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Andy Pred 48

Next Seasons Needs/Team Future

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Hossa put up better numbers when he was younger. Since he left, he had one season where he had more points but hasn't come close to the 40 goals he scored his one year in Detroit. The other players mentioned didn't really do significantly better after leaving or worse after coming here unless injuries were an issue.

That's really not true though. Samuelsson, Kopecky, and Quincey all had much higher totals with other teams. They all had their career years elsewhere. Our biggest FA offensive success story is Hossa who, again, had his sixth best offensive season with us. Now, you could argue that this is because we only ever sign role players and aging guys...but that would only further my point that our organizational philosophy is such that offensive production is not our primary concern.

But as I stated before, it's not a knock on any player or our philosophy or system. It's just an acknowledgement that our current system does not revolve around high powered offense. I'm not really sure why I'm even having to argue this considering 1) nobody has come to Detroit in recent memory and had a career year, 2) we haven't had anything close to a league leader in any offensive category in quite a long time, and 3) in the last five years have ranked 14th, 2nd, 7th, 19th, and 16th respectively. The anomaly is the one year we did have a good offense not the three bad ones and one sorta good one.

Edit: In in interest of fairness, Ian White had a career year with Detroit, eclipsing his previous personal best by six points, which is roughly the same as Samuelsson's improvement when he went to Vancouver. I stand corrected.

Edited by kipwinger

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That's really not true though. Samuelsson, Kopecky, and Quincey all had much higher totals with other teams. They all had their career years elsewhere. Our biggest FA offensive success story is Hossa who, again, had his sixth best offensive season with us. Now, you could argue that this is because we only ever sign role players and aging guys...but that would only further my point that our organizational philosophy is such that offensive production is not our primary concern.

But as I stated before, it's not a knock on any player or our philosophy or system. It's just an acknowledgement that our current system does not revolve around high powered offense. I'm not really sure why I'm even having to argue this considering 1) nobody has come to Detroit in recent memory and had a career year, 2) we haven't had anything close to a league leader in any offensive category in quite a long time, and 3) in the last five years have ranked 14th, 2nd, 7th, 19th, and 16th respectively. The anomaly is the one year we did have a good offense not the three bad ones and one sorta good one.

Edit: In in interest of fairness, Ian White had a career year with Detroit, eclipsing his previous personal best by six points, which is roughly the same as Samuelsson's improvement when he went to Vancouver. I stand corrected.

Zetterberg was top 3 in scoring for the first two months before his injury. Datsyuk was top 10. Alfie was top 30 at one time during the season as well.

We don't sign high offensive players (since Hossa). If we got Vanek this offseason I would bet he scores 30-40 goals and gets over a PPG. It's hard to score a lot of goals when you have dmen that can't move the puck at all (Quincey, Lashoff, Kindl). When we had Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart we were top 10 in goals for every year.

Edited by darkmanx
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Zetterberg was top 3 in scoring for the first two months before his injury. Datsyuk was top 10. Alfie was top 30 at one time during the season as well.

We don't sign high offensive players (since Hossa). If we got Vanek this offseason I would bet he scores 30-40 goals and gets over a PPG. It's hard to score a lot of goals when you have dmen that can't move the puck at all (Quincey, Lashoff, Kindl). When we had Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart we were top 10 in goals for every year.

Agreed. That's my point. Our team doesn't maximize offensive talent because we don't have the philosophy or system to do so. Load the team up with offensively talented players and they'll all factor into each other's production. It's no secret that Datsyuk's two best offensive years were when he had highly talented wingers to pass to. It's also no secret that Zetterberg's best offensive year was when he was the one "being passed to". If you're not willing to get those types of guys, or play those types of guys, then you're not going to optimize offensive potential, which is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Doesn't mean you can't win, just means you better win the New Jersey way.

