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wings87

A plea to Holland.

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Don't get me wrong, joshy, I totally get where you're coming from. I just don't think there's much of an actual organizational problem here. Maybe some issues with the way a few specific cases have been handled, but any true red flags regarding The Process?

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I believe it works in some cases and not as well in others. Of course, pretty much everyone but the high-end draft picks will spend time in the minors, that's the way player development works. Exceptions like DeKeyser, Justin Schultz, and a few other college free agents have spent 3-4 extra developmental years in college. The key is calling them up at the right time... not rushing them and putting them in situations where they can't succeed, but not leaving them in the AHL for too long and stunting their development.

I agree on Sheahan and Jurco, neither were ready last year and probably weren't this September. Also agree on Callahan and Ferraro, who I think will be either marginal 4th-liners or AHL journeymen. But if Tatar and Nyquist were ready last year, why not have them up full-time? (It has worked out for the best, as they're the top 2 forwards playing right now, but that could have still happened had they been full-timers last year.)

My biggest case against "overripening" is Brendan Smith. Babcock declared him NHL-ready 2 years before he cracked the Wings' lineup full-time, but by leaving him in Grand Rapids, they not only allowed him to stay at a level where he was able to cover up for his mistakes because the game is slower, but they also missed out on a chance for him to watch and learn from one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, if not THE best. I wonder out loud if staying in Grand Rapids for so long actually stunted his development, and if that's why we watch him mix flashes of brilliance in with consistent mistakes. Maybe some of those mistakes became habits in Grand Rapids because they didn't hurt him or the team.

Next year, the Wings have absolutely no reason to send Sheahan down. Jurco, IMO, should stay in Detroit too. His offensive numbers don't quite indicate how well he has been playing, but that will come with a little more time and patience. Glendening can go either way, he's a nice defensive 4th-line center and pest, but doesn't provide anything offensively. Callahan only got one game to prove he's worth re-signing before he runs out of waiver exemptions, and that is not enough of a chance. If he's re-signed, they'll risk losing him on waivers if he doesn't make the roster. Same with Ferraro, who I think has less of a chance of returning. Pulkkinen looked alright in his time up here, but should start the year in GR and be the first callup for a top-9 replacement role. It's been said Mantha will have a chance to compete for a spot... let's hope there is one available for him to possibly fill.

Back to the original topic though, right now Kindl and Lashoff are pretty much the best option available for the third pairing. I think Kindl's been a disappointment, given his apparent jump forward last year and the shiny new 4-year contract it earned him. Lashoff doesn't provide much offensively, but is generally dependable defensively for a bottom-pairing guy and can play with a little edge. And yes, he's only 23, so he's still young.

I agree. Developing prospects is so hard, and there are so many factors in play as to whether I guy will pan out or be a bust. Generally, I think the Wings have done an excellent job, and that has allowed them to 're-build on the fly' so to speak because when they do call a kid up, by and large, after a few games they're good to go.

If it were down to me, I'd keep all of Sheahan, Jurco and Glendening on the roster next year. There really isn't any good reason to send them down.

Whatever happens the rest of the way this season, it's going to be an interesting off season.

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As much as I would love having him I think the Ducks are easily the frontrunner for his services:

- their top 6 is basically set lot's of young guns coming

- thanks to revenue sharing he will get paid very well

- low pressure market with all the privacy in the world

- close to his wife

so I can easily see, why he would choose the Ducks.

All the speculation I've seen over the Ducks goalie situation revolves around the idea that if they're not interested in re-signing Hiller, it's because the front office wants to roll with Andersen with John Gibson as his backup as they're considering Gibson their goalie of the future. I would actually be surprised if Miller does end up in Anaheim. What wouldn't surprise me is the Blues taking the Cup this season & Miller re-signing there.

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Don't get me wrong, joshy, I totally get where you're coming from. I just don't think there's much of an actual organizational problem here. Maybe some issues with the way a few specific cases have been handled, but any true red flags regarding The Process?

