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position-by position off-season preview:

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Forwards:

Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Cleary

Franzen-Filppula-*Hossa

Holmstrom-Helm-*Samuelsson

*Hudler-Draper-Maltby

*Kopecky, Abdelkader, *Leino, *Downey, *McCarty

Man oh man, this is going to be hard to sort through. So, let's start with the easy ones:

- McCarty - no place in the pro-organization...but he puts butts in the seats in g.r., so he might stick around.

- Downey - it'd be great to have him up for a few games here and there if we've got the money left to sign him after taking care of EVERYTHING else.

- Leino - RFA, needs at least one more season in g.r., still ahead of our next best prospect (ritola), and should be cheap enough to keep. Hopefully there's little to no competition.

- Kopecky - Helm's taken his spot in the everyday lineup, but I would rather see him out there than Maltby, and he should be cheap enough to keep.

Now, getting into the harder ones:

- Hossa, Samuelsson and Hudler - signing Hossa means no Hudler, and no Samuelsson. He sucked in the post-season, true, but can we forget that he led our team in goals during the regular season...or that he's a great defensive forward? Do you really think that we're better with Samuelsson and Hudler in the lineup than we are with Hossa and Abdelkader!? Hudler's a great offensive player, but he's so bad defensively that we had to put him on the 4th line with Draper and Maltby. Is he ever going to be able to hang in Mike Babcock's system? Samuelsson gets a snipe every so often, but he's a liability defensively and literally (6-2+) the biggest ****** on our team. Do you really want a third liner that can't hit, or play defense?

How about those legacies that are starting to hurt the team a bit? Not in terms of actually hurting the team ON the ice, but maybe in keeping other younger players OFF the ice, and with their CAP implications...

- Holmstrom - He's never been able to handle the puck, he's never been able to shoot, he's never been able to pass, he's never been able to skate, and he's never been able to play defense. He's been a PHENOMENAL player here because he's the greatest net-presence in the game. This used to make his lack of skills (mentioned above) tolerable. However, those skills have declined to the point where he's no longet a top two-liner. I no longer think that we can afford to have such defensive liabilities on the third line. Besides, Franzen has gotten so good in front of the net that Homer is no longer AS necessary.

- Maltby - If you think we're going to be better with Maltby out there instead of Abby of Kop next season...you're out of your mind.

***FINAL POINT*** - Maybe we shouldn't resign Hossa; but if we're not going to sign him, than it had BETTER NOT be at the expense of defensive liabilities like Hudler and Sammy. If you're asking me, I think we should resign Hossa...IF he's willing to take less than Hank...and let Hudler and Sammy walk. Our top two lines are the best in hockey. Its our third and fourth lines that are killing us. We don't need lazy, soft, defensive liabilities like Hudler and Sammy out there, we need hard-hitting, aggressive, energetic and defensively sound grinders like Pittsburgh and Anaheim have. Helm, Abby, Draper, maybe even Kop, maaaybe even Maltby...these are guys that fit the bill. Homer, Sammy, Hudler...these are not.

Defensemen:

Lidstrom-Rafalski

Kronwall-Stuart

Ericsson-Lilja

Lebda, *Chelios, Meech

I'm not sure how we're going to, but somehow, we need to improve back here. So, how about trading Rafalski? It's pretty obvious that his defensive skills (in particular, his speed)are in decline. He's starting to look like nothing more than an overpaid PP specialist. If we could trade him and another prospect (Lebda, Meech, etc.) for a bigger/stronger/faster/younger/CHEAPER number two defenseman that is a little more oriented towards his own blue-line, I think it would help us a great deal. Lidstrom's still got half a decade's worth of norris-level play in him, Kronner's getting closer and closer to that level every season, Stuart was playing as well as he ever had until game seven, Ericsson's looking like our next stud and Kindl's right around the corner...so to me, this is the only deal that makes sense. BTW - best of luck to assistant coach chelios, so long as it isn't in chicago or anaheim.

Net-Minders:

Osgood

*Conklin

Howard

Ozzie had a rough start to the season, but he seems to have made some changes in his preparation that solved those problems, and he was stone-cold throughout the post-season. There's no reason to consider a change here. The one question at this position is whether or not Jimmy Howard is ready to take on the back-up role, or if we'll have to re-sign Conks (or a similar vet). It's not that important of a question...as we seem to have already gone in another direction long-term (McCollum) and conks was servicable last season...but it'd be a little cheaper to have Larrson as our number three goalie next season.

