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#2481566 Miller vs. Eaves

Posted by gcom007 on 05 February 2014 - 07:29 PM

Let's also not forget that Eaves has a great attitude and work ethic and comes from a good hockey family. He's also got a lot more skill than many realize. If not for injuries and a wildly inconsistent role, I think he'd likely have more impressive offensive numbers at this point than he does. I hope we trim some of the mid-level fat this summer and keep Eaves with this team, and in a way that will allow him to have a consistent role if he's healthy. If he sticks around and stays healthy, I think he'll surprise a lot of people the next couple of years.


But again, I don't say any of this to take away from Miller. I like Miller a lot at his price point and I'd absolutely be doing all I can to keep those guys Red Wings for the long haul. They're both really solid role players at great price points that stand to be important parts of this team for some time to come. 

#2478649 1/28 GDT: Red Wings 0 @ Flyers 5

Posted by gcom007 on 29 January 2014 - 01:55 AM

I understand the need to draft 'quality' players in todays NHL; it's always a smart move to pick a player whom you feel has the best ability/attitude to making it all the way.
Now with all that said...This team lacks an identity, and has it's fair share of those who lack 'snarl' when the team is down, or when the opponents take liberties.
I honestly cannot blame the players since many aren't accustomed to this style of hockey; I place the blame with Holland who would rather draft a 5 foot sumthin 150 lbs kid outta 'Eurostan' instead of some 6'3" 210 lbs kid from Windsor, and also shift some blame onto Babcock for not using someone such as Tootoo in these games, but again - they're looking to win games, and not grudge matches...It's too bad they can't win either.

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...

#2478582 1/28 GDT: Red Wings 0 @ Flyers 5

Posted by gcom007 on 28 January 2014 - 09:57 PM

When people wonder why I don't have faith in Holland in the cap era, it's because he continues to struggle and ultimately fail to fill holes left by important veterans. People defend him because we still make the playoffs, but what worries me is that we're largely still a team that can compete because of Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and we're really not going to have those guys playing at their current level if they're even still playing in 3-4 years. And this team has been all too capable of falling apart even when we've had them in the lineup! If Holland can't figure out how to bring in top-end talent before they hit the age of 40, games like this won't necessarily become the norm, but they'll become a lot less irregular. This team will be profoundly more lost than they are now when Dats and Z leave or lose their current effectiveness, and that day isn't nearly as far away as it once was, and the more we struggle in the meantime, the harder it's going to be to sell guys on this team.

And I'm not bringing it up now because we lost 5-0. I'm bringing it up now because we lost 5-0 in a game without Datsyuk, Z and Franzen while most of the guys we've spent descent money on signing for depth the last few years still aren't even in the lineup, while the ones who are playing are generally terrible. Something is seriously wrong when you're spending millions on guys that aren't contributing at all and sweating money and getting cheap when it comes to signing bigger name guys that could make a real difference and be leaders and make guys around them better.

#2463104 12/10 GDT: Red Wings 2 at Panthers 3 (SO)

Posted by gcom007 on 10 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

I'm not trying to bag on Howard as I honestly don't really care about this slump; I think he'll be fine down the stretch, and that's what matters to me. But for the love, what is his 3rd period GAA this season??? It's unbelievable how hard he's been hit in the 3rd.

#2462375 Howard = Average

Posted by gcom007 on 08 December 2013 - 01:24 PM

Now that Gus has lost - Howard has his shot to take back the starting job. There is no doubt the wings brass wants him to be the guy going forward but need howard to justify his starts. Lets hope he takes this opportunity. I believe the best goalie should play so he needs to prove it.


While technically, yes, he got the loss, I would hardly say that Gus lost that game. He was about the only one on the team that seemed to be playing the game. Howard will get a start soon, but this absolutely won't derail any plans to not give Gus more starts. If Howard plays lights out hockey, that could change things, but I think we'll see a lot of back and forth for awhile until that actually happens.

#2462090 Howard = Average

Posted by gcom007 on 07 December 2013 - 08:45 PM

Agreed. All goalies go through a funk. Gus is winning, but so was Conklin back in what, 09? We have to remember Gus is still a backup. Backups have great streaks but we can't count on him being this good forever. Howard has a track record of success. I don't want to see him benched for stretches. They should keep alternating. It worked in 08 and 09.


