Who knows, but I don't think we're getting NIskanen. At this point, someone, Tampa or otherwise, is going to give him a huge offer, and it's next to impossible to imagine Holland matching let alone beating. And again, should we be upset about that specifically? I'm not so sure, because again, we're talking one big year on a great team. He hasn't proven that much, and that's a lot of money and years to throw at a guy who might not keep it up. The bigger concern is whether we let lower-priced targets go because we were chasing Niskanen. I don't like the way this day is shaping up right now at all.
Anyone else think they may hold off to see if Mantha makes the team before committing to Alfie?
I'm all for getting the kids in the NHL a bit sooner than we have in the past, but give him a year in GR. I wouldn't even go out of my way to call him up unless we got desperate. If he's actually good enough to make the team next year, I'd rather see him make the team out of camp and transition to the NHL out of camp, especially considering that making the team next year is still pretty fast by our standards. Let him take it slow out of camp with no pre-conceived idea of what his NHL role could look like and give him a chance to ease into said role without having to hear people comparing his play to little call up stints which can be hit or miss, though almost never a good indication of what a player will look like on a consistent basis.
Apparently, I'm supposed to get on my knees and blow him for that amazing accomplishment.
Just because he's not a superstar doesn't mean that he couldn't improve the overall quality of our defense quite a bit. Erhoff in and of himself is not a guy worth going crazy over on an individual level like you would a superstar, but what he'd bring to the TEAM in filling out the D would be no small thing. We're not in a position to bring in an elite player either via trade or free agency at this point. We need to make the best of the situation and bring in guys that can help get this team going in the right direction towards being a contender again. Then maybe somewhere down the line we might be able to more reasonably get our hopes up about bringing in top talent. Right now, we just need solid guys to round out a defense that still has some glaring holes in it.
:puke: well, so much for pushing jimmy to be better...get ready for another season of below average jimmy and tons of shootout losses, because neither monster nor jimmy are any good in the shootout. And they are both average to below in general. Typical Holland. Expect a Cleary signing before the draft. Holland is horrendous and needs to be fired. Damn him! Guess he better make that D better because these two guys can't stop s***. Holland has fallen off his wagon. He is by far in the worst 5 GM'S in the league.
I'm no fan of Holland these days, but this is one of those deals that just makes sense when you really step away. It's not a blockbuster but it's hardly an obvious mistake. It's a solid, sensible choice, and the rather obvious one all things considered. This is a backup role, and Gus ultimately did pretty well in the role last year and again, he did his part in the playoffs as best as could be reasonably expected under very difficult circumstances and a lousy defense. He's not the greatest backup ever, but at the price and given what he did last year, there's just no real compelling reason to rock the boat. There are far more important areas to be focusing on then finding a new backup goalie.
If he actually signs Dan Cleary to an NHL deal though, I really will question the sanity of anyone still trying to defend his effectiveness as the GM for the Wings. He may have great skill and knowledge to do the job well, but I think he's lost the edge he needs to do it right in Detroit. He just seems too sentimental here. A change of scenery (or simply a new role in the organization) could be good for him and a fresh perspective at GM with less fond memories for washed up players could be good for the Wings.
Good move, good price. The guy was a solid backup for us last year even in spite of his injuries. He got a lot of wins and stepped in under a ton of pressure in the playoffs and played well there too. Gives the Wings a year to see how Howard is going to bounce back from his worst season before assessing what to do with Mrazek. If Howard comes back and plays well next year, there's no reason he wouldn't play a lot of games as usual, and it doesn't make sense to have Mrazek on the bench for that given Howard's usually high workload. He'll get more games in GR next year and if Howard struggles, the next year it's easier to sell more of a split time which is better for Mrazek.
I'd love to see him back in Detroit if we have room. I think the guy's tremendously underrated at the price point he's at and if given more of a standard role, I think he stands to offer a lot more than other like players. It's hard to see it happening, but who knows given that we could see trades go down that create more openings than expected. I noticed a thread about Cleary coming back. I'm afraid to even open it. It would be insane to me to bring Cleary back and not someone like Eaves who would be cheaper and better at this point. This guy deserves a role and deserves to be playing every night.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on Hockey Night in Canada
“When you’ve been in a place nine years like I have, going into my 10th year, it becomes a mutual thing. You want to be someplace where they want you. If they don’t want you, you move on. I’m going to coach in the league for a long time yet, there’s going to be opportunities for me. I like what we’ve done in Detroit; we’ve rebuilt on the fly…I think we have a chance to be better next year and better in the future. So, I tell people all the time: I’ve got a good place to hunt, I’ve got a good place to water ski, my family’s happy, my youngest girl is finishing school next year so I’m free that way. But there’s no reason to move if you don’t have to move or if it doesn’t excite you to. I’ve always been a believer that the grass is greener right here at home as long as you fertilize and water.”
He is not going anywhere! No more Babcock leaving or being fired threads needed. Let the league of idiots have their fun dreaming but that is about all they will get. Babs is home here in Detroit! We did not have to have a long rebuilding process due to our scouting and farm system. Even this past year we could have completed as much as any had we been healthy enough. We add health, more experienced youth, less dead weight and another piece or 2 and we are right back in the thick with a very long bright future to go along with the rich history, best owner and a very good GM (even though I don't like all his moves, or lack of moves).