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In all honesty how much have you watched niskanen? Your a wings fan so I'm assuming you watch all wings games and catch pens when you can and maybe some playoff games .... And these years you catch them I find it seriously hard that your looking out for niskanen and paying attention to his game ... Seriously doubt it ... Kudos to you if you did

You hate it when people say players are better with malkin and Crosby? Well facts are facts man .... Did chris Kunitz ever put up the same numbers elsewhere before going to Pittsburgh? Pascal dupuis?

It's just a fact playing with those guys will help you get better stats and it helped him getting more responsibilities and ice time with the injuries Pittsburgh had this season

I'm not saying niskanen is garbage I just don't think so highly of him as you do ... I guess luckily for me since orpik is a ufa I dont expect Pittsburgh to resign him and they'll try and keep niskanen

It's a certainty niskanen doesn't become a Duncan Keith ... Niskanen is nowhere near worth 5.5 per

Now you're comparing wingers to defensemen. What does the likes of Kunitz playing better with Crosby have to do with Niskanen being an excellent puck mover getting the puck to Crosby in the first place?

As for "looking out for Niskanen", I just watch a lot of hockey. It helps that I work from home. Even before this season you can see Niskanen was a good player. He finally broke out. But it was not something you couldn't see coming if you've seen Pens games. His big season is not a fluke. He would really solidify this teams top 4, making it defensively responsible and very mobile. That means they can move the puck out of their own zone a lot quicker. A huge problem the team has had.

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Agreed. That's my point. Our team doesn't maximize offensive talent because we don't have the philosophy or system to do so. Load the team up with offensively talented players and they'll all factor into each other's production. It's no secret that Datsyuk's two best offensive years were when he had highly talented wingers to pass to. It's also no secret that Zetterberg's best offensive year was when he was the one "being passed to". If you're not willing to get those types of guys, or play those types of guys, then you're not going to optimize offensive potential, which is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Doesn't mean you can't win, just means you better win the New Jersey way.

Semantics, probably, but I'd say it's more personnel (and injuries) than philosophy/systems. We're built for a skilled possession system, but we've lost our two engines in Lidstrom and Rafalski, and only getting half seasons from Datsyuk and Zetterberg didn't help. Plus, Quincey. And Kindl. And Lashoff.

But it seems like we're mostly on the same page there. Basically, we need moar skillz.

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Semantics, probably, but I'd say it's more personnel (and injuries) than philosophy/systems. We're built for a skilled possession system, but we've lost our two engines in Lidstrom and Rafalski, and only getting half seasons from Datsyuk and Zetterberg didn't help. Plus, Quincey. And Kindl. And Lashoff.

But it seems like we're mostly on the same page there. Basically, we need moar skillz.

We need the personnel to match the philosophy. Holland wants a highly skilled team but doesn't want to pay to get the talent. Likewise, Babs wants a plucky, fast, and responsible defensive team but doesn't have the personnel. Barring any changes to the roster, a guy like Alain Vingeault would maximize this teams skillset. Conversely, Babcock would probably have won a Stanley Cup with Columbus' team.

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Now you're comparing wingers to defensemen. What does the likes of Kunitz playing better with Crosby have to do with Niskanen being an excellent puck mover getting the puck to Crosby in the first place?

As for "looking out for Niskanen", I just watch a lot of hockey. It helps that I work from home. Even before this season you can see Niskanen was a good player. He finally broke out. But it was not something you couldn't see coming if you've seen Pens games. His big season is not a fluke. He would really solidify this teams top 4, making it defensively responsible and very mobile. That means they can move the puck out of their own zone a lot quicker. A huge problem the team has had.

I agree with this. Its not like Niskanens "breakout" season really came out of no where. He has built up to this point, my biggest concern on signing niskanen wouldnt be so much whether he will continue to have solid seasons but more along the lines of what we will need to do if the kids come along as we expect. What happens when oulette and sproul are ready? kronwall, dekeyser, niskanen ericcson, smith, oulette, sproul, marchenko and lashoff(easily demoted) ? i know they might not be ready next season but it is highy likely that two of our d prospects would be ready before the end of niskanen/ericcsons contracts. Alot of change will come over the next years and i for one am excited to have these problems rather than some other teams.