For the most part I agree. I think it's silly to write Howard off at this point. He's proven that he's a capable guy, and I'd say the odds are in his favor of bouncing back. The only thing I'm iffy on is the comparison to Conklin, though it's tentative. I'm not incredibly familiar with Gustavsson's overall career, but wasn't he in the running for a starting position in Toronto for awhile, though he was often troubled by heart issues or something? I thought I was reading early on when we signed him something about him potentially being more than just a backup, and that he was a guy with the kind of skills that could earn him a starting role. It's obvious who the Wings want the starter to be; just look at the contract he signed last year. But just going off my vague memories, it seems that it might not be as straightforward of a situation as looking at him as a career backup like Conklin or Legace were.


But all that said, I don't think it'd be smart to go with him in the playoffs even if he's the better goalie down the stretch. We signed Howard for the stretch, and if Gustavsson keeps this play up, we won't be signing him again. It just seems a bit stupid to bench your starting goalie when you know he's going to be in the picture for the long run given that he's also proven that he is capable of being much better. Osgood had a lousy 2009 regular season and was outstanding in the playoffs, so you just never know. You've got to keep riding Gustavsson for now because he's winning, and if he keeps winning, he should start the Winter Classic. That's when you can reward the current backup and send a message to the starter, not in the playoffs.

#2454418 GDT: Capitals 4 @ Red Wings 3 (SO)

Posted by gcom007 on 15 November 2013 - 11:55 PM

Another game, and once again, I just don't get this team.


We're basically a quarter of the way in now, and I just don't get how this happened. It's not like they're the worst team out there, obviously. 4th in the conference is what it is. But it's got to be among the ugliest 4th place efforts I've seen, and if things don't improve, I can't imagine us holding on to the position for long. Especially considering that it's beyond clear at this point that roster management has become a bit of a disaster area to say the least.


It's hysterical to me how so many of the classic Holland defenders have tended to rail on other teams for signing certain guys at certain prices, particularly Chicago, and how screwed they'd be by the cap. Yet Chicago just won a Stanley Cup and we're the one's screwed by the cap because we signed too many old and/or mediocre guys.


As I've said ad nauseum in the past, this isn't a team that's going to become terrible overnight so long as Dats and Z are here, but every year they slow down and we fail to bring in serious talent or give our young guys a chance to develop in the big league, it's going to get uglier and uglier. And again, we don't have anyone close to the talent level of Dats or Z coming up in the system, let alone two of them, and we can't seem to bring in guys at that level lately unless they're around 40 years old. Something's got to give with Holland or they need to find someone who's not afraid to make the tough decisions and cut ties with guys, because this slow churn towards mediocrity is only going to intensify as time passes.


Don't kid yourselves; this is a descent roster still with Dats and Z leading it and Alfie's hungry and despite how concerned some are, Howard's going to be fine down the stretch. He's capable. We'll make the playoffs this year, again, no doubt about it, and who knows what can happen then if we get on a role and avoid injuries. But make no mistake, this play we're seeing does not bode well for the long term future of this team. There are a lot of fundamental issues with the way this team is being managed right now and the cracks in the system are becoming ever more clear on the ice.


Hell, I'll say it as simply as I can after watching the last couple seasons and this season thus far: when Datsyuk really slows down and/or decides hangs them up, this team is truly screwed.


Even if Z stays, he'll be less effective as time goes on and even now, he wouldn't be able to carry this team to success without Datsyuk. We can't sign stars and we aren't developing stars, and when so many other stars have been removed without being truly replaced, there's just no way this team will be able to be even remotely as successful as they've been, clumsily or not, when you take a guy like Datsyuk away and leave the load on Zetterberg's fragile back.


I like Dan Cleary. I like Todd Bertuzzi. I like Danielle Alfredsson. (Though I don't like Samuelsson). But like (or dislike...) these guys or not, you're doing the future of this team absolutely no favors building the current team around these guys when you've lost so many core guys over the last few years. On top of that, the current core's ability to really be the core will only last a few more years, if we're lucky, and given Dats and Z's ages, it wouldn't be hard to get unlucky thanks to a freak injury or an ailing back.


So look at these last 20 games, and get used to it, because if things continue as they have the last 4-5 years with management, in 4-5 more years, we'll be lucky if those Wings play as well then as these Wings are playing poorly now.

7 straight losses at the Joe? Howard hasn't held a lead in over 3 weeks. I like Jimmy too but not when he is consistently non clutch. There are no shootouts in the playoffs and we've lost quite a few overtime games as well. Geez,can't people just admit that the Wings are seriously underperforming here? There's nothing wrong with admitting we aren't good right now. We are all fans here. There's plenty of time to turn the season around,no doubt. We have a negative goal differential and 11 losses technically. These aren't the Red Wings we thought we'd be seeing right now. Babs has to coach this team and I just don't see him as an intense motivating/light a fire under their asses type of coach the past few years. Up 3-1 on the Cup champs was not a fluke. They didn't finish Chicago off and this is still the ongoing trend this year as well. Go for that jugular. Zetts and Pav are still awesome. We can right the ship. Just tough seeing us lose the same exact way for like 3 weeks now. Coach has to sit Jimmy for a while and realize that Samuelsson,Cleary and Bertuzzi should not be getting roster spots over Nyquist.


