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Nightfall

Why the Detroit Red Wings are headed for a fall

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"Decline" is relative. The Wings are in the enviable position of having an owner that is always willing to spend up to the cap, while many teams aren't so lucky. The success Holland and the scouting staff have had is also notable, but also more subject to deviation.

Money doesn't always equal success, and you never know when you'll hit a patch of bad luck (Lidstrom retiring certainly qualifies), but until the rest of the league gets on Ilitch's level there will always be an unequal footing for the Wings to take advantage of.

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The Wings have gone through many cycles and never more apparent than the last few seasons, albeit struck by injuries, the dominant powerhouse has been leveled out and I think while the team were more than good enough to win the cup in '10 and '11; the losses have forced management to find a new way to rise above the rest of the league again. People also tend to forget the loss of Konstantinov and Fischer, those type of elite players, especially on defense just don't come along often, no matter how many #1 picks you have. The Wings draft not only skillful players but just as much their mindset, because the mind lasts longer than their bodies and no more evident is that than with Fischer. Having a young guy like that so shortly removed from top level play in the NHL running the development of our players might end up paying more dividents to keeping us a playoff team during the "fall" than if his heart condition never happened.

As mentioned earlier the Avs are a perfect example of how all the bits and pieces don't add up. I for one are sometimes mad about Holland's reluctance for big splashes when they seem apparent, but as one of the valid points in the article an average of 28th as first pick over the last 10 years will spell doom if traded away for part-time players who just as draft picks might or might not blossom. Just look at Heatley, yes he made the Sharks dominate in the reg. season, but he was meant to score his goals when it mattered the most: -4, 2 assists in 4 games against CHI and only 1 assist against VAN in 5 games.

I will count on our current prospect farm in 5 years than gamble on short-time FA luck. FA to me is for quickly replace your own dominant players when they are forced to retire early due to injuries (Konstantinov, Fischer) or old age (Lidstrom, Yzerman, etc...). If those players prove to be longtime and successful Red Wings, hurray! But it's not the perfect solution.

The Red Wings will be fine, ESPN will continue to raise flags in July and eat grass in June.

Edit: Spelling errors.

Edited by Blazer

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I like Pulu, but I think his size/speed combo will limit him. We'll need some stars to come from our system to avoid a fall while Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, and Kronwall are declining, and I think Tatar, Nyquist, Smith, Jarnkrok, and Jurco have a chance to be the stars. I see Pulu as a 2nd line winger and PP weapon, not as an elite Datsyuk/Zetterberg type player.

You really haven't followed him have you? Hes actually plays in the dirty areas pretty well, his skating isn't as bad as most people say it is (think Zetterberg), hes a winger, so speed isn't as important as many people think is, he has really good playmaking abilities and has both a massive slapshot (both heavy and accurate) and a pretty underrated wrist shot. Very few people think he will be a 2nd liner, hes a boom or bust player, and most analysts would agree with his skill set he could very well be a 40 goal scorer. To prove this he was 5th in one of the top leagues in the world outside of the NHL (a lot of people would rank the Finnish League 2nd or 3rd and stylistically the closest to the NHL of any of the European Leagues). And my final point is he broke a few of Selanne's rookie records while being a full 2 1/2 years younger at the time.

Edited by Shaman464

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You can get lucky once or twice,but constantly developing high picks into quality players has nothing with the luck.

Oh,he didn't mention how the Pens or Hawks were lucky with the lottery picks :rolleyes:

Haters gonna hate as usual

Edited by pucktividi

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I have to agree that at some point the core of the Wings will get older but that is what the draft is all about. In the coming seasons more and more young players will eventually come up. Holland will just have to face the facts that you can't just keep signin veterans and waiving good young players. If you look at our team a small part of our young players are going to become more and more part of the core of the team as long as the play up to expectations and full potential. Helm, Abdelkader, Ericsson, Kindl and Emmerton and Mursak if the Wings will keep them instead of signing Draper. In the post cap era teams are building through the draft they have to make championship team out of what they have because teams no longer have the luxuary of spending whatever they want to get whoever they want. The Wings are doing that too. You can expect to see more and more Wings prospects coming up and helping build the team so that when the time comes for the core we have now to retire we'll already have another core of players ready to take on the challenge. I can't see a Dead Wings Era coming or anything like that but the Wings at some point may not be top contenders, I hope I'm wrong but every team has it's days in the sun and other teams have dark days. I'm very confident in our scouting staff and I"m sure they will do what they can to get the best players in our organzation to help us conted only time will tell.

