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Broken 16

Why sign a sixth Dman?

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Lidstrom Rafalski (fewer minutes)

Kronwall Janik

Stuart Ericsson/Kindl

If they do cut down on Nick and Rafis ice time it can easily be balanced out with these other pairings. Kronwall and Janik would be interesting. Stuart is a solid vet that can be given the responsibility of settling down the younger guys. Only other option would be to break up the top pairing but I don't see that happening and I don't trust Rafi with anyone other than Nick nowadays.

Stuart and Rafalski played quite well together last year... if anything, I think it makes a lot more sense to go:

Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Ericsson/Kindl-Lilja OR Hnidy (both can be had for 1mil or less and add EXACTLY what we need from that 6th d-man)

Ericsson/Kindl

trade/waive Meech

done and done.

That looks a LOT better and lot more even and complimentary in my mind...

ManLuv4Clears, Jasper84 and dobbles like this

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Stuart and Rafalski played quite well together last year... if anything, I think it makes a lot more sense to go:

Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Ericsson/Kindl-Lilja OR Hnidy (both can be had for 1mil or less and add EXACTLY what we need from that 6th d-man)

Ericsson/Kindl

trade/waive Meech

done and done.

That looks a LOT better and lot more even and complimentary in my mind...

In my mind signing another player pushes us to close to that ceiling. Deadline I think would be the only time I want to be that close. Rafalski is one year older and will probably be 10x s***tier this season. That has seemed to be his rate of decline since we got him. I really hope I'm wrong though. We have about 3.7 left to sign 3 players, Modano, Abey and Helm. It just doesn't seem warranted right now. Signing Modano may well seal the deal on no defenceman signing.

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In my mind signing another player pushes us to close to that ceiling. Deadline I think would be the only time I want to be that close. Rafalski is one year older and will probably be 10x s***tier this season. That has seemed to be his rate of decline since we got him. I really hope I'm wrong though. We have about 3.7 left to sign 3 players, Modano, Abey and Helm. It just doesn't seem warranted right now. Signing Modano may well seal the deal on no defenceman signing.

You don't win cups by worrying about being too close to the cap... we have plenty of kids down in GR that can come up for CHEAP and still go back down in the event of an injury and under this scenario, we will already have 2 forwards and 1 d-man reserve and STILL have about 300k of cap space (keep in mind, any call-ups are only counted on daily cap hit, so if they're not up for the whole season, their whole salary doesn't count), so we'd essentially need at least 1 dman and 2 fowards to go down with injuries before this were even an issue and then Janik, Kolosov, Smith, Emmerton, Mursak and I.Filppula ALL have VERY low cap hits, that would not take us over the ceiling for a short stint and if a guy was going to be out longer, we'd LTIR him anyway, so it would still work out...

There's no logic or reason to NOT sure up that 6th d spot, UNLESS Kindl and/or Ericsson absolutely BLOW the coaches away in camp and damn near steal a top 4 spot... and that doesn't seem likely when growing pains are GOING to occur...

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With Modano's rumored deal at 1.25 Million, that leaves 2.5 Mil to sign Abdelkader, Helm, and essentially another defenseman. Gotta figure Abdelkader and Helm both get ~900K, leaving just enough (In my mind) to sign a grizzly veteran defenseman such as Shane Hnidy. Keep in mind that at the very least, Meech will leave one way or the other, relieving us of his cap hit, which would leave the approximate amount desired for injury call-ups.

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Disaster waiting to happen.

Or Rafalski will step up playing alongside an inferior Dman like he did in the Winter Olympics.

I'm not excusing some of the mental gaffs he's had the past couple seasons, but there's a reason he was paid $6 million per to come here, and there's also a reason he doesn't look nearly as good out there...it because he's paired with one of the best defensemen of all time.

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Or Rafalski will step up playing alongside an inferior Dman like he did in the Winter Olympics.

I'm not excusing some of the mental gaffs he's had the past couple seasons, but there's a reason he was paid $6 million per to come here, and there's also a reason he doesn't look nearly as good out there...it because he's paired with one of the best defensemen of all time.

LOL inferior dman. Wasn't he paired with Ryan Suter? Suter was an alternate captain and I would absolutely LOVE to have him in our top 4. Extremely underrated defenceman.

There is also a reason he is paired with one of the best defencemen of all time... and it's not because of his stellar defence.

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LOL inferior dman. Wasn't he paired with Ryan Suter? Suter was an alternate captain and I would absolutely LOVE to have him in our top 4. Extremely underrated defenceman.

