Sure we don't have the 1st overall type players garbage franchises like Edmonton have (don't doubt that Edmonton's been absolute trash for a decade) but not many teams do.
If Ken Holland doesn't think he can make a trade or signing to keep the Wings in the thick of the hunt for the Cup he won't make the move. The time for short-term extensions of the team's quality ended when Lidstrom retired.
It's interesting that people haven't seemed to notice that Holland's accelerated the pace of his 'overripe' prospect pipeline. Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco and Mrazek all joined the AHL as early as possible (you're not allowed to put players in the AHL before their overage Jr season). Pulkkinen, Jarnkrok and Backman can all make the transition to the AHL next season and are expected to.
The lockout screwed us out of being able to properly evaluate prospects vs veterans this year so Holland appears to have played it as safe as possible. It remains to be seen whether he'll start transitioning kids into the line-up above and beyond the injury replacements but I suspect that depends on whether the Wings look like they can make a real push by the time that situation arises.
People can assume Ken Holland's retarded all they want but this is the first time he's gotten a real license to rebuild (with Lidstrom on the team you have to keep taking runs at the Cup) and it's only 3 games into a lockout shortened season.