The term is what gets me on those deals, I don't think they've proven to be good enough for the number of years they wanted. I really don't think Buffalo/Columbus fans are running out to buy Erhoff/Wisniewski jerseys.
Erhoff- The idea behind a 10 year contract is that the player would eventually outperform his cap hit in the beginning to negate any complications when he enters his twilight, but take a look at his stats, do you feel there is an indication that he's worth the 40 million dollar gamble or outperforming a $4 million dollar cap hit? That's just talking about offensively, ask any Vancouver/Buffalo fan and they will tell you how he is on defense, let's just say not close to $4 million dollar's especially on the top pairing. And you said it yourself, we have plenty of puck moving defensemen, I don't think he would have been a very good fit.
Wisniewski- 6 years 5.5 million I can see the appeal, he's got potential injured last season but played well at least offensively, he can hit but he's only 6'0 not exactly menacing and tough. Much like Ian White in the toughness area. But again, defensively he is very prone to turnovers, isn't a great skater and has a problem with pinching. Again I don't think it would have been a very good fit for the Red Wings in regards to what kind of defenseman we need.
Well with Erhoff I doubt very seriously he plays until 40, so basically you've got a guy who will put up 30+ points a year, and runs the hell out of a powerplay, for 4 million dollars until the end of his career. I do understand being wary of that term though, and you're right, it's a gamble, but if Brian Rafalski can put up quality numbers despite having s***ty knees, at 36-37 years old, so can Erhoff...and Erhoff would be cheaper.
Wiz is as good defensively as Kronwall, hits, fights, is 20 lbs. heavier, and scores as much or more, and god knows he'd help our powerplay Plus, unlike Erhoff, he won't be all that old when his contract is up...33 I think. In all honesty I don't really understand why people thought this one was so bad. His bad defensive years were with Columbus -13, and the Islanders -18. When he was traded from the Island to Montreal he was a plus four for the remainder of the season. Excluding the two years playing on two of the worst teams imaginable, the Wiz is a career plus defenseman. He does take bad penalties now and again, but usually it's because he's overly aggressive, something I wouldn't really mind on our team.
Those are my defenses of those two guys, you're welcome to disagree, as neither of them are elite players and I'm aware of it. Obviously my list included more than just those two as well, but the point I was always trying to make is that there have been plenty of good defensemen available over the last three years. We either didn't want them, or didn't think we needed them. In lieu of our current defensive situation I'd say that those were both poor decisions.
Finally, hindsight is 20/20, I get that. But isn't it part of a general manager's job to anticipate the future (as best as possible)? Holland constantly talks about the future. So it's hard for me to say that he shouldn't have been better prepared, preparation falls pretty much exclusively on his shoulders. He's still a great GM, but I agree with Esteef, he could have handled this better.
Edited by kipwinger, 13 July 2012 - 02:49 PM.