If Holland can't make some serious stuff happen this offseason to put a good team on the ice come October, it'll likely be the start of a multi-year skid where we struggle to make the playoffs and/or exit early. If that happens after he also blatantly sat on his hands the last few offseasons likely because he didn't want to make moves for emotional reasons as opposed to hockey reasons, his legacy will be hurt, no doubt about it.
Let's be honest, Scotty Bowman had more say than Holland in putting together the '97 and '98 Cups, in '02 we had the Yankees on ice in the non-cap era and Scotty Bowman influence, and then in 2008, we still had the Scotty Bowman influence and many of the original guys that Scotty Bowman helped bring along. And I can't say that it's not interesting that we haven't done as well in the offseason at signings or during the season with trades since Bowman left the organization. Maybe he had nothing much to do with it at that point, but it's none the less intriguing to me. He goes to Chicago the following season, they sign Hossa long-term (which Holland should've and could've done) and they win the Cup in 2010. (Yes, I know the Chicago argument is a stretch...)
But in any event, Holland is clearly setting up his own legacy at this point and has been since the shadow of Scotty Bowman left for good prior to the summer of 2009 I believe. That was a terrible offseason for us, much like every one since. We've not gotten past the 2nd round since then either. We lost in the 1st round last season! The signing of Franzen long-term (especially considering the Hossa angle) is looking more and more questionable. He has to basically replace the core of our defense, no longer building around one of the greatest players in history, but around Kronwall, who's a good to great player at times no doubt, but he's no Lidstrom. Howard had a great year last year up until injuries (and likely made the skaters look a lot better than they were for much of the season) and he never fully got back to form, but if he struggles this year (you never know with goalies...) coming off that funk hanging around all summer, he's suddenly got a starting goalie issue on his hands too.
Bottom line, he's got a lot to prove this summer, and if he fails to put a competitive team on the ice, we're likely going to be stuck in a rut for awhile. Dats and Z aren't getting any younger either and our young forwards aren't goal scorers. Given the huge likelihood for struggles on D, the mild uncertainty surrounding a younger goalie who still hasn't fully proven himself and an offense that struggled to score goals when it counts most last year, Holland is going to need a miracle to come out looking clean. And if the legend is worth it's while, maybe he'll pull one out of his pocket. But at this point, it's likely that anything less than signing Suter and Parise is going to be viewed as a failure, because you need both of them to come close to making up for losing a guy like Lidstrom at both ends, and Lids only played D! And even if he secures them both, he still needs another 2/3 defensemen and a solid backup goalie with more NHL experience so Jimmy can get some breaks and stay healthy and positive.
I'm hoping for the best, but I wouldn't be shocked if this was an ugly offseason. I also wouldn't be shocked if Ken Holland wasn't the Wings GM in 1-2 years. If he blows it and we don't make the playoffs, I could see him being done. If it happens again the year after, he better be fired.
It's time for Holland to prove he can do more than be the first guy to sign superstars to long-term creative contracts that circumvent the cap. We'll know a lot more by next Monday.
Unless we could pull off something crazy to get Weber via trade, he's not worth it. But, I would love for that to happen. I don't give a s*** what happened to Z, and I doubt Z does either. Weber's a tough player who wants to win, and he got carried away. That's hardly his typical style. I said the same thing the night it happened, but I'd love to have Weber on our team pushing someone's head into the glass because he was that intense in the moment. It wasn't a great move and I'm not condoning it, but the level of intensity he had that lead to him making an uncharacteristic move like that was the difference between the Wings and the Preds. He's hungry. He's all in. I'd love to have him on our team at some point. If we can't work out a miracle trade this year, I say we go after him hard when he's a UFA.
Again, for the love, Chris Chelios ended up playing longer in Detroit than any other city! Chris Chelios! If you don't realize how big of a deal that is, you don't know your Wings history too well.
All I'm saying is that I think we can handle Weber just fine.
Stuart leaving is a bigger loss than most realize. He takes a lot of crap around here from some who fail to see just how good he was overall for four years here. Sure, he wasn't perfect, but there aren't many who come even close to great, let alone very good, and Stuart was without a doubt very, very, very good and a very important part of the Wings defensive puzzle over the last four years. Losing him and Nick in one fell swoop is rough.
If Holland can't make some big things happen, we're likely to have a rough season ahead of us. Thankfully, for once, I think Holland knows he has to be more pro-active and aggressive than he's had to be at any point in his career. If ever there was a sink or swim time for the Wings management, it's now.
Also, not expecting this pick to hang around for long. Whenever Holland trades for the rights of one of his big targets, this will be in the package no doubt.
Not sure how I feel about Zetterberg as the captain. Wouldn't be terrible, but I don't like that he's our best choice at this point. He's got 95% of what it takes to be a great captain, but there just seems to be something missing. I'm not even sure what it is, but something about it just doesn't feel right to me.
I'm fine rooting for the Preds, the Blues and the Bruins. I feel a lot better about losing to the Preds than I did San Jose. They got it done and battled. Can't take anything away from them. Even their cheap stuff was heat of the moment, hard-fought emotional hockey if you ask me, and I've got no problems with Shea Weber in general. I'd love to see him on the Wings.
