I think the thing is, we've spent the last few years drafting "value" in the mid rounds. Value equates to smaller, skilled players. Now we've got a prospect pipeline that's overflowing with smaller, skilled players, so drafting even more smaller, skilled players makes no sense.
For one year, to focus on size + grit is OK, in the future we can go for a more balanced draft. Right now all we've done is given ourselves a more rounded prospect pool.
But one thing to bear in mind guys, chances are that no more than 2 of those 8 players make it to the NHL. If just 3 make it, that would be an amazing draft. Most of these guys are going to end up on the scrapheap.
Remember when Flip was the youth? Remember when he put put up 70 points in GR and everyone was all over Babcock and Holland for not playing him enough? Now he's greedy and one-dimensional and useless
Remember when Hudler was the youth? Remember when he put up 96 points in GR? Remember how everyone was all over Babcock and Holland for not playing him enough? Now he's greedy and one-dimensional and useless and lazy.
Remember when Kopecky was the youth? Remember when he put up 72 points in GR? Remember how everyone was all over Babcock and Holland for not playing him enough? (well, OK, its was just Eva ) Now he's just useless.
Remember when Kronwall was the youth? Remember when he put up 53 points in GR? Remember when he was Nick Jr? Now he's useless and can't defend, and a turnover machine and not a #1 defenceman.
Remember when Smith was the youth? Remember how 12 months ago he was LOCK for the Calder on here? Now he's the most useless defenceman in history, a Frankenstein combination of all the worst parts of Anders Ericsson, Max Kuznetzov, Matthieu Dandenault and Brett Lebda.
Are you spotting the pattern here? When they're in the minors all our prospects are the next coming of Steve Yzerman and Nick Lidstrom on here. Then they get here, and they turn into what the scouts projected (3rd line checker, 2nd line 2-way winger) and not what the LGWers predicted (Pavel Zetterberg), and LGW treats them like they're something they scraped off their shoe.
So good luck Nyquist. Good luck Tatar. Good luck Sheahan, Ferraro and Jurco. You'd better turn into HOFers, otherwise you'll just plain SUCK!
I'm definately in the "trade up" camp. Our prospect pipeline is absolutely jammed at the minute, we don't need to trade down to get more prospects. Use some of that stash to trade up and grab a real impact player.
I still don't get this notion some people have that the organization would benefit from buying out one of its best scorers. Exactly who would replace him?
First - for how many more seasons is Franzen going to be a 25 goal scorer? He's 33 right now. He's got another SEVEN seasons with a $4M cap hit. Once his production starts declining, since he contributes nothing else, how much longer does $4M stay good value for money?
Second - The early retirement penalties that have been brought in are a biatch. No-one expected the likes of Franzen to see out their contracts, now if he retires early, its the Wings who get punished while he sits on his mountains of cash.
Third - I hate the message that Franzen sends to our youngsters. Have a couple of half-decent seasons, sign a mega-bucks lifetime contract and coast your way into retirement
Fourth - As I already mentioned, we've had the best years of Franzen's contract - the years of artificially low cap hit with decent production. The contract is only going to get worse from here on out. If we buy him out after next season, he'll be 34 and we "only" have to pay him $12M for the remainder of his contract.
Fifth - We have lost MUCH worse players than Franzen over the years. Many and more of them, and we've always been OK. We'll survive without Franzen too.
These FAs need to dial back their expectations a bit... with salary cap getting across board reduction it basically equals a salary decrease vs value for all player contracts going forward.
No, you need to realise that mid-tier UFAs are "over-paid" under the CBA structure, and thats the way it is. Quality RFAs are under-paid because of the punitive compensation required for even a small offer sheet (1st and 3rd for $2 to $3M! 4 x 1sts for $5M+ !!!)
Holland torched the league overall. He was better than the league average in each section, including 7x better in the 51-100 slots and 2x or more better than the league average in the 101-200 and 201+ slots. On the far right is the expected value of top NHL players based on league average and Detroit's total picks by slot grouping. If the Wings would've been league average through the 97-05 years, they would have drafted 4 top NHL players with their 78 draft picks. Ken Holland drafted 12. He was three times better than the league and he wasn't relying on the lottery to build the Wings system. His haul during this period included: Jiri Fischer, Niklas Kronwall, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Fleischmann, Jimmy Howard, Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen, Kyle Quincey, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Jonathan Ericsson.
Holland as much as said the other day that Mrazek will be in Grand Rapids until his waiver exemptions are gone. That is 3 years from now, he'd rather him playing 60 games in Grand Rapids than playing 20 in Detroit.
That's not quite what he said. He said Gustavsson was under contract next season and they would rather Mrazek played 60 games in the AHL at this moment.
Depending on their play in 13-14, decides their destinies in 14-15. If Gustavsson turns into Conklin 2.0, and Mrazek has the traditional struggles with the "difficult 2nd album" then Mrazek stays inthe AHL. Mrazek continues his improvements and Monster does nothing ,then Mrazek will be backing up Jimmeh in 2 years time.
Hopefully the latter. I don't want to see Jimmeh keep playing 60-odd games per season and being ground into dust by Babcock.
backchecks, and scores enough to be effective to the money he is paid.
Effective to the money he WAS paid, and that's the key.
I am hard pressed to say I know what it is, hes an okay top 6 winger, a sub-standard top 6 center, and an above average #3 center. His defense is above average, but not exceptional, his ability to hit/use his body is poor, his skating is average, his playmaking is above average, but again, not exceptional, and hes too pass first for him to be called anything but a blow average goal scorer.
Say what now? Flip is an exceptional skater. A couple of years ago Babcock called him the best skater on the team.
He's been a good player for us. His skating, his playmaking, his defensive play. He was huge in the '08 run, shutting down Malkin in the finals. But now, via the vagaries of the CBA he's about to be way overpaid and its time to say farewell. Lets not berate him for not being Pavel Zetterberg, like this place is so fond of doing to anyone who doesn't play at a HOF level. He was a decent middle 6 forward at a good price, be happy with that.
The guy is one of the best players on the team. Very underrated, drafted and developed in house. If he won't take 3.5-4 million, then gonna have to let him go. Letting Hudler go was a HUGE mistake, and it will be a HUGE mistake to let Flipulla go too. The Red Wings waste so much cap space on people who don't even play, they can afford to overpay a player by a million here or there.
In a cap world, letting Hudler go was not a mistake, it was precisely the right thing to do. And in a cap world, letting Filpulla go is also absolutely the right thing to do. Flip is now an UFA, and UFAs are overpaid, because desperate GMs sign them to desperate contracts, driving up the price of UFAs everywhere. Over-paying for role/depth players is the cardinal sin of the cap world.
I like Flip, I've always liked him, and I've always defended him. He's been a good player for us, but now is the right time to let him go. He's going to get $4-5M a year from some GM, and with our pipeline of good, young, CHEAP, prospects we can afford to let him go.
Nothing against him, but stay away from Briere please. Wings are going to get younger, bigger Briere doesn't match the new direction.
The Flyers are really handeling their players like crap at some point this will come back and haunt them.
It already came back and haunted them when they missed the playoffs. Honestly, all the Wings fans who want to fire Holland + Babs, who want to trade/waive/buyout everyone who isn't' Pav or Hank, who want to sign every FA under the sun - take a looong hard look at Philly (and NYR).
Throwing players at the wall and seeing who sticks just doesn't work. Philly management, fans and media have yet to work that out. No roster stability or continuity, a couple of random playoff runs and 20 years of underachievement.