I also agree with you on Lecavalier (length of contract) and Clarkson (value of contract), but disagree on the rest.
The buyouts are all about roster space for younger players and (hopefully) an incoming free agent or two. Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, Smith, DeKeyser, and Lashoff need to have regular roles on this team. Tatar and Nyquist should probably start the season on the top 2 lines, see how they do with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Franzen. If it isn't working, then make a change. DeKeyser, if he plays the way he did in his short stint last year, will be the #2 defenseman by Thanksgiving. Lashoff is a capable, defense-first guy, something this team lacks. He should rotate in and out of the 3rd pairing.
Talent and hard work are two completely different things. Some players have talent, some work hard, and some do both. Same with teams. Detroit got a 3-1 lead over Chicago by playing hard and getting under Chicago's skin. Toews was completely neutralized for the first half of that series, and was actually a detriment to his team because of the way the Wings played against him. That was hard work, not talent, on the Wings' part. Based on talent, this team has 3 top-6 forwards and 1 top-3 defenseman right now. The rest are bottom-6 and bottom-3 guys.
The same thing was said last year about this year's FA class. And the year before about last year's class. And so on and so on. Most of the good ones will re-sign with their current teams.
Holland has exposed himself over the last few years. This team has not gotten better. Some of its draft picks and undrafted free agents are working out, some will be very good in the near future. But he has not added significant pieces in forever. He also has not gotten rid of enough "dead weight" either. He hangs on to guys for too long. He overvalues his own players and undervalues everyone else's. He seems reluctant, if not downright afraid, to make a move. One thing he does very well is work with the guys on his staff, listens to them and trusts their opinions. But how much of Holland's "magic" really was Scotty Bowman, Jim Nill, his scouts, and Mike Ilitch's wallet? The more time goes on, I think it's becoming evident that it's at least a big part of it.
Why was Holland so successful? Two words: Hakan Andersson.
At this point I'm going to assume Kenny is going to do nothing. Players don't want to come here like they used to and Kenny won't open the wallet up for anyone so here is to another possibly disappointing summer.
Grading a teams draft is total B.S. I'm sure people thought we were crazy for taking a small forward from Russia and a small forward from Sweden in the late rounds and I think turned out pretty well. If Mantha becomes a star and any other pick even makes the team I'm happy.