This team is in bad need of finishers, the defense while not spectacular hasn't been as bad as many people think it is.
We have a solid top six and an electric third line, even with some key forwards injured. We don't have a legitimate top four, even with a fully healthy D corps. Given that defense wins championships (see: Team Canada), we should be looking to bolster our blue line. Take care of the defense and the offense should take care of itself. (Indeed, the main reason why our offense has been sagging is that our blue line isn't driving and directing the attack like it used to, when we had an actual top four with not one but three all-star offensive defensemen playing monster minutes.)
To people saying Ehrhoff isn't what we need: come off it.
We need a top-four defenseman who can move the puck, QB the PP, drive the offense, put up points. Preferably a veteran (we have plenty of young talent), and, though we're looking for an o-minded guy, he needs to be good in his zone. Basically: a younger, lesser Kronwall. That's Ehrhoff. He and DeKeyser would be the second pairing, which would do wonders for him, as he's used to facing the opposition's top guns every shift of every game. Further, a top four of Kronwall-Ericsson and Ehrhoff-DeKeyser would allow for a solid third pairing for years to come. It'd be continuous war for those two spots, which would, in theory, bring out the best in Smith, Quincey (?), Lashoff, Kindl, Marchenko, Almqvist, Ouellet, Sproul. (One or two or three of those would ultimately have to be traded, of course). The only issue with Ehrhoff is his contract. Personally, I don't think it's all that terrible.
As for Stewart - self-explanatory. Big, mean, RH power forward in his prime. I feel like people are probably making a bit too much of the rumors about him clashing with Hitchcock. As I've said before, everyone clashes with Hitchcock sooner or later. I mean, sure, he may have some maturity issues or whatever, and Babcock probably isn't the greatest coach of young talent. But it's well known that power forwards tend to have special development curves which can be frustrating, but which - you hope - is ultimately worth it. For us, a team sorely lacking in pretty much everything Stewart would bring to the table...I think it'd be worth it. At the right price.
Ehrhoff-Stewart in 2014! Change we can believe in!
The issue with Ehrhoff isn't his ability, it's his contract.
You know how Franzen is perceived as a floater? Stewart really is a floater. He works just hard enough on defense to not get benched and has no desire to play a 200 foot game.
I can't believe I just read all that bickering about what an offensive/defensive d-man is... and the Myers rants... but I'll throw in.
Meyers *might* have more upside, but Danny DeKeyser is further along in his NHL development than Tyler Meyers.
As we have a pipeline of our own defensive prospects/projects...
we don't need the big bodied question mark of potential that is Tyler Myers for our playoff run.
Bingo. The Wings have a ton of young d-men, several of whom have the potential to be better than Myers. There's no need for them to take on that contract because Myers might get better in Detroit.
I've just re-read this entire thread purely from an entertainment perspective (and because I'm procrastinating instead of working, but still) and have found myself enlightened.
To summarise: A rather crazy suggestion was made that we should buy out either our franchise icon at present, our best player and captain, leader, heart and soul guy, or a guy who has firmly established himself as a 30 goal scorer in this league, a guy who is one of the most dominant offensive threats in the league when he's rolling and on his game.
Subsequently, the statement was made that we don't have goalscorers, and that to overcome this problem we should trade either of the two aforementioned, who have combined to provide the Wings with 1/6th of our goals this year.
As us fans often do, we look back retrospectively at what could have been, and thus the last 3 pages of this thread have been spent lamenting the fact that we didn't get Bobby Ryan and thus our entire front office is 'lazy', just like Franzen and even Bobby Ryan himself!
Thus I feel compelled to add my 2 cents:
No we shouldn't buy out our captain or Franzen, what kind of a message does that send to the rest of the players in the league for a start, to both players?
Can we scrap this 'floater' term to describe a player who is lazy? Is annoying and wholly inaccurate in terms of describing a player's tendency when they're on the ice.
Franzen IMO, is worth that much more than Vanek. 1. He has great chemistry within our team. 2. He's proven to score when we needed it most (see 08 playoffs). 3. His contract is an absolute bargain, in a league with a cap that will forever go up, once again driving up salaries and leading to another lockout when Gary can't face the fact that the Panthers are losing more than just the $100,000 a day that was rumoured this past week (and just to avoid another 'fact' argument here's the link with proof! http://prohockeytalk...ing-100k-daily/) and doesn't want to have them fold or re-loacte them to Quebec City
Franzen may be infuriatingly inconsistent at times, but he's not lazy or a 'floater'. Surely most of us here have gone out there and played hockey on a regular basis (or any sport for that matter) and just had an 'off' game, when it doesn't all fit quite right and you know you haven't got it that day. You can argue they're paid to play, but everyone is human after all. And when he's hot, like he was for a lot of this year, it's incredibly exciting.
I still believe in this team, with or without Z for the remainder of this year. You could classify me as being optimistic perhaps, but if Franzen and Weiss come back and are healthy and productive, with Howard getting his game together, and the kids staying up, why can't we squeeze into the playoffs? I see no reason why not.