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Member Since 09 Oct 2007
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#2420568 Datsyuk agrees to 3-year extension, $22.5m total, $7.5m/year

Posted by StormJH1 on 18 June 2013 - 12:22 PM

This is GREAT!  Such a unique talent and great all-around player.  It hasn't even sunk in that I could get to watch him for longer than just next year.


Igor Larionov was traded to Detroit in 1995 at Age 35.  Think about that!  I remember the radio stations blasting them for picking up "just another old guy" at the time - and think about how much he contributed to Detroit through 2003.  No offense to The Professor, but Datsyuk is almost twice the NHL player that Igor ever got the chance to be.  Such a cerebral player and in excellent physical condition.  I've always gotten the sense that he could be productive in the NHL long after he "lost a step". 

#2420524 Talking Tootoo

Posted by StormJH1 on 18 June 2013 - 10:28 AM

For some reason, some people consider Tootoo "one-dimensional" just because he fights. His offensive capabilities are overlooked or blatantly ignored by some on here.

I don't see why we can't have Miller AND Tootoo on the 4th line. I've grown to like Miller. Emmerton is the weak link and should be shipped out, in my opinion.

As I've said before, we're the softest team in the league without Tootoo.


That's a straw man argument.  First, there were long stretches of this year where Miller was terrible.  He played better in the Playoffs, but entering the season, people forget that it was Miller, not Abdelkader, that most people would've identified as the "banger" more likely to get run with Top 6 forwards.  Oh, and we just resigned Miller for about 2/3 of what Tootoo's cap hit is also.  Maybe that doesn't matter to some people, but it matters to me, and it matters to the front office.


You talk about the "softness of the team" as if it's directly correlated to how "hard" or "soft" Tootoo is.  An "agitator", as opposed to a "power forward", does not make your team "tougher".  He's basically there for no other reason than to try and disrupt the focus of the other team.  That can have a place in the game if that's an overall part of what your team does.  Matt Cooke does that sort of stuff.  Brad Marchand does too, but just happens to bring a great deal more skill to the table as well.  But the post-lockout Wings are not a team that uses gratuitous hits and fights to generate momentum.  They're a puck possession skill team that has a very specific gameplan.  Throwing a guy on the 4th line that runs people and starts crap is "interesting", but it's also horribly out of place on this team. 


People said the Wings teams of the mid-90's were soft, too, but it wasn't Stu Grimson and Joey Kocur who were responsible for turning that around.  It was a power forward like Shanahan playing 20 minutes a night and playing physical in the corners.  It was Darren McCarty playing significant minutes with Yzerman, or on the Grind Line.  And, this year, the emergence of Abdelkader allowed us to elevate to a Playoff style of play.  4th line bit players cannot change the underlying character of a team...that just doesn't happen.

#2419862 Wings Sign Drew Miller to 3 year extension @ 1.35m/yr

Posted by StormJH1 on 14 June 2013 - 01:22 PM

I dunno guys.  He's only signed through age 32, but I'm concerned by how early his hair is turning gray that he might lose a step earlier due to premature aging.

#2418120 Other Rule Changes? (Trapezoid?)

Posted by StormJH1 on 06 June 2013 - 09:25 AM

Lose: Trapezoid, defensive over-the-glass penalty, Instigator rule.


Add: Drastic non-safety size changes to goalie gear, penalize and enforce after-the-play scrums to the offending players (2:00 roughing/unsportsmanslike), more respect on the ice for the refs/linesmen (way too many being pushed and treated poorly. Possible penalty. Basically, respect the damn officials space.)


You know, I was a goalie when I played (extremely non-professional) hockey, and I always loved everything about goaltending, so I've always been resistant to messing with the equipment.  I was okay with 12" to 11" pads (didn't really make an appreciable difference), and some of the things going on in the 90's (like Garth Snow's shoulder pads, or Patrick Roy's mumu-sized jersey) were getting a bit absurd. 


But after watching PIT/BOS go to 2OT last night, despite what was really a ton of quality chances by both teams, I am starting to get to the point where it seems like more quality hockey plays should result in goals, and that would be good for the product. 


The thing is, I'm not exactly sure how you do that with equipment.  Most goaltending equipment, while bulkier in appearance, really does have a functional purpose in protecting the netminder.  This was once a very dangerous job, and it was only really into the early 90's that it truly became "the safest position in hockey" because of Kevlar helmets, chest protection, etc.  Yes, there were helmets in 70's and better padding available in the 80's.  But guys like Cheveldae, Fuhr, Barasso, etc. were still playing primarily a stand-up style in the 80's and early 90's, and a lot of that was just residual from safety concerns when they were growing up.


