I started a 2013 off-season thread. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is going to be a two off-season process. So, I wanted to start a new thread to talk about that process. If the multiple threads bother some, I apologize; this is how I prefer it.
*Disclaimer. I still think that we're going to win this series; and no one looks unbeatable to me on our side. If Jimmy stays hot / gets hotter, who knows. I just like talking about off-seasons..
I'm 25 years old. Last off-season was the single biggest red wings catastrophe that I've ever seen; and there are still a number of bad contracts on the books for next season as a result of that. However, two of those bad contracts can be bought out this off-season, and the rest of them are going to be off the books going into next off-season. Given the impressive growth shown by our young core this season, if we can manage to add two things over the next two off-seasons - - - a stud, pure-scoring wing and a top-pairing (preferably RH'ed) defenseman - - - I think that we're the odds on favorites to win it all season after next.
Here's how I break us down:
-1) P. Datsyuk. There's nothing more important than making Pav happy, making sure that he'll have a legit chance to win another ring if he returns, and convincing him to finish his career here in Detroit after his contract expires next season. Nothing more important than that.
-2) H. Zetterberg. He's here. I'm glad.
-3) *???*. This is where we need to add someone (no idea who?). Top-line pure scoring wing. Must get one. Must.
-4) J. Franzen, He's here. If we can trade him for someone who plays harder, is more physical, and who isn't much worse offensively, then sure, you do it. If you can't, we're fine.
-5) D. Brunner. I like Brunner, a lot. I'd resign him this off-season for sure.
-6) V. Filppula. Similar to Mule. If you can find someone who plays harder, is more physical, and who isn't much worse offensively (or at least shoots more), then sure, you do it. If you can't, resign Val, and we're fine.
-7) G. Nyquist. I like Gus a lot too. Resign him this off-season for sure.
-8) T. Tatar. I think he's ready for the show. Call him up now and get him some experience.
-9) C. Jarnkrok. He might not be quite ready yet. But I'd prefer to see him called up asap to gain some experience.
-10) D. Helm. He's here. Hopefully he'll be healthy.
-11) J. Abdelkader. He's here. I'm glad. Big strides this season.
-12) J. Andersson. I'd definitely resign him this off-season.
-13) R. Sheahan/T. Pulkkinen/M. Frk/T. Jurco. In two years, I'd imagine that one of these prospects is more valuable to the roster than an Emmerton.
-14) J. Tootoo. He's here. Having a goon that'll fight anyone, but who can still skate and move the puck well enough not to kill his line, isn't the worst thing to have in a reserve forward.
-M. Samuelsson. I'd use one of the buy-outs on him. He costs us a lot. He's not going to be healthy. I don't think he fits in that well with what we're trying to be. He takes valuable experience away from young players. Just axe him and move on.
-T. Bertuzzi. I'd let him go next off-season. Repeat all the things I said about Sammy. But he's been here longer and makes less, so I guess I'd rather eat him for another season if I had to pick one. He can hold that roster spot until we bring in our stud top line scorer.
-P. Eaves. I'd let him go next off-season. Don't hate Eaves. Don't like him. Roster's just too talented for him to have a place on it. I'd probably send him to Grand Rapids to make space for Jarnkrok next season.
-C. Emmerton. I'd let him go next off-season (if we can't get him back on a two-way deal). Again, don't hate him. Roster's just too talented for him to hold a spot. He can hold onto a roster spot next season until one of Sheahan, Pulkkinen, Frk or Jurco is ready.
-D. Cleary. I'd let him go this off-season. Don't hate him. Don't like him. No room on the roster.
-D. Miller. I'd let him go this off-season. Don't hate him. No room on the roster.
-1) N. Kronwall. He's here. I'm glad. No one's Norris-Nick. He's a solid top-pairing D.
-2) *???*. This is where we need help. RH-er on the PP who's great in his own zone would be incredible.
-3) D. DeKeyser. Love him. Must be re-signed. 2nd pairing D for sure.
-4) B. Smith. Love his growth too. Must be re-signed. 2nd pairing D for sure.
-5) J. Ericsson. He's solid enough to keep. Resign him after next season.
-6) J. Kindl. He's starting to show some real saviness out there. I'd resign him and keep him around to compete with the rising prospects for that last spot.
-7) B. Lashoff/R. Sproul/X. Oullet. Lashoff's here. He's alright, I guess. Talent on his heels, fortunately.
-C. Colaicovo. He's completely useless. I'd buy him out asap.
-K. Quincey. Bad signing. I'd let him walk after next season. He can hold onto that roster spot until we get our new top-pairing D.
-I. White. He's walking.
-1) J. Howard. He's here. I'm glad.
-2) P. Mrazek. He should be ready to take over as the backup season after next.
-J. Gustavsson. He can hold down the backup spot for one more season, then it's later.