Funny - Ask Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh how that parity is working out for them.
Parity is an excuse for losers. This team lacks fire, energy, speed, skill and grit. That's not parity, that's losing hall of famers, legends and truly-gritty players like Drapes and Maltby and replacing them with Sammy, Coliacovo, Quincey and whoever else Holland tried to sell to us as legit hockey players this year.
It's not parity, it's that everyone has gotten better and Detroit's dynasty is over. It's not over because of lack of trying, it's over because legends like Yzerman and Lidstrom are gone, Hall of Famers like Chelios, Rafalski and Osgood are gone too.
You don't lose legends like Lidstrom and expect first round busts like Quincey to move into the lineup and make the same impact. There HAS TO BE a drop off, and we're seeing it. It'll take more than plugging in a few "over-ripe" career minor-leaguers to fix it.
what happened to chicago after they won the cup? thats right, they havent won a series since, and made the playoffs the following year because dallas lost their last game only. yes they are great again now, but they had their year of barely squeaking in.
it certainly is parity. if not for the cap, the wings would have continued to trade #1 picks for top players, and throw money at players in the summer to remain great. and it will take a few down years for the wings to get some fresh blood in the system now. it's just the way the league is now.
the pens and bruins will drop off in time as well. the pens will take a long time to do so because their core is very young. ours isnt. if the wings threw big mioney at some ufa's over the past couple years, sure they would have remained really good for a couple more years. but the drop off would come sooner or later regardless.