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Member Since 09 Oct 2007
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#2355810 Jordin Tootoo

Posted by StormJH1 on 15 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

I came out hard against Tootoo at several points during the offseason and lockout, and a lot of people disagreed with me.  I don't think much has happened since the season started that could be used to justify his $1.9 million AAC.  On the other hand, when he's actually been on the ice and playing hockey, it's not like his play has been terrible enough that I can point to that and go: "See!! I won the argument!".


I still think his game is a joke.  The Wings have acquired PLENTY of players that I hated as opponents, but quickly respected once they became Wings.  Chelios, Brett Hull, and Bertuzzi come to mind.  But there's the key difference there - those guys were all skilled hockey players, not one-dimensional cheap shot artists and agitators.  I would argue that the Wings haven't employed trash like this since the days of Sean Avery.  (A note on that: Avery in the early days was a total a-hole, but this was before "sloppy seconds", fashion internships, and waving the stick in front of goaltender's faces - he was actually a somewhat popular player at the time, but management saw what was coming with him and moved him before he ever had the chance to embarass us).


The big picture here is that we gave a 3-year deal and borderline Top 6 forward money to a guy whose only marketable "skill appears" to be an odious reputation.  In other words, any garbage AHL'er making $750,000 a year could just decide tomorrow that they wanted to act like Jordin Tootoo, and they'd have that same reputation within a year or two.  He's lucky if he plays 8 minutes a game on the 4th line.  And I'm sorry, but you can't be considered an "enforcer" when you're 5'9" and pretty much every known "enforcer" around the league is about two weight classes above you.  He scares nobody, but annoys everyone, and therefore, does nothing to enhance the effectiveness of the team, while tarnishing the Red Wings brand.


I've said this time and time again, but the idea that you can improve team toughness by throwing guys on the 4th line who do nothing but fight (or cheap shot) is absurd.  "Toughness" is having power forwards like Shanahan, Holmstrom, or Franzen that do the dirty work to keep the puck.  It's having skilled forwards like Zetterberg and Datsyuk are aren't huge players, but are willing to throw a shoulder into you in the corner.  And it's about having defensemen who stick up for their goaltender and move guys physically when they have to, rather than running guys behind the play and getting caught out of position.


I'm not going keep hating on Tootoo for the duration of his contract because Babcock's use of him shows that he already agrees with me.  In terms of playing time and doing things that actually impact the scoreboard, he's already less important than guys like Tatar, Andersson, and Emmerton.  He just happens to make more than those guys.

#2354203 Ericsson

Posted by StormJH1 on 11 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

The past criticisms of Ericsson's game were entirely fair.  It might be that we had unreasonably high expectations for him based on how he played in the '09 Playoffs paired with Lidstrom.  There were many examples from 2009-12 of poor positioning, total lack of offensive involvement, and a physical dimension to his game that was disappointing given his size.


That being said, his play this season has been outstanding, and is finally worth the contract that made LGW collectively groan when it was signed.  Of course, being surrounded by other crappier defensemen probably helps the perception.  But his breakout passes have been excellent, and he's always had a hard shot, it's just that his hands of stone usually render it moot.  And there were some key decisions in that Kings game Sunday where he jumped on passes and diffuse some potential disasters on defense.


I think one problem that Ericsson had was that he broke in with the Wings already in his mid-20's, and was perceived as being "over-ripe" (a 2002 draft pick that didn't debut until 2008).  But he was also a converted forward, and many tall defenseman (Chara, even Hal Gill to an extent) seem to struggle figuring things out until they've been in the league for several years.  My point is simply that maybe Ericsson (who just turned 28) is on a different developmental scale.  Whatever the case, if he kept up this level of play for the rest of the year, I think we'd be thrilled.

#2352246 Tomas Tatar Is Jiri Hudler 2.0

Posted by StormJH1 on 07 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

I think any time you draft a player, especially in hockey where there are so many hidden gems, you hoping they could be the corner stone of your franchise. Of course you dont always hit, but best case scenario is that every draft pick will be a star.


While you obviously hope for that to happen, I completely disagree with you in the following respect: If the Red Wings knew Pavel Datsyuk was going to be Pavel Datsyuk, there's no way in heck they let him fall to #171.  The two players drafted by Detroit AHEAD of Datsyuk were Carl Steen (#142, played in the Swedish league and never came over to North America) and Adam DeLeeuw (#151, Canadian Junior player who never played in the NHL).  It's one thing to avoid overdrafting a guy, but if they had any clue Datsyuk would become half of what he turned out to be, why were they drafting other North Americans and Europeans ahead of him?