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You really haven't followed him have you? Hes actually plays in the dirty areas pretty well, his skating isn't as bad as most people say it is (think Zetterberg), hes a winger, so speed isn't as important as many people think is, he has really good playmaking abilities and has both a massive slapshot (both heavy and accurate) and a pretty underrated wrist shot. Very few people think he will be a 2nd liner, hes a boom or bust player, and most analysts would agree with his skill set he could very well be a 40 goal scorer. To prove this he was 5th in one of the top leagues in the world outside of the NHL (a lot of people would rank the Finnish League 2nd or 3rd and stylistically the closest to the NHL of any of the European Leagues). And my final point is he broke a few of Selanne's rookie records while being a full 2 1/2 years younger at the time.

I read as much as I can on him. The only time I got to see him though was at the WJC, besides his SM-Liiga highlights. Everything I read on him knocks his size and speed. And from watching the WJC it was pretty clear why. I just think that his "boom" is a 2nd line winger. There's no doubt he has a ton of talent, which is why I think he'll be a top 6 forward, but I have a hard time projecting a player who is small-ish and slow-ish as a top line player. If he had above average speed or size then I would buy into the 40 goal thing. If you look at the other top forward prospects (Tatar, Jarnkrok, Nyquist, Jurco) they all have a better combination of size and speed, on top of lots of talent, which is why I think at least 1 of those 4 will turn out to be better than Pulkkinen.

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I read as much as I can on him. The only time I got to see him though was at the WJC, besides his SM-Liiga highlights. Everything I read on him knocks his size and speed. And from watching the WJC it was pretty clear why. I just think that his "boom" is a 2nd line winger. There's no doubt he has a ton of talent, which is why I think he'll be a top 6 forward, but I have a hard time projecting a player who is small-ish and slow-ish as a top line player. If he had above average speed or size then I would buy into the 40 goal thing. If you look at the other top forward prospects (Tatar, Jarnkrok, Nyquist, Jurco) they all have a better combination of size and speed, on top of lots of talent, which is why I think at least 1 of those 4 will turn out to be better than Pulkkinen.

The only knock on his skating is his speed, his mechanics are just fine, there is way too much put on speed, especially with wingers, with centres speed is a lot more important, but again if you watch him hes a strong skater, just not fast, again think Zetterberg, Z is strong on his skates, but he is not that fast. Hes like the anti-Filpulla, Flip has pretty good forward speed, but hes easily knocked off his skates and off the puck, when you want Pulu you'll see the opposite, hes very strong on the puck, but hes not that quick.

Edited by Shaman464

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The only knock on his skating is his speed, his mechanics are just fine, there is way too much put on speed, especially with wingers, with centres speed is a lot more important, but again if you watch him hes a strong skater, just not fast, again think Zetterberg, Z is strong on his skates, but he is not that fast. Hes like the anti-Filpulla, Flip has pretty good forward speed, but hes easily knocked off his skates and off the puck, when you want Pulu you'll see the opposite, hes very strong on the puck, but hes not that quick.

Fair enough. Who would you compare him to? The only elite player I can really think of who is kind of small and slow is Zetterberg, but he doesn't remind me of Z from what I've seen.

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The Red Wings are gonna fall. It just depends on what your definition of fall is. Mine is 6th place in the west and a decent shot to win it all in the playoffs. By no means are they the perennial favorites they once were but they are still the Red Wings. Now, when they move to the East it might be a different story.

Can't wait for Pulkkinen

Edited by dallas27

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(I clicked on the link and I'm not an insider)

Wow, so ESPN charges for that kind of inside info? As mentioned, we've been hearing this since the 1999-2000 season when we lost to the Avs in the playoffs the second year in a row. 2 more Stanley Cups later...

