom returns for his 148th season, and should maintain his Norris Trophy form.  Is the "other" Nik in Niklas Kronwall ready to assume a top-pairing position?  Ian White and Mike Commodore will try and make an impact right out of the gate, and will need to for the Wings to be a top-end team in the West.

The goaltending situation is still locked up, and it would take a long fall for either Ty Conklin or Joey MacDonald to usurp Jim Howard for the starting role.

An interesting situation to keep an eye on will be how the players respond to an entirely new coaching staff outside of head coach Mike Babcock.  Relative youngsters Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters will try and quickly get up to speed at the NHL level, while Babcock works to keep the ears of the players for another year.

So, with a little over two months to go before the regular season kicks off against the Senators (odd), let's take a look at the players who may be rising and falling on the depth charts, one position at a time.

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