But having said that, I think they'll perhaps miss the playoffs once or twice in the next few years. But that doesn't justify a rebuild. They have a pretty decent if not dazzling prospect pool, and a few more years of picking 10-20 and in the mid to high 2nd round could propel them right back in contention.
I think retaining their veterans and developing an experienced, winning culture in their prospects, as well as the ability to ease them into the NHL, is more important than trading an ageing Datsyuk or Franzen for a shiny but unpredictable return.
Still a very good team with some really good prospects, meaning no need for a rebuild.
They may have some good prospects but do they have any prospects who are likely to become top pairing defensemen or top line forwards? Not exactly. I doubt they win a championship in the years Zetterberg and Datsyuk have left, but trading them now could get a couple of those potetial top line forward or number one defensemen prospect.
Detroit's got the depth prospects now, and if they retool quickly and trade their older but still very valuable players they can probably have a contender team again in 5 years.