I don't get some of you guys dislike for Dekeyser. He is a legit 50 Dman in the NHL and by far the best we have. Is he a #1? No. But he is a #2. #2 Dmen make 6-7 million per year. You don't have to like that but that is the market rate and what he will get paid. We need to lock him up for the next 8 years and be happy we have him. Then go get him some help because this year he was largely doing it all by himself.
Goalies generally do not garner a big return. A goalie with a big contract for 4 more years and coming off a bad 2nd half and being benched for the playoffs certainly isn't. Trading Howard wouldn't solve any problems but could potentially cause one.
I have a feeling Babcock wants to use his rare situation as a "Free Agent coach that wasn't fired" to gauge different challenges that will be presented to him. I have a feeling he might want to go somewhere where he gets the kind of control that Bowman got here after Bryan Murray was let go. Seems like Ilitch/Holland want to run the team as a band-aided and safe "Old Boys Club", than make significant changes to make the team better (like Bowman did after Murray).
....which leads me to my next point.....
The positive outlook I have for Babcock leaving, is that atleast SOMETHING about this team changes. Since the last lockout, the Red Wings have become the NHL's definition of insanity. The team has the same two goalies and six Dmen that started in the 2013 playoffs and most of the same forwards. There's also the same GM and head coach, of course. We even went into this current season with nearly the same exact team that barely made the playoffs and couldn't handle the Bruins in the first round, minus Alfredsson. "Oh but we'll be healthier, young guys will get better, Jimmy will bounce back, blah blah".
Wings fans act like Babcock leaving would be equivalent to Al Arbour walking away from the Islanders a day after leading them to a 4th consecutive Cup. In reality, Babcock has lead the Wings to win only three playoff series in the last five seasons, and they haven't made it past the second round in that same span. The way they're playing right now, it doesn't look like that is going to change. I know it's not all Babcocks fault, but when will some accountability fall his way? A new message might be refreshing, especially if the (likely) band-aiding continues.
Unbe-*******-lievable... It was bad enough a few games ago when he was stuck down on the 4th line, but now with Franzen and Jurco out of the lineup, he's still down there?... f*** Off Babcock! Did he hit on his wife or daughter or something? What the f*** did he do?...
I get that he hasn't been great the past couple games but you're not going to get him going down on the forth line. Give him some linemates that can help him out for more than a game or two and see if he can put another string of games together again.
Putting Weiss in the dog house while other guys (Franzen) continue to get a free pass, is ridiculous. If Franzen is out injured for 2 months, when he comes back, you can count on Babcock putting him on one of the top two lines, "to get him going"...
I think it's a mistake to play all of the starters on opening night. What if they all get injured?! I think we should play all the Griffins tonight, and as they get injured throughout the year, we can replace them with the regulars. Duh.