There is also a reason he is paired with one of the best defencemen of all time... and it's not because of his stellar defence.

calling Ryan Suter inferior is downright laughable... with that said, Raffi DEFINITELY stepped his game up in the Olympics defensively and still maintained a high offensive level, but that is not something we can expect from him... as I already said many times on this board, Raffi is great for what he is - an offensive defenseman, but he is prone to defensive lapses and therefore, needs to be paired with a strong defensive partner to really play at his top level and once again, it comes back to why this makes the most sense:

Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Ericsson/Kindl-Lilja OR Hnidy (both can be had for 1mil or less and add EXACTLY what we need from that 6th d-man)

Ericsson/Kindl

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Stuart and Rafalski played quite well together last year... if anything, I think it makes a lot more sense to go:

Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Ericsson/Kindl-Lilja OR Hnidy (both can be had for 1mil or less and add EXACTLY what we need from that 6th d-man)

Ericsson/Kindl

trade/waive Meech

done and done.

That looks a LOT better and lot more even and complimentary in my mind...

Give me Hnidy. I think his style of game is perfect for what the wings are looking for. He has experience to mentor Ericcson and plays a style of game that E did in GR. Maybe that nastiness would rub off on Ericcson and if it did he would be a much more efficient player witht that size of his.

Ericcson would see someone on his team clearing the crease, smearing opposing forwards and sticking up for his goalie. His price would probably be around 750K and on a 1 or 2 year deal I'm completely happy with that.

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With all of the rumors surrounding Willie Mitchell I know everyone would love to see that (despite the money not really making sense). Personally, I'd like to see a guy like Jay McKee. He's cheap, block shots and has accepted his role as a 6th/7th guy. Plus he's got the experience we'd want.

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calling Ryan Suter inferior is downright laughable... with that said, Raffi DEFINITELY stepped his game up in the Olympics defensively and still maintained a high offensive level, but that is not something we can expect from him... as I already said many times on this board, Raffi is great for what he is - an offensive defenseman, but he is prone to defensive lapses and therefore, needs to be paired with a strong defensive partner to really play at his top level and once again, it comes back to why this makes the most sense:

Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Ericsson/Kindl-Lilja OR Hnidy (both can be had for 1mil or less and add EXACTLY what we need from that 6th d-man)

Ericsson/Kindl

OR Jay McKee ;)

EDIT - OR Garnet Exelby.

Edited by F.Michael

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OR Jay McKee ;)

EDIT - OR Garnet Exelby.

I wouldn't mind either of them if better options weren't available(and if they came cheap enough) but if I had my choice at this point, I'd prefer(in this order)

1. Hnidy

2. Lilja

3. McKee

4. Exelby

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Babcock has said that he plans on reducing Lidstrom and Rafalski's minutes. To me, this means a stable 3rd pairing is in the works. This can only mean a reliable veteran will be added to the lin-up to play with Ericsson.

I think Babcock has been talking about lowering Lidstrom's minutes for the past 3 years. I doubt he lowers his ice time that much if any. Lidstrom get's paid $6.2 million... if he can't handle the ice time, then he shouldn't be getting paid for it. If ice time was a concern, then Lidstrom should have signed for less so Holland could have the cap space to sign a top 4 d-man to rotate with Lids and Ralfi.

Lidstrom should play 25+ minutes per night.

That said, Ericsson can handle 27 minutes. In fact, he was a beast in that game. I think Ericsson has a future here in Detroit and is better than he gets credit for. He had some HUGE gaffs in his rookie season that didn't help his cause, but when he's on, he's a stud. He's only been playing the defense for like 5 years. I would expect growing pains. Hell, even Jiri Fischer had a lot of gaffs in his first rookie season (and even seasons after), but he had a relatively young(er) Chelios there to bail his ass out and show him the way. Don't underestimate the Big Rig!

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I personally believe the best possible lines for the defense would be

Lidstrom - Raffi

Kronwall - Janik

Stuart - Ericcson/Kindl

Ericcson/Kindl

Stuart is our 2nd best defensive dman, and since Lids is #1, Stuart gets to babysit. It sucks to have him on the third pairing, but we could make minutes more evenly here, with a strong d player with a strong o player on each line. I also like the idea of Kronwall/Janik. Janik sucked according to stats while he was with the Bolts, but Stuart sucked when he was a Shark, and look at him now.