My biggest issue is that this is the automatic way it's done. The roster is always full of veterans so there's little room for any of the prospects to even get a chance until someone gets hurt or until they've run out of waiver options. I'm sure it's because Babcock and Holland don't generally trust rookies/young players until they prove their worthiness, but maybe that's changed this year. I think it has with Babcock, and I hope it has with Holland. Not completely, I don't think they should abandon the process and rush Mantha, Pulkkinen, Athanasiou, Mrazek, and some of the young defensemen all up here next year, but start leaving room for some of them to get a decent taste of NHL action and go from there.

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At what point do we start considering Almquist as a possible asset? Even if he is undersized and not rugged - he has 52 points in 69 games right now. I would prefer to have him play over Kindl as he can actually run a power play and pass the puck effectively. He can't be much worse than Kindl in his own zone right now. Would be nice to showcase him right now and then trade him if he isn't in our long term plans due to ouellet, sproul, marchenko.

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At what point do we start considering Almquist as a possible asset? Even if he is undersized and not rugged - he has 52 points in 69 games right now. I would prefer to have him play over Kindl as he can actually run a power play and pass the puck effectively. He can't be much worse than Kindl in his own zone right now. Would be nice to showcase him right now and then trade him if he isn't in our long term plans due to ouellet, sproul, marchenko.

You know how bad people say Smith, Kindl, and Lashoff are defensively? Almquist is worse. He can't handle AHL forwards, he'd be destroyed by even 3rd line NHL guys.

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You know how bad people say Smith, Kindl, and Lashoff are defensively? Almquist is worse. He can't handle AHL forwards, he'd be destroyed by even 3rd line NHL guys.

I wouldn't say Smith or Lashoff are bad defensively. Almquist is still +9 despite most of his points being pp points. He didn't look THAT outclassed defensively when he was in detroit last...

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At what point do we start considering Almquist as a possible asset? Even if he is undersized and not rugged - he has 52 points in 69 games right now. I would prefer to have him play over Kindl as he can actually run a power play and pass the puck effectively. He can't be much worse than Kindl in his own zone right now. Would be nice to showcase him right now and then trade him if he isn't in our long term plans due to ouellet, sproul, marchenko.

"Even is he is undersized and not rugged" - I remember Rafalski's last year here and people complaining that he got ran by opposing team's large forwards. Shudder to think what would be said of Almquist.

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You know how bad people say Smith, Kindl, and Lashoff are defensively? Almquist is worse. He can't handle AHL forwards, he'd be destroyed by even 3rd line NHL guys.

I wouldn't say Smith or Lashoff are bad defensively. Almquist is still +9 despite most of his points being pp points. He didn't look THAT outclassed defensively when he was in detroit last...

You must not have seen the same game I did then. I thought he was absolutely worthless in the d zone.

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My biggest issue is that this is the automatic way it's done. The roster is always full of veterans so there's little room for any of the prospects to even get a chance until someone gets hurt or until they've run out of waiver options. I'm sure it's because Babcock and Holland don't generally trust rookies/young players until they prove their worthiness, but maybe that's changed this year. I think it has with Babcock, and I hope it has with Holland. Not completely, I don't think they should abandon the process and rush Mantha, Pulkkinen, Athanasiou, Mrazek, and some of the young defensemen all up here next year, but start leaving room for some of them to get a decent taste of NHL action and go from there.

Well, it's not the automatic way it's done. More often than not the really good players do earn roster spots before they run out of waiver exemptions. Usually because they're good enough to earn an injury call-up prior to that, and perform well when they do. Occasionally it's just because we have an opening.

Fischer, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Filppula, Helm, Smith, Brunner, Dekeyser... all of them did it. Possibly Hudler and Kronwall as well. Maybe even Abby (I think 07-08 counted as his first year, but maybe not).

Tatar and Nyquist are more exception than rule. The guys that normally get left down until they're out of options are the guys like Kindl, Emmerton, Andersson, Kopecky, Ritola, Mursak...