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I agree with this. Its not like Niskanens "breakout" season really came out of no where. He has built up to this point, my biggest concern on signing niskanen wouldnt be so much whether he will continue to have solid seasons but more along the lines of what we will need to do if the kids come along as we expect. What happens when oulette and sproul are ready? kronwall, dekeyser, niskanen ericcson, smith, oulette, sproul, marchenko and lashoff(easily demoted) ? i know they might not be ready next season but it is highy likely that two of our d prospects would be ready before the end of niskanen/ericcsons contracts. Alot of change will come over the next years and i for one am excited to have these problems rather than some other teams.

When it comes down to it, 2 of the kids can fit in at 6/7th dmen. they'll get to earnt heir way up the lineup like anyone else. example: if the time comes marchenko breaks out and becomes and absolute stud, ericsson because expendable. keeps the team young while improving (plus gets another Righty in the top 4). thats how I think it should go. give a couple kids a chance at once. if they steal someones job, they get it. I already see smith growing into a kronwall type over the years. which is why I think smith should be untouchable barring a situation he can be packaged for someone like weber (which will never happen)

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When it comes down to it, 2 of the kids can fit in at 6/7th dmen. they'll get to earnt heir way up the lineup like anyone else. example: if the time comes marchenko breaks out and becomes and absolute stud, ericsson because expendable. keeps the team young while improving (plus gets another Righty in the top 4). thats how I think it should go. give a couple kids a chance at once. if they steal someones job, they get it. I already see smith growing into a kronwall type over the years. which is why I think smith should be untouchable barring a situation he can be packaged for someone like weber (which will never happen)

that would be an incredibly deep defense core thats for sure, i see less headaches in the years to come

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that would be an incredibly deep defense core thats for sure, i see less headaches in the years to come

Exactly. Too much is a good thing if the over abundance of players are either really good or very promising. Niskanen simply gives this team more assets to use to fill other holes in the lineup. I'm actually hoping the pens make a decent run (but falling short) this year just so Niskanen gets lots of experience and learns how to win. That way if Holland does get him, he can bring that experience and hunger for a cup here with him. Even without Niskanen, there is no way all the defense prospects we have will crack the lineup. There is no use worrying about that. In the end, it is a good problem to have.

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You can never have enough talent and you can always make trades. Players also get hurt, hold out, retire, etc..... Also not everyone of our prospects is going to make it. That never ever happens.

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That's really not true though. Samuelsson, Kopecky, and Quincey all had much higher totals with other teams. They all had their career years elsewhere. Our biggest FA offensive success story is Hossa who, again, had his sixth best offensive season with us. Now, you could argue that this is because we only ever sign role players and aging guys...but that would only further my point that our organizational philosophy is such that offensive production is not our primary concern.

But as I stated before, it's not a knock on any player or our philosophy or system. It's just an acknowledgement that our current system does not revolve around high powered offense. I'm not really sure why I'm even having to argue this considering 1) nobody has come to Detroit in recent memory and had a career year, 2) we haven't had anything close to a league leader in any offensive category in quite a long time, and 3) in the last five years have ranked 14th, 2nd, 7th, 19th, and 16th respectively. The anomaly is the one year we did have a good offense not the three bad ones and one sorta good one.

Edit: In in interest of fairness, Ian White had a career year with Detroit, eclipsing his previous personal best by six points, which is roughly the same as Samuelsson's improvement when he went to Vancouver. I stand corrected.

Actually, White's best year was 09-10. 38 points split between Toronto and Calgary. Rafalski did put up career numbers here though.

But my point is that your statement was just not entirely accurate. Or at least misleading. Most players have been about the same here as they have elsewhere, considering the stage in their career. A few have gotten better when they've got a better opportunity elsewhere (Kopy, Quincey - who was 23 and barely played here before leaving, Leino for a year - again wasn't here long), some have disappeared (Lebda, Meech). Those coming in, who have stayed reasonably healthy, with the exception of Quincey, have again been similar to what they were doing at that point in their career. Sammy scored more goals (and almost as many points) his first season here than he had in his career at that point. Then he got an even better role with Vancouver and put up better numbers.

