The Red Wings met with the Detroit Economic Club Tuesday to review their season, a time of change for one of the best franchises in professional sports in recent decades, and one hoping to reconstruct a perennial contender for the Stanley Cup.

"You know, everybody in here is involved in business," coach Mike Babcock said. "And businesses change. All of you have to get better and have to find a new way. And that's the process we're in.

"We just don't want to fall off the face of the earth like some of the other franchises have done. We're not interested in that. We want to make the playoffs. We want to remain competitive, and we want to change and grow at the same time."

Ken Holland, the executive vice-president and general manager of the club, talked about how the Wings have been forced to play some young players earlier and more regularly than anticipated in a season that was predestined to be largely about the future.

"You don't really know how someone's going to play until they get into the National Hockey League day after day after day. As time goes on, they sort of come off of it, a bit," Holland said, describing many young players who hit a plateau in their development or their level of energy. "But our younger players, for the most part, haven't come off it. We think they're getting better every day.

"Everybody is in their 20s, and with young players there are ups and downs. But like a lot of things, you stick with it, you believe in the program. I think we've done lots of good things."

Captain Henrik Zetterberg said the lockout-shortened season's condensed schedule has make remedial efforts difficult.

"I think it's been challenging for all of us," Zetterberg said. "It's a different look, and a different kind of season. It's been a lot of games and long days. It's been a lot of travel for us and really tough to find days to work on stuff that we need to work on."

As he has in recent weeks, Babcock talked about the particular tests of this season as both interesting and enjoyable. He is increasingly mentioned among the candidates for the Jack Adams Award for the coach who contributes most to the success of his team.

"This season to me, to tell you the truth, has been reenergizing, reinvigorating," Babcock said. "I think the coaching staff has really enjoyed the guys. We've got tons of kids, and they bring a lot of energy, and we've been through a number of players trying to see who the best ones are to help us be successful.

"I really like the direction we are going in."