Go to NHL.com and click on "stats" and select "individuals". Sort to forwards only. Then select page six. Look at the bottom. That is the minimum offensive production for a top-six scoring forward in that season. Hudler has cleared that mark in each of his past three seasons (10-11, 08-09, 07-08) and was only seven points shy in his rookie year (06-07) despite the fact that he played a mere 10:02 per game that year and he has not played more than 11:24 at ES or 13:39 total per game in ANY season.
Not a top-six forward my ass. He just as well as Bertuzzi per minute overall last year. Almost as well if you adjust ES and PP individually. And Bertuzzi played top-two lines all year, while Hudler played mostly on the bottom two. Bert is more physical, but no better defensively. He outperformed Holmstrom offensively, and I don't think anyone here would say Holmstrom does anything else better than Hudler except perhaps stand in front of the net. He was on the first line most of the year.That leaves the EuroTwins, Franzen, Flip, and Cleary. So unless you're saying the Wings are thin at forward, it's pretty clear Hudler is a top-six forward.
You're saying the same thing I'm saying. He's brought in players that have HELPED at times. Andersson and Bowman are responsible for players/development that have been the BACKBONE = Lidstrom, Fedorov, Konstantinov, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, etc, etc, etc.
Neither Andersson nor Bowman had any influence in the drafting of Fedorov, Lidstrom, or Konstantinov. Bowman was hired after all three were established players in the league, and Andersson was hired in 1990; while the trio was drafted in 1989.
Andersson's job is to scout talent and to recommend which European players to draft first. Given that Holland as a GM prefers to keep home-grown talent, and the team has a large number of European players, this will of course place a large fingerprint from Andersson as well. Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen, Filppula, Hudler, Holmstrom, Kronwall, and Ericsson were all Andersson players.
But none of them are drafted or stay with the team unless Holland makes the call.
Ughhh. I don't think so. Hakan Andersson and Scotty Bowman are responsible for the Wings turnaround. Ken Holland is a pawn in the game.
For every Shanahan and Hull, there has been a Kruup and Hatcher out of Holland.
Holland is an ok GM in my opinion, but I wouldn't consider him anything else but o.k.
Importing the Russians and Swedes when that became vogue was Andersson's work. Getting the team to play defense was Bowman's work. All Holland had to do was bring in/ship out a few pieces when Bowman told him what he needed.
Holland brought in Brett Hull, not Bowman. Holland brought in Marian Hossa. Brian Rafalski, Brad Stuart. Derian Hatcher was considered a top defenseman when Holland signed him; calling that signing a mistake because he was injured is like saying the Wings shouldn't have drafted Jiri Fischer because of his then unknown heart condition.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Stuart gone after this season and Ericsson in the 2nd pairing with Kronwall. Just a hunch, but I think Stuart is gonna want money Detroit doesn't want to give him.
Lidstrom - White Kronwall - Ericsson Kindl - Smith
That's what our 2012 Defense is going to look like.
Post Script - I'd really like to see the Red Wings take a run at Matt Carle this off-season instead of Stuart. I'm big on that guy.
Ericsson won't end up in that spot next season unless he shows this season he deserves it. Kindl looks like more of a top-four defenseman than Ericsson has shown he can be. But if neither Kindl nor Ericsson grab that spot and take it by force, we'll see a new face on the blueline in the top four - unless we see all of Lidstrom, Kronwall, and Stuart sign new deals.
Carle would be a nice replacement for Stuart. Coburn is also available. Although I think if Stuart is getting money hungry, I might look into trading him for Meszaros because Philly will (will they?) want to try and keep Carle and Coburn; Meszaros would be a solid replacement for Stuart that would cost less than the other two likely will.
If the Wings are struggling to put up points, they won't want to go with Commie, they'll opt for the better offensive defensman in Smith.
Because putting a rookie and defensive liability will always help you win games over a veteran stay-at-home defenseman.
What matters when winning games is goal differential, not goals scored. Preventing one is just as important as scoring one. Commodore wins that battle over Smith. Babcock thinks so too; otherwise Smith would have been on the roster to begin the season.
I don't really buy the travel argument. Everything they have is first class and 5 star all the way, plus they take naps before the games. I think after a year or two, they're used to the travel. Also I'm sure the Wings when they're playing at the Joe don't get to bed until 3am or later after they talk to the press, have a post game meal, drive back to the 'burbs, and eventually finally wind down after the game.
I know a lot of the Eastern Teams travel by bus. Personally I'd find a plane to be more comfortable. When traveling by a bus you can get caught in traffic and road construction. There's no traffic jams or road work in the skies.
I think the travel thing is more of an issue with the team than players. Being in the East the Wings can save money on travel, that's what the team wants.
It's about the East/West travel.
Being in the East means you don't have to play away games at 10:30pm, while the opposing team is playing their away games at 4:30pm.
HUGE difference there.
Solution: move Winnipeg to the Northwest, Minnesota to the Central, Detroit to the Northeast, Pittsburgh to the Southeast, and Boston or Buffalo to the Atlantic.
Arguably the best playoff performer the last 3 years, who is a big body that can throw the occasional big hit and plays pretty damn good defensively has a lot more going for him in contract talks than a one dimensional streaky scorer.
Franzen looked like s*** in last year's playoffs aside from a couple good shifts. And then he got hurt, and people started giving him the ankle excuse as to why he wasn't doing well, even though he was skating about as well as he normally did.
Zetterberg and Datsyuk were both better in 2010. Datsyuk was FAR better last year. Z was hurt last year but much better when he did play. And Z was better in 09. And 08, for that matter. Franzen did outscore Dats in the last three years, but both Dats and Lidstrom outplayed him.
And before you say "Well, that's three top players..." let's look at the last three playoffs both Huds and Franzen played in. Franzen had 44 points in 47 games playing with Datsyuk and/or Zetterberg. Hudler had 29 points in 55 games playing with Filppula, Draper, or Helm.
Over 82 games, those numbers work out to 77 for Franzen and 43 for Hudler. Now we take away the requisite 20 that was brought up earlier from Franzen and get 57. That's not a huge difference, given ice time differences between the two. Were it Hudler on Dats or Z's line, would he be the "clutch playoff performer" instead of Franzen?