Posted by DickieDunn
on 31 January 2014 - 02:42 PM
I heard he actually dropped his accent, changed his name to Scooter and went on to be the goalie for the Eden Hall Warriors varsity hockey team.
Funny story. Scooter is actually his long lost twin brother. Their parents got divorced when they were babies and each took one child, never telling Gunnar and Scooter that they had a twin. They met years later when Scooter was visiting Iceland and decided to try the local delicacy of half-rotten shark meat.
Slightly off topic, but...
Is Jim Carr doing the play by play? And is "Lady of Spain" allowed to be played again?
Oh and is GM Joe McGrath making everyone do fashion shows as part of Public Relations?
They were going to, until Upton threatened to wave his penis at the crowd again.
And yes, Jim Carr is the radio voice, still wearing that bad toupee, and Lady of Spain has been replaced with the Macarena as the banned song.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 31 January 2014 - 02:13 PM
Gunner Stahl easily makes the roster.. c'mon
I did some research. Gunnar quit hockey a year after losing to the Ducks, citing that coach Wolf Stansson's overbearing nature made hockey no fun anymore. He now runs Iceland's largest hakarl (aged and fermented greenland shark meat) production companies.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 31 January 2014 - 01:43 PM
One big concern I have, Dickie, is that big, gaping, Alfredsson-shaped hole. We don't even try to make up for that lost production?
Alfredsson retires, Vanek and Gaborik sign before hitting the market, and people go nuts with the next tier of guys and hand out 7 year high salary deals to Grabovski, Stastny, etc. Wings are left with guys like Boyes to choose from.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 31 January 2014 - 12:37 PM
The first line is relying on the chemistry of Gordon Bombay and Charlie Conway, along with Mystery, Alaska's Connor Banks's slapshot. Doug Dorsey's injured eye heals well enough to play, and he's teamed with former junior phenom Dean Youngblood and Ned Braden, called up from the Chiefs. The third line is made up of the Hansons, who aren't that great separate but are much better than the sum of its parts. The fourth line of Dean Portman and towering Ogie ogilthorpe, centered by Youngblood's junior nemesis Carl Racki, give the team plenty of toughness.
On defense, former Chief's captain Johnny Upton and Mo Wanchuk join their teammates from the Chiefs. Skank Marden and Jon Biebe from Mystery anchor the second pair. On the third pairing, we add some tougness with Andre "Poodle" Lussier and a PP QB in Jesse Tyler (Mighty Ducks).
In net we have former Chief Denis Lemieux and Youngblood's former junior teammate Heaver.
The coaching staff is judge Walter Burns, assisted by Reg Dunlop and Youngblood's former coach Murray Chadwick. Joe McGrath is the GM, finally given the chance to run a team not teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 31 January 2014 - 09:12 AM
I dont see Blash lasting that long. Unless Babs is gone in the next year or two I see someone scooping up Blash.
His man love for Cleary notwithstanding, I think Babcock is one of the best coaches in the NHL right now. That said, every coach either gets fired or retires at some point, and 9 years with one team is an eternity. It may be time for a new voice, certainly after very much longer. It wouldn't surprise me if his contract wasn't extended after next season and they go in a new direction.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 30 January 2014 - 10:31 AM
Snow will undoubtedly trade him if they don't get something done by the deadline to keep him there. I'm not going to give up much to get a guy on an expiring contract who looks like he wants to test the market. Vanek isn't going to put the wings over the top, especially if they trade Franzen to get him, and Jurco could very well be as good or better in 2 years.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 30 January 2014 - 09:54 AM
Holland won't make any moves as there is too much cap space coming up for the next season. The prospects are proving to be too invaluable to move as well. The Wings need a 1-2 RH D to QB the PP and another RH D in the 3-4 pairing. If you have been watching any games this season the lack of a RH D has been pointed out several times due to the breakouts against the Wings leaving the goalie hung out..
I suppose somebody can comment upon my observations from there but that is the reality of the situation.