Edited by blueadams

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I agree. The Wings NEED to improve their third and fourth lines. Nobody would have believed it if someone said the Pens would win while Crosby, and Malkin wouldnt be much of a factor and that Ozzie would outplay Fleury. The reason is because our "depth" is so overrated. Samuelsson and Hudler, if they arent scoring are liabilites. They arent very good defensivly and they refuse to touch anyone. Im so sick of them losing battles in the corners because they avoid contact. Also, Holmstrom and Maltby are overstaying their welcome. To me, our loyalty towards vetarans may have cost us a Stanley Cup. These guys were clearly in over their heads, most average fan noticed it. Abdelkader clearly should have been playing.

Let Hudler get signed somewhere else, recieve compensation. Let Samuelsson stink it up elsewhere. Trade Holmstrom. Waive Maltby. If no one claims him let him go play in GR.

Fill their spots with grittier role players so we can say we have depth for real next year. It was clear that players like Fedotenko, Guerin, Talbot and Staal won this series.

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Forwards:

Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Cleary

Franzen-Filppula-*Hossa

Holmstrom-Helm-*Samuelsson

*Hudler-Draper-Maltby

*Kopecky, Abdelkader, *Leino, *Downey, *McCarty

Man oh man, this is going to be hard to sort through. So, let's start with the easy ones:

- McCarty - no place in the pro-organization...but he puts butts in the seats in g.r., so he might stick around.

- Downey - it'd be great to have him up for a few games here and there if we've got the money left to sign him after taking care of EVERYTHING else.

- Leino - RFA, needs at least one more season in g.r., still ahead of our next best prospect (ritola), and should be cheap enough to keep. Hopefully there's little to no competition.

- Kopecky - Helm's taken his spot in the everyday lineup, but I would rather see him out there than Maltby, and he should be cheap enough to keep.

Now, getting into the harder ones:

- Hossa, Samuelsson and Hudler - signing Hossa means no Hudler, and no Samuelsson. He sucked in the post-season, true, but can we forget that he led our team in goals during the regular season...or that he's a great defensive forward? Do you really think that we're better with Samuelsson and Hudler in the lineup than we are with Hossa and Abdelkader!? Hudler's a great offensive player, but he's so bad defensively that we had to put him on the 4th line with Draper and Maltby. Is he ever going to be able to hang in Mike Babcock's system? Samuelsson gets a snipe every so often, but he's a liability defensively and literally (6-2+) the biggest ****** on our team. Do you really want a third liner that can't hit, or play defense?

How about those legacies that are starting to hurt the team a bit? Not in terms of actually hurting the team ON the ice, but maybe in keeping other younger players OFF the ice, and with their CAP implications...

- Holmstrom - He's never been able to handle the puck, he's never been able to shoot, he's never been able to pass, he's never been able to skate, and he's never been able to play defense. He's been a PHENOMENAL player here because he's the greatest net-presence in the game. This used to make his lack of skills (mentioned above) tolerable. However, those skills have declined to the point where he's no longet a top two-liner. I no longer think that we can afford to have such defensive liabilities on the third line. Besides, Franzen has gotten so good in front of the net that Homer is no longer AS necessary.

- Maltby - If you think we're going to be better with Maltby out there instead of Abby of Kop next season...you're out of your mind.

***FINAL POINT*** - Maybe we shouldn't resign Hossa; but if we're not going to sign him, than it had BETTER NOT be at the expense of defensive liabilities like Hudler and Sammy. If you're asking me, I think we should resign Hossa...IF he's willing to take less than Hank...and let Hudler and Sammy walk. Our top two lines are the best in hockey. Its our third and fourth lines that are killing us. We don't need lazy, soft, defensive liabilities like Hudler and Sammy out there, we need hard-hitting, aggressive, energetic and defensively sound grinders like Pittsburgh and Anaheim have. Helm, Abby, Draper, maybe even Kop, maaaybe even Maltby...these are guys that fit the bill. Homer, Sammy, Hudler...these are not.