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I personally believe the best possible lines for the defense would be

Lidstrom - Raffi

Kronwall - Janik

Stuart - Ericcson/Kindl

Ericcson/Kindl

Stuart is our 2nd best defensive dman, and since Lids is #1, Stuart gets to babysit. It sucks to have him on the third pairing, but we could make minutes more evenly here, with a strong d player with a strong o player on each line. I also like the idea of Kronwall/Janik. Janik sucked according to stats while he was with the Bolts, but Stuart sucked when he was a Shark, and look at him now.

Stuart never 'sucked'. He gets labeled a bust since he was drafted 3rd overall as a dynamic 2-way defenseman, but his offensive skills never really developed in the NHL.

But I agree that we need to shake up the lines (or separate Ericsson and Kindl) though I don't think I'd have Janik as a regular.

Personally, I'd like to see Kronwall and Rafalski paired up, even though both are more offense oriented. I think both are guilty at times of taking advantage of Stuart/Nick, so maybe without the security blanket they'd be forced to act more responsibly. Kronwall can be very good defensively, and Rafi is better than he gets credit for.

That would free up Nick and Stuart to mentor the kids (and maybe save Nick a few minutes). In crucial situations we take the kids out of the rotation, and use Stuart and Nick as a strong shutdown pair.

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Stuart never 'sucked'. He gets labeled a bust since he was drafted 3rd overall as a dynamic 2-way defenseman, but his offensive skills never really developed in the NHL.

But I agree that we need to shake up the lines (or separate Ericsson and Kindl) though I don't think I'd have Janik as a regular.

Personally, I'd like to see Kronwall and Rafalski paired up, even though both are more offense oriented. I think both are guilty at times of taking advantage of Stuart/Nick, so maybe without the security blanket they'd be forced to act more responsibly. Kronwall can be very good defensively, and Rafi is better than he gets credit for.

That would free up Nick and Stuart to mentor the kids (and maybe save Nick a few minutes). In crucial situations we take the kids out of the rotation, and use Stuart and Nick as a strong shutdown pair.

False.

His defense has dropped significantly and his play with and without the puck in the defensive zone is abysmal. He is probably our 4th best defenseman with regards to overall ability. He is overrated by too many people.

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False.

His defense has dropped significantly and his play with and without the puck in the defensive zone is abysmal. He is probably our 4th best defenseman with regards to overall ability. He is overrated by too many people.

His one on one defense hasn't really ever been great, and has fallen off since the lockout took away his New Jersey-style grabbing, but he's generally sound positionally, skates and moves the puck well, and usually makes good decisions. He blocks shots, clogs passing and shooting lanes, has a pretty good stick, and can usually at least force people to the outside.

He's a bit turnover prone and a little too old/small/weak to handle a fast/strong forward by himself. He's not a shutdown defender (even though he's used as one), but he's much better than abysmal. Much better than you give him credit for.

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I personally believe the best possible lines for the defense would be

Lidstrom - Raffi

Kronwall - Janik

Stuart - Ericcson/Kindl

Ericcson/Kindl

Stuart is our 2nd best defensive dman, and since Lids is #1, Stuart gets to babysit. It sucks to have him on the third pairing, but we could make minutes more evenly here, with a strong d player with a strong o player on each line. I also like the idea of Kronwall/Janik. Janik sucked according to stats while he was with the Bolts, but Stuart sucked when he was a Shark, and look at him now.

you want janik getting 2nd pairing minutes?

seriously?

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you want janik getting 2nd pairing minutes?

seriously?

No kidding. The guy played a whopping 13 games for the Wings, at 13:28 TOI. I thought he played respectably as a plug, but don't get all the Janik love here.

As someone else mentioned, he's basically a 30 year old 7/8th defenseman. Last season he was in the lineup only because of injury and was behind Lilja, Ericsson, Lebda, and Meech. But now he could be 2nd pairing??

And Ericsson cannot handle 27 minutes a night. Maybe physically he could, but it would be a disaster. After how he played last season, suddenly he's ready to be the #1 D man?

And Kindl's big weakness is brain farts that lead to brutal turnovers coming out of his own zone. And that's in the AHL. I'd be scared of him on the 2nd pairing unless something magical happens to his game.

There is serious crack smoking going on in this thread.

Assuming they don't sign Lilja or anyone else, and our bottom pairing is Ericsson-Meech/Kindl/Janik, then our defense is worse than last season. Unless someone steps up and is a major surprise. I'm hoping Ericsson rebounds this season, but that still leaves the other half of that pairing as a major question mark.

And I know I'm beating this to death, but aside from experience,they need someone who can battle guys in front of the net.

Edited by haroldsnepsts

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No kidding. The guy played a whopping 13 games for the Wings, at 13:28 TOI. I thought he played respectably as a plug, but don't get all the Janik love here.