As ghastly as it is to traditionalists, I'd almost rather make the nets slightly larger than shrink the equipment any more.  It's funny to me that people complain about how unfair it is to require visors of position players, yet the league can just mandate radical offseason changes to the actual tools that goaltenders use to perform their jobs (trappers, blockers, chest protector, etc.), and nobody finds that concerning.

#2416251 Wow... Danny Cleary

Posted by StormJH1 on 30 May 2013 - 03:22 PM

Wow.  First I heard of that.  Cleary was a great Red Wing, and yet another example of a post-hype player that the Wings adopted and got more out of than you'd expect.


I'll also never forget that without Danny Cleary, we probably don't make it back to the Cup Finals, while Datsyuk, Hossa, and Lidstrom were playing through significant injuries and rendered much less effective. 


Has Cleary played his last game in the Winged Wheel?

#2416239 Darren Helm - Career in Question?

Posted by StormJH1 on 30 May 2013 - 03:10 PM

His career is absolutely in jeopardy, and it horrifies me to write that.  He's 26 years old and has virtually no body fat, but already has significant back problems.  If you know anything about the spine or work in or around the medical field, you probably know that the back conditions and surgery aren't like UCL's and Tommy John surgery in baseball - with back problems, doctors can delay and improve, but they really can't "fix". 


Helm is undersized and doesn't have great hands, moves, or shooting ability.  What makes him an NHL player, and arguably "elite" in the specific role as 3rd line center/penalty killer, is his speed and defensive ability.  His skating is probably in the 90th or 95th percentile.  If back problems limit that explosiveness, or keep him off the ice altogether, as is happening at such a young age (and without a known specific injury), it is possible, but not too likely, that this will continue to be a problem for him. 


He's just had really bad luck, too, including the skate on the wrist last year and getting hit in the face during the lockout.  Damn.  One of my favorite Red Wings.

#2413972 Trade Smith ASAP!

Posted by StormJH1 on 28 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

I can't imagine any of us feel worse than he does, but I have to wonder how effectively he is being coached. There are some fundamental issues here that can be corrected. Play simple and smart. Either he is a complete ditz, nervous beyond belief or is not being coached and mentored very well.


I can't tell on television if he feels bad or not, but I really don't care.  What difference does it make to me if he's crying alone in a dark room after the game or blowing up wads of cash like Evander Kane on Twitter?  I'm a fan.  Watching him piss away Game 1 hurt MY feelings.  The fact that we couldn't close out Chicago at home leading 2-1 going into the 3rd period makes ME upset.  I could care less about Brendan Smith's feelings right now.


You could tell me that Brendan Smith might be a Top 4 defenseman some day, and that this is part of the growing process, and that all might be true.  That doesn't change the fact that this is the worst individual defensive performance on the Red Wings since I can't even remember when.  Yes, Ericsson has been a goat in the past.  There was also reason to expect that he'd be a late bloomer (drafted as a forward, long lanky body more difficult to coordinate, spoiled by playing early with Lidstrom, etc.).  Ericsson was never THIS bad.  It's basically a running bit me and my brother have this series - you might not even know who's on the ice, but as soon as a complete defensive screw-up happens: "Okay, what did #2 do wrong on that one". 


I would say that his goal in Game 2 (which happened because he was pinching and in which Zetterberg did all the work) was the "worst thing that could have happened", except that with White as the only available alternative, Smith was never going to sit.  White has been pain in the ass since his "60%" comments during the lockout and basically demanding to be traded after they started scratching him.  Still, it's impossible to believe that a half-interested Ian White could be this bad.


I'm not interested in what happens to Smith right now.  We can worry about that in July.  I just want to win Game 7, and it seems like the more Smith is on the ice, the less of a chance there is of that happening.

#2410907 Nyquist thoughts

Posted by StormJH1 on 24 May 2013 - 12:50 PM

Dude has the most potential to take over Datsyuks role in the future. In 3 years I think this kid can become a good offensive threat, in about 4 or 5 a complete player once he gets use to playing against the top players. Next year teams are going to pay attention to him so it will be a little harder.


Happy to have you on the team Nyquist.

Absolutely.  Look, any direct comparison to Datsyuk is going to sound ridiculous because they will NEVER be another player quite like #13.  But if you watched Datsyuk play in that first rookie season (2001-02), Nyquist reminds me a lot of what I saw from Datysuk in those early years.  Datsyuk had obvious creativity and puckhandling skills, but he'd string about 2 or 3 ideas together and then would either run out of ideas, run out of time, or get planted on his butt.  What made Datsyuk into a world-class star was his work effort, added upper body strength, his dedication to the 2-way game, and the added experience of what he could do with the puck in the NHL.  Logic tells you that a 34-year-old Datsyuk can't be as explosive as he was 10 years ago, but his game (like Larionov before him) is so cerebral that I swear there are times he's playing better hockey now than he ever has.


