The Wings won whether they had enforcers on their roster or didn't.
Also, I personally don't think of guys like MIller, Eaves or Emmerton as skill guys, nor is every fighter a mindless goon who can't play hockey. Holland seems to have a very cut and dry view in that article.
As I've mentioned, the category of capable power forwards who both score and fight has been shrinking for the past 20 years, and is now almost gone. There were zero scoring forwards amongst the top 20 in fighting majors in 2013, and only two (Clarkson and Simmonds) in the top 30. Also almost extinct are quality defensemen who will drop the gloves. There were zero amongst the top 50 in fighting majors last season, with the first decent one (Kaleta) placing #52.
In general, most players who fight regularly are good for little else. Of the most prolific fighters last season (let's call it the top 25), only Nystrom was useful for anything beyond fisticuffs. In other words, the data disagrees with your assertion.
More, there has simply been less and less need for pure fighters as time has gone on and the game has become more refined, and most teams have found it fitting to use that roster spot for a more generally valuable player. There has also been steadily less need for the average player to drop the gloves at all.
I know you yearn for the old days where this particular category is concerned, but that period is gone and likely won't be coming back.
- This isn't exactly the first time Tatar's been, shall we say, snubbed.
- He's been proving himself for how long now? What else is left for him to prove? He was a monster for the Griffins in their Calder run, and he was named the MVP for his efforts. So, what, does he need to be an even more valuabe MVP?
- It's not like he held a press conference. I actually think Sarah is slightly at fault here; she probably shouldn't have said what she did.
- If this were any other organization, any other one, this wouldn't even be an issue.
- What happened to the "youth movement"? Isn't building and promoting from within our bread and butter?
- Ultimately, yeah, like I said, Tatar probably has some *issues*. But, again, he's friggin' 22. You know what other 22-year-old pro hockey player has *issues*?
I'm going to vent my anger in this post and leave it at that. I can't control the team in any way and I have to get over that and just try to not swear in front of my children when a player I think shouldn't be on the team fouls up.
Dan Cleary shouldn't be a Red Wing right now. I don't care how much he loves the organization. I don't care if he got the fictional "hometown discount." This is a business and he got what he got because that is what he is worth in the real world. Teams overpay for UFAs all the time because they think that they will be a cure-all for their problem (Leino, Suter & Parise, etc). Philly almost proved that point the way I understand the situation. The fans on BOTH the Flyers and Wings side were crying/laughing about the deal. "OVERPAYMENT!" they shouted with anger/glee. This is an unbiased assessment of Cleary's worth. His UFA price was too high. So, he took a "discount" and stayed with the Wings. And we talk of loyalty.
KH knows he is over the player limit and signed a player. That is not a good environment for the other forwards. Don't get me wrong, there should be competition in camp and players shouldn't be under the impression that they have a guranteed spot on the 3rd or 4th lines. I shouldn't be able to tell you who will be on the 3rd and 4th lines right now and neither should Holland and Babcock. But for some reason, I can fill 2 of those 6 slots right now. Sammy and Cleary.
No 3rd or 4th liner should have an NTC. NTCs should be for top tier guys so they will be not be uprooted by their org. and moved to Winnepeg so their previous team can get some young talent and do a rebuild. The majority of the 3rd and 4th lines in this organization with this cap should be reserved for youth. Guys being brought up from GR to fill in for injuries and during other 3rd and 4th liner slumps. This is the biggest flaw with Sammy's contract. The price was decent and length is OK. He was OK in VAN. Good enough to put with the Sedins on occasion. The Wings needed a righty and knew what kind of player he is. Not a bad signing. Better than the Cleary signing IMO. We know Cleary is on the decline and still signed him. But now we need players (older players) to leave and make room for youth (Tatar, Nyquist) and they can't be moved.
At least two of these thingsWILL happen:
- Bert dropped
- Tootoo dropped to GR/traded
- Tatar traded
- Nyquist (Datsyuk 2.0) plays in GR until an injury
- Eaves traded (EDIT: Forgot him)
IMO, if I could, I would get rid of Sammy and Cleary. It won't happen. So we are left with the above scenarios. In all honesty, the thing I don't want to happen will most likely happen. Tootoo will be traded and Nyquist will play in GR. If Helm continues to have issues, we MIGHT not lose Tatar to a trade. But if Helm plays, Tatar is gone. IMO the Wings have 3 NHL-caliber players that have had playing time that they can get offers for on the block: Emmerton, Nyquist, and Tatar. Emmerton will be in GR, and I think Nyquist is too good to be traded after last season. That leaves Tatar to be offered up to make room for Cleary and Sammy, following Tootoo being dealt to NSH for picks. That's how it has to be now.
