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Member Since 18 Dec 2003
Offline Last Active Today, 11:51 AM

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In Topic: Holland signs 4 year extension with wings **MOD Warning Post 130**

16 August 2014 - 10:57 AM

frank, you were there this past season. The injuries were a nightmare. They won't be that bad this season. Don't say they will, because there's no way they can be. There's absolutely no way. I say that as a hockey fan, a sports fan, not just a Wings fan.
Do you know what a slightly healthier season and/or fewer boneheaded mistakes from Kyle Quincey and/or better luck in the shootout means? Well, for one thing, one more point in the standings gets us the Penguins in the first round. (We ended the regular season tied with the Jackets in terms of points.) I remember very cleary - we wanted the Pens, because we knew we stacked up well against them (even without Zetterberg and Ericsson), and the Pens fans didn't want the Wings, because they knew the Wings stacked up well against the Pens (even with Crosby and Malkin and Neal and Kunitz and The Mighty Matt Niskanen and Future Hall of Famer Brooks Orpik). The Pens were let off the hook and given the Jackets. Because of a tiebreaker rule. Because Johan Franzen and Joakim Andersson spent time as our top center and our heart-and soul-leader had surgery and...Jared Cowen*. (*Don't say we need an enforcer.)
Seven more points? We're even with ZOMG CUP CONTENDERS THE MONTREAL CANADIENS. Eight more points? We're even with ZOMG 2015 EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. The Flyers? They finished a whopping one point ahead of us. The Rangers, who went to the Stanley Cup Finals? They finished a whopping two points ahead of the Flyers, three points ahead of us.
Look, I get it. We're the Red Wings and the Red Wings are Cup-or-bust, no excuses. But this is our first real protracted dose of Adversity in two decades, and we're still right there, knocking on the door. It's really easy to say the glass is half-empty for the Wings, I know this better than most here. I registered here in 2004 and I've been complaining ever since. I could make - and have made, countless times - a really compelling case for why Ken Holland should be fired. But, at the end of the day? If I'm being honest and objective? If I'm looking at what I think is the bigger picture, the bigger plan? I give Ken Holland credit. I think he's doing the right thing, for the most part.
If any GM in this league has earned the benefit of the doubt, it's probably Holland. He knows success. Chicago and Los Angeles win two Cups and everyone's talking like they're the greatest teams imaginable. The Wings were contenders for longer than some of the people on these boards have been alive. We came soul-crushingly close to winning back-to-back Cups in '09. We probably should've won it all in '07. We beat the Ducks and had the aforementioned Blackhawks on the ropes in 2013.
We have three or four years to win one last Cup for Datsyuk. With Zetterberg, Kronwall, Franzen, Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco, Mantha, Pulkkinen, Athanasiou, Sproul, et al. in the system, I'm liking our chances. I'm not just saying that. I think about this stuff every day. I obsess over this stuff. I definitely have my problems with Ken Holland's decision-making. I definitely have my concerns. I definitely don't like seeing the Wings as anything short of serious contenders. But in due time we're going to be looking back on all this and laughing. I believe that.

Regular season and playoffs are two different battles, and we are not a team built to win in the playoffs right now. We got lucky and overachieved for a minute a couple seasons ago and then Chicago reminded us what it takes to really go the distance and win. Boston completely manhandled us after the first game. It was the same story in the 90s for awhile too. Great regular season team, a talented team, but not enough teeth to get the job done in the playoffs. Except we're nowhere near as good as those mid-90s teams even, though thankfully, on some level that's a league-wide problem that relates back to the cap.

I don't think we're as far off as some think, but we absolutely need some serious tweaking to get there. What blows my mind and infuriates me about Holland is that he doesn't seem to recognize this as he squanders the last years of Datsyuk's and Zetterberg's careers. He still hasn't found a way to make the D at least a little better and solid front to back, and he keeps signing the wrong guys to bad deals. He needs to find a way to turn it around, and given that we can't bring anyone in via free agency anymore, he needs to be okay with the fact that we're going to get ripped off in trades for a minute until we reclaim a bit of our status. Make the right moves and have some real success again and the free agent problem disappears for the most part.

But he's got to do something, anything, first, to actually make this team better.

In Topic: Holland signs 4 year extension with wings **MOD Warning Post 130**

14 August 2014 - 01:00 PM

Best signing yet. Hollands offseason acquisition is himself. His deadline acquisition will be Babs.


Laughed so hard at this. Can't stop. Post of the week for sure.

In Topic: What Might Have Been: Gretzky to Detroit?

12 August 2014 - 04:03 PM


Yzerman wasn't "The Captain" in 1988, and Gretzky most likely would have been retired (or traded away) by 2002.


Hence why I said, "I get how it could've been seen differently at that point in history though, hard as it is to imagine."

In Topic: What Might Have Been: Gretzky to Detroit?

11 August 2014 - 11:05 PM

That is truly a crazy thought, though I still would never give up Yzerman for him. He may not be the Great One, but he is The Captain of the Detroit Red Wings. I get how it could've been seen differently at that point in history though, hard as it is to imagine.


I was always a little surprised we didn't end up getting a year or two of Gretzky during his later years in some ways. He always seemed to be a Detroit fan from what I recall, and I believe he was a huge Tigers fan even growing up. Given how often we started bringing in hall of famers for their swan songs in those days, you'd have to think that if Gretzky was a bit younger or played a few more years, we probably would've made a run for him.


Can you imagine that 2002 team with Gretzky as well, just from the sheer standpoint of looking at all the names on that roster???

In Topic: Alfie wants to play

11 August 2014 - 10:54 PM

I have no problem with us signing Daniel Alfredsson.


I don't think we would've made the playoffs without him last year. I think he ran out of gas for awhile after the Olympics, but Kronwall wasn't firing on all cylinders either and he's a good deal younger. It was a long run for the Swedes. If the rest of the team can stay healthier and we can give him some calculated rest now and again this year, and with no Olympics to further muddle things up, I think Alfie stands to have a more impressive year this year, and I say that as someone who thought highly of his contribution last season. He was still an effective player most of the time, he put up points, and provided strong leadership when our big leaders went down. 


While it would've been a different story had Dats and Z not been injured, the fact of the matter remains that even at his older age, even given his own injury issues that hampered him throughout the season, even given that he missed 14 games, and even given that he had an extended cold-streak when he was running on empty after the Olympics, he still ended up being our points leader last year while going on to become a locker room leader in the second half that all those kids that exploded pointed to again and again for stepping up when Dats and Z went down.


If we're going to be signing older players, Alfie is the kind we should be signing. When people talk about wanting Ken Holland to stop signing older scrubs, I generally am very much in agreement. But the thing is, Alfredsson never has been and never will be an old scrub. Signing him should never be compared to signing someone like Cleary. It's genuinely irritating to me that anyone would even try to suggest that we're dealing with the same type of player and circumstance here when by any objective measure there's clearly a night and day difference. Alfie isn't as effective as he was ten years ago, most obviously, but he is still an effective player who contributes on the scoresheet and leads, all while providing the kind of veteran presence that you absolutely do want to have around on a team that's getting younger.


Just because Holland made a mistake in signing Dan Cleary again doesn't mean he should make another mistake and not sign Alfie if Alfie decides that he can play.


Again, I have no problem with Alfie coming back, and while I'm certainly not holding my breath, I hope that somehow this ragtag team can pull off a miracle for him. He's a class act and nothing would make me happier next season than seeing him win his first Cup so he can go out on top. Never lose hope, right?