Sports
6:24 am
Fri October 2, 2009

Reshaped Red Wings hope they're still contenders

DETROIT – Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says he knew his team was one of the NHL's best a year ago.

Now, Holland hopes that's still the case.

Detroit fell one victory short of repeating as NHL champions in June, losing to Pittsburgh in a Stanley Cup finals rematch. Since then, the salary cap prevented the Red Wings from keeping star Marian Hossa, other key players and their backup goaltender.

The storied franchise still has some of the best players in hockey, including forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk along with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. It is relying on more young players this season than it has during a two-decade stretch of excellence.

The Red Wings open the season Friday in Sweden against the St. Louis Blues.