First off, I think this roster is going to be a bit of a mess at the start of the season. All the question marks surrounding Weiss - Will he stay healthy? Who will he find chemistry with? Can he produce like the 2nd line center he's supposed to be? Along with that, we've got Dan Cleary, for at least 10 games, trying to prove he can still play hockey. I'd keep Jurco away from that, for now. Tie goes to the veteran, and even when it's not a tie... well... I think about the way Tatar was mishandled at the beginning of last season and I cringe.
The contract is going to carry over into next season too for Alfie. Same with Cleary once he plays his lousy ten games. So the Wings are paying for two players that either don't drastically or at all improve their chances of winning this year or beyond. Sure, there will be injuries but why does that matter? The 12 best forwards should start on the team and Tomas Jurco is one of them.
It took until mid-November to get Gustav Nyquist up last season. I'm not saying Jurco will have that same impact, but I would rather watch him progress against NHL competition and building for the future than veterans that don't change the immediate outlook for the Red Wings.
Alfie was solid until February and then disappeared. Whether it be fatigue or injury, both of those are probable to occur again when dealing with an athlete over 40. It goes back to the direction of the organization. Does a fringe playoff team really benefit from using veterans at the expense of youth? If I thought the Wings could win a Cup, then I'm all for keeping Alfie. Otherwise, I'm not sure there's a real purpose.
I see your point about the carry over bonuses, but the team's got about 15 million in space, and that's not taking into account the cap going up by whatever it will go up by. Only Nyquist, Jurco and Smith to retain - I'm not sure what they'll do with Andersson, but if they keep him, he'll be cheap. Add in whatever bonuses carry over and their new cap hits, and I still think we've got plenty of room. If there are reasons to not bring in Alfie, I don't think carry over bonuses are up there, considering the team is in a pretty good situation.
As for the best 12 forwards playing, I agree to an extent. If by "best" you mean the most skilled, I think there's still a need for role players. Jurco would have to be on the 3rd line or above for me to want him on this team. I think that if he can play in an insulated situation in the top 9, he could be up... otherwise, he's better off in GR.
Nyquist taking until November to be on the team was a pain... a huge pain. I also think it was a far different situation. You had Bertuzzi, Samuelsson and Cleary expected to play skilled roles when the skill just wasn't there anymore. Here's Gus in the AHL, who can clearly outplay any of those guys in that role, and he's languishing. I'm not sure that's the same situation here. As I've said before, while Jurco showed flashes of brilliance, he also fell off a bit. I think there's still something to be learned in the AHL for Tomas. Alfie's good for "top 6 forward" points - he's not a Samuelsson or Bertuzzi. Apples and oranges, IMO.
Alfie's fatigue, if I'm remembering correctly, can be attributed in part to being overplayed during the Olympics. I remember a few people around here ranting about it. Believe me, I'm not confused here - 40+ year-olds aren't going to hold up as well over an 82 game season, but I think last year was a unique situation that contributed to his drop off. Nyquist dropped off, too. It happens to a lot of guys. It's not just an age thing. At the end of the day, I think having a guy who can produce at a .72 PPG clip, even if it's only for 60 or so games, is worth hanging onto.
I'm sure it sounds like a cop-out, but I really have concern over how they'd handle Jurco in this situation. I think that if he is on the team, I'd want it to be in an insulated situation. 3rd line minutes on a line with Sheahan-Alfredsson would be fantastic, I think. The issue there is pushing Abdelkader out of the top 9, and into the 4th line with Miller-Helm. It would also mean one of Franzen, Nyquist or Tatar next to Z-Pavs, and I think we know which way Babcock would go on that one.
In fact if it came down to cleary or Alfie I'd choose cleary. Because he gave everything he had for this team(yes I still wish he would retire!). But cleary has done A LOT for this team. However I'd still prefer pulk and jurco over cleary and Alfie.
You lost me there. Taking a beaten up, ineffective veteran over one who can still produce for the sake of nostalgia. You stop it right now, Kenny.
Edited by Jesusberg, 13 August 2014 - 09:36 AM.