Honestly, I think some of our prospects are being grossly overvalued. Right now this defense corps consists of two legitimate Top 4 guys, with perhaps Quincey on the edge of that.
Here's the thing... Cup contention or not, right now this team's got nothing in the way of defenders to help with a transition from the vets to the prospects. When you look up front, you've got guys like Nyquist and Tatar who are going to hold things down before Mantha and Larkin (hopefully) transition into solid players. Kindl and Smith should be the guys helping with that transition on the back end, but they're just not good enough. DeKeyser by himself isn't enough.
I definitely think Detroit has something in guys like Ouellet and Sproul, but who's holding down the fort as they progress? You can only pile so much on Kronwall. If you can pull the trigger on Smith, Pulkkinen and a 1st for a legitimate offensive threat between the ages of 25-30, you do it. I wouldn't go as far as to say that those guys are replaceable, but they are most definitely expendable. As much as I enjoy Pulkkinen's possible upside, he's more of the same on this team. We've got the smaller skilled goal scorers in Tatar and Nyquist, with Mantha on his way soon. Without coming down on the guy too much, I do think that Ouellet is more than capable of doing the job Smith is doing now, and has better upside.
It isn't about adding a piece to put this team over the edge. It's about adding a piece to make real improvements to this team so that they can remain successful. I'd rather not find out the answer to, "Can Ouellet, Sproul, Marchenko, etc. progress fast enough to offset Kronwall slowing down?" Waiving Lashoff was a proactive move by Holland, and I hope he's willing to make another one with some of the assets in the system now.
Just another take on the Buffalo brass scouting GR games - George Malik brought up that Rochester has a back-to-back vs. Grand Rapids next week, so perhaps it's more about preparing for those games. Not to say they weren't there to scout GR talent, but that does add a practical reason for them being there.
As far as the OEL stuff goes, I'm not sure what would get Maloney to move him. I'm thinking it'd have to be a massive overpayment. I can't even wrap my head around moving a 23-year-old stud player as part of a rebuild - at least, not without getting a king's ransom back for him. I wonder if it's a way to get talks going about some of the other guys Maloney wants to ship out (Yandle and Michalek). "Yeah, that doesn't get you OEL... but let's discuss Keith Yandle."
...how soon we forget. We lost Nestrasil. I know, he wasn't the best, but we still lost him due to overcrowding. Jurco had exemptions, but he was obviously better, so Holland kept him. Nesty wasn't a huge loss, but we still lost him.
Next year BOTH Jurco and Pulkkinen are out of exemptions. We lose Cleary to UFA. That's it. Now Jurco and Pulkkinen are vying for one spot. Holland WILL re-sign Nyquist, Jurco and Andersson (all RFA's) so that will leave just one spot. It was minimal damage losing Nestrasil, but do you really want to lose one of Jurco or Pulk? Especially at the cost of keeping Franzen and his headcase here? The time has come. Either buy him out or give him the Pronger treatment for the next 5 years. If we lose one of those two so we can have Franzen float around out there and peter in a few points and shots here and there, then something is wrong with Holland, seriously. Stop the bleeding somehow. Just don't lose Jurco or Pulk or ANYBODY else to roster overcrowding by useless players.
And, no it's not "fan speculation" on Franzen's head problems. Its been said time after time, that he gets into funks that cause him to lose focus and have no desire to do anything. The only speculation is what may be causing this...nothing personal Johan, just business, we need that roster spot.
What kind of math are you doing?
Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Weiss, Franzen, Nyquist, Tatar, Helm, Abdelkader, Sheahan, Jurco, Miller & Glendening make 13 guys... Cleary's spot opens up the spot for Pulkkinen. How did Tatar begin last season? As a healthy scratch, working his way into the line-up. There's no reason to suggest that the same won't be done here.
I'd even venture to say that the Red Wings could let Andersson go, letting Callahan or Ferraro take his spot on the roster. They've let RFA go before.
