The player that stands out to me is Nyquist. We all know Z and Dats were drafted late. Old news (but still incredible finds!). Goose, though, is showing more and more promise. I was initially a skeptic because of his (lack of) size, but he has been consistently scoring in the NHL for a year and some of his moves are downright Datsyuk-ian. Great pick at #121!
I think Ozzie is trying to hard to be "professional" when he should relax and be more himself. I don't care if he's exceptionally polished; entertain me. Isn't he supposed to be a real character and prankster?
Niskanen, like Frank said was offered more by Washington. Erhoff wanted more term which Holland wouldnt give (plus IMO he is hoping to have a career year in Pit and then cash in next year like Niskanen).
When you say players took less, this comes from a report by I believe Ansar Khan regarding the Boyle/NYR. While the Wings did reportedly offer more money in total, they offered less per year. (3 years/12.5million @ 4.16million per, opposed to 2 years/9 million @ 4.5million per. Plus, Boyle reportedly wanted to play with St. Louis again, and he thought NYR had a better chance at a cup this year. Though i'm sure if Holland threw at him 3 years at 15million Boyle would have taken it.....but he didnt. Robidas reportedly signed in TO because it puts him closer to family, but I never heard how much Holland offered him.
Holland did make offers, but I he didnt appear to throw insane amounts at these players like other teams did (again, ala Wsh/Orpik).
Wow, I didn't realize you and Barrie were so important to one another. No need to defend the guy so rigorously. He's a big boy. For the record, here's a collection of Barrie's posts regarding Holland's rebuild plan and signing UFA's.
"I'm still not really sure what Holland could have done since 2009 to make things any better. We're rebuilding through the draft. With the Cap, and how over inflated the UFA market is, it's the way to go. We haven't missed out on a thing by not signing guys like Ehrhoff, Clarkson, and Wisniewski, or Suter or Parise to 13 years."
"I guess I was in the huge minority this offseason thinking we had a very good hockey team. Holland, stayed away from overpaying for UFA's, and built a team with a lot of depth. I'm not surprised we're 4-1-2."
"No worries they'll sign. Holland doesn't sign over priced UFA's for this reason. There's more then enough cap room to sign Tatar and DeKeyser, then Nyquist and Smith next off season."
"I'll take Kenny, who's building the team with the draft, isn't signing any over priced UFA's, and actually knows how the cap works."
"I think it's obvious Holland is building through the draft, and won't overpay for UFA's. Teams that build through the draft win Championships, teams that sign over priced UFA's don't."
Barrie's entire premise is based upon the false notion that Holland has refused to "overpay" UFA's since 2009. But it isn't for a lack of trying. Holland has made big, competitive, sometimes overpayment offers (Suter & Parise) to numerous players that haven't signed. That isn't Holland refusing to overpay. That's players rejecting his offers.
Holland threw just as much money at players as other teams. Those players signed for less or for the same money elsewhere. Barrie is acting as if Holland didn't offer such money. That's my point. Because the players didn't sign here, Barrie claims that Holland didn't try to pay them.
DD has a big shot from the point, is a good skater, and is very responsible. He's fine on the PP. Too many people get stuck on labels like "He's a defensive defenseman" while ignoring what a player actually does on the ice.
I'm not suggesting Smith shouldn't get time on the PP also. Just stating that DD is competent and will improve with experience.