Just seeing Cleary, Samuelsson, Bertuzzi, and Cleary leave will open plenty of cap space. They 13 forwards and 6 7 who are either signed or RFAs going into next year who are not waiver eligible. That doesn't include Jurco or Glendening. Sheahan will be on the roster. Callahan will almost certainly be on the roster. Ferraro has an outside chance depending on what else they do. Glendening has almost no chance because he's waiver eligible. Jurco's status will depend on what they do in free agency. Almquist is almost certainly gone. They can sign one free agent forward or make a trade to bring one in, and roll with:
Callahan, Ferraro reserves
Kindl-Marchenko or another rookie
I'd be happy with that roster. Arrange them however you want.
I truly believe nothing will happen because all teams will try to rape the Wings, business as usual. Very little will happen this UFA because Holland will not outbid another team for a player he NEEDS. So with that, I can only hope that Cleary is NOT re-signed, Bertuzzi is NOT re-signed and Quincey is NOT re-signed. I hope Alfie retires and then we just go in house with all the kids and start building the next Dynasty. I just hope one of these kids can be that sniper that Datsyuk yearns for, because he did sign to play 3 more years in hopes to win another Championship and I would hate to waste those years, because he probably will retire after...
The problem is there's not likely to be any players they NEED out there, and even if there are, giving Vanek $40 mil for 6 years just because someone else offer $38 mil over 6 years, or paying a 40 point winger $23 mil over 5 years is kind of stupid. you're implying that not doing so would be some kind of failure on Holland's part. It would be a lot smarter to just roll with the kids.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 29 January 2014 - 08:39 PM
Height: 6-5 Weight: 265lbs
NHL Seasons: 8
GP - 55
G - 12
A - 28
Pts - 40
Hits - 130
On contract till 2015-16 for 5.2 Million.
I'm not going to state what goes the other way as i don't want to speculate, but he is a player that I think could fit. Obviously we have to work on that +/-. He is under 30, shoots right, he is big, he has twice the hits of any Detroit dman. As demonstrated in the playoffs when Chicago won the cup the one year with him he can put up points and he absolutely dominated in front of the net in the playoffs that one year so he is versatile.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been working the phones. The Jets are playing better under Paul Maurice, but they are still talking to teams about potential deals. Jets trade options include:Andrew Ladd, Evander KaneandDustin Byfuglien. The Jets may only move one of those players
He's also fat and bad defensively. I'd rather see one if our prospects up full time.
Posted by DickieDunn
on 29 January 2014 - 02:38 AM
I remember in the 90s, more than now and then, Bowman would get rid of guys or sit guys because they didn't have what it takes. What is that exactly, especially to someone like Scotty? No one but Scotty knows exactly, but a couple guys I remember him really having a problem with on those pre-Cup Wings teams were Coffey and Primeau. I can't remember which one of them, but he flat out said "we'll never win a Cup with _______ on this team." It was one of those two, and I was too young to fully understand it, but looking back, and in talking to people about it over the years, I think one of the things that just made Scotty Bowman hate guys was a sort of resigned complacency and lack of killer instinct. There just wasn't a fire in some guys, or maybe as some guys aged, like Coffey, who'd had a lot of success already, maybe it just got weak. Certain guys though just didn't have that spark and couldn't get on the same page as the team; and they certainly couldn't find that extra gear for when things got tough and for the playoffs.
In any event, all of that reminds me of almost the entire team we have currently.
You said it very well when you said they have no identity. They absolutely don't. They're a roughly spun-together patchwork team for the most part that's been running on fumes from Dats and Z since losing the core of our defense in the span of a year.
Holland has done a piss poor job of putting a team together for some time. I don't care that we make the playoffs still (and I absolutely believe we'll still make the playoffs this year). When you have Datsyuk and Zetterberg on your team, the playoffs are all but a given. This isn't a testament to the brilliance of Holland's managerial skills in the cap era, this is the benefit of having two of the best players at both ends of the the ice on your team and for many years before last, the best defenseman in the world.
