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GMRwings1983

Brett Lebda Survives the Trading Deadline

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Let's give a round of applause to our favorite whipping boy for making it through the deadline.

:clap:

What would we do without him?

I know some will think this is not a big deal, but with Lilja's long-term health still being a question mark and Ericsson looking like Doink "The Clown" out there, we'll probably see Lebda play again this year.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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Lebda will be filling in for Ericsson sooner rather than later.

What are the Red Wings going to do about Jonathan Ericsson?

This has become an extremely delicate issue for coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland.

Ericsson, who turned 26 on Tuesday, is a big (6-foot-4), highly skilled defenseman who burst upon the scene during the playoffs last season and played nearly flawless hockey.

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But a funny thing happened on his way to the Hall of Fame. He has stumbled mightily in his first full NHL season. The rigors of playing such a heavy, condensed schedule have worn him down physically and the mounting mistakes seem to be at the point of ruining him mentally.

How much longer can the Wings afford to keep running him out there? At what point does his confidence get shattered beyond repair?

Ericsson is a team-worst minus-18. He's minus-12 over his last 14 games. He was on the ice for both Colorado goals Monday. His errant pass up the boards led directly to the second goal. There was a stretch in the second period where his mistakes and turnovers helped trigger three odd-man rushes.

Are all these goals his fault? No, of course not. The Avs' second goal Monday was one of the softest Jimmy Howard has allowed in a while. But bad things are happening way too often when Ericsson is on the ice.

It got to the point Monday where Babcock essentially rotated two pairs of defensemen in the third period.

So what do the Wings do?

They have been trying most of the season to let him work through it, but it keeps getting worse and worse and the Wings are at a point in the season where they can't afford to give away any games, lest they risk missing the playoffs.

In a perfect world, the Wings would send him to Grand Rapids to regain some of his swagger. But with his size and potential, he would never clear waivers. The Wings are trying to rescue him, not lose him.

So, the next option is to bench him. Make him a healthy scratch for a while. That's probably going to happen sooner rather than later, but they are trying to buy some time for Andreas Lilja to work off the rust and get himself back up to NHL speed.

The next question, should they decide to shut Ericsson down, is for how long? Do they shut him down for the rest of the season? Rotate Lilja, Brett Lebda and Derek Meech on that third defense pairing?

Is that even the best option for a young player with plummeting confidence?

If I had the answers to these questions, I would be asking Mike Ilitch for a job. I am not sure there's any hockey or psych manual anywhere that can offer concrete answers to this dilemma. All I know is what I see on the ice, and what I see is a young, talented player drowning in his own self-doubt.

Most young defensemen go through these slumps and many lose their confidence at some point. The good ones, the ones who survive to become veteran defenseman, figure out a way to get it back.

In the end, it will be up to Ericsson to provide the answers. It's on him to shake this off, make something good happen for himself and get back to being the trustworthy blue-liner the Red Wings think he is.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100303/SPORTS...h#ixzz0h9XU3myQ

Edited by Howard He Do It?!

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I wasn't really expecting anything to happen today. Because of Lilja's uncertainty, I didn't think that Lebda or Meech would be on the block. Our roster is finally healthy and complete. If we can stay healthy then I like our chances.

We won't know our future situation until after the season. Lidstrom, and Holmstrom will probably sign a 1 year deal, and Holland has expressed interest in bringing back Maltby for another season.

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Lebda and Ericsson have been on equal footing in terms of play so far this year.

that's saying something. Lebda, meh, you get what you see, a 6th or 7th d-man with some speed whose game is a defensive d-man role. i dont think hes all that bad

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ericsson has been so, so bad, that a lilja-lebda pairing might be the way to go.

i never thought i'd be saying "good thing we have brett lebda"

congratulations, universe...you win.

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I have to ask who would want a 28 year old UFA #6/#7 defenseman? Anyone really think they could have moved him? No one would give anything up for that.

