Kindl and Lashoff got it pretty bad down the stretch. But I'm going to say it was the triumvirate of Bert, Sammy, and Cleary. Despite having almost ZERO effect on our team (good or bad), they still managed to get blamed for everything all the time. Go back and look at the GDTs. Never have three guys been blamed for so much after playing so little.
Zetterberg was top 3 in scoring for the first two months before his injury. Datsyuk was top 10. Alfie was top 30 at one time during the season as well.
We don't sign high offensive players (since Hossa). If we got Vanek this offseason I would bet he scores 30-40 goals and gets over a PPG. It's hard to score a lot of goals when you have dmen that can't move the puck at all (Quincey, Lashoff, Kindl). When we had Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart we were top 10 in goals for every year.
Agreed. That's my point. Our team doesn't maximize offensive talent because we don't have the philosophy or system to do so. Load the team up with offensively talented players and they'll all factor into each other's production. It's no secret that Datsyuk's two best offensive years were when he had highly talented wingers to pass to. It's also no secret that Zetterberg's best offensive year was when he was the one "being passed to". If you're not willing to get those types of guys, or play those types of guys, then you're not going to optimize offensive potential, which is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Doesn't mean you can't win, just means you better win the New Jersey way.
How does signing Niskanen to 5.5 affect team chemistry when Kronwall's making 4.5?
I know this seems like a stupid question. But it could be a thing,
It's a legit question. For years that's been the Red Wings way. I'd like to think it would matter about as much as when Hossa came in and made more than Hank or Pav, but who knows.
I do know this though. If the Wings continue to deny that market/contract inflation pertains to them they'll continue to miss valuable free agents. And as they slip down the standings the free agents are even less likely to sign with us, and will require more money if they do. Vicious circle.
I'd hope Kronwall is professional enough to understand that. Lidstrom certainly understood that in order to ice the best possible team he couldn't continue to remain the team's highest paid player into old age.
Niskanen isn't a #1 D. It would be stupid to pay him like one just because he's the best free agent D.
Agreed. Nobody is saying that he should get paid like Chara, Suter, or Weber. And he won't. He should get paid about 5.5 million. Which is a slight overpayment, but in today's market, with few other options, that's what a defeseman with his skill set will make. We either 1) can pay it, 2) stick with what we have, or 3) spend more money than the overpayment for Niskanen on a cheap alternative. Those are the options and two of them don't seem to be working too well for us.
He'd be making about as much as Duncan Keith, who signed his 5.5 million dollar contract extension two months into the 2009 season. Up to that point, his previous career best was 44 pts. and 32 pts.
Wisniewski signed a similar sized contract after putting up similar numbers and playing similar minutes. So did Erhoff.
It's likely Niskanen doesn't become a Duncan Keith, Chicago got a steal by signing him long term and letting him develop. But he'll likely be as good as Wisniewski or Erhoff. And both of those guys are worth their contracts. Quality, big minute, puck moving d-men don't grow on trees.
No thanks. A 5'9 defenseman can work on a team of giants and badasses and giant badasses. On our team he'd just get steamrolled on the forecheck and he'd have half as many assists because the guys he'd be passing to are 190 lbs. as opposed to 215-235 lbs, and get knocked off the puck more often.
Sadly, Torey's not the guy for us. Good player though.
I guess I'm being kind of a wet, contrarion blanket. I can't say we need a solid top-four defenseman and then shoot down a seemingly perfect fit who'd only cost money. And it's not like epic overpayment isn't the norm these days. I'd just feel better if he were a surer thing. Like, Yandle is a similar player who's rumored to be maybe kinda sorta available for a top-six forward and a prospect, and while Niskanen is right-handed and would only cost money, I'd probably rather trade a key piece or two or three for Yandle's services based on Yandle's body of work. Any acquisition is a risk, a gamble, but we could be 90% sure Yandle would be a beast for us. Niskanen? Less certain.
Or you could sign Niskanen, take the risk, and use those assets on a forward with size, speed, skill, and grit who has already identified your team as being one he'd wave his NTC to come to. Just sayin'.
Or he can be a complete disaster and people can come here and ***** at holland for making such a stupid move
You keep saying this, what reason do you have to think he'd be a disaster? The kid is already better than all but (maybe) two of our defensemen. It's not like he's an unknown quantity. He's a young d-man just entering his prime, who has played his way onto the top pairing of a good defense, on a very good team. He plays on the PK, PP, and has put up points on two different teams.
You know how many defensemen we have who have put up 48 pts. a season (Niskanen's numbers this year)? One...Kronwall (career high 51 pts). You know how many defensemen we have who have put up 35 pts. in a season (Niskanen's second best year)? Two...Kronwall and Quincey. You know how many defensemen we have who have scored more than Niskanen did his rookie year? Two...Kronwall and Quincey.
