It strikes me that the majority of complainents on here have little understanding how reality works.
I would agree that not doing more at last years deadline was a mistake, and perhaps if Holland had realised that Lids was going to retire he would have made a trade splash to give us our last go at the cup. This year we are not cup contenders in all reality, but probably will make the playoffs. The only players on the market that would have made a significant impact, either went for very big prices and/or have very big salaries or were rentals for high picks in a draft with at least one and a half deep rounds. Unless they pull off a miracle, the wings will have their highest 1st round pick in over two decades, and in a draft where the first 2/3 of the first round are thought to be pretty exciting. After the first half of the second round the draft drops off a fair bit, and early comparisons with 2003 are wide of the mark. With this in mind trading top 2 round picks away was not likely to be a great idea, and trading players like White for 3rd rounders is not worth a great deal.
Another key element is that with so many injuries and rookies, its hard for the GM or coach to really know where things stand. Will Cola stay fit or play well so soon back? Will Quincy return effectively? Will Dekeyser be able to step up straight away? Can lashoff cope with the playoffs if called on? Will bert or helm come back? Can Sammy play more than 2 games in a row? Holland doesn't need how many pieces he needs to get the team into the playoffs, and maybe a round or two in. Equally lots of rookies bring unpredictability. Not to mention the fact that the griffs are in line for the playoffs, and it could be valuable for a borderline NHL press boxer to get 20+ mins a night down there if the injured players do return.
I agree with those who said that we should have done more last year and seen more of smith then. I also liked what tatar brought to the big club, but I'm not sure it was much more than a fit sammy, and certainly not enough to get rid of flip, especially since for the first time in two decades we are short at centre.
Another consideration is that our most exciting prospects, in terms of high end potential and fitting needs of the NHL line-up are just too far away to gain masses in a trade or justify trading the likes of Nyquist or Tatar unless in a really sweet deal.
As for the pending UFAs,..we want to keep flip. He knows the club, is defensively sound and can put up on average 50 ish points a year. He'll get more money than he deserves, but wont have a NTC so it wont be a disaster. Also with the possibility of dats leaving and it being too soon for Jarnkrok, Sheahan or Greek lightning to be relied upon in that eventuality, we need to keep flip, even if its just for 2-3 years. Also if he re-signs he'll be worth more in a trade than as a pending UFA. White has been underwhelming and has 3rd round value at best, and would not have been a great fit in any of the trades that took place. Miller is worth more to us on current performance level than to anyone else in a trade. If Bert and Helm were fit, he'd probably be gone, but he's been one of the best of our plugs of late, and probably wouldn't have secured more than a 6th rounder.
Anyone trading with us would have wanted Smith, Nyquist, Tatar or someone like Sproul as a prospect, and I think they will be worth more to the wings than we'd have got for them.