You are correct that hockey seems to have a lot of "hidden gems", but the reasons for that in the 90's were different than they are now.  Heading into the Nagano Olympic games (first with professional players), it was still very much assumed that Canada and Russia were the talent powerhouses of the world.  Globalization and the internet have diminished the chances that Hakan Andersson wanders into some European rink and sees some prodigy that nobody else has even heard of.  Also, the profile of many other leagues not named the NHL or KHL has increased greatly following Olympic play and the 2004-05 lockout.  In addition to Yzerman and all the free agents, the Wings were built by the head start we seemed to have in spotting (and smuggling) Russians in the late 80's and early 90's, and Swedes before those players were fully appreciated (Swedes being a solid foundation of the '08 team).  I'm not sure there's an "untapped" market that the Wings can exploit now, but we will see.


Plus, you have to keep in mind the type of players that Datsuk and Zetterberg are.  They are undeniable talents, but they are also both very unselfish, 2-way players.  Neither of them possess a 100 mph slapshot, or blazing speed.  They aren't flashy players that blow away the competition like Pavel Bure on CSKA Moscow.  It takes a lot of foresight, but even more luck, to find a complete player whose overall intelligence and feel for the game that give them the edge at lower levels will also make them elite players as grown men in the NHL.  Guys with one particular elite skill, such as world-class speed like Andreas Athanasiou, don't make it past the 3rd or 4th round, even if they tons of other holes in their game.


Also, I don't think NHL GM's do draft players thinking that every one is going to be a star.  Drew Miller draft position (with ANA, not DET) was comparable to Datsyuk's, but I don't think anybody looked at the guy and thought: "here's a potential Hart candidate".  I think the hope at that late round was that he became a useful bottom-6 forward, which is basically how he turned out.

#2352215 Mrazek To Start Tonight

Posted by StormJH1 on 07 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

Excited to see him play (and glad it's not McCollum), but please everybody keep their expectations in check. This is not some overripe Jimmy Howard type working his way through the system - this kid is 20. And defense in front of him has been suspect to the point where even Jimmy has a 3.00-ish GAA. Sent on iPhone using Tapatalk

#2351369 Mike Ilitch's Apearance

Posted by StormJH1 on 05 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

Any Wings fan who can tell you with a straight face that they don't have respect for Illitch is absolutely nuts.  He's the definition of a "fan-owner" and his businesses have been extremely important in providing jobs, interest, and morale to a city that is about as dysfunctional as it gets, as anyone who's ever lived anywhere else would tell you.  He basically spent the Tigers out of the cellar.  Four Cups, Six SCF appearances, and two decades of consecutive Playoff appearance for a team that doesn't have a single draft pick higher than #19 overall (IIRC) on its roster.  I'm 31 now, and if you take the Tigers, the Red Wings, and even friggin Little Caesar's Pizza away, I'm not even sure I recognize my childhood.

#2351368 Stats Thus Far for Suter and Weber

Posted by StormJH1 on 05 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

Suter is by far the best defenseman on the Wild, without looking it up I'd have a hardtime naming any other defenseman on that team but I do know, that they have a very promising young rookie named Brodhin. People also have to keep in mind that Suter has never been that sexy, flashy offensive defenseman he is an elite stay at home defender.


Up to this season Weber always had thte assurance of Suter staying back, so he could play a more offensive type of game but now he is paired with a guy, who is playing his second NHL season, so Weber has to be more defensive responsible I think that's the reason, why his point totals are down.


These two just completemented each other perfectly so I am not surprised they aren't that dominate, but keep in mind stats aren't always telling the whole story. Suter also has to adopt to a new coach,. system including all the pressure of being the #1 defenseman on the team.


I live in Minnesota.  Suter has been awful and the Wild fans know it, but I think they're trying to be patient with it based on his track record.  It's not like Suter was total garbage on the U.S. Olympic team, I thought he was quite good.


The Wild have a rookie, Jonas Brodin, who looks like a stud.  He's decent-sized, skilled with the puck, and already playing 21 minutes a night, almost by default.

Tom Gilbert was acquired in a trade for fan favorite Nick Schultz last year that stunned everyone, and Gilbert has been a better fit with this year's more skilled set of forwards.


