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I think that our "roster structure/balanced lines" philosophy


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#1 blueadams

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:40 AM

I was a little rushed - and wasted - when I posted this last night...so, I'm going to take another shot at it (I think this is a little more coherent).

The main point of this post is that I think we've gotten into a little bit of trouble with our roster structuring. The "3 to 4 balanced scoring lines" thing was great in the pre-salary cap era, and it was great in the beginning of the post-salary cap era (before pav, hank, mule, etc. got paid), but it's not working now, and I think we need a change. In particular, I think that we should be spending more on our top six forwards, less on our bottom six forwards, and less on 'elite' defenders.

Here's some of the reasoning behind that argument: #1, plain and simple, not being able to put points on the scoreboard is our single biggest problem as a team right now. Pav, Hank and Mule are great, but they need help. Seeing a team like San Jose - with at least six stud scorers (Thornton, Heatley, Marleau, Pavelski, Coture and Clowe) - makes that all the more clear. If you're in agreement with me to this point, the question then becomes "How do we create the cap space to add such additional studs?", and the answer, IMO, is quite simple..

I don't think that we need to be paying a Brian Rafalski, or a Nick Lidstrom, or their eventual replacements 6mil+ a season on defense. The best teams in the new - post-salary cap - NHL don't ask their their defenders (or their goalies, or their bottom six forwards) to "win" them games...they just ask them not to lose them (as we've been doing with goaltenders for quite some time now). In the future, I'd like to see us pass on elite level salaries for goal-scoring defenders, and to put some of that money towards elite level salaries for goal-scoring forwards.

So, with that in mind, here's a look at our current roster structure, and my thoughts on where I'd like to see it go:

Forwards:

#1) Datsyuk(6.7m, 3yrs)
#2) Zetterberg(6.1m, 7+yrs)
#3) Franzen(4.0m, 7+yrs)
#4) Filppula(3m, 2yrs)...Hasn't proven himself as "elite," but also hasn't gotten a chance to produce in a top six role for an entire season.
#5) Hudler(2.9m, 1yr)...Hasn't proven himself as "elite," but also hasn't gotten a chance to produce in a top six role for an entire season.
#6) Cleary(2.8m, 2yrs)...Not talented enough for a top six role, paid too much for a bottom six role.
#7) Bertuzzi(1.9m, 1yr)...Not talented enough for a top six role, not good enough defensively for a bottom six role.
#8) Holmstrom(1.9m, 1yr)...Not talented enough for a top six role, not good enough defensively for a bottom six role.
#9) Helm(0.9m, 1yr)
#10) Abdelkader(0.8m, 1yr)
#11) Mursak(0.6m, 2yrs)
#12)
#13)

-Modano(1.8m, *FA*)...Not coming back.
-Draper(1.6m, *FA*)...Not coming back.
-Eaves(0.8m, *FA*)...Might be coming back, but I'd like to replace him with someone more physical for around the same price, if possible.
-Miller(0.7m, *FA*)...Might be coming back, but I'd like to replace him with someone more physical for around the same price, if possible.

Defenders:

#1) Lidstrom(6.2m, *FA*)...Paid too much.
#2) Rafalski(6.0m, 1yr)...Paid too much.
#3) Stuart(3.8m, 1yr)
#4) Kronwall(3.0m, 1yr)
#5) Kindl(0.9m, 2yrs)...He's got a lot to prove.
#6)
#7)

-Salei(1.1m, *FA*)...Probably not coming back, as Brendan Smith is probably going to be in Detroit next season.
-Ericsson(0.9m, *FA*)...Probably coming back, but I'd like to replace him with someone more physical for around the same price, if possible.

Goalies:

#1) Howard(2.3m, 2yrs)
#2)

Osgood(1.4m, *FA*)...Probably not coming back, as we need to replace him with someone cheaper (and healthier).

In Summary:

I'm talking about our long-term - not immediate - future here...so, don't freak out about that (and I'm also not going to get into trade speculation here).

#1) I think that we should replace Rafalski and Lidstrom with cheaper defensemen in the 2-3mil/season range when their contracts expire.

#2) I think that we should replace Cleary, Bertuzzi and Holmstrom with cheaper grinders (/prospects) in the 1mil/season range when their contracts expire.

#3) I think that the extra cap space should then be put towards elite top six forwards (and Filppula, Hudler, Tatar, etc. could prove to be elite top six forwards by that point).