Before this year, Tatar was the player that I thought was most "Datsyuk"-like.  Over the past month or so, I've become a huge Nyquist fan.  That stick check he does is so similar to Datsyuk's, it's almost as if he taught it to him one-on-one.  Time will tell if Nyquist has the additional tools to put it all together, but could you think of a better mentoring situation than playing around 13 and 40?


The idea that we have Nyquist, Tatar, and Jurco, and if two out of those three could become even 70% of what Datsyuk and Zetterberg are, this team could be in better shape than most people predicted.

#2405799 WCSF Game 1 GDT : Red Wings 1 at Blackhawks 4, (CHI leads series 1-0)

Posted by StormJH1 on 16 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

This seems to be an LGW pattern year after year, but I always find it funny that when the Wings get severely worked over in a game or series, LGW'ers key in on that 12th forward or 6th defenseman as the thing we can change to turn things around.  I think there's a lot of people with egg on their face about Tootoo, who dismissed the fact that he was a healthy scratch all year, and that (except for one surprising deflection down the stretch) he was an absolute non-factor towards anything having to do with a scoring sheet.  The Hawks ultimately dominated that game last night - did Daniel Carcillo have anything to do with it?  So what is it about this impulse to throw in bit players and expect them to completely change the dynamics of the 52 minutes they aren't even on the ice?

Brendan Smith needs to sit down.  I'll admit to being wrong about him - I had a (quiet) suspicion that he was "over-ripened" and showed Top 4 Defenseman potential.  He might still do that someday, but he cannot be trusted right now.  That was one of the single worst defensive performances I can recall as a Wings fan, dating back to the days when they couldn't figure out that Derian Hatcher couldn't skate anymore.  We're talking Lebda's worst day, multiplied by four, levels of futility.  He may have only directly generated their first goal, but his constant turnovers and inability to ever solidly possess the puck in our own zone were extremely unsettling to the team.  Give me Ian White, Lashoff, whatever...just not that again.

#2404386 Official Franzen VS Hossa

Posted by StormJH1 on 14 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

"The ever on going debate Hossa or Franzen, Franzen or Hossa, which one should we have kept?"


I HATE this question.  I hear it all the time on LGW, as if it was some clear A vs. B choice.  Nobody ever says "Why did we keep Zetterberg or Kronwall instead of Hossa", even though those guys have more comparable contracts - they only want to compare the two LH-shooting Euro power forwards.


Here is why I lose ZERO sleep over the Hossa vs. Franzen thing:


  • Hossa was a known mercenary from the day we signed him.  He was a mercenary for Pittsburgh, and he was a stopgap solution for us.  If both sides had been so committed to keeping Hossa here long term, he would've gotten more than the glorified "Alex Semin" one-year deal that he got in July 2008 from us (1 year, $7.45 mil, IIRC)
  • Franzen and Hossa were roughly the same age (both born in 1979) and have similarities in their game, so spending $10 mil + on the same type of player would have been superfluous when we needed to sign goaltending and defense at the time.
  • At the end of 2009, Franzen's reputation was as a clutch playoff performer, whereas Hossa had a disappointing playoff performance, which soured the fanbase on him.  (The same fanbase, btw, ignores the fact that Datsyuk scored all of 1 goal in the '09 Playoffs on a bad foot, and celebrates Lidstrom's toughness for his "groin" injury, while ignoring played all 23 games with a destroyed shoulder)
  • Franzen's contract was FAR more favorable heading into an uncertain CBA situation.  Not only is the cap hit about $1.3 million less, but it's a year shorter, and notably less egregious in terms of circumventing the CBA with "backdiver" provisions, which was a growing concern of the NHL at that time, as they cracked down on the Kovalchuk deal
  • While both are "power forwards" (and Hossa's defensive game is admittedly better), Franzen seemed the more likely of the two to assume the role of "guy who stands in front of the net, screens goalies, and picks up garbage goals.  Holmstrom was on his way out, and the Wings really hadn't been absent a player of that type dating back to Ciccarelli in the mid-90's.  Hossa is a better overall player, but (particularly in the '09 Playoffs), he plays more of a finesse game and stays on the perimeter a bit.
  • Amnesty buyout.  This whole conversation basically became moot anyway in the 2013 CBA.  If Franzen's contract is so bad, they can just buy it out, rather than keeping it until 2020.  If they don't do that, and elect to keep him despite the lower salary cap and other changes in the CBA, that tells you that they probably still view it as a pretty good contract.
  • The Hossa signing only "worked" for Chicago because they had to bend and twist the 2005 CBA in every way possible.  It was perceived at the time that it might cost them one of their other core players down the road, like Duncan Keith.  What they did instead was bury Huet in the minors (which you can no longer do) and thin out all their role players, which led to early exits in 2011 and 2012.  They have since rebuilt those lower lines, so the Hossa experiment has "worked", but it's not clear that it also would have "worked" for us.

