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.
Holmgren is known for awful trades, lets go after Simmonds lol
It'll never work, Holmgren only makes shockingly poor decisions when 30 goal forwards are involved (Richards, Carter, Lecavalier, Van Riemsdyk). Simmonds has only ever had 29. To think, one more goal and Holmgren would probably have shipped him to Detroit for Daniel Alfredsson's youth.
I feel like most GM'S are cyclical, usually they make some bad moves followed by some good moves and round and round it goes. Holland's issue has been that lately he's been lacking in good moves, and while you'r right he hasn't done anything crippling, he's hurt the team in other ways. Like wasting cap and roster spots on unworthy players, he also seems to have lost the midas touch in luring top flight UFA's. It's become strange that no top free agent wants to take the Wings money-maybe they're not offering enough?-I don't know... I don't advocate firing him, because who would the Wings get that was better? Sooner or later the fan base would turn on the new GM anyway. I would however like to see Holland get his head out of the sand and join the real world, he's got to realize his moves lately have been beyond atrocious; he's got to get off his hands and finally upgrade the D along with finding a scoring winger for Pav-while Pav is still at the top of his game.
I definitely agree with some of the things you've said. For instance, Holland is notoriously stingy when it comes time to make offers to free agents (remember Wisniewski's 'market value' comment). But I don't think his moves have been as bad as people think. Hindsight has shown that some of them haven't worked out, but who could have known at the time. For instance, it's easy to say that he doesn't attract top flight FA's, but Weiss and Alfie were both at the top of their respective FA cohorts. Likewise, the Quincey move is generally considered bad. But prior to coming back he'd been playing top four minutes and scoring around 30 pts. a season. And he was young and still had development potential. Easily worth a first at the time. With Legwand I'd generally agree we overpaid, but Poile had us over a barrel and we knew it. Even then, we were still getting a very good two way center capable of putting up good numbers. It's mindblogging how he was used, but that's not his fault. Tootoo? Same deal as Legwand. They both just did what they do, no knock on their game.
The two worst things that Holland did recently were bring back Cleary and give Sammy a No Trade Clause. The first is defensible because Babs and the team leadership intervened on Cleary's behalf. The NTC is indefensible and was just a plain bad move. Neither of them, it turns out, actually impacted the team negatively all that much, though it maybe have impacted the Illitch's pocketbook (hard to feel bad for them considering they haven't paid taxes in about ten years lol).
The question I would have is how high would the bar be set for Mantha to beat someone out?
Very far considering he has no systems training and Babs runs one of the most demanding systems in the league. This kid has zero chance of making the team next season. Letting him learn the system in GR from Blashill is the right call, just not the sexy one.
he's had a breakout year, is good size, right handed, reletively young.... geterrdone kenny!
I would be legitimately happy if Holland did nothing else but sign Niskanen and let all the obvious free agents walk. You can always fill needs at the deadline, but I'd be perfectly happy going into next season with...
Edit: Obviously the means trading Andersson, Kindl, and Lashoff for whatever you can get (not roster players).
He doesn't seem to have the same perspective and competitive nature that Nill, Scotty, Yzerman etc had.
Those games were close only via score, you're 100% right.
No one thought we were winning those games after the ice shifted in game 4 and really in game 5 it seemed like Boston was toying with us, playing just hard enough to win and move on.
Well I certainly agree with the second half of your post. But I'm actually a Holland fan. That doesn't mean I don't think he makes mistakes from time to time, he does, but usually his mistakes don't end up crippling the team in any serious way. Think of all his big "mistakes" e.g. Sammy, Tootoo, Quincey, bringing Cleary back, and then think about other people's big mistakes and you immediately feel better. He could have signed David Clarkson to a 5.2 million dollar contract for 7 years, given Ryane Clowe 4.8 million for 5 years despite his history of concussions, or traded away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and Sergei Bobrovsky and James Van Riemsdyk for Wayne Simmonds/Jakub Voracek/ the Schenn brothers and some picks.
In the end, Holland's really done a pretty good job.
I'm not going to try and talk you into liking Holland, you seem pretty dead set against it. But those were close games (on the scoreboard). Only problem is that despite their closeness, we had no realistic shot at winning any of them.
I already explained this but I'll do it again because you suck at reading. I am not good at CapGeek and so we'd get better players for Abby, Nyq, Howard. Those were trades and I didn't figure out how to get players in return.
IT'S A GAME.
I was goofing around. And yet that team definitely goes further against the Bruins than we just did.
Players are about chemistry, too.
The Leafs are not good. Bolland would be good with Dats and Jagr. He is hard on the puck and can score. He is quicker than Abby.
Brodeur would teach Petr to be a real great goalie.
Blah, it doesn't matter, we are not the GMs. We are just goofing around online.
Ken Holland will ultimately f*** this all up however he pleases.
Just an observation...
I think the reason you're finding such antipathy to your ideas is because many of your posts have been matadorish and confrontational.
I assure you, we're all perfectly reasonable people who would gladly hear what you've got to say and respectfully debate with you, provided you would stop being so insulting during the exchange.
(Spoiler alert: I'm going to talk about James Wisniewski a lot in this post. I'm not pining for him, or lamenting any past decisions. I'm just using him as an example to explain why we should pursue Niskanen. If your response to the post is, "Wisniewski suckz!" you missed the point).
I don't want to get into the weeds too much on this issue (that's what this summer is for), but I do think we should sign Matt Niskanen. Sure you'd have to overpay (a little) for him, but we've got the money and he fills a TON of needs. He's an up an coming young, right handed, top four, puck mover, who's very good on the pp. He's also coming into the age were d-men finally hit their stride.
All summer everyone will nitpick and find reasons to not like this move, just like they did back when we were all debating about whether to acquire Wisniewski a couple years ago. They'll say the contract is bad, they'll say it's an overpayment, they'll put a microscope on each and every one of his shortcomings. But at the end of the day, the amount you'll overpay will less than what you'll pay all the scrubs you'll bring in trying to find a cheap alternative.
Think about it this way, using Wisniewski as an example. Let's say he's getting paid a million more than he's worth (he'd be worth every penny of 4.5 million for his pts., aggressiveness, and pp shot alone). Over the life of his contract you overpaid him by six million dollars. How much did we pay Commodore, White, and Colaiacovo total? A good bit more and got worse players. At the very least the 51 extra points and physicality might have been nice this season.