I hear what you are saying, and I don't think that Holland will NEVER make a trade, I just think they will be few and far between. Realistically, this team isn't one piece away from a Stanley Cup, so this really isn't the year to make a huge splash. Let the youth develop, see what holes there are to fill a year or two out and I'm sure Holland will seek to build out the team. However, this patient approach won't be enough for many people who are always in win now mode, which I just don't think is a realistic way to build a long term successful franchise.
I agree with most your post but I disagree with not being just one move away from a cup contender. If Weiss and mule show up they are huge X factors. Z-pav-Bert could be the best line in hockey, mule-Weiss-alfy could be a very good 2nd line, Tatar-helm-nyquist could be the best third line in hockey, and we can have a very solid 4th line.
As far as defense goes I do believe we need a top 4 defensemen. But we do have the assets to pull off a deal weather it's a solid vet or even a top 2 d-man. We got good prospects, we can move smith, Quincey, and others.
Maybe a team like buffalo would take on a couple of our expiring contracts, tootoo,eaves,Sammy, Quincey, along with smith for a guy like erhoff.