It's not ideal, but this year's team should have less deadweight than last year's. So we actually have less of a problem really.
First of all, you're overplaying your hand a bit. Tatar was a regular in the lineup after 9 games...so it's not like those three guys were all getting huge playing time for the first half of the season...they weren't. After the first ten games any two of the three were scratched on a given night.
Secondly, that doesn't really address my point anyway. Cleary, Bertuzzi, and Samuelsson weren't the reason we got butchered by Boston in the playoffs. They weren't the reason we blew a 3-1 series lead against Chicago the year before that. They weren't the reason we couldn't beat San Jose for two years. And they definitely weren't the reason we got embarrassed by Nashville in 5 games.
But here's the kicker...neither were injuries. In only one of those series (Boston) did injuries play a significant role. There are fundamental issues with this team that haven't been addressed in a LONG time. Acting like those issues have been resolved because we let a couple of frequently scratched third and fourth liners walk is the equivalent to burying your head in the sand.
Yeah, Cleary's probably going to bring the same thing he brought last year, which, according to Babcock, was "nothing".
My point was that Cleary sucking is still better than Cleary, Samuelsson, and Bert (to a lesser degree) sucking.
Again, at no point after the first ten games last season did Cleary, Sammy, and Bert regularly play for our team at the same time. On any given night, maybe one of them played. But rarely two, and definitely not all three.
The problem with placing all our hopes on a healthy team is that it ignores the fact that for the first part of last season we were totally healthy and we still weren't that good. We were also totally healthy for the 4 post seasons before last year. Same results though.
Like everyone else, I'd obviously prefer we were healthy rather than not. But a lot of people are going to be very disappointed when they realize that we can make all the excuses we want, but there are a lot of holes in our team that didn't get solved in the offseason, and won't be solved by Datsyuk staying healthy.
We've got an undersized, perimeter, team that can't play in the crease. We don't have a single top flight player in his prime. We've got a defense that can't move the puck efficiently. We've got horrible special teams. And we've got an offensive scheme that hasn't yielded quality results in 5 years.
Obviously, I'd love to be wrong. The best case scenario is that we get healthy and win a Cup. But I'm not holding my breath. Second best scenario? Get healthy and struggle just as much as we did a year ago. At least that way nobody can use the "injury" excuse anymore.
I mean, in a full season Tatar's going to give you 20+ goals. To me 20 goals is worth 2.75 million, every day of the week. 20+ goals and shutdown defense will get you 5 million plus. Ask Kesler or O'Reilly.
I'm going to laugh and laugh and laugh if Tatar signs a more "team friendly" deal than Dekeyser. Everybody is overly worried about Tatar, but the local guy isn't signed either. What if he's the one with the "ego problem" or whatever else is being suggested about Tatar? People act like Tatar is some kind of bad seed because he's trying to get the best deal he can. But clearly Dekeyser is doing the same thing and everyone is mum.
Truth is, neither are currently signed because their value is really hard to determine. They've both played better than your average rookie but don't have a track record. As such, it's hard for both management, and their agents, to figure out what their proper value is. So it takes time.
I like this. I think I mentioned a while back in another thread that we don't have any players that are consistently fighting for the tough areas in front of the net. Cleary used to be good at it, Abdelkader kinda, but his role on the team is constantly shifting. Jurco and Sheahan maybe as they continue to develop. Franzen? Lol. There's a niche waiting to be occupied, and as you mentioned, Callahan has thrived in the AHL with all the necessary tools.
I agree. And doesn't he just seem like a guy that Babcock would like? He's gritty, hardworking, defensively responsible AND can score goals now and again? I imagine Babs says those words to himself over and over in the mirror when trying to get aroused.
The Detroit Red Wings have long had the philosophy that prospects need to be "ripe" before they make the jump to the National Hockey League. That means after getting drafted, our prospects spend around 3-5 years between junior or overseas and the AHL before finally getting their shot in the NHL. This has proven to be successful for many years now and I don't see them drastically changing that system any time soon.
I don't see there being much of a chance that Mantha makes the big club this season, despite how highly fans, media and management regard him, nor do I think Jurco will start the season in the NHL. I'm actually a fan of the Red Wing way, of over ripening players, and I like the idea of having a farm oozing with talent. Depth is probably the biggest key to a teams success in the league today, and because of our drafting, development and ripening methods, we are definitely stacked with depth in the minors.
There is a reason players like Nyquist and Tatar were able to jump into the NHL with little to no growing pains, while highly regarded players drafted by other teams get thrown in the fire too early and flame out due to not being ready, and having their confidence destroyed. I'm just as excited for all these kids as anyone but I think it would be a huge mistake to throw them in the best league in the world before they're fully ready, both physically and mentally. In my opinion, on the back end, Marchenko could be ready for full time duty in the NHL, other than that I think Backman, Ouellet, Sproul and Jensen can all use more seasoning in the AHL. Up front, Jurco is the closest to being ready, but could still use another season down in the minors, along with Pulkkinen, Mantha, Athanasiou, etc.