#2397440 Playing Eaves over Tootoo

Posted by StormJH1 on 06 May 2013 - 03:29 PM


I agree with this.  Eaves kills penalties.  Tootoo doesn't.  I would agree with the argument that Tootoo adds more benefit during 5 on 5 play than Eaves does.  But, I think we're struggling more on special teams than we are at even strength and Tootoo doesn;t help special teams.  I wish he was a good penalty killer.


I also agree that he should be in instead of Bert.  I would not say this if we were talking about a 100% healthy Bert (or even somewhere close to that), but we're not.  He hasn't looked too spry.  Tootoo should have that spot this game.  I don't know that it will be the difference either way, though.


Tootoo's penalty basically lost Game 1 for us.  You can say it was a weak call, and you may be right, but the threshold for borderline calls on Tootoo will always be smaller because he is Jordin Tootoo.  There's a reason he's been healthy scratched by Nashville and Detroit in consecutive years when the games REALLY matter.


I agree that there are times 5 on 5 when Tootoo seems to bring energy to the team.  But the bad will ultimately outweigh the good.  Fans see Tootoo and notice him because he's playing "differently" than the other guys.  He runs people behind the play.  He makes checks to make a statement.  He fights if needs to fight.  Fans assume these must be good things because guys like Bob Probert and Darren McCarty did those things.  But those guys played in a different era, and they could actually play hockey with Top 6 forwards, if needed.  Tootoo cannot.  And if you don't do special teams as a Bottom 6 forward, you don't have a secure job in the playoffs.

#2395375 Eller Destroyed

Posted by StormJH1 on 03 May 2013 - 05:00 PM

I really don't like the suspension.  It punishes the consequence, and is probably for no other reason other than to put Gryba back on the ice this weekend with MTL looking for their own "retribution".  But I really don't view the principal point of contact as the head.  These plays happen so fast, I think it's kind of ridiculous to show the video in super slow-mo over and over again breaking down which part of Eller's body was impacted first.  He had the right to throw a shoulder check in that situation and it wasn't gratuitous to do so.  Gryba was probably as surprised as anybody that Diaz threw the puck towards him.  I'm almost convinced there are situations you could be placed in where you would accidentally get a suspension unless you purposefully tipped backwards on your skates and allowed the unsuspecting player to knock you over.

#2395326 Brian Lashoff to take Dekeyser's place in game 3

Posted by StormJH1 on 03 May 2013 - 02:09 PM

Sigh.  I guess I guess I'll just defer to Babcock to decide which of the seemingly dozen fringe NHL defensemen we have on our squad will be the least cancerous to us and go with that guy.  I suppose it could be Lashoff.  White's right handed shot and experience SHOULD make him the favorite, but he also seems the most gaffe-prone out of the options.


Really bummed about about DeKe going down, though if you watched him in Gms 1 and 2, he was getting thrown around like a ragdoll out there.  He has great wheels and poise for a guy his age, but he's definitely more Bouwmeester than Chara out there.

#2395221 2013 Round 1 Photoshop War: Anaheim Ducks

Posted by StormJH1 on 03 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

NyQuist one is well done! 


Kind of low numbers for photoshop wars this year - the cool thing about it is that even though it's a lot of the same teams year after year, the cultural references change.  (Example: No "Duck Dynasty" references in 2007).

#2391660 WCQF - (8) Wild vs. (1) Blackhawks

Posted by StormJH1 on 29 April 2013 - 10:02 AM

Such a weird vibe here in Minnesota.  This is a "good" fanbase, but it's a very insular one, and they're a bit locked in the past by missing out of 7 years of NHL hockey, and having North Stars and Wild teams that were largely uninspired bookending that absence. 


That Edmonton 6-1 debacle on Friday did some serious damage to the good will they built up with the July 4th signings and the emergence of young players like Brodin and Zucker.  But in a perverse way, I feel like the expectations for the Wild have now suddenly been lowered to fact where people will jump right back on the bandwagon if they even split in Chicago.  Nevermind the fact that they competed for the 3rd seed for much of the season, or that it looked like they were going to be anywhere from 5th to 7th a week ago, before they decided to completely back the truck into the Playoffs.  There was no doubt Yeo was going to be fired if they lost that Colorado game Saturday, and really, they only got in with the help of a bizarre reversed call on a kicked in goal and a tiebreaker with Columbus.


I'm of the popular belief that Chicago is too much for them, but this is the NHL Playoffs.  Minnesota HAS talent that can flash at times, but when you spend 196 million and none of it addresses the center position, we've seen time and time again how that is rarely a recipe for playoff success around the league.


If I'm just predicting, I say Hawks in 5.  But my predictions are garbage, never listen to them.