If we make the playoffs, I guess there's always a chance that an 8-seed could make a run. But, given those chances, I'd like to talk about the rebuilding process that we're going to be going through here. I'm just going to be speaking in very general terms here. Just kind of feeling things out. Don't take anything I say too concretely. Just interested in gathering some board opinions about our team moving ahead.
...There's no shortage of things Mike Babcock does that I hate. But he's still generally regarded as one of the very best coaches in the world. He's not retiring anytime soon. And who the hell are you going to replace him with!? He's probably our guy for the foreseeable future. And that's fine.
...Jimmy's a decent goalie. He doesn't win you games. He doesn't lose you games. He's about to be way overpaid for such a goalie. But, whatever I guess. He's here for the next seven years. He's decent. At age 29, he's probably got at least 5 more decent seasons in him. Petr Mrazek (21) is a prospect I personally really like, and he should at least make for a decent backup (if not someone who pushes Jimmy). Gus is here for one more season, then probably replaced by him. I guess we're set at goalie for the foreseeable future as well. McCollum is at least worth mentioning as potentially being a decent third goalie.
...Kronwall's sort of been exposed this season, without Lidstrom and Stuart out there. But he's still decent, and a fine leader for our defensive core moving ahead. Here for the next seven seasons. At age 32, probably has 5 decent seasons left in him. That's one check. Ericsson, at age 29, is a decent defenseman as well, and another check-mark. A free-agent after next season, I'm guessing he'll be retained. This DeKeyser (23) looks great. He's a RFA after next season and I'm sure he'll be brought back. That's a third check-mark. Smith (24) has shown a lot of flaws, but idk, I guess I'm going to continue believing in him. An RFA this off-season, I'm sure he'll be brought back. That's a fourth check-mark. Lashoff (22), IMO, is a decent and cheap enough 7th defenseman to be considered as a fifth check-mark. Kindl's (26) an RFA after this season. I'm sure he'll be brought back. Next season is do or die for him though. Could be a bottom-pair defenseman. Could be gone. Quincey (27) I abhor. He's gone after next season. White (28), who's misused, is gone after this season. Colaiacovo (30) is a waste of cap space, he's gone after next season.
...All in all. 4 solid pieces moving ahead (Kronwall, Ericsson, DeKeyser, Smith). A solid 7th defenseman in Lashoff. So, here, we need to add at least one defenseman soon, preferably a stud. And we might need to add one more, depending on Kindl's next season. *Should've been Suter and Schwartz this off-season, but I won't get into that. Sproul and Oullet are at least worth mentioning as prospects that might have a chance.
...Zetterberg's here for another nine seasons. At 32, he should be decent for another five. Fine leader moving ahead. That's one check-mark. Franzen's here for another eight seasons. Already deteriorating at 33, I wouldn't expect him to be more than a decent third-liner in five seasons. I guess that's a check-mark. Nyquist (23) is an RFA after this season. He'll be brought back. He can be penciled in a top-six forward. That's a third check-mark. Helm (26), presuming he gets healthy, is a solid bottom-sixer. He's here for another three seasons. That's a fourth check-mark. Abdelkader (26) is a decent enough bottom-sixer. He's here for another three seasons as well. That's a fifth check-mark. Andersson (24) is an RFA after this season. He'll be brought back. He looks like a decent enough bottom-sixer. That's a sixth check-mark. Emmerton (24) is here for another season. I like a lot about him, and think he's decent enough to be a 13th forward moving ahead. That's a seventh check-mark. Tootoo (30) is here for two more seasons. He's decent enough to be your 14th forward/fighter moving ahead. That's an eighth check-mark. Brunner (27) is a FA at the end of the season. I think he'll be brought back. He can be penciled in as a top-sixer. That's a ninth check mark. Filppula (29) too is a FA at the end of the season. Worst year of his career, but I think he'll be brought back as well, cheap. He can be penciled into the top six. That's a tenth check-mark. Datsyuk (34) has been rumored to return to Russia after next season. I think we'll bend over backwards to make him happy and retain him. He's got another 5 decent seasons in him as a top-sixer. That's an eleventh check-mark. Sammy (36) is a waste of cap-space. He's here one more season, then gone. Cleary (34) is done an gone after this season. Bert (38) is a waste of cap-space. He's here one more season, then gone. Eaves (28) doesn't seem to have a long-term place here. He's here one more season, then gone. Miller (29) doesn't seem to have a long-term place here either. He's probably gone after next season.
...Leaves at least three forward spots open. Top internal candidates are Tatar, Jarnkrok, Sheahan, Pulkkinen, Jurco, Frk. I guess we'll see who pans out among them. Big time FA's should be a priority too.
...There's a plethora of bad contracts with one season remaining on this team. There are a number of prospects for whom next season will be incredibly telling. Salary-cap space is on the horizon though. And another championship-run is not totally inconceivable.
...Top-Six Forwards: P. Datsyuk, H. Zetterberg, V. Filppula, G. Nyquist, D. Brunner, ??? (Tatar, Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen, Frk - have a chance)
...Bottom-Six Forwards: D. Helm, J. Franzen, J. Abdelkader, J. Andersson, ???, ??? (Sheahan, Jurco - have a chance).
...Reserve Forwards: C. Emmerton, J. Tootoo
...Defensemen: N. Kronwall, J. Ericsson, D. DeKeyser, B. Smith, ???, ??? (Kindl, Sproul, Oullet - have a chance)
...Reserve Defenseman: B. Lashoff
...Goalies: J. Howard, P. Mrazek (T. McCollum-3rd)
...Head Coach: M. Babcock
*Get a #1 scoring winger. A #1 two-way defenseman. Perhaps another good defenseman (*cough*Parise, Suter, Schultz*cough*) and we're set.
Edited by blueadams, 25 April 2013 - 12:00 PM.