Also this article talked about the Red Wings trading away their 1st round draft picks. The reason we've been trading our late 1st round picks is to get two 2nd round picks, giving us a better chance at landing future NHL players. The Wings in recent seasons have been getting high marks for their drafts.

True Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Cleary, etc. aren't getting any younger, but if this so called "insider" saw that every year there's young players making the team, and sees how Holland has the cap under control ($29 available next year), he'd say we're fine, or just wait and see what the best GM in hockey does.

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As other posters have noted, everything goes through cycles. However, what all of these articles that predict or warn of a fall or dismantling or rebuild that is in store for the Red Wings, sooner or later, fail to ever talk about is the extent of these 'falls'. The Colorado Avalanche are an extreme example of a team that was on top for a period and has since fallen of dramatically. However, the ebs and flows for different franchises won't necessarily be to the same extent.

You can point to a couple of stretches over the last number of years as the Wings fall. Through 1999-2001 the Wings didn't get passed the second round. From 2003-2006 the Wings didn't get passed the second round (only making it once and losing to the Flames). Those were years when there were several question marks around this team. They were/are considered transition periods. Just because the Wings didn't fall from contenders to bottom feeders doesnt mean they didn't 'fall' like the article is implying.

After those periods the Wings transitioned and move forward in different directions which made them better.

Also, for all of you who are so angry after having lost to the Sharks for back to back seasons in the second round just look back to '99 and '00 - the Wings lost back to back second rounds against the Avs. Granted, the following year they got beat in the first round but that was followed by a cup. Maybe the only time the Wings truly make changes is after a first round exit (again, as they did after the '06 loss to Edmonton).

I don't think you can call those years a 'fall' just because we didn't do well in the playoffs. '98-99 was kind of a 'down' year, and the last time we finished under 100 points. In the six non-Cup years between then and '08 we won 2 President's Trophies, finished 2nd overall 3 times, and 3rd once.

Between the back-back Cups and the '02 Cup the stars mostly stayed the same. Hasek was pretty major move, but Hull, Robitaille, Chelios, and other moves were just tweaks. Something like trading Flip. The emergence of Pav and Hank, and having Nick as a constant allowed us to transition from Yzerman, Fedorov, and Shannahan without a hitch.

This is different I think. Losing Nick is a major hit, and we don't have anyone ready to fill that hole. Since the lockout it's become even harder to find good free agents (as this year should prove). That alone could knock us down a notch. And not too long after we'll need Pav and Hank to pass the torch. We have some prospects that may become stars, but if they don't it could be enough to drop us down among the bottom-feeders. Also, if those guys don't pan out, we won't have the trade assets to do anything either.

In short, the run has to end sooner or later. How we replace Nick will probably determine which.

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Okay, if we're going to continue to make the mistake of checking ESPN for anything outside of poker, then we might as well actually talk about what they're saying rather than having yet another "Eff ESPN" thread. M'kay?

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Tomas Jurco everybody. Mark my words. This kid is going to be a SUPERSTAR. Watching him in interviews and on the ice, you can see that he has an INCREDIBLE amount of skill, but he has an enormous work ethic as well, and he continually says in his interviews that he's going to try as hard as he can to become better and better. Can't wait to see this guy in a couple years.

Not to say I don't believe Jurco will turn out but... when I have interviews and assessments at work I often say I have an enormous work ethic and always work as hard as I can. It makes me look good and is pretty low risk in saying that stuff.

Then work rolls around and I work really hard sometimes and sometimes I have a headache and may as well be unconscious or at home playing video games or something.

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I don't get why the article seems to think Lidstrom, or Dats, or Z, were good because they were scouted and drafted? Without the Wings organisation training these people year after year, it is the equivalent of an inventor creating the world's more dynamic and ground-breaking invention, then leaving the plans on paper and never putting in the hard work to actually make it. Although top draft pick will get players like Ovi or Crosby, that can well be a mention in the game's best, dedication and hard work in training make champions, a la Lids. Stevie Y could have been THE greatest, but his training (coaches getting on his back to help out on D if I'm not mistaken) helped him lead a team to 3 Stanley Cups, win a Conn Smyth, and become the greatest captain for any hockey team.

