I think it is a little too simplistic to look at Bowman getting Yzerman to focus on defense and that resulting in a drop in Yzerman's offensive production. My honest opinion is that I don't think his production was impacted too significantly from his attention to the defensive end. A lot of people might say that if you play great defense, it will give you more time with the puck to play offense.
I think Yzerman played in a unique era within the history of the game. A good part of his prime was during the highest scoring era in league history and his increased age came during the lowest scoring era in league history....which made his drop in production look more significant.
Yzerman's "suddenly found defensive game" happened to exactly coincide with the end of the late 80's/early90's scoring frenzy. Be that luck or not, this comparison is bad.
DeKeyser is much better defensively and moves the puck well too. Lashoff doesn't have the slightest ounce of offensive ability -- that's just pure hyperbole and doesn't take into account the massive difference in skill between Smith and Lashoff.
Every time Smith and Quincey have played together, it has failed miserably as a pairing. Smith was the Wings best d-man during the Boston series and has the potential to contribute more offensively if the Wings allow him to do so, which would be wise since they got nothing from that standpoint a season ago. Restricting Smith to Quincey again isn't going to help Smith's development.
If you aren't a fan of DeKeyser with Smith, then put DeKeyser with E instead and let Smith go with Kronwall.
My point is: Everyone is better with Kronwall, Kronwall is awesome.
People act like Smith could be become awesome, and if he would only play with Kronwall that would happen. But that's the thing, he's only good when he's playing with Kronwall.
Dekeyser is good. But so is Ericsson. You might as well pair Smith with Ericsson. Dekeyser is not a great puck mover by any means, he's decent and he has a good slap shot which is about it, he's a defensively minded player. Just like Ericsson.
Switching out Q and D is not going to suddenly make our D better, in fact it will probably just look the same.
Pushing an offensive minded guy like Smith with another guy with somehwat of an O mind only hurts ur second pairing IMO. Cause then your second pairing is Q-D-E ALL DEFENSIVE GUYS. No balance there.
Babcock is smart, not dumb. As a smart man he knows what he's going to get from the Wings/Holland. That's a playoff chance each and every year. Some better than others. He likes his manager and the system that caters to him. By leaving he runs a huge risk. He walks into a system that may be hot now, but might not be hot tmrw or in 3 years. He might have to deal with big headed players he doesn't like. Big headed managers he doesn't like. Other problems unbeknownst to him.
The Wings offer a very stable system, where he knows he's gonna good young talent every year, even if the trade pipelines don't workout.
Doubt he leaves. That's a coaching paradise. Crosby may be good, But he has only one cup bc there has been a disaster of problems around him. If I'm babcock I don't want to handcuff myself to that system. I also want my legacy to be reconized because I was awesome. Not because Crosby and Malkin were, aka GlenSather
The Quincey/Smith pairing has never worked and Babs just keeps reverting back to it if that is the case again. Smith needs someone that allows him to jump into plays and be more active offensively. He played his best hockey by far with Kronwall as his partner last season. I don't care so much if the Wings leave Kronwall and E together, but at least play Smith with DeKeyser.
Quincey on the third pairing with whichever other mistake is necessary or ideally Marchenko/Ouellet instead.
Q and D are both defensive Dmen. I highly doubt D is going to suddenly re-energize Smith's O game because of his slightly better defensive abilities.
Any D-man on this team would excel with Kronwall ad their partner. Smith is not some strange exception. Lashoff would suddenly look lightyears better with Nik.