Defensemen:

Lidstrom-Rafalski

Kronwall-Stuart

Ericsson-Lilja

Lebda, *Chelios, Meech

I'm not sure how we're going to, but somehow, we need to improve back here. So, how about trading Rafalski? It's pretty obvious that his defensive skills (in particular, his speed)are in decline. He's starting to look like nothing more than an overpaid PP specialist. If we could trade him and another prospect (Lebda, Meech, etc.) for a bigger/stronger/faster/younger/CHEAPER number two defenseman that is a little more oriented towards his own blue-line, I think it would help us a great deal. Lidstrom's still got half a decade's worth of norris-level play in him, Kronner's getting closer and closer to that level every season, Stuart was playing as well as he ever had until game seven, Ericsson's looking like our next stud and Kindl's right around the corner...so to me, this is the only deal that makes sense. BTW - best of luck to assistant coach chelios, so long as it isn't in chicago or anaheim.

Net-Minders:

Osgood

*Conklin

Howard

Ozzie had a rough start to the season, but he seems to have made some changes in his preparation that solved those problems, and he was stone-cold throughout the post-season. There's no reason to consider a change here. The one question at this position is whether or not Jimmy Howard is ready to take on the back-up role, or if we'll have to re-sign Conks (or a similar vet). It's not that important of a question...as we seem to have already gone in another direction long-term (McCollum) and conks was servicable last season...but it'd be a little cheaper to have Larrson as our number three goalie next season.

Starting at the top...

Forwards

- McCarty- no debate. Leave him in GR as a mentor to the young guys.

- Downey- maybe a cheap 2-way contract, to pull up for games where they need a little oomph.

- Leino- he's not ready for the NHL full-time. Either leave him in GR or let him play a season in Europe, as long as he's still ours.

- Kopecky- this is debatable. He's injury-prone, but was maturing nicely. Maltby was playing out of his mind in the playoffs, but not well in the regular season. Coinflip.

- Hossa- I personally debate the "great defensive forward" assertion. As for his scoring, most of that was on a line with a good setup guy, either Datsyuk or Filppula. At six million plus, I'm willing to let him walk to have room for other guys.

- Hudler- he's advanced by leaps and bounds over last year, and I can see him becoming an excellent finesse forward, particularly if his defensive skills improve apace with his offense.

- Samuelsson- powerplay specialist, and works well as a third-liner. If he comes cheaply, he can stay.

- Holmstrom- reserving judgement until after the final injury report comes out. If he was playing that badly and not injured, then he should retire. However, if he was playing hurt, I will reconsider.

- Maltby- a question mark. He played extremely well in the playoffs, but invisible in the regular season. I suppose it will have to wait until preseason practices to see if his new life is true, or just a last push.

Defense

- Chelios- it's time. He's slowed down enough that you can tell he knows where he needs to be, just doesn't have the speed to get there. He'll make a fine defensive assistant coach somewhere (maybe Detroit? A Norris trophy winner couldn't hurt).

- Rafalski- if you're going to trade him, it had better be for the next Lidstrom. Otherwise, it's a step down.

- Lebda- personally, here's my bone to pick. Lebda is one of the least effective defensemen the Wings have. I'd trade him, and see what's out there.

Goaltenders

- Osgood- nothing to say here. After he reworked his game, he's back in old form. If the offense had supported him, we would have the Cup.

- Howard- I don't think he's ready, or that he ever will be. His numbers in the AHL are great, but he wilts in the NHL.

- Conklin- if he's let go, start shopping for an equivalent replacement. Howard's not ready, and neither are Larsson and McCollum, for obvious age reasons.

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I agree. The Wings NEED to improve their third and fourth lines. Nobody would have believed it if someone said the Pens would win while Crosby, and Malkin wouldnt be much of a factor and that Ozzie would outplay Fleury. The reason is because our "depth" is so overrated. Samuelsson and Hudler, if they arent scoring are liabilites. They arent very good defensivly and they refuse to touch anyone. Im so sick of them losing battles in the corners because they avoid contact. Also, Holmstrom and Maltby are overstaying their welcome. To me, our loyalty towards vetarans may have cost us a Stanley Cup. These guys were clearly in over their heads, most average fan noticed it. Abdelkader clearly should have been playing.

Let Hudler get signed somewhere else, recieve compensation. Let Samuelsson stink it up elsewhere. Trade Holmstrom. Waive Maltby. If no one claims him let him go play in GR.

Fill their spots with grittier role players so we can say we have depth for real next year. It was clear that players like Fedotenko, Guerin, Talbot and Staal won this series.