There is nothing, systemically or personnel-wise, to suggest a player will do significantly worse here. That's what you made it sound like.

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I think at some point people will have to accept the new caphits thanks to the new CBA. The days of guys like Niskanen taking discounts to come here are gone, 5,5 annually is a bit of an overpayment for a top 4 guy yeah but at the end of the day you have to overpay to get the players you want. Niskanen would be a tremendous help and could give our blueline a much needed different look next season. I know people are thrilled with all the talent on the backend but at the end of the day we all know not all of them are gonna make it, so why not use only cash for Niskanen and use some of the higher upside prospects to get a big bodied forward ?

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Alright man, you win. You've said it enough that it's finally sunk in. Niskanen sucks because you say so (over and over and over again).

Lol damn and here I came to say you finally got to me and I was gonna suggest signing niskanen to 7yrs for 49 million

Well see what happens this summer

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Now you're comparing wingers to defensemen. What does the likes of Kunitz playing better with Crosby have to do with Niskanen being an excellent puck mover getting the puck to Crosby in the first place?

As for "looking out for Niskanen", I just watch a lot of hockey. It helps that I work from home. Even before this season you can see Niskanen was a good player. He finally broke out. But it was not something you couldn't see coming if you've seen Pens games. His big season is not a fluke. He would really solidify this teams top 4, making it defensively responsible and very mobile. That means they can move the puck out of their own zone a lot quicker. A huge problem the team has had.

Winger or defensemen it's the same thing , you think niskanen got all those points cause of beau bennet? It's clearly helping his stats playing with Sid and malkin ,Neal .... I don't know the stats but I'm sure he got a chunk on the ppl

I watch a lot of hockey as well being in canada as well tsn and other channels show a lot of games but I won't say I've watched 80 games from Pittsburgh but I will say niskanen had a good year but it's A good year and I'm personally not willing to chance it and sign him longterm when in my personal opinion he's an uncertainty and we have some guys with high promise coming up

Like I said to kip well have to just wait and see what happens in july

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Winger or defensemen it's the same thing , you think niskanen got all those points cause of beau bennet? It's clearly helping his stats playing with Sid and malkin ,Neal .... I don't know the stats but I'm sure he got a chunk on the ppl

I watch a lot of hockey as well being in canada as well tsn and other channels show a lot of games but I won't say I've watched 80 games from Pittsburgh but I will say niskanen had a good year but it's A good year and I'm personally not willing to chance it and sign him longterm when in my personal opinion he's an uncertainty and we have some guys with high promise coming up

Like I said to kip well have to just wait and see what happens in july

I just don't get how you can see as playing rookies as more of a sure thing than playing a guy like Niskanen. Makes no sense.

Also, ever think that Niskanen's ability to move the puck contributes to the offense their forwards produce? Comparing wingers and forwars in terms of doing well because of a center is foolish. Wingers benefit directly from a great center for sure. but a dman? A forward can't do their thing if the D can't get the puck to them. Why do you think the wings have struggled to score with all the skill they have up front? because they lack the same skill on the back end. all of them being lefties makes it even worse.

Edit: take away the pens skill on the blueline and crosby and malkin's scoring goes down. in the end, they are all pieces that are needed together to keep things going. the roster doesn;t work solely because of crosby and malkin.

Edited by marcaractac

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When it comes down to it, 2 of the kids can fit in at 6/7th dmen. they'll get to earnt heir way up the lineup like anyone else. example: if the time comes marchenko breaks out and becomes and absolute stud, ericsson because expendable. keeps the team young while improving (plus gets another Righty in the top 4). thats how I think it should go. give a couple kids a chance at once. if they steal someones job, they get it. I already see smith growing into a kronwall type over the years. which is why I think smith should be untouchable barring a situation he can be packaged for someone like weber (which will never happen)

My problem with that is that other teams will recognize we need to shed a dman and try to underpay. Big E today is worth more than if we have kids that are out of options and NHL ready and we have to shed someone to keep them. I would be okay preemptively moving Big E+picks,prospects for a D upgrade and knowing that at least 2 of Ouellet, Sproul, Marchenko, Backman, Jensen will make it to the NHL with us already having the likes of Kronwall, Smith, Dekeyser and that Dman we are trading for.

