There's a phrase, "To whom much is given, much is expected."
Red Wings' players are given a lot. An awful lot. They're treated very well by ownership and management, rewarded with contracts that some of us fans say are for too long or for too much money, especially when a player is past his prime. The players that fit into the team's structure are kept here for a long time, usually only leaving when they choose to retire or to move on. They're largely sheltered from the public, they don't have to do all the appearances that players in less-traditional hockey markets have to do. And they're (for the most part) adored by the team's fans.
What's expected in return is that they give 100%, play well, win more often than not, and do well in the playoffs. Last night's game was a total failure in every way possible. There was no effort, no emotion, no pride, no appearance of any desire to even be there playing NHL hockey. I don't think that's what we will see all season, far from it. But that was no way to start the season, especially after what transpired this summer and fall. Can you imagine if that was a home game? The stands would have (or should have) been completely empty by the third period. It was unacceptable by anyone's standards and especially for a team that says they expect to compete for the Stanley Cup every season.
A couple of you have said the team is due for an overhaul. I couldn't agree more. The locker room seems to have become a country club over the last few seasons, there is no price to be paid for under-performing. Nobody gets traded away, nobody gets let go, nobody gets benched. Helm's line was the team's best line in way too many games last year. Other guys continually disappear for long stretches but continue to play here. Players who don't "fit the system" aren't looked at as possible acquisitions. Now, what we have is a collection of redundant players and a team that can't adapt to an opponent who outworks the Wings or who can shut down their puck-possession style. They couldn't dump and chase if their lives depended on it. An aggressive forecheck is out of the question, 3 or 4 players excepted. And there's no real hope coming up through the ranks. Yes, Nyquist, Tatar, Andersson, and Sheahan are all NHL-ready or very close, but what are those guys going to do when they get here? 3rd line, maybe fill in on the 2nd line? We don't have anyone like Tarasenko, Skinner, Henrique, Andrew Shaw... someone who can quickly step in and produce at an NHL level. Andersson and Sheahan project as 3rd liners and Nyquist and Tatar have talent but are small. Same as the roster we have now. It's time for an organizational shift, this season or this off-season.
THIS. I hate how "safe" our players' jobs seem. You have to perform and earn that right. This isn't a place where vets go to retire comfortably.
I'd like to move for a dman of the future. I'd see what we could do with Phoenix. They are the perfect trading partner at this point. They have a massively deep D and need some better forwards. I would try to get one of:
All these guys are pretty much like Smith in that they are ready for NHL but not much experience. I think one of these guys could become a big part of our blueline for the future rather than trading for an aging player. We AREN'T going to get a current top Dman - we don't have the assets. I think the Franzen/Flip kind of deal would work here. Or Tatar + High Pick would also work. I'd be very against trading our first rounder this early though.
EDIT: Hell I'd even throw in a vet like Cleary or Bert on top of a fair deal if they wanted them to reduce the logjam at forward. This type of trade is the only thing that makes sense to me. We aren't one dman away from cup contender. Making this trade makes us better for the future, not today, but it would be a price that is affordable.
just once I want to hear Babcock say " we stunk tonight, everyone in that lockeroom should be embarassed to be a man after that stinkfest on the ice tonight..."
Mike, you weren't competitive enough? No s***! Holland....show us you're a genius...now.
Holland isn't a genius. Just drafted well for a while. Maybe a bit of luck. He's a decent GM but has rested on his past success for too long and hasn't worked hard to make meaningful improvements to the team.
I don't want to make it seem like panic mode. but we need to add a top 4 guy to our group. its pretty evident through 2 periods that our d isn't just under performing, its just outmatched. quincey isn't who we thought he was and smith isn't jesus on skates.
Bogosian would be a nice piece as he is a RH dman with great size, mobility, and youth. I think more realistically we should target a guy like gormley who is probably nhl ready but is on a team with a crowded blueline. I don't think we have the depth to trade for a current top tier dman, but we could try for a potential top tier guy in gormley. maybe even rundblad but people seem to dislike him.
Okay. So without being able to input different salaries for players getting raises next year due to capgeek only doing the current year, here is what I came up with. The key is to trim the fat (older players making more than they are worth. We need some rookie contracts and some star contracts mixed in. Apply raises for guys using the 9mill left over:
CAPGEEK.COM USER GENERATED ROSTER My Custom Lineup FORWARDS
Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Corey Perry ($5.325m)
Gustav Nyquist ($0.875m) / Calle Jarnkrok ($0.900m) / Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) Tomas Tatar ($0.840m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Damien Brunner ($1.350m)
Drew Miller ($0.838m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)
Jan Mursak ($0.550m) / DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Alexander Edler ($3.250m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m) / Brendan Smith ($0.875m)
Kyle Quincey ($3.775m) / Ian White ($2.875m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m) / GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($2.250m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m) ------ CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter) (these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion) SALARY CAP: $64,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $55,694,167; BONUSES: $957,500 CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $9,263,333
Subtractions: Cleary, Bert, Eaves (IR), Sammy, Franzen, Emmerton, Coliacovo. All either through trade, contract expiration, or amnesty buyout.
I think we all agree we are a few pieces short right now. Pretend you are Kenny Holland and put your midseason trades/deadline deals together to get the Wings into serious contention.
I would look to bring in Yandle from the Coyotes as priority number 1. It's gonna cost us Smith and Filppula, but I make the move to solidify the D. Next I look to add goal scoring. I deal Frk, Bertuzzi, and a 1st rounder to Anaheim for Selanne.
Are you high?! Smith and Fil for a dman that can't play top 10 D? I'd want a better dman than yandle for that package. Then you deal essentially 2 firsts and bert for one year of selanne? thats ridiculous.
I agree we need a dman. But trading our best d prospect isn't the answer to fixing our d long term. If we could get another top 4 dman and let almquist, ouellet, sproul develop we will be in a good position 3-4 years from now. We will be bringing in guys like Tatar, Jarnkrok, and Pulkkinen in the next season or two. Consider moving some aging forwards out of the lineup in trades etc. - likely for more picks to refill the cupboard after.
The way to win a cup is to have some stars in their prime and a bunch of talented youngsters on rookie contracts to squeeze under the cap. THAT is how its done in today's NHL.
I like this offer. The league budged a little. Now its time for the players to do the same here. If there is a counter offer it better have only a few small concession requests. Ask maybe for 8 year re-sign contract limit rather than 7 and 11% variance. Just try to squeeze a little more out of the same proposal. If the players try to counter with something different the season will be lost. The way negotiations have gone, each time there are counter offers the nhl has disappeared for a couple weeks.