On top of it all, we get older, smaller, softer, and slower. And we get to play in the East.
This whole Big, Bad East thing is incredibly overstated. It's the same stuff people were saying about the Flyers in '97. (Remember how the Legion of Doom was supposed to outright abuse the soft, smallish Wings?)
We had to play the 'hawks, what, like, 77 times this past season? And we won how many of those games?
No one in the East "scares" me like the 'haws. And, for my money, the Ducks are about as Big, Bad, and Nasty as any team you're gonna see in The New NHL - so, no, Boston doesn't really scare me too much. (Though I'm expecting us to drop quite a few contests against them.)
The Caps' PP scares me. I feel like it would eat us alive.
Overall, though? I am so incredibly pumped for our first EC tour.
As the Leafs handily proved last season, having goons and racking up the hits doesn't necessarily accomplish anything. And for goodness' sake, enough with the size thing. It has been mentioned repeatedly that Clarkson does not add size, being exactly the NHL average in that category. You seem to have this incorrect image of him as a Milan Lucic clone. Bolland is actually of below average size, so the addition of the two of them has not made the Leafs a bigger team. As for the supposed energy line you've made reference to, it isn't an energy line. The guys you've named as part of it are players who fight and who hit a lot, whose talents pretty much end there, and who, with their lack of defensive acumen, will get shown the proverbial door by any line with a modicum of offensive potency. Just how little Orr and McLaren bring to actual hockey gameplay is reflected in their ice time last season: an average of 6:23 and 5:09 of ice time per game, respectively, good for the bottom two spots on the team in that category.
As for the Bruins, the Wings have certainly had no problems with them in the recent past. More, the Bruins have become weaker with the subtractions of Horton and Ference, both of whom played an important role on that team over the past several seasons. As for Chara, good luck making him tired; he's one of the best-conditioned athletes in the NHL. And playing Datsyuk and Zetterberg against him will not exactly be a strategy, given that Julien will be matching him up against them anyway. Whatever the case, he's a very good defenseman but not a game changer.
I'm not sure why you would fear Steve MacIntyre. He has played all of 13 games over the past two seasons for the precise reason that he is worthless at the NHL level.
I think it's better for espn to just cover the only thing they know and just leave. Hockey alone. I mean even if I were into the other sports their coverage is simply overkill and espn is going the way of MTV. As hockey fans we can be really thankful for TSN and their superb job of covering hockey.
It just hit me again how colossally insane it was to sign Samuelsson at $3 million a season. I honestly don't remember being angry about it then, as I haven't really been surprised by much the last couple years with Holland. It was just a matter of, "Oh, of course he signed Sameuelsson for $3 million a season!" And you know, I'll defend him in some ways more than some will, at least in terms of his past performance. He came up clutch for us on more than a few occasions. But goodnight, It's unbelievable how bad that deal looks right now.
Like Brunner or not, it'd be better to be able to gamble on him for another year than deal with Sammy, who has and will likely continue to be captain of the press box.
I'd rather have Cleary at $3 million than Sammy, and that's saying so, so, so, so, so much.
Gee, Sergei, thanks for trying to poach Datsyuk away from your old team.
Feds is just doing his job. Is he suppose to say "nah we don't want one of the best players in the world." He then went on to say he completely understands Pavel's decision. So even Fedorov knows which league is the best. He's just trying to make his team as good as he can. No biggie at all
That's what happens when you base your punishment on the result of the hit instead of the hit itself. An illegal hit should be punished as much if the other guy bounces right back up as it is if he's going to be out 8 weeks.
As for all the smith hate (or disappointment), I'd like to use kindl as an example.. it took him a few years to adjust to the nhl and in some ways I'm sure he still is. Anyway, kindl won me over this year and I'm sure smith will too. It's not a make it or break it season for him just yet.