Edited by blueadams, 05 May 2011 - 11:17 PM.


#2 VM1138

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:14 AM

I've got to disagree here. It's not the philosophy that's screwed up, the players under Hank and Datsyuk and Helm just aren't performing like they should. Whether it's complacency or just not fulfilling potential, it's time to part ways with people like Hudler and Flip if we can get an impact player in return. But you can't win without rolling four full scoring lines, I don't think. All season our second line has been virtually non-existent, and that has to change.
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#3 Cobra84

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 07:35 AM

In any case, Kenny must do something in the off season.

lots of player need to go away. Very few players have played for the team in these PO.
It's time for some to leave.

#4 toby91_ca

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:52 AM

Since when was offense the most important thing in winning playoff games?

#5 Aussie_Wing

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:25 AM

Yeah, I would've thought it was defence that won playoff games. Wings can't seem to concentrate for a full 60 minutes, and therefore are losing games.

Ken Holland: Hes (Mursak) a young guy, provides energy, can skate, hes a puck hound.


#6 Zetts

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:37 AM

...First off, Bertuzzi and Holmstrom don't fit into the picture I'm painting. Neither are "elite" forwards. Neither are good enough defensively to play in my bottom-six. Both will be gone after next season. Second, Cleary's a little expensive for this group. He's gone in two years. Third, the rest of the guys all kind of fit into the picture I'm painting, with their skill-level and salary. But I would like to replace some of the Miller's and Eaves' with more physical guys.

Bertuzzi and Holmstrom both have NTCs, as does Cleary except that his expires 30 days before next year's trade deadline. Certainly none of them are being traded in the off-season. We don't have a huge number of slots that we can upgrade this summer. So the players that you want gone will still be in the lineup as I highly doubt that Babcock would sit all three of them (or any of the three of them for more than a game or two).

Up front I assume that Draper and Modano (and maybe Miller) will be gone, but who cares? 2 of the three have been scratched anyways.

Like it or not, we'll have a nearly identical group of forwards next year.

#7 eva unit zero

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:38 PM

Changes that I would like to see made in the offseason:

In:
F Cory Emmerton (prospect)
F Jan Mursak (prospect)
D Joni Pitkanen (UFA)
D Christian Ehrhoff (UFA)

Out:
F Kris Draper (retire)
F Mike Modano (retire)
F Drew Miller (UFA)
D Ruslan Salei (UFA)
D Brad Stuart (trade)

That would provide a lineup which looks like this:

Hudler/Datsyuk/Cleary
Franzen/Zetterberg/Holmstrom
Abdelkader/Filppula/Bertuzzi
Eaves/Helm/Mursak
Emmerton

Lidstrom/Rafalski
Kronwall/Ericsson
Ehrhoff/Pitkanen
Kindl

Howard
Osgood

Miller can be retained if the cap allows, but his near $1m cost and redundant skills make him a likely cap casualty.

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#8 VM1138

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:03 PM

I think the problem is that we had a backlog of redundant players. I'm not going to trash talk any of Miller, Eaves, Helm, Abdelkader, etc., but the reality is we'd probably be better off if one of our roleplayers had more experience and a scoring touch. I don't know if Eaves just can't fill that role like some thought he could, or if he's not being allowed to play that type of game or what.
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#9 eva unit zero

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:36 PM

I think the problem is that we had a backlog of redundant players. I'm not going to trash talk any of Miller, Eaves, Helm, Abdelkader, etc., but the reality is we'd probably be better off if one of our roleplayers had more experience and a scoring touch. I don't know if Eaves just can't fill that role like some thought he could, or if he's not being allowed to play that type of game or what.


Eaves is a gritty scoring winger who developed a strong defensive game when forced into a bottom six role early in his career. He's never really had the opportunity on a scoring line but he definitely has the speed, shot, and offensive instincts to play the game as a scorer.

Miller is somewhat capable of performing as a scorer, but he's much better as a gritty defensive forward. He doesn't have the speed or offensive skill of Eaves, but he isn't Stu Grimson in the offensive zone either.

Helm's biggest problem on offense is puck control. His shot is decent, he can pass well, he knows where to be and what to do, he simply can't hold on to the puck like he needs to. Give him a year or two to work on it and he could be the breakthrough second liner everyone wants Flip to be, or he could top out at 45 points.