Free agency is a narrow window, and once you let that opportunity go you can't go back. Sign a proven player and leave a kid you think is ready in the minors: It doesn't work out, or you have injuries, you have the option of using that kid. Pick the kid instead of a proven player what happens if it doesn't work? Fall back on another kid you didn't think was as good as the first one?

And now we're getting to a point where kids are competing against other kids. Emmerton lost his spot to Andersson. Andy may be headed the same way, or if not then there's less opportunity for Glendening, Ferraro, and Callahan. Could be hard to find spots in the lineup for all of Tatar, Nyquist, Jurco, and Pulkkinen, even if we leave one or both of Jurco and Pulu in GR next year and that's not even considering Mantha possibly jumping one (or both) of them.

In short, nothing about how we handle young players needs to change. Mostly because we already handle them the way you're all suggesting anyway. The way we handled Nyquist this year should have been different, which is to say it should have been the way we handled other good kids in the past. But that's in the past, it worked out pretty well regardless, and there's no good reason to think it's a pattern or particularly likely to happen again.

Dabura and wings4thecup06 like this

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I don't think they should abandon the process and rush Mantha, Pulkkinen, Athanasiou, Mrazek, and some of the young defensemen all up here next year, but start leaving room for some of them to get a decent taste of NHL action and go from there.

Reserving spots for kids who may or may not be ready? What if they're not ready? I just feel like we're inventing a problem where none actually exists.

I think the system is in place not because Holland and Babs categorically don't trust kids, but because they don't want to have to rely on kids who may not be ready. Generally, they want Kid A to be Plan B until he's really ready to be Plan A. We know there'll be injuries every season and a couple of underachieving regulars along the way. Worst-case scenario: a kid is overly ready but stuck behind someone on the depth chart. That's better than having a kid on the roster who isn't ready but might as well stick it out because we don't have a Plan B.

To me, it's a lot like shark teeth.

http://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/biology/shark-teeth1/

Sharks have numerous rows of teeth

When you consider the number of teeth a shark uses during this lifetime, this information is hardly a surprise. A shark’s teeth are arranged in rows, the number of which varies from species to species. The row nearest the front of the mouth is the “working” row of teeth (though some sharks use up to the first 8 rows of teeth), and they are the largest teeth in a sharks’ mouth. The second row of teeth is smaller than the first row of teeth, the third row of teeth is smaller than the fourth row, and so on. Every time a shark loses a tooth, the tooth in the row behind it moves up to take the lost tooth’s place. This is possible because sharks’ teeth are not embedded in the jaw, but are attached to the skin covering the jaw.

Teeth are continually being grown

New teeth are continually grown in a groove in the shark’s mouth and the skin acts as a “conveyor belt” to move the teeth forward into new positions. Sharks’ specialized teeth have allowed sharks to develop a very strong jaw. Without the ability to quickly replace teeth, a shark’s jaw could not have developed as powerful of a bite. The number of teeth they routinely lose while catching prey would outweigh the quick-kill benefits of their crushing jaw strength.

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Not seeing if the young defensemen are ready now,while we have a chance, might mean that they get buried in Grand Rapids for years.

Going into the offseason Holland will and should be on the look-out for upgrades on the back end, which will lead to signing a couple dependable top 4 veterans(hopefully) to multi-year deals. Which will create a logjam leaving the kids once again in the minors in favor of veteran players. I have no problem with this scenario, but what if they are genuinely ready to contribute, if not this year then next. But because Holland refused to promote them, we don't get a chance to find out. This scenario can be corrected if Holland pulls the trigger on a trade for a guy like Weber(I know wishful thinking, just using him as an example) while packaging some young players. Having success with youth up front makes me think that it might be a good idea to try a young defenseman in the hopes of catching lightening in a bottle kinda like what happened with DD last year. I just don't want to go back to having young "over-ripe" players sitting in the minors waiting for an injury to get their chance.

