Right. That's kind of my point. We've lost players left and right and we're replacing them players from the AHL. The salary cap has been going up, those players leaving is freeing up tons of cap space and he hasn't traded for or signed, hardly anyone. We're doing a little worse each year, our cap space is growing, our problems are increasing and Holland hasn't done anything during this time. Again, don't get me wrong, he's done lots for the Wings over the years, but to post an article proclaiming him the best GM in the NHL when he's done very little over the past few years is bizarre.
But who is available to replace those guys? There are very, very few quality FAs available these days. How do you replace a guy like Lidstrom? There is NO_ONE, not a single player, in the NHL right now who is as good as Lidstrom was. Chara and Weber are as good as it gets, neither is in the "all-time, all-NHL" bracket like Lidstrom is, neither will hit Free Agency, and if they were available for trade, the cost would be crippling.
I do agree we are in decline - I've been saying it for several years - but even in a transitional year, we are still in a playoff spot.
A bit of perspective. Our big rivals from the free-spending years. Colorado - what happened to them after Roy, Foote, Sakic, Forsberg et al retired? They've sucked ever since. What about Dallas after Modano, Belfour, Zubov etc went? They've sucked. What happened to us after we lost Yzerman, Fedorov, Shanahan, Larionov, Hull, Robitaille etc? Ken Holland went out and built another Stanley Cup roster. And now most of that roster has retired or left and he's rebuilding the team again. How many GMs out there have sucessfully rebuilt Cup winning rosters? Lou Lamoriello, and uh, I think thats about it.
DeKeyser was practically wearing a Wings jersey to Toronto to be pawed at by the other suitors. The kid wanted to be a Wing from the start, all Kenny had to do was not screw it up. It's not like Kenny could've been outbid for him by other GMs due to the entry level contract because you know he probably would have been. I'm glad we got DK but he basically jumped into Kenny's lap.
As I've said before, if he gets the blame for Suter's wife and Parise being from Minnesota, he sure as hell gets the credit for DelKaiser being from Michigan