As someone else mentioned, he's basically a 30 year old 7/8th defenseman. Last season he was in the lineup only because of injury and was behind Lilja, Ericsson, Lebda, and Meech. But now he could be 2nd pairing??

And Ericsson cannot handle 27 minutes a night. Maybe physically he could, but it would be a disaster. After how he played last season, suddenly he's ready to be the #1 D man?

And Kindl's big weakness is brain farts that lead to brutal turnovers coming out of his own zone. And that's in the AHL. I'd be scared of him on the 2nd pairing unless something magical happens to his game.

There is serious crack smoking going on in this thread.

Assuming they don't sign Lilja or anyone else, and our bottom pairing is Ericsson-Meech/Kindl/Janik, then our defense is worse than last season. Unless someone steps up and is a major surprise. I'm hoping Ericsson rebounds this season, but that still leaves the other half of that pairing as a major question mark.

And I know I'm beating this to death, but aside from experience,they need someone who can battle guys in front of the net.

1. I did not say Ericsson should play 1st paring. If you bothered to read what I wrote, I said he played a solid 27 minutes and provided the source to back it up. He's still evolving, but my point was he has way more upside than many here seem to admit or believe and Babcock should increase his minutes (maybe an extra 2 minutes per game at most) to help make up for less minutes for the 1st paring. I do believe he'll have a better season this year than last. But nowhere did I say he should play 1st paring, just pointed out that he played a SOLID 27 minutes in one game when Stuart was out, Lidstrom was sore (or whatever reason Babcock sat him for the rest of the game).

2. Holland has a spare $1.2ish million if he decides to move Miller and Meech (and re-signs Abby for under a million). So if he thinks finding a 6th physical dman is as important as you do, he can pick a FA as he has some pocket change to play with.

3. I'd be happy if Holland re-signs Lilja for a cheap 2-way contract and calls it good.... unless something better falls on his lap.

Ericsson won't play 1st paring minutes, but I expect him to step up big time this season. Kindl's the question mark.

/edit - here's the post I wrote about Ericsson. Where did I say he should play 1st pairing?

I think Babcock has been talking about lowering Lidstrom's minutes for the past 3 years. I doubt he lowers his ice time that much if any. Lidstrom get's paid $6.2 million... if he can't handle the ice time, then he shouldn't be getting paid for it. If ice time was a concern, then Lidstrom should have signed for less so Holland could have the cap space to sign a top 4 d-man to rotate with Lids and Ralfi.

Lidstrom should play 25+ minutes per night.

That said, Ericsson can handle 27 minutes. <--source for Harold) In fact, he was a beast in that game. I think Ericsson has a future here in Detroit and is better than he gets credit for. He had some HUGE gaffs in his rookie season that didn't help his cause, but when he's on, he's a stud. He's only been playing the defense for like 5 years. I would expect growing pains. Hell, even Jiri Fischer had a lot of gaffs in his first rookie season (and even seasons after), but he had a relatively young(er) Chelios there to bail his ass out and show him the way. Don't underestimate the Big Rig!

Edited by Heaten
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i like janik but there is a reason why he is a career ahl'er. I'd like to see kenny bring in a guy with lots of experience who can step in when ericsson or kindl falter, hnidy as an example.

Edited by redwingfan19

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1. I did not say Ericsson should play 1st paring. If you bothered to read what I wrote, I said he played a solid 27 minutes and provided the source to back it up. He's still evolving, but my point was he has way more upside than many here seem to admit or believe and Babcock should increase his minutes (maybe an extra 2 minutes per game at most) to help make up for less minutes for the 1st paring. I do believe he'll have a better season this year than last. But nowhere did I say he should play 1st paring, just pointed out that he played a SOLID 27 minutes in one game when Stuart was out, Lidstrom was sore (or whatever reason Babcock sat him for the rest of the game).

2. Holland has a spare $1.2ish million if he decides to move Miller and Meech (and re-signs Abby for under a million). So if he thinks finding a 6th physical dman is as important as you do, he can pick a FA as he has some pocket change to play with.

3. I'd be happy if Holland re-signs Lilja for a cheap 2-way contract and calls it good.... unless something better falls on his lap.

Ericsson won't play 1st paring minutes, but I expect him to step up big time this season. Kindl's the question mark.

