I thought I would start a thread tonight for those fans who take the time to look at the big picture - rather than broadcast any anger towards one of the best GM's in the NHL just because it didn't go our way today. So before you elect Paul Holmgren as our next GM, consider that since 2007 he has signed 6 contracts to a combined 61 years and $374.5 Millon to players who are NOT currently playing for Philadelphia. (Shea Weber, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Danny Briere, Ilya Bryzalov, and Chris Pronger) you can also add James Van Riemsdyk to that list.
Here are 5 overreaction's I have been exposed to since 10 AM this morning.
1. Vincent Lecavalier - I"ll admit I was intrigued by the possibility of him centering our second line next year...but that's about it. He is 33 years old, is already too slow, and now playing with house money for the duration of this ridiculous 5 year contract. My question is: How motivated is this Stanley Cup champ, who hasn't played more than 65 games or scored more than 25 goals since 09-10, and hasn't been a + player since 06-07 going to be for the next 5 years? Sadly enough, at the same age, Johan Franzen has actually put up better all around numbers since then and who on this site hasn't posted in a "trade Franzen" thread.
2. David Clarkson - Thank God. Why does anyone want this guy signed to a long term contract at 6+ Million per season. Those figures are entering Datsyuk range, and are already in Zetterberg range. Congratulatons on your one 30 goal season Dave, but considering that Hakan Loob, Stephane Richer, Jonathon Cheechoo, Wayne Babych and Dino Cicarelli all scored 50 once... No Thanks.
3. Buyouts - There are like 1 or 2 good centres left in this years free agent crop that 29 other teams have interest in, meaning we probably aren't going to get who we want (Stephen Weiss) because someone will overspend when it's the wrong thing to do (Philadelphia). Collatarally, this means that with 10+ million in the bank and very few targets to spend it on right now, why would we burn our last compliance buyout on either Sammy or Bert who both have 1 year remaining on their contracts, when we still have 4 players signed until at least 2019. The point is, we aren't spending 10 Mill this summer on free agents meaning there is no point in getting rid of any assets simply for cap relief.
4. Lack of Team Talent? - We played Chicago harder than anyone they met en route to winning the cup, and had 3 chances to eliminate them. As of right now, the team will be adding Helm, Bertuzzi, Dekeyser, and Tatar to next years full time roster and losing Filpulla and White for sure. Brunner and Cleary remain to be seen, but can someone tell me how next years team isn't better than last years based on injuries alone, and before you take into account the development of all of our rookies?
5. The Time Is Now - Has anyone seen next years free agent class? Before you erase Vincent Lecavalier from your CapGeek thread team, and visit nhltraderumours.com to pencil someone else into our top 6 while maintaining about $14,000 in Cap Space, consider the future.
I also agree with you on Lecavalier (length of contract) and Clarkson (value of contract), but disagree on the rest.
The buyouts are all about roster space for younger players and (hopefully) an incoming free agent or two. Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, Smith, DeKeyser, and Lashoff need to have regular roles on this team. Tatar and Nyquist should probably start the season on the top 2 lines, see how they do with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Franzen. If it isn't working, then make a change. DeKeyser, if he plays the way he did in his short stint last year, will be the #2 defenseman by Thanksgiving. Lashoff is a capable, defense-first guy, something this team lacks. He should rotate in and out of the 3rd pairing.
Talent and hard work are two completely different things. Some players have talent, some work hard, and some do both. Same with teams. Detroit got a 3-1 lead over Chicago by playing hard and getting under Chicago's skin. Toews was completely neutralized for the first half of that series, and was actually a detriment to his team because of the way the Wings played against him. That was hard work, not talent, on the Wings' part. Based on talent, this team has 3 top-6 forwards and 1 top-3 defenseman right now. The rest are bottom-6 and bottom-3 guys.
The same thing was said last year about this year's FA class. And the year before about last year's class. And so on and so on. Most of the good ones will re-sign with their current teams.
Holland has exposed himself over the last few years. This team has not gotten better. Some of its draft picks and undrafted free agents are working out, some will be very good in the near future. But he has not added significant pieces in forever. He also has not gotten rid of enough "dead weight" either. He hangs on to guys for too long. He overvalues his own players and undervalues everyone else's. He seems reluctant, if not downright afraid, to make a move. One thing he does very well is work with the guys on his staff, listens to them and trusts their opinions. But how much of Holland's "magic" really was Scotty Bowman, Jim Nill, his scouts, and Mike Ilitch's wallet? The more time goes on, I think it's becoming evident that it's at least a big part of it.