The draft is the thing
So what can the Detroit Lions, who are coming off a 0-16 season, learn from the Red Wings who are in the process of creating a dynasty?
While the NHL and NFL dont have much in common, they both depend on drafts to stock their rosters.
The Red Wings, who havent had a top-10 draft pick in as long as anyone can remember, draft masterfully. The key examples are Henrik Zetterberg, who was drafted 210th overall in 1999, and Pavel Datsyuk, the 171st pick in 1998. But also theres speedster Darren Helm, the 132nd pick in 2005 and others.
NHL players are drafted at age 18 which makes it more of a crapshoot because they arent close to being mature either physically or mentally.
The Lions clearly havent drafted well and theyve had top picks. (Its way too early to judge Aprils draft.)
If you look at the Wings and Lions -- just from a draft standpoint -- its easy to understand why one is a success and the other is a failure. Of course, there are other factors, but drafts are key and not just in the early rounds.