Zach Parise has actually been as good or better than advertised.  As long as he stays healthy, his leadership and work rate are going to keep up his effectiveness, even if the scoring dries up now and then.  Plus, he's the local guy who came home, so the Minnesotans love him for that anyway.


But the shocking reality for the Wild is that they're more than a decade in and they've arguably never had a shutdown "Top 2" defenseman in franchise history.  They had Brent Burns, but he was more interesting for his offensive rushes and willingness to ignore Lemaire's trap system.  Other guys, like Cam Barker, were supposed to anchor the D unit, and completely flamed out.  So there has to be some concern that Suter isn't the guy they thought he was, but I'm sure he'll turn it around over time.  

#2344674 Jordin Tootoo: Usage? (6:57 TOI vs. Columbus)

Posted by StormJH1 on 22 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

He had 21 minor penalties last year, which is significantly less than what Quincey and Bertuzzi had last year.  It's also very consistent with what 5 other Wings took last year (+ only 5 more than what Zetterberg took).


His average time on ice for Nashville ranged from 10 minutes to 13 minutes per game.  Last season was actually a career high for him.


It's tough for me to put together a coherent argument here because I didn't him on the team in the first place, and certainly not for 3 years, $1.9 AAC...but I'm trapped into the argument that if they did bother to acquire him and pay that, there must of have been some plan for him greater than sub-Cory Emmerton levels of importance.  We're missing several forwards and he's still treated as a generic 4th liner/pest.  And I trust Babcock, so I'm left to assume that's really the best he can possibly be.


I get that people like the chippiness, but Tootoo is not a "big strong" player, nor was he "very important" to our win last night.  I watched that game from start to finish - it takes "Brad May" levels of message board delusion to think that Tootoo had anything more to do with that shootout win than Abdelkader, Miller, or perhaps the equipment manager.

#2344394 Red Wings sign D Kent Huskins to 1-year, $750k contract

Posted by StormJH1 on 22 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

33 years old, left handed shot, 6'4" 205lb, but pretty limited playing time the past few years.  I have only vague knowledge of him from being on the Ducks.


But I guess it's a warm body with some size an NHL experience, right?

#2343037 Minnesota

Posted by StormJH1 on 21 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

I'm one of the "undercover LGW'ers" living in Minnesota, the fan base here just really annoys me.  Obviously, they know the sport itself, or they wouldn't bother taking their kids to all those 6am practices and obsessing over WCHA games with the Golden Gophers.  But given that they had no hockey here from 1993-99 (an era of DRAMATIC change in the NHL), and then Lemaire trapped and dumped his way to 8 terribly boring seasons when they got the Wild...it's almost like their impressions of the professional game are locked in some time capsule from the 1970's.  When Slap Shot and the Minnesota North Stars are your reference points for the NHL, it explains whey they always need a super-goon here - from Boogaard (R.I.P.) to John Scott to Zenon Konopka.   


People need to keep in mind that the Wild were as bad as they were for a reason last year.  They had the NHL's best record for, like, 20 games, and then were AWFUL.  I think their 2nd half record was worse than Columbus last year.  The defensive corps is young and undersized.  Adding a horse like Suter helps, but I always thought Weber was clearly superior out of those two, and they always played together.  So how much do we really know about Suter?


Parise is like the messiah here - they should've just given him the "C" and bumped Koivu down to an "A" because it seems inevitable anyway.  Homegrown kid comes home, and his dad played for the North Stars for parts of 8 seasons.  People assumed here that Parise would sign during LAST season, which made it more annoying when it actually happened.  But at least with Parise, you understand the appeal.  The Wings needed Suter, and he came to Minnesota just to follow Parise and because of his wife.  I've taken to calling him "Becky" around my Wild fans, let's see how long before they pick up on it.


I think the Wild are a better team than they were before, but their first two opponents weren't world beaters, and things are screwy all over the league because of the quick start.  I still believe that you can't make a bad team good just by adding a player (or two).  (See 2001 Capitals, New York Rangers since 1995).  Minnesota will likely get better, but mostly because of their revamped farm system, which went from horrible two years ago to one of the better ones in hockey now.

#2342546 Giant Griffins bench-clearing brawl

Posted by StormJH1 on 20 January 2013 - 03:34 AM

Jesus.  Great, half our farm system has a concussion now.  Mrazek got beaten to a pulp - love how the ref slid his lifeless corpse away from the other goalie.

