I still contend that if not for the lockout, this team would look much much different right now. Given a full training camp & pre-season, we probably would have seen at least Nyquist & Tatar up full time at the start of the season. With the compressed, shortened season, Kenny was actually pretty smart to sign some known quality veterans to plug into the lineup instead of relying on rookies. As we've seen with all of the injuries, where would the Wings be now if they had already been relying on the likes of Nyquist, Tatar, Andersson, & Lashoff before the injuries started and suddenly didn't have the same depth available in GR to keep them in the hunt for the playoffs? No need to take drastic measures, the Wings are already in the middle of a transition that will naturally accelerate come this off season.
Given that WMU is currently sitting 9th in the rankings, even if they get bumped from the CCHA playoffs, I doubt they'll end up missing the NCAA tourney. They've got a way to go before their season's over. Now Andrej Sustr's season at Nebraska-Omaha, that's probably going to end sooner.
Im ok for howie but the 5mil for fil is nuts with his production.
What's nuts is that he's never had a reliable backup at all & has been overworked for the past few years now. How many more years of that can Howie take before he starts to break down? Is it really 6 or 7?
Alright, lets say Holland does start shopping him around, either this year or next, who do you think we would get in return that would be anywhere worth it?
Ultimately, I think a playoff run & one year of Datsyuk is the best trade chip that Holland has at his disposal right now if he wants to use it. If Paul Gaustad was worth a 1st round pick as simply a playoff rental, Pavel is worth that & much more. The Wings probably wouldn't get a top line scorer or #1 d-man back in the trade but who knows, maybe Anaheim (knowing they aren't going resign him) do a sign & trade with Corey Perry for example. At the very least though the Wings would get a good package of picks, prospects, and/or developing talent already in the NHL in order to restock the shelves so to speak. There simply isn't a single player in the organization now that would bring back as much value as Datsyuk would at this moment in my opinion, even with just a year & a half to go in the NHL if he truly does head back to Russia after next season.
In my mind, it comes down to what's more valuable: One last season with Datsyuk & then losing him for nothing or in essence selling off that year to bring in talent for years to come.
I'll say it despite probably getting flamed for it... If this really is the case, Holland better be quietly shopping Datsyuk to a small handful of teams who think they're one player away from being a lock for The Cup this season.
There's no denying that. The problem is Tatar can be sent down without a risk of losing him where as Cleary and Abdelkader cannot. Don't get me wrong, I'd prefer if Tatar wasnt sent down either but it is what it is.
For me, the way I see it shaking out is the lines I posted above, then when Fil comes back he can slot in with Zetterberg - Brunner, which pushes Abs down to the 3rd line.
Oh if only someone would claim Cleary if the Wings put him on waivers.