I just don't get how you can see as playing rookies as more of a sure thing than playing a guy like Niskanen. Makes no sense.

Also, ever think that Niskanen's ability to move the puck contributes to the offense their forwards produce? Comparing wingers and forwars in terms of doing well because of a center is foolish. Wingers benefit directly from a great center for sure. but a dman? A forward can't do their thing if the D can't get the puck to them. Why do you think the wings have struggled to score with all the skill they have up front? because they lack the same skill on the back end. all of them being lefties makes it even worse.

For one - they come with way less monetary risk at their low cap hit. For 2 they can be exchanged for other rookies and sampled to see who is more ready. For 3 Niskanen hasn't done enough consistently for me to trust him.

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My problem with that is that other teams will recognize we need to shed a dman and try to underpay. Big E today is worth more than if we have kids that are out of options and NHL ready and we have to shed someone to keep them. I would be okay preemptively moving Big E+picks,prospects for a D upgrade and knowing that at least 2 of Ouellet, Sproul, Marchenko, Backman, Jensen will make it to the NHL with us already having the likes of Kronwall, Smith, Dekeyser and that Dman we are trading for.

The point of singing Niskanen would be to get better now. Our d is no better off if we sign him and turn around and trade one of our best shut down blueliners. believe me, there will be no issues moving our prospects if it comes down to it. This isn't samuelsson and tootoo they'd be trying to trade. This isn't like quincey in his first stint with the organization who just wans't looking very good so was waived. they are dmen with a lot of potential. they'd garner interest. It's not like we suddenly have 4 kids out of options in GR needing to be on the blueline and we HAVE to get rid of some of them asap. there is time to see how things shake out.

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The point of singing Niskanen would be to get better now. Our d is no better off if we sign him and turn around and trade one of our best shut down blueliners. believe me, there will be no issues moving our prospects if it comes down to it. This isn't samuelsson and tootoo they'd be trying to trade. This isn't like quincey in his first stint with the organization who just wans't looking very good so was waived. they are dmen with a lot of potential. they'd garner interest. It's not like we suddenly have 4 kids out of options in GR needing to be on the blueline and we HAVE to get rid of some of them asap. there is time to see how things shake out.

When Sproul gets traded and becomes a Weber or if Ouellet is traded and becomes a Keith we will all be kicking ourselves (obviously not guaranteed to happen but could). We are NOT a Niskanen away from being a cup contender - I don't want to lose them for nothing due to lack of roster space. Holland can't afford to waste any of our current assets because the only thing we have of value in excess is our prospects. If we mismanage them and end up losing on a few trades then in 3 years when Z and Dats are gone/regressed we will be a bottom feeder. If we are trading our kids in GR it better be in a package for a sure thing - that way if we end up trading a future star we at least got a top calibre player in return.

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When Sproul gets traded and becomes a Weber or if Ouellet is traded and becomes a Keith we will all be kicking ourselves (obviously not guaranteed to happen but could). We are NOT a Niskanen away from being a cup contender - I don't want to lose them for nothing due to lack of roster space. Holland can't afford to waste any of our current assets because the only thing we have of value in excess is our prospects. If we mismanage them and end up losing on a few trades then in 3 years when Z and Dats are gone/regressed we will be a bottom feeder. If we are trading our kids in GR it better be in a package for a sure thing - that way if we end up trading a future star we at least got a top calibre player in return.