Now I get that the playoffs are right around the corner and such a move would be a difficult adjustment, but it feels like Holland missed the boat here. The WIngs have had a ton of injuries and its disappointing that the young defense prospects didn't get a look.

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Holland himself has said that he'd likely be hesitant to sign a UFA defenseman to a long-term deal, given what we have on the Griffins' blue line. And it's not like we don't already have three very young defensemen on the Wings' blue line. Point being, let's give him a little credit here. He's not a moron, nor are the people who report to him. They know what they're doing, and, given their track record, there's not much reason to doubt that they'll do the best they can. Now, maybe the decisions Holland ultimately makes won't please each and every kid in the system. But this isn't the Make-A-Wish Foundation, it's the best-run organization in professional sports.

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Holland himself has said that he'd likely be hesitant to sign a UFA defenseman to a long-term deal, given what we have on the Griffins' blue line. And it's not like we don't already have three very young defensemen on the Wings' blue line. Point being, let's give him a little credit here. He's not a moron, nor are the people who report to him. They know what they're doing, and, given their track record, there's not much reason to doubt that they'll do the best they can. Now, maybe the decisions Holland ultimately makes won't please each and every kid in the system. But this isn't the Make-A-Wish Foundation, it's the best-run organization in professional sports.

No one said he's a moron, and just because I like the Wings doesn't automatically make me blind to everything that goes on. Just like every GM Holland has his share of good and bad decisions(more debatably bad ones lately, though over the years he's had plenty of good ones), but let's not just bank on his track record here. He has to continue to produce just like ever player on the WIngs. I believe in loyalty, which is why regardless of how terrible Cleary has been-I still like him- and which is why for all of his bad decisions lately, I don't want Holland fired.

Holland has said he would be hesitant to sign UFA because of the depth in the AHL, but here's the thing: wouldn't it make sense to see if the depth is real? To know, at least partly, whether the guys in the AHL actually have a future here? And didn't it make sense to give some of them a chance this year with all the injuries? What if the AHL players aren't any good and Holland hesitates to upgrade the D in the off-season, are we back to the same scenario we have now? It would have been nice to at least partially answer some of these question, when the opportunity presented itself.

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No one said he's a moron, and just because I like the Wings doesn't automatically make me blind to everything that goes on. Just like every GM Holland has his share of good and bad decisions(more debatably bad ones lately, though over the years he's had plenty of good ones), but let's not just bank on his track record here. He has to continue to produce just like ever player on the WIngs. I believe in loyalty, which is why regardless of how terrible Cleary has been-I still like him- and which is why for all of his bad decisions lately, I don't want Holland fired.

Holland has said he would be hesitant to sign UFA because of the depth in the AHL, but here's the thing: wouldn't it make sense to see if the depth is real? To know, at least partly, whether the guys in the AHL actually have a future here? And didn't it make sense to give some of them a chance this year with all the injuries? What if the AHL players aren't any good and Holland hesitates to upgrade the D in the off-season, are we back to the same scenario we have now? It would have been nice to at least partially answer some of these question, when the opportunity presented itself.

Most of our injuries were at forward. When we did have injuries on defense, we gave three different kids a look. Giving anything more than that would have meant taking time away from Smith or Lashoff (two young guys themselves) or Kindl (who isn't all that old, and showed a lot of promise last year).

You're not necessarily going to find out in 10 or 20 games whether a kid can be an NHL player or not. Some players can look good at first, but still take a while to fully develop. Some may not look good at first, but still develop into a good player. Our defense prospects still have two years of waivers. Plenty of time to evaluate them more thoroughly.

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Most of our injuries were at forward. When we did have injuries on defense, we gave three different kids a look. Giving anything more than that would have meant taking time away from Smith or Lashoff (two young guys themselves) or Kindl (who isn't all that old, and showed a lot of promise last year).

You're not necessarily going to find out in 10 or 20 games whether a kid can be an NHL player or not. Some players can look good at first, but still take a while to fully develop. Some may not look good at first, but still develop into a good player. Our defense prospects still have two years of waivers. Plenty of time to evaluate them more thoroughly.