I doubt that they would trade Holmstrom, or that any other team would take him. He needs to retire, as do Maltby and Draper. These guys have been great and have done a lot for this team, but they are taking roster spots away from our young GR prospects that are clearly ready to make the step up (i.e. Helm, Abdelkader, Leino). IMO, this is the most important thing that needs to happen this off-season, more important than the Hossa decision, more important than trying to make changes to our defensemen, more important than trying to lure a big-ticket UFA.

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http://tinyurl.com/noams7

Start from here.

Bye bye Chelios, Holmstrom, Maltby, Hudler, Samuelsson, Hossa.

If the rumor that Hossa will take a Franzen like contract is true, we would be able to keep him easily.

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Yes, and at what cost?

I like my roster- http://tinyurl.com/ltqxeo

To be completely honest, your roster doesn't make sense, as it includes 7 more-than-capable NHL-caliber defensemen, meanwhile an inexperienced forward like McGrath cracking our forward lineup. That just doesn't seem logical, or likely. If we're going to bring in a d-man, one of our current 6 or 7 will be on their way out.

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Forwards

- McCarty- Cinderella Story Over.. Let him either get an AHL contract with GR.. or Another team Pro Tryout

- Downey- Re-Sign on a 2-way only if you cant get one of the top enforcsr in the league *Orr, Brashear*

- Leino- Re-Sign, Hopefully be able to carry an extra forward.

- Kopecky- Re-Sign, He shows some heart sometimes.. and we cant afford to lose big bodies like Kops

- Hossa- Let him walk.. Circle with the puck, take a weak shot.. choke in the playoffs

- Hudler- not a top 6 forward.. choked in the playoffs hardcore. soft..

- Samuelsson- Under 2m? keep him.. over 2m? see how the rest of the roster pans out.

- Holmstrom- Should retire imo. Not looking good at all

- Maltby- 1 more year.

Defense

- Chelios- get the f*** out

- Rafalski- He's fine..

- Lebda- He really impressed in the playoffs

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To be completely honest, your roster doesn't make sense, as it includes 7 more-than-capable NHL-caliber defensemen, meanwhile an inexperienced forward like McGrath cracking our forward lineup. That just doesn't seem logical, or likely. If we're going to bring in a d-man, one of our current 6 or 7 will be on their way out.

This was by intent. A good deal of the weakness of our D in the regular season and playoffs was in the #6/7 slot, and this improves both. Ericsson was also a forward in the SEL, so he could stand in as a spare forward, similar to Meech.

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As far as I'm concerned, Holland is planning on keeping the nucleus in tact, which he has done, and recycling the mid-tier guys.

So as far as Hudler and Sammuelson are concerned, they are good depth players, but they are replaceable. We let them walk and develop new players that can fill in their space. Helmer and company come in there. If one of them proves to be irreplaceable, then we add them to the nucleus. But this is just how it's gonna work. The real question right now is if we want to add Hossa to the nucleus with a hefty contract, because I have no regrets letting these mid-tier guys walk. We have the players that can step into their roles.

I'm leaning toward keeping Hossa. I feel like it was his first year in a winning organization and he has more growth to do. I think if we can help him mature into a playoff performer, then we will have gotten a good bargain for signing him when he wasn't a playoff contender. He'll need to take a hell of a discount though.

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#1) lets put an end to the phrase - "osgood is back to old form." he's playing much better now than he has at any point in his career.

#2) when i'm saying that we need tough, hungry, energetic, gritty players that ARE NOT defensive liabilities...do homer, sammy and hudler come to mind? exactly.

#3) idk...i think we could get a solid young defensemen for...say, raffy and hudler (sign and trade). couldnt we?

steps:

1) resign hossa to a contract somewhere between that of hank and mule's.

2) trade raffy and a prospect/young player for a younger/cheaper/bigger/stronger/faster/more defensively oriented defenseman...if possible.

3) get rid of the defensive liabilities on the 3rd/4th line - huds, homer, sammy - through trades, retirements, whatever...and replace them with smart FA signings.

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I believe Leino has stated if he is not in the pro's next year he is going back to Europe, so if the Wings do not feel he fits, they should try to get something for him for a trade and not keep him around because of threat.

Some of the regulars listed in the "to go" list like Homer helped us get to the playoff's as did Hossa so I am not so fast on letting them go and do not think they will be a liability during the regular season as we can call up Abby if needed giving him another year to develop.

