Dear Coach Babcock,
As a man in your position, HEAD COACH, you are supposed to put the TEAM you oversee in the best possible position to be able to WIN. Sometimes in doing so that involves having to make HARD DECISIONS with respect to personnel. At some point, players who are simply floating, going through the motions, not making anything happen, etc need to be put on notice that this type of play is simply not acceptable. As a proud charter franchise of the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings seek to continue the proud tradition that has been bestowed upon this great franchise.
If these decisions involve removing certain veteran players from the lineup in favor of younger players, who are working their butts off in the minors, please do realize that it is best for the TEAM and that it puts them in a favorable position to WIN.
Case in point, you tell the media that players have to earn ice time. That's fine and dandy when comes to wanting players to compete at the highest capable level, but at what point do you not see that players such as Dan Cleary and Johan Franzen generally have a huge case of turnoveritis and therefore are jeopardizing the betterment of the TEAM? I understand that injuries are a part of this equation to a certain extent, but when a player such as Tomas Tatar has put up as many points as Cleary in roughly half the amount of games, does that not get noticed? Does he need to rot away some more in the minors before it becomes too late and he jets off to another franchise (Or the KHL)? Also, the constant lack of any SPEED in the lineup is absolutely killing any momentum at different times during the game. I know Darren Helm has been out due to an injury, but the general lack of footspeed (Especially from a few of the goats that dress every game) seems to result in a game plan that makes life for an opponent easy to defend.
Another issue is the lack of strength and testicular fortitude to go to the dirty areas of the ice and pay a price to make a play. Way to often is there a lose puck in the vicinity of the goal that is easily pounced on the by the opposing team simply because too many players are unable to fight through a check and get their noses dirty when needed. Other times when the puck is in a battle along the boards, how many times do we need to see 1 opposing player come out of the scrum with the puck while we have several players engaged in said battle? How many times do I need to see a player such as Valterri Filppula go along the boards and simply get breathed on hard and cough up the puck? The way the game is played now a days, there needs to be instances in which you have to make it harder on the other to play against you instead of the usual ole ole crap that takes place way way to often.
In conclusion, the fans of this team want to see them succeed each and every night that they pull the sweaters on with the big Winged Wheel crest in the middle. This is not a business in which feelings need to be accounted for when it involves fully grown adults who make extremely high salaries. If a member of the team is not getting it done, then it becomes time to give them a reality check that what they are doing is not working. If that involves sitting a veteran player for a player who is chomping at the bit then that is a decision that needs to be made in order to put the TEAM in the best position to WIN each and every night they take to the ice. All in all, I have the utmost confidence in your abilities as a HEAD COACH, but at times the general logic of in game decisions (i.e. using dead end line combinations, strategy decisions regarding the offensive zone, etc) is baffling.
As a fan of, IMHO, one of the greatest hockey franchises to grace this earth, please please make the HARD DECISIONS that will allow for the highest chance of success each and every night.
(And fans of the Detroit Red Wings everywhere)