Also, what the hell was that siren going off in the background?  Is that some sort of signal for everyone to pretend they're in "Slap Shot"?


Great call on that Islanders/Pens brawl by @stevkrause above.  The teams with the "best fighters" are usually the teams in the bottom half of the standings.  Probably because you have to offer some raw meat for the fairweather fans to chew on.

#2341315 NHL Gamecenter Live **No illegal stream discussion**

Posted by StormJH1 on 18 January 2013 - 03:33 PM

I see yeah I don't have cable trying to save a buck. So I watch all my sports online these days. Decisions decisions


I'm also a Wings fan in Minnesota.  The national games for Detroit are almost half the season this year, but I decided to try out GameCenter anyway.  But yes, it's a bummer for people that don't even have the cable subscription that their streaming options are dictated by the cable providers they could have gotten the game on.  I think a couple of the games are NBC on the weekend, so presumably you could see those, but NBC Sports Network and NHL Network are a no.

so i have the nhl gamecenter app on my vizo apps. I wonder if it will show the games or is it just for fault?


Guess we'll find out tomorrow.  I don't understand why there should be any issues given that it's not even like these are "new" apps.  They should have been ready in October and just "flipped the switch", but I guess not.

#2336382 Every player a UFA?

Posted by StormJH1 on 19 December 2012 - 06:30 PM


This doesn't really fit here, but I just felt like yelling it out.

#2335884 [Retired] Official Lockout Thread

Posted by StormJH1 on 11 December 2012 - 01:28 PM

I know what you're saying, but I'd hardly call it generous to agree to honor a portion of the contract you've decided not to pay in full, some of which were signed only months ago.

All sports are different, but the NBA is a relatively close business to the NHL. And in comparison, the NHL players are getting hammered in this negotiation, in great part due to the sins of the owners.

And of the things that benefit players listed in the article:

1) artificially inflate the salary cap in Year 1 so teams don’t have to trade or release players;

2) trade player salary and cap charges in trades (this is something both teams and players have wanted);

3) eliminate re-entry waivers;

4) Increase revenue sharing with further increases as revenues grow, and the top grossing teams making the biggest contributions (revenue sharing is something Don Fehr is passionate about; wants it so the teams that really need assistance are assisted);

5) Introduction of appeal rights to a neutral third-party arbitrator in cases involving on- and- off-ice discipline (player-proposed wish).

Brilliant. I think the bulk of the hockey-following public really has lost touch with this debate. They hear little bits and pieces of another "concession" by the owners, and when a deal doesn't happen the next day, it must be because Fehr's an *******.

There is no "negotiation" here. This is more like a hostage situation where Bettman has kidnapped little bits and pieces of what the players already had, and letting them out piece by piece. At the end of the day, if he's only taking and not giving back, he's still the aggressor in all of this.

Player salaries did not become inflated (AGAIN) because the players are "greedy" or "overpaid". The salaries went up because the 2005 CBA and its salary cap that the OWNERS unilaterally wanted and forced upon the NHLPA is fundamentally broken. To put the salary cap and floor so close together and to raise the cap so aggressively so that it nearly doubled in the course of 7 years is absurd. The struggling market teams literally HAD to start overpaying mid-level guys to even meet the salary floor. It's not like Crosby and Ovechkin are readily available on the free agent market. You fill out your team and keep your budget up by paying way too much for Jeff Finger, Mike Cammeileri, or Ville Leino.

And worst of all, the same owners who now say they're all losing money were going out of their way to pay more ACTUAL money than the salary cap apparently allows. How do you expect the NHLPA to "give in", given that total lack of credibility on the other side?

#2334940 [Retired] Official Lockout Thread

Posted by StormJH1 on 29 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

Clearly there are teams that are struggling financially but the Forbes report isn't a complete or accurate financial picture. In 2004 Bettman had an extensive audit of franchises to show in irrefutable detail how many were losing money. Strange how he didn't do that this time.

There's the secondary issue of how much it's actually the players fault that these franchises aren't profitable. Unlike 2005 the real issue is the disparity of the franchises, not the un-capped costs of player salaries.

That second point is what I think the majority of people I argue with don't seem to understand. To solve a problem, your solution actually has to address the root cause of that problem. Otherwise, it's like trying to bandage on your finger to cure a headache - it doesn't make any sense.