But what's Holland given Dats and Z (and Lidstrom beforehand) to work with the last 4-5 years? Mostly crap. He's made numerous regrettable signings. He's let guys go that he shouldn't have, and no, I do not mean Parise and Suter. That anyone can't acknowledge his shortcomings over the last 4-5 years when the Cap actually became something he had to deal with is unsettling, yet some still leap to defend him.
And you know, I get why they signed Cleary. I got it then, and I get it now. When you talk about identity, Cleary is a guy that on some level gets that. He has a fire in him. But his body is broken, and whatever offensive output he has tends to boil largely down to luck anymore. That we have to go to the well of Dan Cleary at this point to find a guy that gives a s*** and seems to at least have emotions is profoundly pathetic. And I generally like Dan Cleary, and on a more balanced Red Wings team, I'd be fine having him around at the right price. But the role it seems he has on this team as practically the only loud mouth who plays through pain is ridiculous.
But that said, I don't know what scares me more: the 2013-14 Red Wings with Dan Cleary as the one emotional loud mouth or the 2013-14 Red Wings with no emotional loud mouths.
What's tremendously unfortunate is that we happen to have a lot of good role guys that should have more stable spots on this team, but due to so many terrible moves by Holland, things are always in flux. Guys like Eaves and Miller are bargains at their prices with lots of upside and plenty of potential to exceed what most would expect of them in the right roles. But instead, we've gone from leaning on them too hard to waiving them to sending them to the minors, and when not having to deal with injuries, these guys end up frustrated in a press box every other game because Holland signs too many s***ty mid-level guys that are too expensive to bench.
Oh, except now we even have overpaid mid-level guys that are so non-essential that we'll bench them or ship them to the minors because we can't take the cap hit. No one's feeling sorry for ol' Sammy, but you've got to imagine that this hasn't gone at all how Tootoo expected it would, and I can't imagine him being very happy about it.
Remember when we valued our checkers and didn't call them checkers or 4th liners? Remember when we actually didn't have a checking line or a 4th line? Remember when instead we had The Grind Line? What other teams had 4th liners who had their own t-shirt?
It's not that Maltby, Draper and Kocur/McCarty were the most talented guys or most charismatic guys. They were just The Grind Line. That's what they did. That was their role. That was their identity, and they leaned into it and they became an incredibly important part of this team.
But even without injuries, we'd struggle to ice a consistent 4th line that could have that kind of impact because we have serious cap issues, and the worst kind of cap issues. Not cap issues because we signed big time impact players, cap issues because we signed too many mid-level and utterly inconsequential players.
Some keep saying that it won't stay like this, but what proof do we have that Holland really knows how to navigate out of his managerial rut with this team? This is the same guy that in the last 4-5 years...
Signed Franzen at a descent cap hit but for a million years after essentially one good season,
Let Hossa go to a team that got him at a $5 million cap hit, a team that also has own two Cups since that time,
Let Rafalski and Lidstrom retire and Stuart leave while only bringing in the great Kyle Quincey as any sort of defensive replacement before getting geographically lucky and snagging DeKeyser to help a bit more
Signed Sammy again for real, actual money,
Signed Cleary when he needed defenseman and already had cap issues along with too many forwards,
Signed Weiss long term for Hossa money, and while Weiss could turn it around, thus far he's been a total dud followed by becoming the injured 24/7 locker room hoodie guy.
Perhaps his best recent signing is Alfredsson, but he's on a farewell tour and clearly not a long term asset.
And half these kids aren't even supposed to be here!
(Though maybe some should be and if we planned for that, we'd allocate money differently and pursue different players, but who thinks that differently just because the cap has fundamentally turned managing a team upside down?)
You add it all up, and it's not hard to see why this team has no identity and no fire. It's barely a team, because even without all the injuries, it's tough to know what the team would look like given the complexities brought on by the cap issues and underachieving mid-level guys. This club is a big mess with tremendous potential still at the core, but it's potential that's being squandered because for 4-5 years now, Ken Holland hasn't had what it takes to build a winner around two of the greatest players of any era.