Some will have to go, Sammy I feel adds value for the team on the pp and as a 3rd liner. Hudler is a bit harder as I feel like the above mentioned he provides alot during the regular season, but his size was Clearly a liability in the playoff's, again do we have the black aces to fill in his role come playoff's? Do we have a good enough team to make it to the playoff's with out Sammy's and Huds and Homers with the least amount of wear and tear? Would Helm be a burst of energy come the playoff's after playing 82 games in the Big league?

Personally there are to many questions and with the information I am able to obtain as a fan I am left with having to trust the franchise and Ken Holland...

Has worked out pretty well so far.

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To the people who think we should lose Hudler AND Hossa all over these boards:

You're dumb.

That is all.

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I know this may be shocking to all of you, but it will be FA season on July 1st, which means a load of talent we can bring in that isnt named Hossa, Hudler, or Samulesson.

Im sorry but Hossa was a big let down for me in the playoffs. He had two big games. Two games, out of about 20, is not worth 7.4 mil.

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Good thread... I too think Hudler and Sammy are liabilities, and it kills me to admit that, because I really love them as offensive players. I also agree with the things you wrote about Rafalski. I just can't think of somebody we could get for him, though....

On Hossa: he's a great player, no doubt, but he sucked pretty bad in the playoffs, and I'm sure we can do well in the regular season without him... I mean, even if his goals bring us 5-10 points in the standings, is that really worth the condition he puts us in (not being able to operate at all on the market)?

Wouldn't it be better to get a player with less of a superstar-status, lower numbers and lower salary? Tanguay catches my eye, but I'm not sure...

On the defense: all said about Rafalski. I think Lebda is expendable, and sadly I wouldn't bet on Lidstrom lasting more than a couple of years. This season he seemed a little bit on the declining route... Obviously, a declining Lidstrom is 1,000,000 times better than most defenders at the peak of their carrers, but I think we should REALLY start envisioning some post-Lids possible scenarios.

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I agree with quite a few of the OP's points about specific players. I don't think trading Rafalski would be a good decision at all. We all saw the trouble the team had making transition passes with only one D-man who actually does so (Lidstrom) when Rafalski was out. I'm willing to give Brad Stuart another season to redeem himself. I got so sick of hearing "turnover by Stuart" in these Finals but some of them could have been prevented with better help from the forwards (and if that icing had been called). Holmstrom should be gone, as well as Maltby and Hossa (unless he signs for much less than this last season) and bring in Abdelkader and some FAs.

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You know...Dany Heatley wants to be traded.

Probably too much money in the long term, but who knows.

Edited by Murph

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You know...Dany Heatley wants to be traded.

Probably too much money in the long term, but who knows.

ya but they'd have to be willing to take almost as much salary back from us, and the questions is: Who do we have that they would want to take off our hands to make up for his salary?

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ya but they'd have to be willing to take almost as much salary back from us, and the questions is: Who do we have that they would want to take off our hands to make up for his salary?

Yeah, too bad Hossa has history there.

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More Canadian sandpaper on our 3rd and 4th line, and less euro pudding.

Also, no Hossa. He'll ruin our salary cap and our playoff run.

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#1) lets put an end to the phrase - "osgood is back to old form." he's playing much better now than he has at any point in his career.

Fair enough. I was using it in the sense of him being as good as he was, and getting out of his slump.

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If we didnt re-sign Hossa and looked at the possibility of letting go of two of the following: Sammy, Huds, Malts and Kopecky, we could seriously entertain guys like Cammalleri (3.6 mill this yr.) and some talented role players like: Chad Larose (875000) Travis Moen (925,000) who is gritty as hell. Perhaps we need to be a bit more sandpaperish. Not signing Hossa to a long term contract would allow us someone like Cammie...who I really think is an amazing player and clutch in the playoffs...

Hossa re-signs and we are up against the wall all year. Not resigning his gives us a ton of options

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If we didnt re-sign Hossa and looked at the possibility of letting go of two of the following: Sammy, Huds, Malts and Kopecky, we could seriously entertain guys like Cammalleri (3.6 mill this yr.) and some talented role players like: Chad Larose (875000) Travis Moen (925,000) who is gritty as hell. Perhaps we need to be a bit more sandpaperish. Not signing Hossa to a long term contract would allow us someone like Cammie...who I really think is an amazing player and clutch in the playoffs...

Hossa re-signs and we are up against the wall all year. Not resigning his gives us a ton of options

this is what im talking about...if u dont want to resign hossa, fine, get better players. but if you dont want to resign him for the sake of bringing sammy and hudler back.....go fly a kite

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