The Detroit Red Wings will head into 2014-15 with virtually the same roster that finished 2013-14, barring a significant trade.

This isn't how they planned it. They desperately wanted to upgrade their back end by adding a right-handed shooting defenseman and pursued several free agents on Tuesday. For a variety of seasons, none of which were financial, Matt Niskanen (Washington), Dan Boyle (N.Y. Rangers), Stephane Robidas (Toronto) and Christian Ehrhoff (Pittsburgh) – the only lefty of the group – signed elsewhere.

It prompted the Red Wings to re-sign Kyle Quincey (two years at $8.5 million), leaving them in the same spot as last season – with the same seven left-handed shooting defensemen.

They will return 13 forwards (not including Daniel Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary, whose statuses remain undecided), losing only David Legwand, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson from the season-ending roster. And they'll bring back the same goaltenders -- Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson.

It's a group that had to scrap for every precious point. They squeaked into the playoffs as the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference before being dispatched in five games by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.

But while they have not improved thus far in the off-season, there is much room for improvement from within.

The Red Wings had 421 man-games lost to injury – second in the NHL according to mangameslost.com. They missed their best players for significant chunks of the season – Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg played 45 games each, Johan Franzen appeared in 54 games. Defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith missed 62 games combined.

It was a wasted season for second-line center Stephen Weiss (four points in 26 games), who can only be healthier and better.