I wouldn't say he's been inconsistent. His production hasn't great to begin the season, but once Ouellet came to the big club, Sproul became the primary puck mover in GR and his production increased. Can't speak to his defense, but I can say he's really picked in up offensively after having almost no points in the first quarter of the season.
Just took a look and he had 10 points through 13 games in December, which is obviously impressive. He seems to have slowed down since (can't expect him to keep that up), which is what I was getting at. He had two points heading into December, so all things considered, it's good to see that he picked it up.
Equating his acknowledgement of performance anxiety with "emotional issues" not only grossly simplifies whatever it is that holds Franzen back from dominating the NHL, but it also demonstrates a REMARKABLY narrow understanding of mental health issues. Just stop.
What about equating his acknowledgment of his love for having his backside caned by an English man in a top hat with emotional issues?
But you have evidence to suspect him of "emotional issues"?
This whole thread has turned hokey. Why don't we all stick to Franzen and hockey and not try to assassinate/dissect his character. Regardless of how we feel about him on the ice, there is absolutely NOTHING to suggest he's not a decent, committed, hard working, emotionally stable person.
Jesusberg, no you're right, they're not the same situation. In one case, we gave up a pretty solid prospect at a position that we were really deep at, and he had no chance at cracking the lineup any time soon, and in the other, we'd be giving up a solid young defenseman, who is starting to round out his game and come into his own. Why would you give up on that for potentially just a few months of service from another player? Especially after seeing what happened in the Legwand situation... Also, Holland can do whatever he wants to try to get Green to stay in Detroit past this season, but chances are Green would test the open market, and if there is a better offer elsewhere, which there likely would be, nothing's stopping him from signing anywhere else... What makes you think Babcock is high on Green? I would think Green is the polar opposite of a player Babcock would be high on. As a matter of fact, the one reason I'm not sure if Green would be a great trade for us, aside from the cost, is that I think he would end up in Babcock's doghouse within weeks...
I was conceding that it sucked giving up Jarnkrok for a rental. While we differ on how much value Smith has, we can agree that moving an asset for a rental player isn't worth it in this team's current situation. Holland's recently admitted he thinks he paid too much: http://www.theredwin...rade-deadline/#
"They're a good team," Babcock said. "When (Mike) Green's your fifth D-man you must have a really good back end. I think Green's a star."
I'd say that's some nice praise. Things can change, obviously. Perhaps Green would come here, play poorly and dive headfirst into the dog house. At the very least, I think it shows Babcock has a desire to add an offensive guy to this roster. If it's not Green, it's someone else if a similar mindset/playing style.
To me, the biggest thing he's going to have to do is get WAY stronger. He's a little guy. You don't realize it until you see him in person. By comparison, Nyquist and Tatar look like big dudes. Which, I assume, is because of their respective fitness levels. I don't even really care if he gains weight (which he probably will), as long as he just gets WAY stronger. He's got a really low center of gravity, so if he does put on some muscle and/or add some power, he'll win a lot of the battles he loses.
Other than his shot, there are a few things I really like about his game. He's got good first step quickness. He can jump on loose pucks and find open spots on the ice as a result. He's also pretty defensively responsible. I noticed him backtracking and checking his coverage a lot. Finally, I really like his aggressiveness. He doesn't play pensive, at all. He jumps into scrums, battles on the boards, and will put his body on the line to make a play. He battles, he's just too weak to win the battles right now. But he's definitely not afraid.
He's got an alpha mentality, but right now beta strength. If he can be an explosive 195-200 lbs. (which I don't think is unrealistic given his frame), I think he'll be a really exciting player because he doesn't lack much else.
This is a really good assessment. I think his back-checking and ability to battle for loose pucks have improved greatly. His skating was one of the biggest knocks on him when he was first drafted, and he's clearly improved that as well. I feel like he took the "shoot, shoot, shoot" advice too literally, as there were several occasions where he would have been better served just getting the puck deep. In his last couple games, I think he did a better job with the little things.
