I think if anything he was just put in a position to excel. Bylsma seemed to understand his strengths and limitations and play him accordingly. Put him on your second pairing, give the toughest assignments to your first pairing, and let him run the first unit PP.
I fear we end up overpaying Sami Salo.
I think the Wings could afford to do the same with Niskanen too, even though he is going to get paid like a first pairing d-man. DeKeyser seems like an ideal complement to Niskanen as a defense partner and that would really solidify the Wings top four on defense, assuming Babs still intends on utilizing Kronner and E as the shutdown pair. Then Kronner/Niskanen on the points of the first PP unit.
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of signing Niskanen going into free agency, but I'm pretty much aboard now and have come to grips it's probably going to fall in the necessary overpayment category should it occur. I want to win now because Pavel and Z are still here, yet also continue the transition into building for the future as well. Niskanen gives the Wings the opportunity to accomplish both of those goals.
Talk about getting depressed when you read comments on here. hahahah I don't even want to watch hockey anymore after reading some of them. hahahaha
No kidding. Free agency doesn't start until Tuesday and people have already deemed Holland a failure for doing nothing. I'm not the biggest supporter of Holland, but my goodness, at least let him try and do his job.
Wiz hits, stands up for his teammates, right handed, none of which Kronwall or Ericsson do...and he outscores them...you can have E, I'll take the better player. You don't need to research if the answer is obvious.
Wiz also stated the Wings don't pay free agents market value, so there was likely very little chance of him signing in Detroit. Comparing Wiz and E isn't fair either, as they are two completely different players. E is the Wings best defensive d-man on a team that is a wreck in their own zone. That's quite valuable in itself.
EDIT: For the record, Dreger stated we have interest on TSN.
Iginla, for me. Younger, had a strong season in Boston and I think could still do some damage on Datsyuk's wing. That's why I think the Wings should, if nothing else, hold off on signing Alfie until free agency begins and they can assess other possible options. Alfie isn't going to play anywhere else.
If the Norris actually meant what it was supposed to, Ryan Suter should have won easily this season. It's a shame what the voters have turned the award into -- there's hardly any merit involved in the winners or nominees.
I have mixed feelings about this. Alfie was the only free agent I really had interest in the Red Wings retaining. He was pretty good overall last season, but seemed to slow down quite a bit (or was playing hurt) after the Olympics. That being said, I thought it might be a more suitable move for the Red Wings to explore other younger options through free agency. I guess depending on Alfie's contract and other plans, they could still have the flexibility to add another top-six winger.
If Alfie stays healthy, he should be a solid contributor again for the Wings. Always risky though banking on a 41-year-old to keep up with the pace of an NHL season.
Mrazek needs to play. If Howard is healthy, he's playing 60 games or so, leaving less than 25 for the backup. It's not very often that a kid with waiver exemptions is brought in to backup an established starter. It also gives them a 3rd goalie that they can trust to com in and play if there is a long term injury. Would you really like to see a tandem of Mrazek and McCollum for a month if Howard goes down with a serious injury? This way Mrazek can come up and split time with a guy who has shown he can be at least adequate in Gustavsson.
Mrazek needs to play against NHL competition. There's only so much getting ripe a prospect can do in terms of development, even if the option is available to spend another year in Grand Rapids. 20-25 games will serve Mrazek better than another season against lesser talent, which he clearly has already proven to have mastered playing against.
Besides, any starts given to the backup could be huge in the standings if the Red Wings are indeed a borderline playoff team again. Throw out the contract situations and in terms of having the better goalie on the roster, I want Mrazek over Gustavsson. Mrazek is superior in net, cheaper and is in all probability going to be healthier than Gustavsson should he be called upon if Howard is injured. What's the sense in having an injury-riddled backup goalie around who isn't very reliable or consistent? Worrying about maybe needing a third goalie isn't much of an argument IMO. If it comes to that, most (if not all NHL teams) are going to be in trouble.
I'm not saying this move ruins the entire off-season; it just doesn't seem like a necessary decision when you have a more capable player already within the organization. I don't understand wasting cap space on Gustavsson when Mrazek is a better goalie. The Red Wings obsession with seasoning players in the minors just because they can is excessive and annoying, especially when the big club isn't winning.
If Dan Cleary SOMEHOW is given a roster spot on the Red Wings then I think all us Wings fans should go to every single pre-season game and chant CLEARY SUCKS... maybe that would send him a message to just go away already along with tell Kenny we are fed up with his loyalty.
Shouldn't we chant Holland sucks instead? Cleary is just doing what he loves. Holland is the one enabling that unfortunate opportunity to occur.
Can't wait for the "free Jurco!" movement to gain steam quickly when Cleary makes the team over Jurco in September. I don't even want to believe this is truly realistic, but after last season with Nyquist...