I have a feeling Babcock wants to use his rare situation as a "Free Agent coach that wasn't fired" to gauge different challenges that will be presented to him. I have a feeling he might want to go somewhere where he gets the kind of control that Bowman got here after Bryan Murray was let go. Seems like Ilitch/Holland want to run the team as a band-aided and safe "Old Boys Club", than make significant changes to make the team better (like Bowman did after Murray).
....which leads me to my next point.....
The positive outlook I have for Babcock leaving, is that atleast SOMETHING about this team changes. Since the last lockout, the Red Wings have become the NHL's definition of insanity. The team has the same two goalies and six Dmen that started in the 2013 playoffs and most of the same forwards. There's also the same GM and head coach, of course. We even went into this current season with nearly the same exact team that barely made the playoffs and couldn't handle the Bruins in the first round, minus Alfredsson. "Oh but we'll be healthier, young guys will get better, Jimmy will bounce back, blah blah".
Wings fans act like Babcock leaving would be equivalent to Al Arbour walking away from the Islanders a day after leading them to a 4th consecutive Cup. In reality, Babcock has lead the Wings to win only three playoff series in the last five seasons, and they haven't made it past the second round in that same span. The way they're playing right now, it doesn't look like that is going to change. I know it's not all Babcocks fault, but when will some accountability fall his way? A new message might be refreshing, especially if the (likely) band-aiding continues.
Given how Oulette has been playing, the fact that Kindl is higher on the depth chart, and Holland has been unable to trade the guy for something, I'm not suprised to see Lashoff hit waivers. I'm also not suprised to see Marchenko get the call up. Oulette has had a while to demonstrate what kind of player he is at the NHL level and did a decent job (thus making Lashoff obsolete). Now let's see what Marchenko is capable of. If we're lucky, we might not even need to trade for a right-handed defensman at the deadline. Considering it's only a month away, it's probably a good time to find out.
If there is an upgrade at forward available that makes sense, you definitely do it, but it shouldn't be anywhere close to a priority in the offseason. The main priority needs to be on the back end. The reason we were so average on offense last year is because of two things. First of all, we lost a crazy amount of man games up front to key players (Zetterberg (37), Datsyuk (37), Franzen (28), Nyquist (25) and Weiss (56)) That's a huge chunk of time to 5 of our top forwards. Secondly, our lack of quality puck movers on the back end also effected our offensive numbers. With a healthy group of forwards and an upgrade or two on the back end I think we will be right in the thick of things.
I swear if I see one NTC by ken this summer I will lose my freaking mind
Datsyuk has given enough to us that he deserves to do what he can to be healthy.
Whether that means sitting out wings games so he won't come back too much worse than he was after is fine.
Hell be here for three years after this year.
I trust hell do whats right, and honestly he's one of the best players and people to ever play the game.
I'd support him through whatever.