Well, heck, if the baseline standard for Holland as a GM is "deals in magic", no wonder he can't live up to the hype! Unfortunately, while Suter would have been a good signing, I don't think magic could've done the trick to get him here. Maybe witchcraft.
I think what people underappreciate about good GM's like Holland is that the majority of doing a good job is all about the moves you didn't make. Since the cap was implemented, you can't find a single long-term really bad deal that has strapped this team. Some people are hot and cold on Franzen, but his cap hit of under $4 million is totally reasonable for his level of production. Even the Ericsson and Quincy deals, which are 2 or 3 years between 3-4 million per...sure I was annoyed when we signed those, but if the alternative is paying the same amount on the open market for Jeff Finger, or going up to the $5 million range for similar players...the Wings never make those type of mistakes. And the reality of being an older team that's always a buyer or neutral at the deadline (because we're always in the mix) means that have lower drafter picks to use, and have to trade some of them for other veteran pieces.
I full admit acknowledge that Sammy and Tootoo deals make no sense to me, but I can't get too up in arms about relatively small commitments to role players when we still have quite a bit of cap room to play with. But the main thing is that we have no idea what the CBA will look like when we emerge from this lockout. Budget-wise, however, I would have to have think that it's much preferable to have a bit a buffer built into there, as opposed to being right up against the (current) Cap. I imagine that Cap will have to go down, one way or another.
3 to 4 million would have gotten us Erhoff, 5 would have gotten Wisniewski. Both of those guys are better than anyone on our defense not named Kronwall. I get irritated when I see people suggest that it's no good to overpay. I'd personally rather see Holland overpay for talented players than overpay for average ones.