It will also present an added difficulty in extending the club's playoff streak. The Wings division is one of two eight team divisions as opposed to two seven team divisions in the west. According to NHL.com
"The Stanley Cup Playoffs will still consist of 16 teams, eight in each conference, but it will be division-based and a wild-card system has been added.
The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season points and regardless of division. It will be possible, then, for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three." This means the Eastern Conference teams will fight to be one of eight teams out of sixteen, while the Western Conference has better odds with eight of fourteen teams making the playoffs. The Red Wings will have a statistically harder time making the playoffs under this format. The league dismissed the issue as minor and focused on increased home and home series and the vast majority of games being played in the teams own time zone.
Members of the Media also postulated that the greatly reduced travel and less physical level of play on average in the Eastern Conference will make Detroit and the Columbus Blue Jackets (the other team to switch conferences from the west to allow the Winnipeg Jets move west two calendar years from when the Atlanta Thrashers were officially relocated and renamed the Jets (not to be confused with the Winnipeg Jets (1972–96) who are still the Phoenix Coyotes)
The Red Wings will compete directly against three of the Original Six teams in their division, as well as against the team of the GM of the Lightning and former Red Wing hall of fame player, Steve Yzerman. They will lose longtime rivals in the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. They also will no longer serve as the rivals for the Nashville Predators or Columbus Blue Jackets, though they would still have a decent shot at meeting Columbus in the Conference play in the playoffs as well as play every team in the league at least twice per year in the regular season.
It is likely that there will be an NHL league expansion in the near future, but Detroit will likely remain in the Eastern Conference permanently after a hard fought campaign over the years to be moved East.
On June 18, 2013 the Red Wings re-signed fan favorite and all-star Pavel Datsyuk to a three-year extension that will keep him in Detroit through the 2016-17 season and pay him $23 million.
In a surprise move that shocked Ottawa fans, captain and multiple franchise record holder Daniel Alfredsson signed as a free agent a one-year $5.5 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 5, the first day of free agency. This came as a surprise to Detroit fans, as the 18 year vet seemed destined to retire having only played for the Senators. "It pretty much came down to a selfish decision in terms of I have not won a Stanley Cup, a big priority for me," Alfredsson explained in a candid conference call with the media.
Alfredsson continued explaining how hard of a decision it was and gave his reasoning. "I feel that in Ottawa they are getting closer and closer and they have a really bright future in front of them, but at this point in my career there's not much left," Alfredsson said. "I don't have the time to wait for that." He also stated that, "I didn't really see myself making a change if you would have asked me a week ago, but as we got closer to free agency, thoughts started creeping in I've played 18 years and haven't won a Stanley Cup." Ottawa, coincidentally, host the Detroit Red Wings several times in the 2013-14 season due to a change to a four division realignment format that brings Detroit into the Eastern Conference, and the same division as Ottawa.
Signing Daniel Alfredsson seemed to close the door on young bright spot from the prior season, Damien Brunner. Detroit added on the same day centre Stephen Weiss, a former 4th overall pick in 2001 of the Florida Panthers. His numbers were comparable to Valtteri Filppula, who the club seemed unwilling to pay the $5 million salary he wanted, and instead gave Weiss a five year deal paying him $4.9 million a year.
The Detroit Red Wings also lost three key members of the front-office staff when Jim Nill, former director of amateur scouting for the Red Wings, took the general management job of the Dallas Stars. Joe McDonnell, who replaced Nill for a few weeks as director of amateur scouting, and amateur scout Mark Leach followed their former colleague Jim Nill to the Dallas Stars.
The Red Wings set a franchise record this season, surpassing their most man-games lost due to injury or illness in one season since the stat started being kept in 1985–86. The previous high was 346, which Detroit eclipsed on March 23 versus Minnesota. Detroit ended the season with 421 man games lost, second to only Pittsburgh, including six key players who missed at least 25 games. Fifteen players missed 10 or more games, resulting in Detroit dressing 38 different players during the regular season. That marks the most since the team used 45 in the 1990–91 season. Nine players made their NHL debuts with the Red Wings this season, their highest total since 14 debuted in 1990–91.
The Red Wings reached several milestones as a franchise this season, including their 3,000th home game (1/31 vs. Washington), 3,000th road game (2/26 at Montreal) and 6,000th game (2/8 at Tampa Bay). After the 2013–14 regular season, the Red Wings stand at 2,774–2,328–815–107, ranking third in NHL history in wins.
The Detroit Red Wings' first-round pick went to the San Jose Sharks as the result of a trade on June 30, 2013 that sent a first-round pick in 2013 (20th overall) and Pittsburgh's second-round pick in 2013 (58th overall) to Detroit in exchange for this pick.
The Pittsburgh Penguins second-round pick went to the Detroit Red Wings (via San Jose), San Jose traded this pick to Detroit as a result of a trade on June 30, 2013 that sent a first round pick in 2013 (18th overall) to San Jose in return for a first round pick in 2013 (20th overall) and this pick.