And I barely talked about the defense. That's just too depressing to really go into...
Wow, where should I start?
Miller and Eaves are basically the same player, except Miller shoots left and is usually healthy and Eaves shoots right and has an injury history, including concussions, and therefore was deemed expendable.
The Grind Line was the checking line with a clever name and was around when the Wings could just load up on salary. Were they a great checking line? Yup. But with cap considerations I don't know that you could spend that much on a check line, unless it's your 3rd line and your 4th was done as cheaply as possible.
The amount of injuries this year has everything in flux, and when you have guys playing different roles all the time, and 4 lines without a center who can play that role well, you're not going to have much of an identity or stability. If they were healthy, the 4th line would pretty easily be Miller-Andersson- and one of Cleary or Abdelkader. A good defensive line that could chip in a few goals.
Franzen's deal was signed after the 08-09 season, after he had scored 27 and 34 goals the 2 previous years and had big playoff runs. The deal was essentially 8 years because he wasn't necessarily expected to play the last 3 years, certainly not the last 2, and was structured to lower the cap hit so they could fit other guys, most importantly Zetterberg, under the cap going forward. The last 3 years are only an issue now because the NHL is retroactively punishing teams for signing legal contracts.
I don't believe Hossa was a sure bet to sign here. He was giving the same lines he gave Pittsburgh before he came to Detroit, and if he really had wanted to sign here I think he would have gotten something done.
Hossa's contract is about $1.3 mil a season more than Franzen's, with a lot more money. His actual salary for the first 7 years was $7.9 mil, pays him almost $12 million more over the life of the deal, and is for a year longer. Since Hossa left, his regular season per game numbers are better, but Franzen's playoff numbers are FAR better. As far as I'm concerned, either way was going to be a push.
Everyone was caught off guard by Rafalski, and there's no way to replace Lidstrom. I was impressed he got a pick for Stuart in the offseason when everyone knew he was probably going to end up in SJ anyway. He didn't replace any of them with Quincey, he planned on replacing them with Ericsson, Kindl, and Smith, and Quincey in the 4/5 role. In other words, he let young guys take over instead of signing an over the hill overpaid vet, which is exactly what a lot of Wings fans think they should do. Until it actually happens, of course, then the same people cry that the kid are no good and need to be dumped and why the hell didn't Holland get off his ass and spend money?
Weiss's cap hit is close to what Hossa's is. He isn't getting Hossa money.
They didn't need a d-man, because like I said they want to give the young guys a chance to show what they can do. But again, people only want that to happen if the kid comes in and is a star from day one. If not, Holland is an idiot.
Finally, proof of what Holland can do is right in front of you. He took a team that was built through free agency and trading picks and prospects, transitioned it to a team that lost about half the spending power from the year before, and ended up winning the Cup, and almost back to back Cups a short time later. He's then kept the team in the playoffs and at least in the conversation for the Cup if not in actual contention for it. He's also rebuilt the farm system from the ground up to the point where the team is in playoff position despite losing every damn veteran forward and all 4 projected starting centers for a large chunk of the season because the kids he's brought in can come in and win enough to keep from going completely down the toilet.
His "mistakes" that he let go recently was a one dimensional winger who thinks he should be getting a ton of minutes without having to earn them, a small skilled player who was going to be more expensive than the 2 small skilled wingers they were going to be bringing in, and a center who didn't want to be here, mailed it in last year, and wanted $5 mil a season on the strength of one good season 2 years ago. Weiss has not done anything, but Holland can't predict his groin issues, and any free agent has the risk of injury. Samuelsson was a big RH winger the team was familiar with who didn't work out mostly because of injuries, and who they should have been able to buy out if he hadn't still been hurt. Tootoo's lack of ice time and banishment is a bit baffling to me, I thought he'd fit in well on the 4th line. Cleary this year was a mistake. Bertuzzi probably should have only gotten one year his last contract, but it's not like he's making $4 mil and until this year he's been relatively productive for his salary.