I agree. But there are many sides, one being that we didn't really give guys a shot to prove they can play. Almqvist, Ouellet, and Marchenko barely got a chance to play. Granted if Marchenko wasn't hurt he might have been given a chance-maybe. Kindl was good last year and I was expecting him to keep taking steps forward, but instead from early on in the season he has gotten progressively worse; and I would have zero issues with him taking a seat in the press box. Lashoff is another peculiar case, when he first came up last year his defense was also better then he has shown of late. And the reason he's up with Detroit now is because he had a chance to prove himself last year and impressed, which is something that our other young defensemen haven't been given a chance to do.

I also agree that 10 to 20 games is not enough to prove whether these guys can cut it at the NHL level, but if Holland is going to use the depth in the AHL as an excuse to not find adequate defensive help then he should be giving these players a chance.

I'll concede that with the playoffs coming up, making lineup changes is not ideal. Although I do think that the AHL players should have been given a chance earlier.

At the very least, as I've stated earlier, Babs has to break up the Smith/Kindl pairing. Those two can't be on the ice at the same time. Put one with Q, one with DD, and let Smith play with Kronwall.

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  • Sproul and Ouellet are 21 and 20, respectively. They're still very new to this whole being men and playing against men thing.
  • Marchenko is 22. This season was about adjusting to the North American game.
  • Almqvist is 23. He's gifted offensively, but there are several points of concern. He probably gets traded.

So, for the most part, there's no rush.

Edited by Dabura

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For those saying we should have tried some of these young defencemen sooner, how would you have done it cap- and roster-wise? The roster has space for only 23 active players. If we were going to give a young d-man a 20-game trial, wouldn't we have needed fewer defencemen than we actually had? I'm sure some will say it's all Holland's fault for signing Cleary and Bertuzzi and Samuelsson, but those guys are irrelevant when it comes to giving defencemen NHL tryouts. I believe if we were to try waiving Lashoff or Kindl and banishing one of them to the minors, there's a good chance they'd get snapped up as NHL-experienced depth guys with manageable cap hits. Then we would have lost our own depth and been forced to ride 20- or 21-year-old defencemen on a playoff push. Doesn't make sense to me and it obviously wouldn't make sense to Holland or Babcock.

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If Lashoff or Kindl really look bad in the first game or two of the playoffs, I wouldn't be that surprised to see Ouelllet called up. He might already be a player that Babs can trust in his own zone, more so than those two. If he was healthy, I could have seen Marchenko in that spot too. Will be interesting to see what happens once the cap & roster limits are off come playoff time.

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I agree. But there are many sides, one being that we didn't really give guys a shot to prove they can play. Almqvist, Ouellet, and Marchenko barely got a chance to play. Granted if Marchenko wasn't hurt he might have been given a chance-maybe. Kindl was good last year and I was expecting him to keep taking steps forward, but instead from early on in the season he has gotten progressively worse; and I would have zero issues with him taking a seat in the press box. Lashoff is another peculiar case, when he first came up last year his defense was also better then he has shown of late. And the reason he's up with Detroit now is because he had a chance to prove himself last year and impressed, which is something that our other young defensemen haven't been given a chance to do.

I also agree that 10 to 20 games is not enough to prove whether these guys can cut it at the NHL level, but if Holland is going to use the depth in the AHL as an excuse to not find adequate defensive help then he should be giving these players a chance.

I'll concede that with the playoffs coming up, making lineup changes is not ideal. Although I do think that the AHL players should have been given a chance earlier.

At the very least, as I've stated earlier, Babs has to break up the Smith/Kindl pairing. Those two can't be on the ice at the same time. Put one with Q, one with DD, and let Smith play with Kronwall.

We have five guys who run out of options after two more years, and all of them look like they have NHL potential. Nothing we could learn about any of them this year would make us give up on them. Regardless of how much they played, or how well/poorly, we'd still need to leave room for them in the future.

