At this time of the year, we here in Detroit are usually prepping for another Stanley Cup playoff game or NBA Playoff match up. After all, since 1983 the Red Wings or Pistons have given us post season talk...until this year.
We knew most of the NHL regular season the Red Wings were unworthy, but the Pistons surprised most of us with their shortcomings this year.
In watching the first round of both league playoffs and witnessing some early upsets like Utah and Chicago and Milwaukee in the NBA; St. Louis, Anaheim, and Nashville in the NHL, it's made me recognize even more just how far away the Detroit teams are from contending.
The Wings are so void of a front-net presence, a top-notch scorer and, more importantly, two top defensemen.
The Pistons lack consistent shooting and low post defenders.
Due to the financial and contractual commitments to many key "core" players on both teams, there is no quick fix for either team and that's as disappointing and concerning as anything else.
Both general managers, Ken Holland and Jeff Bower, will have to get creative in trading for talent, and I don't mean complimentary players, but players who other teams envy.
The Pistons might have to risk trading (player and first round pick) for a guy like Paul George and hope to convince him to stay.
Who knows, maybe success and the new building and a long-term superstar contract will be worth it (not to mention the Lakers-where he's rumored-are more of a mess than any team other than the Knicks).
George would immediately become your franchise player, draw fans to the new building, and make others around him better.
He might also entice others to come here and want to play alongside.
The Red Wings might have to get rid of a couple of young players with potential (Gustav Nyquist and Xavier Ouellet) for Cam Fowler, who like George will be a free agent after next season, or Jacob Trouba.
Fowler or Trouba would immediately upgrade the weakest part of this team.
They don't need a player to market like the Pistons, the Red Wings have guys like Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin, Andres Athanasiou and even holdovers like Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall.
It's already been a weird Spring, I just hope we don't get used to it.
Matt Shepard is the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball, Eastern Michigan University football and the Detroit Lions television network. He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college hockey and baseball.Learn more.