Here's something nobody has brought up. Do we really want the Wings to go out and spend a bunch of money on Wiz, Bieksa, Weber, or whoever when the CBA is going to expire after the 2012 season. With the unknown economy the new CBA could have an even more strict cap and could really handcuff the wings future with a bad deal. Not to mention Kronwall and Stuart will both need new contracts that summer. As much as i would love the wings to have a fluid transition from Raffi and Lids to the next breed, the front office will have to walk a very tight rope to make sure that it doesn't blow up in their face.
This is the first of many moves that will happen over the next 15 months or so as the Wings try and shed the "old, slow, and soft" label and adjust to the ever changing post-lockout NHL. Depending on what happens this summer will obviously affect what the 2012 off-season which will be, IMO, the most important off-season for the wings since the lockout. Current players that have contracts for the 2012-13 season are:
Datsyuk $6.7(ends 2014) Zetterberg $6,083,333 Franzen $3,954,545 Filppula $3.0(final year on contract) Cleary $2.8(final year on contract) *Helm RFA *Abdelkader RFA
Kindl $883,333(final year on contract, will be RFA)
Prospects who have a chance to make 2012-13 roster(in no particular order) Forwards Andersson $875,000(final year of contract, will be RFA) Tatar $840,000(ends 2014 will be RFA) Emmerton $533,333(ends 2014 will be RFA) Nyquist $762,500(final year on contract, will be RFA) Ferraro $715,000(final year on contract, will be RFA) Mursak $550,000(final year on contract, will be RFA) Aubry $615,000(final year on contract, will be RFA) Callahan $558,333(final year on contract, will be RFA) Jarnkrok Unsigned Pulkkinen Unsigned
Defense Smith $875,000(final year of contract, will be RFA) Pyett Current RFA Fournier $606,666(final year of contract, will be RFA) Lashoff $523,888(final year of contract, will be RFA) Almqvist Unsigned
Goalies McCollum $816,666(final year of contract, will be RFA) Pearce Current RFA Mrazek Unsigned
The bottom line is that the wings have plenty of forwards and "should" be set up front for the next decade with big skilled guys and a dusting of grit along with a few free agents.
On the back end something needs to change. Brendan Smith is the only D prospect currently ranked in the top 12 on RedWingsCentral.
In net the Wings look as thought they have a top 10 goalie in Howard. If McCollum can reach his potential the wings will be set in goal for the next 10-15 years.
anybody wanna real quick build a time machine and go back a week and let us know that this was going to happen, we could use that decade that has been taken off our lives.
Seriously though, "IF" the wings are able to actually win tonight where will the win rank among the greatest moments in Detroit Red Wings history. Will it be a big enough win to be among the all the cup wins, will it be the greatest moment in wings history not involving the stanley cup, or will it be just another game 7 victory if lord Stanley isnt back in Hockeytown in a month.
"IF" the wings lose, where will the loss rank among heartbreaking losses in wings history. Will it be there with "the game we do not name", will the wings use it as motivation to win next year and then move on, or will we treat it as "the wings were out of it after game 3 lets just be happy we got an extra 3 games to watch our wings this season"
win or lose, this week will be one we will never forget. We will tell our grandkids how the Wings were down 3-0 against the hated Sharks and time after time the wings seemed like they couldnt find a way to win and then howard stood on his head in game 5, and Filppula had the game of his career in game 6, and in game 7........
while game 5 will go down as a game we will never forget and will be something that will make us smile watching the highlights on youtube in august, lets not forget that game 6 isn't a gimme. The wings MUST NOT THINK ABOUT GAME 7!!!! if they do, it's all over. Think back to the 2008 playoffs, WCSF DAL vs SJS: dallas won first 3 dropped games 4 & 5(dallas had 2 goal lead in 3rd) then closed it out in game 6. WCF DAL vs DET: detroit wins first 3 doppped games 4 & 5 then closed it out in 6.
SJ will give us the best effort of the season on tuesday. If the wings start to think that they are in the sharks heads, or have the momentum, or relax because they are at home, or whatever. they are cooked.
play like it's game 7 play like its Lids last game play like its your last game play like you've come to far to lose play like Howard has given you an opportunity to play again this season play like the first period of game 4 play like Pavel Datsyuk play like Nick Lidstrom play like Henrik Zetterberg play like Darren Helm play like Nicklas Kronwall play like Dan Cleary play like Jimmy Howard play like Val Fippula play like Johan Franzen(if you play) play like Mike Modano(if you play) play like Justin Abdelkader(minus the penalties) play like Tomas Holmstrom play like Jiri Hudler(from 2008-2009) play like Drew Miller play like Todd Bertuzzi play like Kris Draper play like Patrick Eaves play like Johnathan Ericsson(from 2008) play like Brian Rafalski play like Ruslan Salei play like Brad Stuart play like The Detroit Red Wings!
Its been 18 days since the Wings have played a home game, that alone should get the wings fired up enough to come out and make a statement. oh and the last time the sharks played a playoff game at The Joe this happened:
my $0.02: Kenny has nothing up his sleeve. he has an opportunity to add a proven goalie for next to nothing to give Howard some rest before the playoffs start and thats all it is, and who knows maybe Nabby takes over as the #1 and is our guy for the playoffs. If he is claimed by another team(which i'am expecting) he will stay with that team for the rest of the season and there will be no weird or unusual deals that will get him to Detroit, Kenny saw what NJ went through with the whole Kovi thing and doesn't want anything like that to happen here(plus if bettman ACTUALLY does have it out for the wings, as a lot of us think he does, he would love to screw us out of draft picks and money). Nabokov will not be with Detroit next year, he will either re-sign with the team that claims him or take a good-great deal with a team that will have a shot to win a cup within the next few years.