Hard to "build from within" when the team is committed to making the playoffs every year. If the Wings were to really go with a youth movement, I would support it. But the team is just treading water.
Completely disagree with that. The wings have a ton of NHL talent that can step into action this season. Teams usually only have 3 or 4 players. The Wings farm is loaded. They need to develop and they need to stay healthy. Yes I'm disapointed about missing out on Erhoff. Niskanen Boyle not so much. It's about the right fit. I.think Erhoff fit the other 2 did not. Go with what ya got now or trade for that RH dman.
It was always about taking a chill pill for Smith. When he slows the game down, skates with the puck instead of making ill advised passes, he's golden. He still makes mistakes, but this is his first 82 game season. He's shown alot of growth, I think going forward he should be paired with Kronwall full time. Ericsson can do just fine with DeKeyser. The 3rd pair needs to be revamped in the offseason.
I think next year the third pair will be some combination of Kindl Sproul Oulette Marchenko Almqvuist and a free agent defenseman. There is no chance that they will not try and sign a veteran to come in and compete. Obviously I have no say in the matter but I would like it if Smith and Kronwall stayed together and if not Kronwall then Dekeyser and Smith. Personally I would look for the Wings to find that elusive right handed Dman that they lost when Rafalski retired.
To me Smith has been our best defenseman 5 on 5. I think the next step for him is next year. Maybe finally get some time on the Powerplay. He has already proven he can handle 20 minutes per game. I would like to see him play 22-25 minutes next year and see what he can do.