When we sign the guys we do at what we do and then I see deals like this, I wonder if Holland even tries. I don't know how people can continue to defend him when he seems to so clearly be unable to maneuver well with free agents anymore. Lecavalier at $5 million for 5 years at worst wouldn't have been as bad as Sammy for $3 million, ever. That he went to Philly for $4.5 though is even sillier. Franzen has close to a $4 million cap hit and he's already more worthless than Vinny would likely be in his 4th and 5th years.
At this rate, I think we'll be lucky if we can sign Brunner again.
And by "at this rate," I don't mean one guy that we didn't before free agency even began, I'm talking about the last four off-seasons of failing to truly make this team better via free agency or trade. I get that development and the draft are vitally important, more than ever in the cap era, but it takes a fool to think development alone will put you over the top. Clearly Holland doesn't believe that it'll work, otherwise he wouldn't pursue anyone, so don't even try to kid yourselves into thinking his schtick about being focused on the draft and development after he comes up empty is anything more than lip service to his local lapdogs at MLive and the Free Press.
Again, what shouldn't worry anyone is whether or not Holland believes you need to be able to add NHL talent to your roster via trade or free agency. What should cause you to just shake your head is that Holland just doesn't seem able to get that job done anymore, and it's a shame. Any team built around Datsyuk and Zetterberg with decent goaltending is close to being a contender. We saw that clearly in the last playoffs. But it's going to continue to go to waste if Holland doesn't pull up his britches and take some chances. So what if deals don't always work out? For the love, grow up and deal with it, that's life!
Maybe Lecavalier had other reasons to go to Philly, but at this moment, given what is known, it's hard to imagine. He doesn't automatically make them a contender by a long-shot, but if he had signed with the Wings, after what we saw from our young guys and what he'd add, I'll be damned if I wouldn't be very, very confident heading into the playoffs the next couple of years at least, probably more. But as of now, it's hard to have confidence in that because once again, I just don't have confidence in Holland's ability to make the moves that will put us over the top, and we're just too close to keep wasting opportunities.