Niskanen in no way would cost this team anything besides cap space. I've said a bunch of times before, if the kids come in and steal someones job, they stay. assuming kindl and lashoff are gotten rid of for a bag of pucks, there is not one contract on this teams blueline that isn't moveable. That would include a contract for Niskanen. if the kids are able to become big time players with this team, they will be given the chance to do so. they will only be traded before hand if the right deal is out there. before anyone brings up the Legwand trade, that was entirely different circumstances.

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I just don't get how you can see as playing rookies as more of a sure thing than playing a guy like Niskanen. Makes no sense.

Also, ever think that Niskanen's ability to move the puck contributes to the offense their forwards produce? Comparing wingers and forwars in terms of doing well because of a center is foolish. Wingers benefit directly from a great center for sure. but a dman? A forward can't do their thing if the D can't get the puck to them. Why do you think the wings have struggled to score with all the skill they have up front? because they lack the same skill on the back end. all of them being lefties makes it even worse.

Edit: take away the pens skill on the blueline and crosby and malkin's scoring goes down. in the end, they are all pieces that are needed together to keep things going. the roster doesn;t work solely because of crosby and malkin.

Is it so hard to believe ouellet or sproul will end up being better than niskanen ? I personally think ouellet makes the team next year , coaches love him and I think he can be a vlasic type dman which if were lucky would be a huge addition

Sproul has high upside and I'd got think after one more year in Grand Rapids he could be ready ... Again this is just my opinion but I think marchenko will surprise a lot of people , yes he's a rookie but he's played with men in the khl for yes prior and was an ahl all star first year

So again for me I'm not willing to throw a longterm deal with a significant cap hit to niskanen just because we need a dman and he's the best available in a weak ufa class especially with a lot of promising guys coming up in the back end unless it's for a real stud defensemen which niskanen in my eyes isn't

Sometimes the best move you can make is to not make any

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Niskanen in no way would cost this team anything besides cap space. I've said a bunch of times before, if the kids come in and steal someones job, they stay. assuming kindl and lashoff are gotten rid of for a bag of pucks, there is not one contract on this teams blueline that isn't moveable. That would include a contract for Niskanen. if the kids are able to become big time players with this team, they will be given the chance to do so. they will only be traded before hand if the right deal is out there. before anyone brings up the Legwand trade, that was entirely different circumstances.

Cap space which we could use down the road especially if it's a longterm deal and if he turns out to be a disaster than it's a roster spot we lose cause we won't be able to trade him with a bad contract

I think if holland can trade kindl and lashoff to make room for the kids in next training camp he will and as much as I was impressed with smith battling through the bruins targeting him I don't see him being a longterm redwing down the road

Only locks at d is kronwall Ericsson and dekeyer

And pleaseeee just don't even bring up the legwand trade lmao :P

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The problem I have with Niskanen is that he hasn't been nearly this good for the last few years. I've seen too many guys have a career year, sign a big contract, then drop back off.

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This Niskanen talk is just silly. If you can add a legitimate top 4 defenceman for free you do it.

When Sproul gets traded and becomes a Weber or if Ouellet is traded and becomes a Keith we will all be kicking ourselves (obviously not guaranteed to happen but could). We are NOT a Niskanen away from being a cup contender - I don't want to lose them for nothing due to lack of roster space. Holland can't afford to waste any of our current assets because the only thing we have of value in excess is our prospects. If we mismanage them and end up losing on a few trades then in 3 years when Z and Dats are gone/regressed we will be a bottom feeder. If we are trading our kids in GR it better be in a package for a sure thing - that way if we end up trading a future star we at least got a top calibre player in return.

I've never understood why people say this. So because he's not the final piece to put us in contention we shouldn't add them at all? How do you ever expect to get to contention??

I see you said it's because you don't want to lose young players for nothing but that just doesn't make sense. Depth is positive, not negative. Besides I think they learned from the Quincey waiver/trade debacle.

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It was a pretty large consensus that our biggest weakness this year was our group of defencemen.

Fan Solution: Trade two rosters defencemen (Kindl/Lashoff) Let Quincey walk, promote youth and rookies.

I really don't see that improving our chances.....

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