I don't know about completely giving up on a shot at winning but I agree with the notion that the streak is too important to them to not do everything in their power to improve the team both next year and down the line.. And that would mean moving Datsyuk's cap hit if he were to leave but only if they have something else lined up of course.
I think that new one week (or however long it is) interview period rule is pretty huge for GMs in general but especially for holland in a year like this. Interviewing upcoming UFAs and then possibly exploring trade options will tell him if he even needs to move the cap hit.
I'd be happy with something like "Gordie Howe Arena at Little Caesars Colosseum." They get their corporate sponsorship, fans get "The Gordie" or "The Howe" to replace "The Joe" instead of just the pizza pizza arena arena. They can even keep the stupid logo on the roof
"I pick Gordie as my No. 1 all-time player. He played the longest. He was the toughest player of his era. He was the best offensive player and defensively. He was used in all situations. He could play center, right wing, and defense. He could shoot right and he could shoot left. If you could make a mold for a hockey player it would be him. I never thought there was another player close to him.
UFA? sure, when was the last time we signed a big name UFA that worked out? Hossa..... Trades? Again when was the last time we traded for a 25+ goal scorer?
Now bottom 10 team, that is what 10 fewer points per year? Not that far away.
And 10 more points and we're first in the division.. Ahhh parity
But I'm not saying it's a foregone conclusion that we'll sign a big name UFA and/or make a splashy trade.. And it's unlikely, yes.. But just that there are other factors at play. And those were just a couple examples.
Obviously it's bad if any of your first round picks are busts, but my point was just that it wouldn't necessarily kill us to miss on one of three.
Missing with any would be less than ideal for sure but it's not make it or break it.. There are a lot of other factors (free agent signings, trades, mrazeks development to name a few) and even if 2 of the 3 became stars, I think we'll be ok.