Abdelkader has all of the skills to play second, third, or fourth line. He simply needs to get his head in gear and play consistent hockey. I would say only Z, Dats, Franzen, Flip, and Hudler have a better top end game than Abdelkader among Wings forwards. The problem is that Abdelkader is sof****** inconsistent you don't know whether you'll get an AHL performance or a top-six NHL performance. Franzen is just as inconsistent if not more, but Franzen is FAR more dangerous to the opposition when he's on.

Seeing Draper and Modano, and possibly Miller, head out this summer and be replaced by Mursak and Emmerton should put some new life. Mursak and Emmerton both bring two-way skill and good skating ability, and can be used in most situations.

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#10 Mitchmac33

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 02:53 PM

Eaves is a gritty scoring winger who developed a strong defensive game when forced into a bottom six role early in his career. He's never really had the opportunity on a scoring line but he definitely has the speed, shot, and offensive instincts to play the game as a scorer.

Miller is somewhat capable of performing as a scorer, but he's much better as a gritty defensive forward. He doesn't have the speed or offensive skill of Eaves, but he isn't Stu Grimson in the offensive zone either.

Helm's biggest problem on offense is puck control. His shot is decent, he can pass well, he knows where to be and what to do, he simply can't hold on to the puck like he needs to. Give him a year or two to work on it and he could be the breakthrough second liner everyone wants Flip to be, or he could top out at 45 points.

Abdelkader has all of the skills to play second, third, or fourth line. He simply needs to get his head in gear and play consistent hockey. I would say only Z, Dats, Franzen, Flip, and Hudler have a better top end game than Abdelkader among Wings forwards. The problem is that Abdelkader is sof****** inconsistent you don't know whether you'll get an AHL performance or a top-six NHL performance. Franzen is just as inconsistent if not more, but Franzen is FAR more dangerous to the opposition when he's on.

Seeing Draper and Modano, and possibly Miller, head out this summer and be replaced by Mursak and Emmerton should put some new life. Mursak and Emmerton both bring two-way skill and good skating ability, and can be used in most situations.


That kind of reminds me of Jiri Hudler...awful

#11 GMRwings1983

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:51 PM

Changes that I would like to see made in the offseason:

In:
F Cory Emmerton (prospect)
F Jan Mursak (prospect)
D Joni Pitkanen (UFA)
D Christian Ehrhoff (UFA)

Out:
F Kris Draper (retire)
F Mike Modano (retire)
F Drew Miller (UFA)
D Ruslan Salei (UFA)
D Brad Stuart (trade)

That would provide a lineup which looks like this:

Hudler/Datsyuk/Cleary
Franzen/Zetterberg/Holmstrom
Abdelkader/Filppula/Bertuzzi
Eaves/Helm/Mursak
Emmerton

Lidstrom/Rafalski
Kronwall/Ericsson
Ehrhoff/Pitkanen
Kindl

Howard
Osgood

Miller can be retained if the cap allows, but his near $1m cost and redundant skills make him a likely cap casualty.


That lineup is even worse than the one we have now.

You're essentially replacing Stuart with some soft euro like Pitkanen, while promoting Ericsson and Hudler of all people.

Also, God knows how slow Bertuzzi and Holmstrom will look next year, when they're one year older.

Edited by GMRwings1983, 05 May 2011 - 03:58 PM.

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#12 blueadams

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:07 PM

NT

(oops)

Edited by blueadams, 05 May 2011 - 11:21 PM.


#13 blueadams

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:21 PM

I re-wrote the OP, have a looksie

#14 Bring Back The Bruise Bros

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:33 PM

Changes that I would like to see made in the offseason:

In:
F Cory Emmerton (prospect)
F Jan Mursak (prospect)
D Joni Pitkanen (UFA)
D Christian Ehrhoff (UFA)

Out:
F Kris Draper (retire)
F Mike Modano (retire)
F Drew Miller (UFA)
D Ruslan Salei (UFA)
D Brad Stuart (trade)

That would provide a lineup which looks like this:

Hudler/Datsyuk/Cleary
Franzen/Zetterberg/Holmstrom
Abdelkader/Filppula/Bertuzzi
Eaves/Helm/Mursak
Emmerton

Lidstrom/Rafalski
Kronwall/Ericsson
Ehrhoff/Pitkanen
Kindl

Howard
Osgood

Miller can be retained if the cap allows, but his near $1m cost and redundant skills make him a likely cap casualty.

