I don't know what it is with you and the Bluejackets. But you are aware that the players had to have a players only meeting in order to tell Tortarella to tone it down a notch after they've went through a bit of a slump? I give them a lot of credit but I also see their problems compared to the real contenders. Columbus lacks a number 1 center and defensive depth besides an upcoming stud in Werenski, their goaltending is great (Bobrowski has won a Vezina so of course) but their GM has made a lot of bad trades and their coach is ticking timebomb on the ice.
My bad I wanted to say blaming the CBA, parity and all other stuff doesn't work in the new NHL, the rules are what they are teams have to find a way around them and build the rtight way. Last year and before the Leafs were bad by design in order to get some stud picks (Marner altough I think he is overhyped, Matthews) at the same time they've created one heck of a front-office with Mark Hunter, Lou Lamoriello, Mike Babcock, Kyle Dubas (Marlies GM) and of course Shanahan. When was the last time the Wings brought in someone from the outside for a non biased look at things? Detroit didn't even bother to interview other guys when Babcock left.
Develop the kids? So since Goose, Tatar and company didn't turn out as good as some had hoped now it's time to hope that the next wave might turn out better than expected? That's exactly what I mean this is not a longterm plan, it's like hoping to win the lottery so I can finally buy myself a Bentley that's not how it works! Of course the Wings absolutely nail the pick in the upcoming draft because this guy needs to be the best prospect the Wings have. Pull of a trade for a 1 defenseman? How do you that? Those guys aren't available and if they are it's usually a stud for stud trade...something (again) the Wings don't have.
Hire a new coach? Honestly Julien, Hitchcock and Gallant were/are available and what has this front-office done? Nothing so far and nobody knows how much longer they are going to be available but it's telling.
You are seriously comparing some of the Leafs veterans to the Wings? JVR, Kadri, Bozak aren't that old yet and I'm willing to bet the Leafs would trade them for the right return. I could easily see one of those three ending up in LV. Vanek, Green, Smith, Nielsen (good luck getting him to waive his ntc) are all guys that need to be traded because they won't be useful once the Wings are competitive again. I would have included Z and Kronwall but everyone knows there is no way they are getting traded...both will end up on LTIR and finish their career with the Wings. I get it trust me, accepting the reality is hard and it sucks but I have yet to see at least ONE player where I say yes this guy will hang with the best of them and be able to put the Wings on their back i.e. an upcoming elite stud. Oh and Rielly is a great example the guy is still incredible young but has played since being drafted and now is considered a veteran because he didn't need years of overriping with the Marlies. I could see him becoming the next captain of Toronto and for sure being part of their core which sounds like it's Matthews, Marner, Nylander and Rielly really not a bad core to build around but the Leafs needed some down years to get to that point, every team does!
I'd rather see the Wings doing it right despite however long it will take and build a team that can be entertaining and competitive for the next decade. Quick turnarounds, patchwork signings and thinking it's still 2008 has brought the Wings to the point on where they are today. Which is funny because it was proven before that this type of building a team doesn't work especially by the Leafs.
This is nothing against Smith I really like him as a player but I also know that the guy is 28 years old, looking for his deserved payday and will be too old once the Wings are going to be contenders again. So given all that from a pure longterm standpoint keeping him doesn't make sense. If a team offers a second or a solid prospect he should be gone without thinking twice about it. Anyway, this trade deadline will be very telling on which direction the Wings will take and hopefully it continues through the summer.