The one thing that he probably struggled with (as most guys do when coming up) is not being "the guy". Your total ice time is lower, the offense isn't running through you and you have less time to make decisions with the puck (in part) because you have it less. I think they're going to ease him into the line-up next season much like they did with Tatar. He'll most likely start as the 13th-14th forward, then push to earn more ice time.
As you say, this is going to be an important off-season for him. Pulks has all the tools, he just needs to adjust to the pace of the NHL and improve his strength. He's just going to have to bust his behind.
I would consider trading Smith in a package for Green, if and only if we knew he would resign. There is no way I give up Smith plus the assets it would take to get Green here for just a few short months. Especially considering I don't think we're that close to being a "favorite" to win the Cup this year. I do believe we're a contender but I don't think Green puts us over the top into the "favorites" conversation... For the same reason, I wouldn't trade away any major assets for the number one defenseman I'd like to have that will be available, Cody Franson. Not worth it if they're going to walk in the summer, and they both probably would want to test the open market, considering they will be on 20+ teams wishlist. I'd also like to have Wisniewski, and to a lesser extent, Bogosian, Wideman or Byfuglien...
I completely understand this logic. Even though they're not the exact same situation, it's unfortunate that we gave up Jarnkrok for a rental.
I think this situation is a bit different, though. I can't imagine Holland not doing every thing in his power to retain Green if we managed to trade for him. Babcock is high on Green, and the team sorely lacks someone like him on the back-end. I believe that Holland would be able to sign him, and at a fair cap hit to boot. There are definitely some risks involved - is Green looking to cash in, what kind of term does he want? I think it would be worth the risk, personally.
Also, I wouldn't mind landing Franson in the off-season. He'll more than likely be cheaper than Green, and he doesn't have the injury concerns. As always, it's just going to be interesting to see how Holland would shuffle players around to make room for a UFA.
We need to lose 2 or 3 of Ericsson, Quincey, Smith and Kindl?? Seriously? Why? To make room for the kids? I'm going to say this again, no matter how high some of us are on the kids coming up from Grand Rapids (Ouellet, Sproul, Jensen, Marchenko) none are an upgrade over what we have, aside from Kindl. So why would replace Smith with one of them? I want to see the kids up as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of a better player. The only player I would replace with one of the kids is Kindl. As it stands right now, he is the only player in our top 6 that can be upgraded internally. If we're looking to make a trade, why not just package Kindl, one of our "awesome" defense prospects, another prospect and a pick for a top 4 right handed defenseman? That would make our back end significantly better, without losing a player like Smith. Petry is not an upgrade over Smith, so why would you make such a lateral move? Just for the sake of making a trade?... No thanks!
Because that probably doesn't get us a Top 4, RHD... unless you're looking at someone like Zidlicky or maaaybe Dennis Wideman.
Sometimes, I think you believe people just want to move Smith because they don't like him. It's possible that some do, but a lot of people suggest it for practical purposes (me). He's in a position of being at a good age, affordable, and still having potential that other teams might bite on. I'm of the belief that this team needs to add an experienced, offensive presence on the back end. You're not moving Kronwall or DeKeyser, and Quincey, Ericsson, Kindl and Lashoff don't have as much appeal (perhaps Ericsson does to a GM who hasn't watched hockey this season, and maybe Quincey to one who has). I truly believe Smith is the only guy who may have the appeal to land a true offensive defender.
I get it, I really do. You like Smith and think he has Top 4 upside. The problem is that he's still only showing flashes, and that Babcock does NOT seem to trust him. Do you honestly think that Babcock is going to use him in a Top 4 role?
Let me tell you a story. I had an irrational love for Kyle Calder when he was traded here. I was like, "whoa... that dude comes out hard from the corners and attacks the net." I just looked it up right now and he had something like 14 points in 19 games. He has a soul patch - I should have known better. Don't go down the Kyle Calder road, man.