I thought Holland would convince Datsyuk to play one more year.
I didn't watch the press conferences, but it makes for an interesting off season. If Holland trades Dats contract, will he go after Stamkos, or use the money to re-sign Helm, and give guys like Nyquist, Tatar, Smith, and DeKeyser raises when they become FA's?
At this point, I don't think Holland could convince a person coming out of the desert to buy a bottle of water.
The first statement in bold is incorrect - in his official retirement press conference, he was asked if he knew about the age 35+ rule when he signed the 3 year extension and the financial implications it would have on this team: His answer "Yeah I know, they explain me everything - Yes I know". (https://www.nhl.com/...7578/c-44232103) - fast forward to the 7:13 mark.
The second statement in bold is exactly why he shouldn't have his number retired, nor will the organization celebrate him much moving forward.
He was absolutely one of the best two-way players we have had on this team, and he left on the worst terms I can remember. To say that we offered him a hometown discount is generally true, but also a very ironic statement. We seem to forget that in 2001 - he came to a championship caliber team, to learn from the best coach in NHL history at a time when the KHL was incomparable in terms of player salary. In the 14 years he played here, he amassed over $80,000,000 USD - which actually would have made Russia the "hometown discount" had he stayed there his entire career.
The reason I can't side with him here, has more to do with the collateral effects this decision renders - more than him deciding to leave early. He signed a 3 year contract extension exactly 2 years ago, and apparently needed convincing to honour even the 2nd year before doing the exact same thing in Russia. That disregard toward the ownership/franchise that took a chance/invested heavily into him makes it clear that he absolutely doesn't care about the state of this team, or the fact that (1) unloading his contract is going to cost us a valuable asset or (2) if we fail to unload his cap hit, we cant sign an equivalent replacement.
All in all, from the start of this post-season when he approved the release of an article that confirmed he was heading back home - which was an ill timed distraction - to the news of this weekend, I can't say any of it sits well with me. He failed to do what was so obviously the right thing in this case, and play out the final year. I would understand injury, or perhaps a legitimate family situation - but to simply go home (considering the impact it has on the Red Wings) a year early makes me feel like when he needed us, we gave him every opportunity and more to succeed and make his "family" a lot more money than Russia could have. But the KHL has evolved, and maybe now that he doesn't need us as much as he once did - his decision becomes one out of preference rather than respect.
Here's the entire press conference from Holland about Datsyuk for those who want to watch. It's 45 minutes long. He talked about everything that went down from when they signed the contract extension in 2013 to now and possibilities of moving contract.
The differences aren't negligible. In the two full seasons they've played, Tatar has more points, and goals, than Nyquist. In fewer minutes, with worse linemates. And Tatar does more damage at even strength. He doesn't need to be on the powerplay to score in the way Nyquist does. Last year Nyquist got 42 more minutes of powerplay time than Tatar and didn't out score him. This year Nyquist had 37 more minutes of powerplay time and didn't outscore him. That's pretty significant.
Tatar's possession numbers are also WAY better. The kind of possession numbers that indicate you're driving offense for your teammates. The very same possession numbers that make people gush over Brendan Smith (but for some reason they conveniently overlook when it comes to Tatar).
The only time Nyquist out performed Tatar was in 2013-2014, which was a partial season, and in which Nyquist put up a wildly unsustainable shooting percentage. In every other, quantifiable, way Tatar is a better player. Definitively.
Does he have a Kentucky Derby winner named after him?
He didn't look good the last time he was on TV, so I'm not surprised.
It's amazing how many years he played in an era when that wasn't as common. I don't see any athlete in any of the major sports (count counting sissy baseball) who could play until they're 52 and still play at a good level.
In the past, this poll would be easy. Back then, we were good and were missing a piece or two.
Now we need at least 4 of those categories. Maybe all 5, but we likely don't need any defensive defensemen (though an upgrade over what we have would be nice). But all the other categories we badly need to upgrade.
I didn't vote because I can't decide what the biggest need is. I'm leaning towards offensive defenseman, because your offense starts from the blue line.