Howard will bounce back. It might get uglier before it gets better, but he's proven that he can play at a high level, and he'll get back there in due time. I have no doubt about it. I get the frustration now, and I'm not trying to make excuses, but I really feel that long term, he's the least of this team's problems.

#2453634 Patrick Eaves on Waivers

Posted by gcom007 on 14 November 2013 - 01:25 PM


Apparently that is what happened:


“I didn’t even know,” said Eaves after practice, who’s in the final year of his contract. “I knew I wasn’t playing. I just found out from you guys.”




Well, that is just s***ty.


I was annoyed with Ken Holland before, and have been for some time, but this is the first time that I've started to just not like him. It's not just that it's s***ty to not tell the player, but the whole reason this is happening is because he's made so many blatantly awful signings. Then when a hard working guy with a great attitude is affected by it, you create a situation that allows him to find out he's getting waived by the press. That's just another s***ty thing to do after a slew of bad decisions.

#2453628 Patrick Eaves on Waivers

Posted by gcom007 on 14 November 2013 - 01:16 PM

According to Ted Kulfan, Eaves found out he had been waived from reporters. If true that really sucks.


If true, Holland lost a lot more points in my book than he already has over the last few years. It's one thing to struggle in free agency and replacing players, it's another to just be this lacking in class.

And this is awful. I love Eaves. Injuries haven't helped him the last couple seasons, but the guy has a lot of fight in him and a fair amount of skill. It'll be a shame to see him go. But it's okay, we still have Samuellson, who we can't reasonably trade or waive. Good job, Holland. Keep up the good work, best GM in the league.

#2451558 Tootoo Waived

Posted by gcom007 on 07 November 2013 - 11:56 AM


The Tootoo signing was stupid. The Sammy signing was stupid. The Cleary signing was stupid. The Colaiacovo signing was stupid. The Weiss signing looks like it might be a bust. Alfredsson was a one-year slam dunk, and he basically came to Holland and said, "Sell me on the Wings and I'm yours" (not so different from Hossa, Holland's other "recent" slam dunk). Also, he seems ok with losing pieces for nothing, as opposed to something (I guess I'm mostly referring to Filppula here). Without Datsyuk and Zetterberg, this would be a terrible, terrible team.


I'm not asking for perfection, but you would expect the ZOMG BEST GM EVER to not fall flat on his face all over the place like he's been doing lately. Just getting Gustav Nyquist on this roster is proving to be a monumental challenge for him, or something he's simply not very interested in doing. (Which is fine. I mean, it's not like Nyquist is one of our best forwards or anything, and it's not like we need any help up front.)


Where's the creativity? Where's the urgency? Where's the rabbit from the hat? I feel like our ZOMG BEST GM EVER has been sitting on his hands for seven seasons. And for what purpose? To what end? The rise of our young prospects? The singular importance of building and promoting from within? That song and dance?


ZOMG BEST GM EVER though he may be, Holland seems awfully content to "just be," saying, "ZOMG SALARY CAP. MY HANDS ARE TIED," at every opportunity.


Yes, Ken, your hands are tied. By your butt.


/weekly rant


I don't doubt Holland's raw ability to be a great GM in general, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he's become too sentimental with this team. Either that or someone higher up has and is twisting his arm, though I doubt the latter. Either way, I think it's been far too long since he's lived up to his reputation. He's certainly not even close to the worst, but I think it's hard to say that he's absolutely the best right now. I think if you were to take Datsyuk and Zetterberg off this team and ask Holland to fill out the roster, the whole "we make the playoffs every year" argument would fly out the window and not return for a long time. Holland's running on fumes.


Just like some players need scenery changes to flourish again, I wouldn't be shocked at all if the situation were the same with Holland. I would not be shocked at all to see him build a great team if he were to leave the Wings for another club, but I don't know if we can expect him to do the same here anymore. Once Dats and Z are done, this ongoing success that he's been able to ride is going to take a devastating hit. We have good guys coming up, but we don't have one let alone two players of the caliber of Dats and Z in the system, and Holland seems incapable of landing the big names anymore unless they're over 40.