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yes our core will get old....just as our old core of yzerman, shanny, feds, etc. got old...... wait we won a cup without any of those guys. must have been a fluke to win it without any of those guys...wait we went to the scf the year after that, musta been a fluke as well...wait we made the playoffs every year?.......

wait ESPN is a worthless source for anything hockey....wait..oh s*** there is no counter argument for that.

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The only thing I see putting the Detroit Red Wings under/average, is when Mike Illitch dies and his kids get bored with hockey, or lose interest and sell the team to bad ownership.

I have no worries as long as Mike is the owner. Even in a salary cap world where he can't spend $70+ million on a team, he'll use that money to pay the best hockey minds world to make sure the team stays competitive. He'll keep the brain trust behind the scenes re-inventing new strategies, and continue to find talent in unforeseen places.

That said, Red Wings have some pretty damn good prospects in the works. Not only the obvious such as Smith, Nyquist, Jurco, but some that are hidden jems that nobody can pronounce their names, or even spell it. I am pretty comfortable where the future is headed right now.

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As other posters have noted, everything goes through cycles. However, what all of these articles that predict or warn of a fall or dismantling or rebuild that is in store for the Red Wings, sooner or later, fail to ever talk about is the extent of these 'falls'. The Colorado Avalanche are an extreme example of a team that was on top for a period and has since fallen of dramatically. However, the ebs and flows for different franchises won't necessarily be to the same extent.

You can point to a couple of stretches over the last number of years as the Wings fall. Through 1999-2001 the Wings didn't get passed the second round. From 2003-2006 the Wings didn't get passed the second round (only making it once and losing to the Flames). Those were years when there were several question marks around this team. They were/are considered transition periods. Just because the Wings didn't fall from contenders to bottom feeders doesnt mean they didn't 'fall' like the article is implying.

After those periods the Wings transitioned and move forward in different directions which made them better.

Also, for all of you who are so angry after having lost to the Sharks for back to back seasons in the second round just look back to '99 and '00 - the Wings lost back to back second rounds against the Avs. Granted, the following year they got beat in the first round but that was followed by a cup. Maybe the only time the Wings truly make changes is after a first round exit (again, as they did after the '06 loss to Edmonton).

In 1999 the Wings were forced to go with a nearly retired Bill Ranford for most of the second round because a hot Osgood was injured. Otherwise the Wings would have easily passed that round.

In 2001 the Wings were hugely reliant on their power play to score goals against LA (9 of 17 total goals scored), and yet still lost Game 3 (4-3 LA, 0-for-7) and Game 5 (3-2 LA, 0-for-2) by a single goal because of a failure to score on the PP.

In 2006 the Wings had a very good regular season goaltender who has since proven he was and is not capable of playing his best under heavy pressure.

The Wings have had the occasional bad playoff run. But I would hardly say that they are destined for a fall soon.

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The only thing I see putting the Detroit Red Wings under/average, is when Mike Illitch dies and his kids get bored with hockey, or lose interest and sell the team to bad ownership.

I have no worries as long as Mike is the owner. Even in a salary cap world where he can't spend $70+ million on a team, he'll use that money to pay the best hockey minds world to make sure the team stays competitive. He'll keep the brain trust behind the scenes re-inventing new strategies, and continue to find talent in unforeseen places.

That said, Red Wings have some pretty damn good prospects in the works. Not only the obvious such as Smith, Nyquist, Jurco, but some that are hidden jems that nobody can pronounce their names, or even spell it. I am pretty comfortable where the future is headed right now.

Mike Ilitch's kids are involved with the team and invested in its success. Sorry to disappoint you.

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yes our core will get old....just as our old core of yzerman, shanny, feds, etc. got old...... wait we won a cup without any of those guys. must have been a fluke to win it without any of those guys...wait we went to the scf the year after that, musta been a fluke as well...wait we made the playoffs every year?.......

wait ESPN is a worthless source for anything hockey....wait..oh s*** there is no counter argument for that.

The reason for the Wings' success is clear.

chuck_will_kick_your_ass.jpg

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