Even if he never improved from his rookie year (which he obviously has) he's still better than every other puck mover on our team not named Kronwall.
Broken record, but Niskanen would be a huge gamble. He's had a really good season, while playing for a contract, on the Pittsburgh Penguins, with Jacques Martin working his evil strategic voodoo. For that, Niskanen is going to score a massive contract. Just so incredibly massive you won't even believe it. And it'll probably be a team that needs to reach the cap floor. And everyone will probably be laughing at that GM in a year's time. And we'll probably want to laugh, but then we'll remember we have Franzen. But then we'll rationalize Franzen as a tremendous value.
Yeah, wouldn't want to marginally overpay for a good young talent (Erhoff, Wisniewski, Niskanen) when there are bargains everywhere you look (Commodore, White, Colaiacovo).
We've been down this road before. Just overpay for Niskanen by a million dollars if necessary (5.5 for 5 years) and let him grow into it. Either that or we can A) do nothing to our defense (which seems to be working great so far, ugh) or B) sign some marginal journeyman or aging vet and hope they produce over their heads (which I'm sure will totally work this time too, double ugh).
With what Franzen brings to this team, he isn't worth Emmerton's salary...seriously. I don't care about his 5 goals a week every third month. Until Franzen is gone, this team will never get above a wild card spot and never win another Cup.
I get the sense you don't like Franzen. Why the change of heart?
His 5 previous seasons are unimpressive ... Not worth the price he's gonna demand if you ask me , wouldn't wanna be handcuffed with him especially with guys like ouellet marchenko sproul backman coming up real soon
Guess well have to agree to disagree
Helm is a great 3rd line center ...unless he gets extra ice time somehow don't know about him being on the 4th .... Anyway he or sheahan goes to wing?(probably not) ... Don't know how there gonna fix that
I'd personally like to see shawn Thornton here on the 4th line if possible ... Not a big fan of Drew miller
Well you definitely don't break up the kid line, so Sheahan stays where he's at. But I don't think there's any reason why Helm couldn't get quality ice time on the fourth line. The grinders did it for years.
You don't have to like Drew Miller. Babs does, so he's not going anywhere. If we were to sign a guy like Thornton (which we won't) he'd likely be the 13 forward and be in the press box most nights. That's just the truth of the matter.
As for Niskanen...26 pts. as a rookie is not unremarkable, it's pretty impressive (especially since Dallas was horrible back then). He then improved to 35 pts., which is good by any objective measure. His numbers then dipped as his ice time did, and went back up as he earned the ice time back, culminating in a 48 pts breakout season which happens to coincide with his being at an age where defensemen typically have breakout seasons. If Brendan Smith put up 26 pts. in his rookie season people around here would devolve into wild throes of ecstasy considering they're ready to lick his balls after the 19 he managed this season.
So in the "Offseason Needs" thread I posted my realistic offseason plan, which was to sign Niskanen and promote from within. Here I'm going to post my dream scenario, which actually might not be too off base. Sign Niskanen, and trade our 1st, Helm or Abby (not both), and Smith for Ryan Kesler. We don't need a first, we've already got too many NHL quality prospects, and we can easily handle the loss of Smith and Abby or Helm. No knock on any of those guys, but I love the thought of this
Note: If that rookie third pair was shaky you can always trade for a veteran third pair stay at home guy with any of the 2 million quality prospects we've got.
Double Note: This package for Kesler is better than both Pittsburgh and Anaheim's packages which reportedly "nearly landed" him at the deadline. It should work. If not, add some combination of Kidl, Andersson, Bachman, Pulkkinen, Callahan, or Ferraro until it does.
So when our D corps looks like this for the next 5 years:
Kronwall - Niskanen
Dekeyser - Smith
Ericsson - ?
What will you do with: Ouellet, Sproul, Marchenko, Backman, Jensen? Lose them for nothing? There is only room for 1. We are still lacking a true top pairing shut-down guy.
You mean, aside from the one you've got chilling on our third pair below Brendan Smith on the depth chart? lol. How did Ericsson being injured get him demoted to the third pair? He went from our most reliable defensive defenseman to Brain Lashoff because of one signing?
Edit: Also, even if we sign Niskanen he wouldn't play on the top pair with Kronwall, since they're pretty much the EXACT same type of player, good offensively and adequate defensively. They're also both undersized for their position. You're far more likely to see Kronall with Ericsson, and Niskanen with Dekeyser. That would make all Brendan's supporters upset, but out of the five he is CLEARLY the fifth best, so he'd be right where he needed to be.