#2436361 Cleary re-signs with Detroit, 1 year, $1.75m deal

Posted by gcom007 on 12 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

Again, I don't know if this is a good deal yet for the team, as we're yet to see who it affects. If it means moving promising young guys or alienating them (further in some cases...), then I think it's a very bad move. But purely from the standpoint of the kind of player we got for the money, it's a very good, solid deal. I wouldn't say great. Hossa for life at $5 million is great. Cleary for a year at $1.75 is just a good deal. He took a lot less money to stay, and given his age, may've risked a lot of money given that he could've signed a 3-year deal if he made the Flyers. That's all impressive in this day and age, and I think it's a testament to who Dan Cleary is and what he means to this team.


And that said, I think we might be undervaluing him in that regard, as now you have a mid-level vet in the locker room who turned down the chance at a lot more money to be a part of this team, because this team is special. I've said for awhile that we need more of that kind of attitude on the Wings again and less of the paying older floaters like Samuellson $3 million a year or career underachievers like Flip anything close to the $5 million or whatever it is he wanted. Given that there's no going back now, I can only hope this attitude rubs off on more guys in the dressing room. Hopefully our younger guys that will undoubtedly see less ice time because of this will be mature enough to look at the situation with some perspective and consider why Cleary did what he did.


And again, to be clear, if he signed for a penny more than $2 million, I'd be livid about this. And if we end up losing one of our better prospects over this, I'll likely get livid then. But for now, I'm focusing on the upside of it, and hoping that things work out for the best. If they can smooth out the roster and cap issues without hurting the future of this roster, it'll continue to be a very good signing for the Wings. Hopefully he's motivated to prove that this wasn't a mistake either and earn an extension and silence the doubters. Time will tell.


One thing for sure though is that it's going to make for a hell of an interesting pre-season...

#2436118 Cleary re-signs with Detroit, 1 year, $1.75m deal

Posted by gcom007 on 12 September 2013 - 11:02 AM

Good price, I'm fine with that. But whether this is a good deal or not boils down to who else it affects.

#2435918 Report: Cleary to sign with PHI, 3 yrs, $2.75m/yr, NTC

Posted by gcom007 on 11 September 2013 - 07:52 PM

This is bizarre.


If they do end up losing Tatar over this, my mind is going to be blown, but I don't even know if I'll have the emotional energy to get angry. s*** like this is just not surprising anymore, and that's sad. I've defended and criticized Cleary in the past and in this thread, and while I think he still has value at the right price, I think it'd be nuts to end up losing someone like Tatar so you can get Cleary in his last few years when he's already been on a serious decline. He had a great playoffs, but he's had terrible playoffs in the past too. Again, somewhere in the $1-2 million range is what Cleary should get if he signs with the Wings, and it should only be if it means not losing or further alienating some of your top prospects.


In any event, again, this is just a bizarre situation at this point.

#2431194 Brunner Contract Talks

Posted by gcom007 on 22 July 2013 - 03:46 PM

It just hit me again how colossally insane it was to sign Samuelsson at $3 million a season. I honestly don't remember being angry about it then, as I haven't really been surprised by much the last couple years with Holland. It was just a matter of, "Oh, of course he signed Sameuelsson for $3 million a season!" And you know, I'll defend him in some ways more than some will, at least in terms of his past performance. He came up clutch for us on more than a few occasions. But goodnight, It's unbelievable how bad that deal looks right now.


Like Brunner or not, it'd be better to be able to gamble on him for another year than deal with Sammy, who has and will likely continue to be captain of the press box.


I'd rather have Cleary at $3 million than Sammy, and that's saying so, so, so, so, so much.

#2428207 Wings Attempting to Re-sign Cleary

Posted by gcom007 on 06 July 2013 - 06:28 PM

I don't hate the idea of having Cleary back in general, but $2.6 million is just nuts. The guy is getting too old and while he has had his moments, particularly in the playoffs this year, his body will continue to break down and he'll become more and more inconsistent. And let's face it, consistency has never been his strong point, especially in the playoffs even when he was younger.


This was his best playoff year since the 08/09 run, and the years between were hardly stellar. Seems to me that we're gambling on what was likely a fluke offseason points streak. Again, that's just not going to get any easier for him to come by the older he gets. Given what we've seen and his age, it's a lot more likely that he'll come up empty in the post-season again than he will come up big like he did this year. And let's be honest, does anyone think the Wings would really be as eager to sign him after his regular season if not for the playoff points? I think we'd want him, but I think we'd laugh hysterically at the idea of paying him what we've been paying him.


Again, I don't mind having Cleary around, but at this stage, with the cap, his age, and his inconsistency to consider, if he wants to stay on this team and make a run, he should be taking a team-first contract. We ultimately don't need him, and that really ought to be the bottom line when negotiating with him.