You do realize 4 years is an eternity in professional sports? Both the wings fans and management have a strong propensity to live in yesterdays accomplishments. Yes there are always core players that are key - Lids, Dats, Z thru multiple years, but the rest of the cast should change as needed. The teams that compete for the cup have, besides luck and lack of injuries, is a good mix of core veterans, solid mid-career contributors and hungry youth. The formula has always been the same - and was for each extended run the wings have made. It's called team chemistry.
I understand that 4 years is a long time in the NHL, but if you consider Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Hudler to be playing at roughly the same level they did in 2008 (albeit not statistically, with Z and Pavel down, and Hudler up), who does that leave? Cleary has definitely dropped off, but for the sake of this argument, he's left out of the Top 6. Samuelsson moved on, so his replacement is Bertuzzi. As much as I rode Samuelsson, Bertuzzi is no upgrade. Calling that a wash, probably a downgrade.
Of the players left, Filppula has developed into a hell of a hockey player. Franzen on the other hand, signed for another 8 seasons after this one, contributes nothing outside of his goal totals (no backcheck, forecheck, physicality, and diminishing playmaking). He shows zero hustle and has gone on record saying he is bored. His statistical output is diminishing and even though he leads the team in goals, 26 goals from a guy who's only job appears to be scoring goals is unacceptable. He hasn't earned a whole season with the best player in the world, and yet, there he remains.The supporting cast does need to change more quickly than it is, given the last two exits. However, the Top 6 is still our biggest problem, when you're passing 37-year-old Bertuzzi off as a scoring winger and he is floating circles around 32-year-old Franzen who's cap hit is twice as much and is paid nearly 4 times as much.