I'd be laughing if one of our guys did it, and I'm kinda laughing at Legwand doing it. Cheating? Sure. Fine. Whatever. Lots of little things happen, and I have to say I'm somewhat amused when a player finds a way to cover his ass in the heat of the moment. You've got to give him credit for thinking fast on this one.
I fail to see how this should warrant a suspension or fine. Kind of overreacting here guys.
It's an unsportsmanlike play and could have drawn an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but that's about it.
If I'm a Wings fan, I'm pissed. If I'm a Preds fan, I'm laughing. But I'm neither...so I'm just impressed that he was able to get away with it.
I'm a Wings fan and I'm laughing. I'm right with you. Anyone who wants to make this into a bigger deal is just throwing punches underwater. We got beat and some. This little play had absolutely no bearing on the fact that Nashville was the better team and bound to win this series.
I agree. And Howard played amazing for most of the season prior to being injured. However, that doesn't change or excuse the fact that he has not merely been outplayed by a superior goaltender, but been another layer of soft on an increasing easier team to beat. Simple way to tell how the goaltending his doing, GAA or SV% aside: when you see a decent chance for the opposition developing, do you expect a save or a goal? Every chance Nashville has had this season I have grown to expect in the back of the net, and he hasn't proven me wrong yet.
Howard is not the number one issue on this team, but he is a player that should be playing a great deal better. The Wings were never going to score bushels of goals on Rinne. This series was going to be attrition, but what does allowing 3(4) goals on considerably less shots do for a gameplan that came in expecting few goals against a superior goaltender?
Maybe referencing anything from 2008 with this year's team is flawed from the start, but the same thing happened in the series against Nashville then. Ellis was playing absolutely lights out. The Wings carried territorial play, but every single scoring chance the Preds had, they buried on Hasek. Game 5, Osgood comes in and battles Ellis in a game of attrition. Even after the Preds scored with the goalie pulled at the end, Osgood managed to win 2-1. That year, when the Wings weren't starting on time or sagging with a lead, Osgood stopped the puck. When chances happened I expected him to save them. That's the simple difference.
I mean, I'll give you that he hasn't been playing at the level you expect your goalie to be at in the playoffs. Maybe it's injuries or maybe he is struggling in these odd, lopsided affairs which find him seeing no shots for long stretches followed up by an odd-man rush out of nowhere thanks to blown coverage. But he's playing no worse than anyone else (though at times much better) and maybe that's part of the problem too. Everyone's focus just seems off. Everyone seems frazzled. I don't feel like high shot totals is ever a good sign for this team, because it often means that we're scrambling and less focused on quality and more on quantity, sheerly out of desperation and blind hope for a fluke. But anyways, with so many problems up front and likely in the locker room, perhaps it's just wearing off on Howard as well.
Any way you shake it, top to bottom, these Wings don't look like a playoff team. There's just not a lot of poise, and the desperation looks far too frantic as opposed to, I don't know, focused insatiable hunger perhaps? No one on this team has figured out how to push them over the top yet. Still tough for me to fault Howard. I think he may be a bit off from what he's capable of, but I do think he's capable of it, and I wouldn't be shocked if he rose to the occasion when the rest of the team did as well.
In my mind though, absolutely no goalie would carry this team of skaters to the Cup at this point. I don't care who it is from what era, this TEAM has far too many issues to make a Cup run.
The thing that sticks out to me is that Babcock seemed pissed about Holland's moves, or lack thereof, last summer. I have a hard time faulting him when Holland seems content to take no chances to patch obvious holes. He's afraid to move anyone. Maybe if guys were a little more afraid about getting traded or not getting re-signed, they'd put a little more effort into their game and play smarter. Just an idea. I'll give Babcock a pass for another year or two to see if Holland actually shows up and does his job to give Babcock the best team possible.
Did Holland know Hudler would say "f*** off" and take more money from the KHL? In that case YES, Holland made a mistake, otherwise, I think his choice was justified by the numbers Huds and Filp had that post season
In my mind, who the hell cares? If I'm Holland and I've got a chance to sign one of the top players in the game who's a phenomenal asset and team player in every regard who desperately wants to be here for a $5 million cap hit, the last thing I'm thinking about is Jirif****** Hudler. There's a run on sentence for your asses.
I'ld take two great players over one super awesome player any day. Good thing you picked Huds and Mule, they strengthen my argument. Those two were the two top goal scorers on the team this year. Plus, look at Dats. Pasha is arguably the greatest player on the ice, but he is part of a TEAM. If the chemistry isnt right, it doesnt matter how good a single player is. (check how the Wings did in the '09 playoffs, Hossa was behind Hank, Franzen, Lids, and Filp in points, and was 10th on the roster for +/-)
Hossa was a harder worker than just about anyone on the team in his time here. He hustled like few guys in the entire game and had phenomenal two-way presence because of it. On top of that, he's a bonafide superstar.
And he really, really, really wanted to be here and turned down a lot of money and security to even get a chance at one year.
I would build a team around a guy like that any day over a floater like Franzen and a guy who peaced out to Russia for money.
with his lucky ass goal? Mule should spend less time focusing on hisf****** commericals and more time on actually playing hockey. Glad we kept him over a hard working two way player like Hossa, brilliant move Holland....
I will never forgive Holland for letting Hossa walk.