But to act like we just realized this is silly. Its been that way for a while now. Remember the talk about the Devils not being able to ice a full team with the Kovulchuk deal? This "era" didn't just manifest itself yesterday. Holland is not performing. He needs to be replaced.
No one is "just realizing" anything. Acquiring top talent has always been hard, and has become even more so in the cap era. Yet you seem to think that even now a competent GM should be able to replace any that's lost, and add more to compensate for any decline from those still around, all without any drop in team performance.
When the GM you think are good now have all rebuilt their teams on the fly, without any "down" years...then you can say Holland should have done better. For now, you have nearly 100 years of NHL history telling you that your expectations aren't reasonable.
More FALSEness. The Wings play with the same cap as the other teams. Its just that other teams spend money on great players and fill in the rest of the lineup with their low paid young guys. We sign a bunch of old, crappy guys and let our prospects waste away.
I believe what he was saying is that the cap takes away the advantage of spending more than most other teams. In the past we could trade away picks and prospects to acquire proven talent without having to worry about fitting them under the cap, and still go after any UFA we liked. That isn't possible anymore.
Now, we have to keep our young players, since as you say we need them to fill out the roster. Now we have to compete with a lot more teams for UFAs, and there are fewer of them to go around as well.
It's not a matter of how we're spending money; it's acquiring those "great players" in the first place.
Mario fricking Lemieux in his prime would have a hard time with Abdelkader and Cleary playing his wings. To suggest Dats and Z can't score is absurd. These guys are crippled with crappy players because the GM failed the last off season. Franzen and Brunner are average, and their paychecks prove it. Cleary and Abdelkader are 3rd liners at best, and their paychecks prove it. Asking Z and D to score with these guys is a joke. Our top 6 needs a serious overhaul. 2 guys minimum. 4 guys in reality.
I said they can't score goals. By that I mean they both seem to be around 20-25g. And you're kind of proving my point. They're not good enough to turn average players into stars. Nothing really wrong with that; few players ever have been. I point it out because it makes it that much tougher to build a team. If we need four 30g wingers, we're probably out of luck. Couldn't afford it in free agency, even if there were 4 available. Nor do we have the trade assets, even if we completely empty the cupboards (which would leave no cheap depth to fill the rest of the roster anyway).
We need to be able to score, even if our top-6 has a couple of guys that can only pot 15-20. Cleary and Abby have 9g apiece. Franzen has 10, Brunner 11, Flip 7...Tatar, Nyquist, and Bert combined have 9 in what has essentially been the same roster spot. That's pretty good scoring depth. That's 7 players with 9 or more, plus 1 with 7.
For comparison, the Blackhawks also have 7 players with 9 and one with 7. In fact, looking at the entire forward corps of both teams, taking out Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Franzen for the Wings, and Kane, Toews, and Hossa for the Hawks... our forwards have scored just one fewer goal. Paid similar money too; we're a little under a million more. Injuries close to balanced. Bolland and Flip roughly equal out. We've had more injuries, but they've had Sharp out for a while. Our replacements have done better. It's a very minor difference. Add in Franzen and Hossa (both have missed 7 games) and the difference is 8 goals, and now the Hawks spending slightly more.
Pav and Hank have 22. Kane and Toews have 42.
It's reasonable to think we could upgrade one of the others enough to offset the 8g difference there. Not so much the other 20g at the top. We need that depth scoring. Need guys like Cleary, Abby, Bert and Sammy who can fill a role on a top line at a fairly cheap price. We can afford one upgrade, and maybe make one other swap for someone of a similar level but who fits better. No guarantees that we can find either, and no guarantees it would be enough, so we don't want to spend to much (in cap commitment or trade) to try for it.
The thing is that the guys who are injured are the guys you could have predicted would be injured. Old, injury prone, or both. Ever think that maybe the reason Wings fans are always griping about man games lost Is because Holland is always icing a team of old guys and guys that can't stay healthy? We can't stop the Quincy and White type injuries. Accidents happen. But Bert, Sammy, and Colo are a joke. Those signings look so bad right now. Those guys were finished when we signed them. Holland needs to be a bit more shrewd in the future.
Wings fans gripe because they don't follow other teams close enough realize that every team has injuries. In the last four years, we are 11th in man-games lost. And that's with two bad years.
Cola may be "injury-prone", but he's averaged over 67 games the past four years. A bit over 80% of his team's games. Bert's averaged 75, over 90% (78 and 95% in his 3 years with the Wings). Sammy 71, over 85%. To suggest that Holland should have predicted that any, much less all three, would miss almost the entire year is foolish.
More to the point, none of those guys prevented us from signing anyone better. Cola was signed precisely because we couldn't find anyone better. Bert and Sammy were affordable depth scorers, and they're short-term deals. We could have (and tried) signed even Parise and Suter. Would have meant some players would have been cut loose, but the fact that we did try to get them makes it obvious that we would have done so. Neither cap space nor roster space was a factor in who we did or didn't sign.
Trying to build a contender around a pair of older, highly-paid centers who can't score goals and aren't good enough to make stars out of average players, while having a huge question mark for a defense, without the benefit of cheap, young, proven, talent, with next to nothing on the UFA market... not as easy as it sounds. Building one to last is even harder yet.
How does 2 recent Cup winners playing each other mean "absolutely nothing"?
Sometimes the blind hate for Sid C and the Penguins gets in the way of good hockey around here.
They can play good hockey inside. It'd make a nice game of the week for NBC.
Much of the appeal of the WC comes from the novelty. Novelty that is eroded with over-exposure. Then you have Pittsburgh in a 3rd outdoor game, Rangers in their 2nd and 3rd, Chicago and Detroit both in a second, Philly's already had two... While it's understandable to want the biggest ratings draws in an event like this, and it's nice that some new teams will be featured, they shouldn't do it all in one season.
There was a preseason game in Vegas back in '91. If they can make ice in September in the middle of the desert, LA in January should be easy. That's the one game that seems like a decent idea. Though it would have been much better to make it the WC in 2015.
I predict that by 2018, Pittsburgh will play their entire schedule outdoors.
Howson was responsible for bringing in Bobrovsky during the offseason, before he was fired. Actually he was responsible for every major move the team has made since 2007 (except the Gaborik trade) including bringing in Dubinsky, Anisimov, Aucoin, Wisneiwski, Johnson, Prospal, Umberger, Tyutin, Foligno, Nikitin, Letestu, and Erixon.
So pretty much their entire team was acquired by him in one form or fashion, and they're playing well right now, so credit where it's due. ..
Odd that he deserves "credit" for taking over a bad team, and in 5 years they managed to do as well as "mediocre" for one year (thanks mostly to a great rookie season from a goalie he didn't draft) before turning back into a pumpkin for a few more years, and now in the 6th year again reaching mediocre (thanks mostly to a goalie performing better than probably should have been expected).
Meanwhile, you wish you had a time machine so you could kill Kenny's mother before his birth because he doesn't know how to stop players from aging...