Joni Pitkanen will have a ton of offers this summer, and i'd be surprised if we snatched him. He logged 25+ mins a night for Carolina. Salei has got to go. Far too inconsistent. Same goes for Ericsson. How many chances is this guy gonna get to prove himself? We need to get at least one young, hungry, hard-nosed defenseman. In addition to mixing up the defense, I think we need to put some emphasis on faceoffs after watching us this postseason. Datsyuk/Zetterberg can't be out there for every draw. How about Boyd Gordon or Zenon Konopka?
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#15 Crashnburnluder

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:57 PM

Joni Pitkanen will have a ton of offers this summer, and i'd be surprised if we snatched him. He logged 25+ mins a night for Carolina. Salei has got to go. Far too inconsistent. Same goes for Ericsson. How many chances is this guy gonna get to prove himself? We need to get at least one young, hungry, hard-nosed defenseman. In addition to mixing up the defense, I think we need to put some emphasis on faceoffs after watching us this postseason. Datsyuk/Zetterberg can't be out there for every draw. How about Boyd Gordon or Zenon Konopka?


I agree about Pitkanen... I think he will fetch too much on the open market. The other guy mentioned being Ehrhoff I would love. I know someone said he would be promoted but with Ehrhoff in the lineup and another D that isnt going to fetch as much as Pitkanen would still keep Ericsson as our number 6/7 defenseman and that could change by supplying Kindl with more ice time. Now, I haven't gone though the free agent market and I dont know who else is available but I think Ehrhoff could be great for the number 2-4 D posistion and run on the PP. He did that all year with Vancouver and was part of their number 1 PP with Edler.

Also as far as Holmstrom and Bertuzzi go, we are stuck with them. They will be in our lineup some where, and the thing about bertuzzi is maybe knowing he is slowing down and giving him a third line role maybe we will see more fights and more hitting like we did towards the end of the season instead of counting on him to score goals.

I think in the long run this team needs a sniper (yes they are hard to come by). Franzen is too inconsistent during the regular season and if he has an off playoff year it could be a big problem like this year. Zetterberg doesn't have the 40 goal season in him anymore and we will be lucky to see 30 out of him. We need a guy that can find the back of the net at a mid 30 goal pace to add to it as it will help give franzen and zetterberg more ice. I think two trigger guys in our line up one with Zetterberg and one with Datsyuk could be incredibly beneficial... cause right now we only have one.

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#16 Hossa4Life

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:25 AM

blueadams makes me laugh. He always comes up with a unique way to talk about lines. cheers Posted Image

But I must be off, I have some jerking off to do. Oh btw I like to consider myself extremely attractive and am proud of myself for being your intellectual superior as I am going to UofM next year, and I am a better hockey player than Crosby.

Posted Image


#17 pazzloski

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:27 AM

Why not just have performance based contracts, lol. problem solved. Cant imagine we'd ever see that though.

#18 Heaten

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:16 PM

Scoring isn't the issue. Zetterberg and Franzen are both fighting through injuries right now and the Cleary, Flip and other second tier guys are fighting through rust. The biggest problem I see with this team right now is they take too many penalties. The healthiest and most discipline teams succeed better in the playoffs. Detroit is neither of them. Remove the Bertuzzi penalty in game 1 and the Ralfiski penalty in game 3, Red Wings are leading the series 2-1 right now.

#19 Zetts

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:23 PM

Scoring isn't the issue. Zetterberg and Franzen are both fighting through injuries right now and the Cleary, Flip and other second tier guys are fighting through rust. The biggest problem I see with this team right now is they take too many penalties. The healthiest and most discipline teams succeed better in the playoffs. Detroit is neither of them. Remove the Bertuzzi penalty in game 1 and the Ralfiski penalty in game 3, Red Wings are leading the series 2-1 right now.

That's not an excuse in the playoffs. None of them are just returning from some sort of serious injury - they're just not cutting it. The fact that they're not scoring more is definitely an issue.

#20 Heaten

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 12:41 PM

That's not an excuse in the playoffs. None of them are just returning from some sort of serious injury - they're just not cutting it. The fact that they're not scoring more is definitely an issue.


To be fair, Huds and Filppula especially had a pretty damn good 3rd game. The special teams is the issue right now, not 5-on-5.





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