It's an impossible question to answer, of course. The Wings four biggest 'holes' over the past couple of years have been lack of a power forward, a second-line center, replacing Lidstrom, and increased 'grit' from the bottom lines. Have any of them been adequately addressed through draft, trade or free agency? I'm not suggesting that a 'perfect' solution is always available, of course, but going into the current season, we still don't have an experienced 'power forward', Weiss is a year into a contract with 26 GP and 4 pts as a 'second-line center', replacing Lidstrom is, of course, improbable if not impossible, but we haven't even brought in a defensemen from outside the organization, and Abby led the team in hits (59th in the league). Acting like we don't have areas to improve in doesn't make them go away... In the past few years, something could have been done.
Saying "Sign UFA's" is easy, but the reality of the situation is that in 2014 the players available in UFA are typically average/above average players who are paid like they are borderline elite, I don't believe these types of players are necessarily the answer in the post cap era, in this era I believe the answer is grooming your own home grown talent and supplementing it with UFA's when the right player for the right price is available, otherwise these types of moves can be absolutely crippling to a team. We are coming off a year where Matt Niskanen & Paul Stastny headlined a class, nothing against them as players but we aren't talking Suter/Parise here. The reason why you cant answer the question is because that magic player was not there. The closest person is probably Suter, but signing anyone to a 14 deal right before a CBA was about to be negotiated would have been extremely risky and I am glad we didn't land him.
We took a gamble on Weiss, and while he does have years to come around, I think this shows you how just signing a UFA doesn't fix everything.
I find it ironic that you use LA and Chicago in your points of comparison, but you are frustrated that we are not winning now. Chicago and LA did not become elite team overnight, they were very bad, for a very long time. LA didn't make the playoffs for 7 years, until there most recent winning way started (i'm talking 7 years to get back in to playoffs, not going deep or winning cups), Chicago (with the one exception of '02) didn't make the playoffs for 11 years.
We are in a re-build, people need to accept it. The difference between us and others of the past is that we just aren't horsesh*t doing it. We could go all in and trade Kronwall, Zetterberg, Datsyuk etc. but what they are doing is hoping that our kids can become great, while the vets are still elite or close to it, plus using these vets to give guidance to the kids that are coming up. Its almost as if sustaining our winning ways to a degree is hurting us, because its resulting in people failing to see the re-build. I'm sorry, but I dont want to be Edmonton, or what Chicago and LA were and be very bad for a very long time. Having a quick turn-around where we dont need to just unload everyone, and are still making the playoffs in an era of parity where anything can happen, is a nice way of doing it!
Lastly, as far as comparing Holland to Yzerman and Nill, this is fair buts lets wait a couple of years. Other then a final 4 a few years ago, Yzerman hasn't done anything yet. Since that final 4 TB didnt make the playoffs, and then were swept first round. I admit they appear to be going in the right direction, but its results that matter.
Nill....same thing. I love the moves he is making, but at the end of the day all Dallas has accomplished is an 8th seed where they were bounced first round.
Please don't take this as me putting either of these guys down, the moves appear to be good ones, but lets wait and see.