In 2004/05, there was an idea that player salaries had gotten out of control. Even thought the fans personally identified with the players more than a bunch of suits who own and operate the teams, public sentiment was largely on the side of the owners. A lot of people, myself included, assumed that if you put a reasonable cap in place, ALL teams would have to spend more responsibly. More importantly, the disparity in budget between the "haves" and "have nots", by definition could not be more than $16 million (difference between cap floor and cap ceiling).

The new CBA really could have succeeded. But two things happened between 2005 and 2012 that really destroyed any chance for smaller markets to compete again. The first was that the revenues of the game grew, which meant that the cap increased:

Posted Image
Raise your hand if you really thought we would nearly DOUBLE the salary cap by 2012 (oh, and by the way, in the midst of a massive worldwide recession). Oh, and by the way, teams like the Detroit Red Wings, who were derisively referred to as the "Yankees" of the NHL, actually didn't spend more than the current salary cap amount before the new CBA, except for one season (2003-04). That "all-star" team that one the 2001-02 Cup with something like 11 Hall of Famers on it? Their payroll of $66 million would've fit easily into the Cap for the 2012-13 season. Of course, the problem was getting worse and worse without a Cap, and I agreed at the time that Salary Cap was necessary. Unfortunately, the implementation of that did nothing to slow the increase of salaries. It simply reset the clock for a few years, which is necessary anyway after you sit out a whole season and disillusion much of your fanbase.

The second thing that happened, of course, was the backdiving contracts and owners/GM's figuring out ways to spend more on players than the team's cap figure would seem to imply. This is significant financially because if you're handing out money to minor league stashes, bonuses, and actual payments to players larger than their cap hit would suggest, then the salary cap really isn't doing much to limit spending, which was supposed to be the whole point of this fiscal responsibility push in 2004-05 in the first place.

Long story short, the system was fundamentally flawed, and the combination of the increased cap and "cheater" contracts that payed more than they appear to led to sustained spending on players. Those problems do need to be fixed so that spending can't get out of control again.

But if you're Phoenix, or Nashville, or Dallas, or whatever...people still need to want to BUY your product, or you'll never make money like the big boys. Even worse, the CBA that is supposed to help all teams by controlling spending actually hurts franchises by putting a cap FLOOR on those teams. Many of those franchises are going to draw 10,000 to 12,000 per game whether they spend $25 million or $50 million on payroll. There just aren't enough fans to support the product long-term in those markets, and that has nothing to do with the players or how much revenue they get.

#2334867 [Retired] Official Lockout Thread

Posted by StormJH1 on 28 November 2012 - 01:06 PM

This whole thing is so sickening. Even though I feel like the NHLPA still has some measure of additional support from the public/media as compared to the owners...it feels like even the people who support the NHLPA have allowed this entire debate to be stuffed into the framework laid out by the NHL. The idea that "we have to get to 50/50", which is really just a completely arbitrary distribution that SOUNDS non-arbitrary, necessarily called for a massive reduction in player revenues and a lockout. What rationale could there possibly be for completely shutting down the product and asking the players to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue back to the owners, when the product (as a whole) was actually generating far more money than seemed possible in 2005?

We don't see the actual numbers behind these purported losses by the 18 NHL franchises. What part does the players share of revenues have in the fact that about half of the league can't operate at a profit...any more than the players have to do with the fact that some other franchises have turned CONSIDERABLE profits? Moreover, if the cap floor is fixed at $16 million below the cap maximum, why don't we see 15-20 teams bottoming out as close to that floor as they possibly can, if they're hurting for money so bad anyways? Heck, you have a greater chance of making the playoffs as you do missing the playoffs anyway (16 out of 30), why not just save $10 million a year by bottoming out and hoping that enough other teams do the same? If Nashville and Phoenix can make the playoffs multiple times with all the issues they have financially, couldn't anybody?

The surprising truth is that most owners actually want to win. They want to win so badly that they will cheat their own CBA provisions as much as they can, waste money on stashed minor leaguers, backloaded deals, and bonuses that don't even appear in the cap, and overpay undeserving players like Ville Leino, Mike Cammileleri, and Jeff Finger chasing the dream. Then, when the bubble bursts again, they'll just ask for more money every 7 years. I'm sorry, but that's not the way to run a business. I don't blame Jeff Finger for taking huge money to play a game he loves, to support a career that could be over tomorrow if he crashes into the boards wrong. I do blame the guys who thought paying that money was a good idea, and drooled over expansion fees without putting any type of revenue sharing in place to support struggling teams.