/edit - here's the post I wrote about Ericsson. Where did I say he should play 1st pairing?

ok, here's the source of my misunderstanding. When you said he could handle 27 minutes, I thought you meant "per game." And at those kind of minutes, he would not only be first pairing, he'd be our #1 D-man. My bad. But in my defense, people have said crazier things here, even in this thread. :D

As for handling 27 minutes, that one game doesn't mean as much to me as his overall play last season, which was mostly bad. And I'm an Ericsson fan. I still want to believe that he can live up to the potential he's shown. But after the Ericsson we saw last season, he is absolutely a question mark going into this one.

If it were just one of the two guys on the bottom pairing that were unknowns, I'd feel better about it. But if you're talking about E and Kindl, that's two unknowns on our blueline. Could be fine if the Ericsson from before last season shows up and Kindl steps up his game, but it could also be a disaster.

I don't think he can get Lilja signed for a cheap 2 way contract. He was making 1.25 mill before and probably wouldn't want a 2 way, unless no other team is interested because of his concussion.

I also don't think Lids should be playing 25+ minutes a game. At least not in the regular season. He's Nick Lidstrom, but he's also 40. I think that was part of the drop off we saw the first half of the season. With all the injuries his minutes were actually up. I'd rather keep him under 25 for much of the regular season.

edit: and for the record, I'm not the one who gave your post a negative rating. not sure why someone thought it deserved it.

Edited by haroldsnepsts
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You guys all give Janik the gears for being a career AHLer. Don't forget that nobody gave two s***s about Dan Cleary 6 years ago. He didn't pan out the way he was supposed to and everyone gave up. We took a chance. It worked out. Give Janik a shot.

His one on one defense hasn't really ever been great, and has fallen off since the lockout took away his New Jersey-style grabbing, but he's generally sound positionally, skates and moves the puck well, and usually makes good decisions. He blocks shots, clogs passing and shooting lanes, has a pretty good stick, and can usually at least force people to the outside.

He's a bit turnover prone and a little too old/small/weak to handle a fast/strong forward by himself. He's not a shutdown defender (even though he's used as one), but he's much better than abysmal. Much better than you give him credit for.

All teams have to do when he is on the ice is play dump and chase and we are defenseless. Positionally he is horrible. He will not go in the corners. He allows the forechecker to get the puck and then tries to defend him which he really can't. He gives up possession in or end on purpose multiple times per night. How on earth is that acceptable? He is decent offensively which is what he is there for but really to play in the best league in the world you have to be able to defend at least a Bantam level in my book. He fails miserably.

Edited by zettie85

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ok, here's the source of my misunderstanding. When you said he could handle 27 minutes, I thought you meant "per game." And at those kind of minutes, he would not only be first pairing, he'd be our #1 D-man. My bad. But in my defense, people have said crazier things here, even in this thread. :D

As for handling 27 minutes, that one game doesn't mean as much to me as his overall play last season, which was mostly bad. And I'm an Ericsson fan. I still want to believe that he can live up to the potential he's shown. But after the Ericsson we saw last season, he is absolutely a question mark going into this one.

If it were just one of the two guys on the bottom pairing that were unknowns, I'd feel better about it. But if you're talking about E and Kindl, that's two unknowns on our blueline. Could be fine if the Ericsson from before last season shows up and Kindl steps up his game, but it could also be a disaster.

I don't think he can get Lilja signed for a cheap 2 way contract. He was making 1.25 mill before and probably wouldn't want a 2 way, unless no other team is interested because of his concussion.

I also don't think Lids should be playing 25+ minutes a game. At least not in the regular season. He's Nick Lidstrom, but he's also 40. I think that was part of the drop off we saw the first half of the season. With all the injuries his minutes were actually up. I'd rather keep him under 25 for much of the regular season.

edit: and for the record, I'm not the one who gave your post a negative rating. not sure why someone thought it deserved it.

I agree that Ericsson had a spotty season last year. He's shown flashes of brilliance, but more bone headed plays. I'll write those off as rookie mistakes. I like to use Fischer as a comparison to E. I remember a lot of Jiri Fischer gaffs, he made a lot of them. The difference was he was paired with one of the greats, Chelios.... who was not only 'showing him the way', to become a better defensemen, but was there to cover his mistakes. Ericsson doesn't have the luxury of playing with an all-star defensemen. But I am 100% confident that Ericsson is only going to get better. He's shown us what he is capable of.

As far as Lilja is concerned, I don't think anyone is lining up to his doorstep to sign him. He may consider re-signing with the Red Wings if he wants to play in the NHL again. There's other available defensemen there as well... take Jay McKee for example. I haven't been following the NHL every minute of the day, but i don't think he signed with anyone yet.

Holland may be waiting to see how Ericsson and Kindl look at training camp.

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