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I hope we don't see Lebda instead of Ericsson, sure Ericsson hasn't had that great of a year but let's not forget Lebda has been playing D alot longer then Ericsson has and Ericsson is playing just as good as Lebda was if not a little better. Not to mention i would rather let Ericsson continue to get experience by playing, plus Ericsson adds size to the back end he might not always take the body but he doesn't get pushed around as easily as lil Lebda does.

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ericsson has been so, so bad, that a lilja-lebda pairing might be the way to go.

i never thought i'd be saying "good thing we have brett lebda"

congratulations, universe...you win.

I still think Meech is light years ahead of Lebda. Meech didnt even look too bad when he had his time on the second PP unit. We could have had others play the point, but Meech did fine.

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If Derek Morris was only worth a fourth-round pick, then what was Lebda worth? Nothing. Nobody wanted him; in fact, he'd probably clear waivers at this point.

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Lebda will be a necessary backup so long as Ericsson continues to be unreliable. While Janik could potentially fill in for Lilja, I imagine Meech was unmovable.

I hope we don't see Lebda instead of Ericsson, sure Ericsson hasn't had that great of a year but let's not forget Lebda has been playing D alot longer then Ericsson has and Ericsson is playing just as good as Lebda was if not a little better. Not to mention i would rather let Ericsson continue to get experience by playing, plus Ericsson adds size to the back end he might not always take the body but he doesn't get pushed around as easily as lil Lebda does.

I don't remember Lebda ever being even remotely as boneheaded as Ericsson has been this season (especially lately). I think you're exaggerating.

Edited by Crymson

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Ericsson's need for more NHL games and growth room means Lebda is no longer expendable. :(

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2 words - Steve Staios.

2 more words- salary cap. Also, Staios has another year left on his contract. But even so, I would rather him than Lebda any day.

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Meech should be paired with Lilja tonight... He doesn't make that many dumb plays... Ericsson has been so awful that it is almost pointless to have him out there.. Lilja and Lebda got it done in 2008, so why not Meech and Lija?

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2 more words- salary cap. Also, Staios has another year left on his contract. But even so, I would rather him than Lebda any day.

Wow - just checked out Staios' salary; $2.7 million for this year, and next...I didn't realise he made that much...Good thing I'm not in Holland's shoes :lol:

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Meech should be paired with Lilja tonight... He doesn't make that many dumb plays... Ericsson has been so awful that it is almost pointless to have him out there.. Lilja and Lebda got it done in 2008, so why not Meech and Lija?

I am in favour of Meech over Lebda but based on your analysis, why not Lilja and Lebda? Seeing as to how they got it done in 2008.

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Wow - just checked out Staios' salary; $2.7 million for this year, and next...I didn't realise he made that much...Good thing I'm not in Holland's shoes :lol:

It is a shame too. I would welcome a guy like Staios any day but for obvious reasons, cannot be done.

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I am in favour of Meech over Lebda but based on your analysis, why not Lilja and Lebda? Seeing as to how they got it done in 2008.

Because Meech has had a much better year than Lebda. I was just saying that a 3rd pair with Lilja and either Lebda or Meech would be better than a 3rd pair with Ericsson right now. And since Meech has been better than Lebda this year, it should be him.... but I'm sure you understood what I was saying.

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2 more words- salary cap. Also, Staios has another year left on his contract. But even so, I would rather him than Lebda any day.

What, Holland can't find a way to circumvent the salary cap? Terrible GM!

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Too bad they couldn't have put Erricson at forward while the injury bug was in town; maybe that would have given him a little confidence while stepping back from his Dman demons. He could come back with a certain sense of freshness, like a downey dryer sheet or something...(yeah, I don't really know what happend there at the end of my post, but you get the point.)

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Because Meech has had a much better year than Lebda. I was just saying that a 3rd pair with Lilja and either Lebda or Meech would be better than a 3rd pair with Ericsson right now. And since Meech has been better than Lebda this year, it should be him.... but I'm sure you understood what I was saying.

I agree with you, put Meech in! (I just wondered why you would say Lebda and Lils got it done and then replace Lebda). Gotcha.

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