If anything, in regards to bringing in outside help on defense, we needed to further gauge Smith, Kindl, and Lashoff (and Dekeyser, though it's seemed obvious basically from the start that he had a future here). If we decide Kindl and Lashoff have no future, we can plan to open those spots when the kids are ready and make a longer commitment now for someone to replace Quincey.

And we're 6-3-1 with the Kindl/Lashoff pairing. Hardly as crippling as you suggest.

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There's a reason he's only played 167 NHL games at age 31.

Cause Holland sucks, right? Right! *feeds the trolls* :D

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We are currently at a magic number of 3 with 4 games left. There is no need to bring up young guys to try an experiment now. Win tonight, get that 1 more point by winning again or having NJ lose or get a SO loss and then maybe for the next 3 games see what Sproul or Ouellet has for the final 3 games.

Also don't worry about Holland signing aging UFA's to long term deals and our kids getting buried. If Holland is smart, and 99% of the NHL world thinks he is, he will sign a couple of mid-30 vets to 2 years contracts in order to give the likes of Marchenko, Ouellet, and Sproul another solid year in GR and then in 2015-16 they can start their call ups and getting their feet wet (or soaked) in Detroit while the UFA vets are in the last year of their contracts, thus bridging the transition perfectly.

I am still not convinced that Holland won't try to go for a top pairing guy via the trade market come June, but even if he just signed 2 UFA's for the lower lines, I would perfectly fine with that.

Krowall - Ericsson

Dekeyser - Morris ( I know, I know you are tired of seeing his name from me! :lol: )

Smith - Weaver ( :lol: you thought I was going to put Mitchell!)

Lashoff (or Almqvist if not traded)

That roster for the next 2 years would be much more solid than ours now. Plus you have to know that we are going to see cameo appearances by the big three from GR as well.

In 2016:

Kronwall - Ericsson

Dekeyser - Smith

Marchenko - Sproul

Ouellet

Obviously the pairings are just thrown in there, who knows who will be playing with who, but in another 2 years, those top 4 should be 4 of the best and well experienced players in the NHL, if not, the at least a ton better than they are now because of the chemistry. That group of 7 could be together for 5-6 years if all goes as planned. Maybe longer. Somehow I don't see it, because of the volatility of the free agent market every year, but indeed our D future is bright, there just isn't the need to throw them into the pressure of having to get 3 points in 4 games. The pressure of the streak looms large and it could break them. Get in, then give the guys a tryout. Maybe they will force Kindl and Lashoff to sit in the playoffs...

Edited by LeftWinger

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We have five guys who run out of options after two more years, and all of them look like they have NHL potential. Nothing we could learn about any of them this year would make us give up on them. Regardless of how much they played, or how well/poorly, we'd still need to leave room for them in the future.

If anything, in regards to bringing in outside help on defense, we needed to further gauge Smith, Kindl, and Lashoff (and Dekeyser, though it's seemed obvious basically from the start that he had a future here). If we decide Kindl and Lashoff have no future, we can plan to open those spots when the kids are ready and make a longer commitment now for someone to replace Quincey.

And we're 6-3-1 with the Kindl/Lashoff pairing. Hardly as crippling as you suggest.

You make it seem like I'm about to start running from village to village screaming about the sky falling down, all I'm saying is that Kindl/Lashoff on the same pairing is terrible;even if we have managed to win games. And the fact that Holland can't use the AHL guys as excuses for not upgrading the D and then not give them a chance to play. As I've said several times now, that it's probably too late to change players, but Babs should try other combinations.

I don't think we need to gauge anymore from Kindl, he's had one good year. He might still turn into an ok d-man but I would prefer that happens somewhere else. Lashoff is the guy that has potential to be a good stay at home d-man, so I'd keep him around.

Edited by wings87

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How about trying to sign danny Boyle if he tests free agency? He is a veteran with a lot of skill that would help this team out a lot. To add to that, we wouldn't have to sign him too long as he is already up there in age. Also this gives us a much needed right hand shot from the point.

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