And Holland should have been working on a transition plan for Lidstrom's retirement for years. Him participating in the ridiculous Suter sweepstakes was a pretty good indication that he didn't have one. The reality is you don't replace Nick Lidstrom. You have to reevaluate and restructure the entire team. Holland keeps making moves like it's 2008.
I dunno, harold. I think over the course of this five year drought we've always been a couple key pieces away from seriously competing for the Cup. At the same time, our prospect cupboards were empty, and the brain trust has done a really good job of re-stocking. Right now we have one of the better prospect pools in the league, and I think we're still just a couple key pieces away from being a serious contender, because we still have Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Franzen. I think that's rebuilding on the fly. Over the course of a few years you remain competitive, maybe trying for a UFA home run here and there - but the focus is on keeping the competitive core while building up a solid stable of very promising young players that will hopefully complement that core and one day take over. Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco have broken through, Smith and DeKeyser should take big steps forward this season, and we're also looking at four or five very good D prospects waiting in the wings, Anthony Mantha being no more than a year away, and our goalie of the future spending his final season as a Griffin.
I (want to) believe Ken Holland has been doing what he's been doing for good reason and that the past few years of "futility" are going to pay off in a big way.