Anyway, point being, I don't think there is any harm in resigning a future hall-of-famer, veteran like Alfredsson, allowing all of our forward prospects another season in Grand Rapids to round out there game. Having these guys getting top line minutes and loads of PP time down in Grand Rapids, to me is a lot more beneficial than getting 3rd line minutes and no PP time up in Detroit.
As for our RFA's that are not waiver exempt, I don't think there is any chance whatsoever that any team picks up Nestrasil, with a slim chance a team takes a chance on Ferraro, although that may be even less likely now with uncle Tony now as the assistant coach. My only fear is that we lose Callahan. The kid is coming off a career year with the Griffins, is an absolute warrior and would be a great addition to any teams 4th line. I hope Holland doesn't give any team the chance to claim him. No he's not going to put up a lot of points but I think he would be a huge loss...
I don't understand why Callahan doesn't just become the new Holmstrom? He's clearly tough as hell, has a scoring touch around the crease, and isn't afraid to stand in front of slap shots. Plus, he's actually good defensively and on special teams.
In another dimension (one where the Wings don't have Andersson or Cleary or Glendening on the opening night roster) I'd pencil this kid in as my fourth line winger, penalty killer, and net front on my 2nd PP unit.
Going to work when you're grieving is no doubt difficult. But that's not something you get "rewarded" for, nor does it show loyalty. That's life.
I agree. But in addition to the whole dad dying thing, he also was a real good sport about starting the season on the bench after he had clearly played his way onto the team, as well as being a good sport about spending probably a year longer in the AHL than he needed to.
Tatar, despite what some folks think, has had a really good attitude the entire time he's been in Detroit. I think fans just get worried because he'd the kind of guy who says he's disappointed when he is, or pissed off, or whatever. So they always think he's got an attitude. He doesn't. He's just up front about how he's feeling, which is unique for a Red Wing.
Is this project really worth all the criticism it is getting. I figured most arenas get paid for by the city so I don't understand why the big fuss about tax dollars paying for it?
This project is getting criticism because like with almost everything else in the world, reactionary dips***s got all bent out of shape about this before they knew all the facts. People hear "tax dollars" and assume their personal income tax is going to go up, or some retiree's pension will get cut, to pay for this or something. Then, because they're already outraged, they can't just stop and admit they were wrong when they hear that the "tax dollars" used to pay for this project have already been collected, and were specifically designated for projects exactly like this one through the Downtown Development Authority.
I'll be honest, I have no idea what the negotiating was like a couple years ago, for either side. At the time, he was coming off his first 3 years in the league in which he put up totals of 3 goals, 13 goals and 18 goals (along with 26 points, 26 points and 55 points). Personally, I'd be worried about whether the 55 point total was a fluke or not, but he did look to have nice progression. Historically, most teams in this situation end up paying for future potential and hope to see further development. What I don't know is what the Avs were offering or what he was asking for at that time. If the Avs were low balling him, I'd agree with you, not something you want to do, but if they were offering something reasonable and he was asking for something unreasonable, I'd have a different tune. There is no way he was worth the contract he signed though and now the Avs look bad in trying to bring him back to something that's more realistic.
As you say, if they low balled him a couple years ago, that's where the problem comes from.
This could be total bulls***, but I remember at the time that O'Reilly was looking for the same money as Duchene was going to get (3.5 mil) and Colorado didn't want to give that to him so he wasn't signing. Hard to blame him if that was the case considering he was probably the better all around player after their first 3 years, but again, that could all be b.s.
I really don't get the people shaking their heads at COL in terms of dealing with O'Reilly. Yes, he's coming off a career year, but that career year is nothing compared to the consistent years that the players earning the money he wants put up.
At first, I didn't understand at all how he could even have been making $6.5M, but then I remembered the offer sheet...that's how he got there to begin with. So I decided to do a bit of checking. I had a look at all the other players in the league with cap hits at or greater than $6.5M (he's now looking for $6.75M by the way, but my guess is that is to aim a bit high and let it come down a bit). This is what I found:
26 forwards in the league at that level:
16 - have scored 40 or more goals or 100 or more points
4 - have scored 90 or more points
3 - have scored 80 or more points
That leaves the following 4 that haven't scored 40 goals or more than 80pts:
Toews - he has scored 34 goals and 76 pts, but I don't think we need to use stats to say that you can't compare to Toews
Bergeron - he's scored more than 30 goals 2 times and scored more than 60 points 5 times, 70+ points 2 times, selke winner - no comparison
Stastny - getting a bit more comparable, but he has scored 78 points in the NHL and another season with 70+ points as well + he signed his deal as a UFA...big difference
Koivu - this is the one I can't quite understand (i.e. why he's paid so much) - his stats are still better than O'Reilly's career year and he's consistently scored 20+ goals and has scored more than 70 points, but he still looks overpaid.
So, to me, O'Reilly and his 28 goal and 64 point career year don't seem to explain to me why he should be paid $6.5M.
To me it's more a matter of Colorado mishandling the situation so badly that they were put in this position in the first place. This is exactly what happens if you try and lowball good young talent. As a 21 year old he was putting up 50+ pts. and was one of the better defensive forwards in the league and his team wanted to hold his feet over the fire. There had to be a better way to satisfy him AND retain his services without completely alienating the kid. Sadly, Colorado management didn't seem up to the task.