1.) Sign the remaining FA scraps and try to stich a competitive team together.
2.) Make trades to acquire a young #1 dman (think Keith Yandle)
3.) Push forward with an internal youth movement and let the chips fall where they may. If the kids can't step up next summer will be very interesting. If they can step up we'll see just what this team has in terms of the next generation. One benefit of this plan is it will leave the Wings with a lot of cap space that could be useful if the new CBA drops the cap by an appreciable amount (in which case you'll see some serious panic from the teams who are up against the temporary cap).
Personally, I'd take option #3. I'd rather gamble on the kids and get them minutes to grow than wash out in the 1st round again. At least we'd be in line for a decent 1st round pick for the first time in more than 20 years.
With that in mind here's my proposal:
Quincey (if and only if a better player can't be had for his spot and he's willing to take 4 mil or less, otherwise release him)
Abdelkader (Tootoo does everything he does but better and Abs is a terrible face-off guy)
Holmstrom (only so many roster spots left, it'll be a shame to see him go)
Emmerton (let him pass through waivers)
Miller (no room, need the roster spot for one of the kids)
Joey Mac (find him a legitimate back-up job, trade him for future considerations if necessary)
Eaves (if he's ready in training camp and earns his spot keep him as the 4th line center since he's got NHL experience in the circle and is fast as hell, otherwise slot Andersson or Sheahan up into his spot)
Mursak (he's the 13th forward in my mind)
Tatar, Andersson, Sheahan. All three should get an extended look through the entire pre-season and if any of the three beat an NHLer on the roster for his job make the trade that brings them onto the team. It's time to give the kids a chance to drive.
Obligatory line-up from cap geek:
Gustav Nyquist ($0.875m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Johan Franzen ($3.955m)
Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Damien Brunner ($1.350m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Mikael Samuelsson ($3.000m)
Danny Cleary ($2.800m) / Patrick Eaves ($1.200m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)
Jan Mursak ($0.550m) /
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Kyle Quincey ($3.750m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m) / Brendan Smith ($0.875m)
Ian White ($2.875m) / Jakub Kindl ($0.883m)
Jimmy Howard ($2.250m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $70,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $55,746,212; BONUSES: $462,500
CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $14,453,788
Notes: Subtly probe the market to see if there's interest in Cleary from one of the Canadian teams. Float the idea of a trade with Cleary. He's got the NTC (assuming it came back after the window that opened this past trade deadline) but there's always a chance he'd be excited to come home to Canada.
Give Smith, Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan and Andersson every opportunity to make the team and earn a perminant spot. If they can bump an NHL player off the roster who is performing at or very close to their level then so be it. The #1 priority should be to fully evaluate just what the team has in the cupboard. If the kids are found lacking it's time to make some bold moves.
This plan very well may reduce the chances this team has to make the playoffs but I believe that it is in the long-term interests of the team.
Edit: seriously, can we please have spell-check functionality with this new UI? My normal Firefox spellcheck doesn't work here anymore.
Edited by Drake_Marcus, 05 July 2012 - 02:05 PM.