First of all, Howdy fellow Wingnuts! Now that that is out of the way, I am going to take a risk. I am going to disagree with a HOF in Jimmy D. It is time for the Wings to make major changes. So here are my thoughts.
1. The Wings should be thinking 10 new players over the next 2 off seasons. I understand that our overall team age is mid pack, but our stars and leaders are all 30+. Add in all the extra games they have played in the playoffs, most of them need to be considered 2 years older than the calender says they are. If you look at our core group: Datsyk, Z, Burt, franzen, Fillpula, Cleary, Hommer, Lidstrom, Stuart, and Kronwall, they are all over 30, play fewer games each year due to injuries, and have declining numbers. Some of these guys are UFA's and should walk. Others are already to old to have much trade value. Others are on the edge of losing value.
2. I would look to change out 5 this off season and 5 next year. Good news is, we have money to spend. Most would agree we need to get bigger, faster, younger, and grittyer. No not one demensional fighters, but guys that check and work the boards. If they also drop the gloves from time to time, great! But that is not the priority.
3. Let's start with G. We are set with Howard and if Mac is healthy, we are good at the backup position. No real need to spend any money here.
4. Defense. Currently we have the following under contract: Kronwall, Erickson, Kindl, White, Quincy, and Smith. That is 6. But there are some good UFA Dmen available, and let's not forget the captain. if Nick wants to return, GREAT! But not at more than 3 million per year. There are of course a couple UFA's that we should take a strong run at. Everyone know Suter. He is a 27 year old American Dman, and very good at both end of the ice. Throw him a 7 year, 42 million offer. But there is another guy that we shoudl also strongly consider: Carle with the Flyers. he is also a 27 year old American Dman. Not quite as good on the D end, but better than Suter on O. Might-key word-might be cheaper. I would offer and make a play for both. But why? That makes 9 on the D if Nick comes back??? true. But it gives us the option of sending Smith back to the minors for one more year to over rippen, and then makes some D avilable to trade.
I would love to see a D that lined up like this:
Smith in the minors to replace Nicky next season
Kronwall as trade bait.
5. Forwards. This is the area that we need to do the most work. we need to add 3+ new forwards this year and another 3-5 next year. We have to get bigger, faster, stronger, and tougher. We have plenty of good young forwards for the 3rd and 4th lines, plus the 2 spare forwards. Emmerton, Abdelkater, Muarsk, Helm, Miller, Eaves-if healthy, Sheahan, Cleary-he really belongs in one of these 2 lines, plus any number of other guys from GR. all have speed, most are young and cheap. If we decide to add another via FA, I am a fan of Dave Jones with Colorado. he has good size: 6-2/210, young 27 IIRC, and plays both ways. He is a bigger younger faster and healthier version of Cleary. Now for the harder part. The top 2 lines. This is where the problems start. this is where the "big names" are, the big money, and the fan fav's are found. Let's start with Burtuzzi. Big, old, declining production, and signed. has almost 0 trade value. Franzen-big, fast, strong, signed long term, and completely disappears for long stretches of the season. He is cap friendly and does have some trde value. Datsyk. One of the best in the game. has great trade value, but moving him might cause riots in the streets. Long story short......hold onto all 3 for at least 1 more season. They are the top line, at least on paper. That brings us to the second line. As of today it is Zetterberg, Nyquist, and Filppula. That group has some talent. but it is very small. This is were i look to make at least 2 moves. Just thinking out loud...... What would it take to get Staal from the pens? kronwall and...... How much would it take to get van Reimsdyk from the Flyers? Filppula and........ or How much to get Pacioretty from the Habs? Or a Ryan from the Ducks? Point is, now we have some pieces we can trade with and get bigger, younger and faster. Even if it took moving Zetterberg, I would do it. a second line of Nyquist, Staal and Ryan looks a lot better to me than a line of Z, filppula and Nyquist.
6. The for 2013 we replace nicky with smith, and look at moves for the top line.
Ok, there they are. Go ahead flame away!!!! LOL!
Let me start off by saying that I really respect your willingness to break from the monotonous norm of this forum and share a viewpoint that might not be that popular among the others here.
That being said some of your ideas are pretty radical/unrealistic. I agree that Lids coming back at his current price isn't ideal but it's probably the reality. I think he'll come back for around 5.5-6 on a one year deal (obv.) Also, comparing him to Stevie Y isn't realistic but I think that point has been made already too.
Also, overhauling a whole organization isn't easy or the right way to get back in contention. Realistically, this team can get back in the playoffs next year if we dump a couple of the older players who don't fit and pick up Parise (which probably won't happen IMO but for the sake of arguement...) or get Nyquist and/or Jurco up here and pray to god they can contribute and that we won't ruin their potential by pushing them too early. It's not going to be too hard to get into the playoffs next year, especially if there aren't as many injuries.
The problem lies 2-3 years from now when we're gonna be REALLY old and still not have any great prospects. We're going to have to rebuild at some point otherwise we're going to be middle of the pack until Datsyuk and Z hang em' up.. Then we'll be bottom feeders. We need to start getting younger now (as you mentioned) but that is easier said than done. It involves getting rid of old players that have trade value in exchange for younger players and picks that we can use to start getting fresh, young talent into the organization. But it all has to be done while still keeping the team we have now a contender and not wasting the last years on some of our older players because we had a yard sale with everyone else. It's an challenging task and I do not envy Ken Holland. I commend you for your efforts and willingness to take a leap but still.. A lot of what you said just isn't feasible. Especially the trades you mentioned. Pac from the Habs is a decent player but he isn't the answer to our problems and Ryan from Anaheim would be a blockbuster that really wouldn't work out for us well in the long term. Anaheim is in rebuilding right now as far as I'm concerned and it will be near impossible to lure a 24 year old proven goal scorer away from them without having to give up every good prospect and their brother that we have in the system. Not to mention picks. It would look great in the short term because putting a finisher like Bobby Ryan on a like with Datsyuk would be deadly. It's certainly a sexy acquisition but at the end of the day it would set us back HUGE in the long-term and would be a bad deal to try and make.
There is some other stuff but I think it's been pretty much beaten to death here already as far as I can see.. Again though.. I commend you on stepping outside the box and putting it on the line.