Detroit ranks second as the team players would most like to play for and if my memory is correct Babs was in the top 3 for coaches that players wanted to play for. Everyone is overreacting to us not getting every free agent we want. As marcaractac laid out there's often good reasons people sign elsewhere.
Yea I read an article that Boyle signed with NY not because he didn't like the other teams that were after him but because he truly wanted to play in NY. Niskanen wanted to play with Orpik in Wash. Robidas said he chose Toronto because he has family in Toronto. Stralman would have signed here but asked for us to add on one more year and Holland said no.
So I think it was just odd circumstances that people didn't sign here and not this huge conspiracy that people don't want to play for the Wings or Babcock.
But anyway back to Mantha. The longer we keep him in Grand Rapids the better chance he has of stepping into the NHL and being an impact player right away.
I'd trade Tatar + Kindl (roster spot) + 1st 2015 for Myers but that is about it. Jurco is too valuable with his size and skill blend and Nyquist is just too good already to move. Obviously I'd rather give up Pulkkinen before Tatar but Pulkkinen wouldn't be enough to get it done as a main piece. I'd be most willing to give up the our prospects in this order:
I think it's very important that this kid gets handed nothing. He needs to earn his spot. I think he needs to start on the 3rd line in GR and prove he can be in the top 6. Then prove he is capable of getting a call up. When he gets called up, he needs to start on the fourth line. The kid has been a hot shot his whole life and although I think he has a great attitude so far, I don't want him handed a spot and turn into a loafing Franzen that is good only when he wants to be.
Holland trusts Blashill's opinion about when the kids are ready. He will start in GR and I think best case scenario is he plays a couple NHL games this season. I may have to watch more GR games this year.
You know, it really amazes me how quickly everyone seems to just want to fire KH and blow up the ship. And because of what exactly? We re-signed a guy who played well for us in the second half and has a proven track record of being a solid 3-4 D man. So we didn't sign any big name free agents, and? Did we really want Boyle here for 3 years? No. Orpik for 5 years and $5.5m? No. Niskanen for 7 years? I didn't. Stralman for 5 years? No. The list goes on and on. Guys who are cashing in on one or two good years (besides Boyle) and using the thin market to drive up their prices. It is frankly, a joke. The worst thing the wings could have done was to sign someone like that for a massive term which locks us in, blocking the path for 1 or 2 kids when they are ready either this season or next.
Why is it that we are so quick to lambast something that we don't like, yet it takes 100 things to satisfy us? I mean, for crying out loud, we're not the Leafs. It's not like we haven't won a cup in the last 50 years. And also, it's not even like we're not competitive anymore. This team was a playoff team. Granted, the last 2 years have been touch and go, but 2 years ago we took the cup champs to 7 and had them on the ropes. In that 2012-13 roster, there were 26 players who were part of this seasons roster. 26!!!!!!!! And this season, most were injured, and yet somehow, due to some strong play of guys who will form the future of this team, we made it in.
There is, quite clearly, a rebuild in progress at the moment. And it amazes me how people can't seem to get excited about the future prospects of Dekeyser, Tatar, Nyquist, Sheahan, Jurco, Sproul, Marchenko, Ouellet, Mantha, Mrazek. Combined with a healthy D and Z and the other GOOD pieces we have on this team. So what's changed? Why has everyone become so despondent, when really, I think our time is coming right around the corner. Maybe not this year, but the year after for sure. If our kids continue trending upwards, we'll be right up there. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but to ignore the obvious positives that are emanating from this teams future and insist on throwing everything out in the trash just because we struck out on 1 day of the year is, in my eyes, nuts.
It's because ever since the Salary Cap, Holland has consistently either been afraid to pull the trigger on the top free agents, or been unable to land the top free agents and create a franchise that players want to play for. Sure he has had to deal with losing some of the greats (aka Lidstrom) but he has been content with keeping this team a competitive first round team while our super star players continue to age. He is a GM that was spoiled early in his tenure when everyone wanted to come here and take a pay cut pre-salary cap and now does not know how to handle when the big fish no longer want the lure.