I doubt he's going anywhere real soon either, but I think you're giving the system a little too much credit on the rebuilding process front. The kids floundered in the playoffs, and if we were healthier, we might've just had an old lineup that couldn't get it done. And the reality is that Z's back is going to force him into a decline quicker than he would if he didn't have back issues. I'm not saying he won't be effective or a great leader, but he is at the very least unlikely to continue to produce at a high level as more time goes by.
And yes, you add health, get some more experience for the kids and less dead weight and we're in better shape for sure on some levels, but a lot of this stuff has been said each summer for 4-5 years now. Very little has been done to improve the roster outside of bringing up prospects that has worked, and that is a very clear fact at this point, not speculation. Until we see some real changes in the way Holland puts this team together, I still think we're ultimately in a slow decline. We will not be able to continue to compete at a playoff level as Dats and Z decline with our defense. Even if Jimmy bounces back from a rough year, our defense is far too often a huge liability and you can't expect your goalie to stop everything. Holland first and foremost has to make a real commitment to improving the defense. If another summer goes by and nothing on that front changes, something in management has to change.
That said, again, I don't think Babcock is eager to jump ship at all and I don't think it'll necessarily happen right away, but I think it's more than fair to infer that he wants to keep his options open for a reason. If he truly believed in how green his grass can be here in Detroit, he wouldn't flat out say that he's not going to sign an extension this summer, especially after Holland flat out said he wants to sign Babcock to an extension this summer. Clearly, it's not about money as Babcock is already one of if not the highest paid coach and Holland would beat any salary another team would throw at him. If it's not about money and he believes that this will continue to be a good place to be, why is he unwilling to talk about an extension?
Sure, there could be nothing to it, but I think there's likely to be something more to it if he's willing to flat out shut down the possibility of something the GM has expressed he wants. Add to that Holland's unwillingness to let Blashill go yet with Babcock's future not set in stone and at the very least, you have two parties that are covering their asses, obviously for some reason.
If Holland again is unable to make this team better and it's another season of struggling just to make the playoffs only to lose early on, it's hard to imagine Babcock won't be interested in at the very least hearing about what's out there. He still might not leave, even if he gets a great offer, as I don't think he's misleading anyone when he says he's happy here. But I don't see him continuing to coach weak teams who's only hope is squeaking into the playoffs. I think we're starting to see that the idea that anyone making the playoffs has a chance isn't is true as it seemed for a few years. Babcock wants to win, bottom line. He's loyal, but he knows full well that this isn't the only job he'll be able to get and he's made that clear several times recently, while also shooting down talks of an extension.
I absolutely think there's a possibility that Babcock could leave next year or sometime in the next 2-3 years, and I do think there's something to the fact that he stated that he doesn't want to sign an extension right now. I don't think that means that he's absolutely leaving next year though at all. I don't think there's anything to the rumors going around about Babcock being set on leaving next year. I don't think he has any plans to leave at this moment, and I certainly don't think he knows where he'd go. Even if Babcock did have some semblance of a real plan, I don't think anyone writing these articles is informed at all about such matters, and are just speculating because Babcock is generally considered to be the top coach in the game right now, the Wings have been struggling, and he's not interested in signing an extension at the moment. I'd bet that what Babcock's said about not wanting to sign an extension is where any legitimate information about the matter ends.
That said, again, I think there's something to that. If I were speculating, I'd say it's a message to the Wings management more than anything. Holland wants Babcock to say and has said that he wants to talk about an extension with him this summer. Babcock is the one who at least at this point has nixed the idea and said he'd do one-year deals after his current contract is up. So if Babcock leaves anytime soon, it's going to be his decision.
If Holland has expressed to the media that he wants to talk to Babcock this summer about an extension, and Babcock has expressed to the press that he's not interested in doing so and wants to do one-year deals after this contract, to me, that's Babcock sending a message to Ken Holland and the rest of the Wings management. I don't think he's saying for sure that he's going to leave, and honestly, I don't think he wants to leave. But I don't think there's any way to interpret what's been said other than to think that Babcock wants to make sure the Wings know that he has options and he's willing to keep the door open on them.
Babcock came to Detroit because it's one of the top organizations in all of sports and we've built a tradition in the last twenty years of being successful and always going for it. But things have been in a steady decline over the last few years and Holland thus far really hasn't done anything to suggest he's willing and able to turn it around. If things continue as they have, I don't expect that Babcock will want to stick around, and I do think that's the message he is sending to management. If this was an internally planned transition to bring Blashill up to take over for Babcock, why would Holland be talking about trying to sign Babs to an extension? Why would Babcock be saying he's not interested in that and will sign one-year deals after this contract expires next summer? Sure, it could all just be a smokescreen, but I really doubt it.
I think Babcock is sending a message that he needs to see a real change and more of an effort from management to put a solid roster together. He knows he can get a job anywhere, and he knows that Holland knows that. And as much as the Wings don't want to lose Blashill, I don't think anyone in management wants to see Babcock move to a team like the Penguins, though I say that for example only, not because I buy the rumors at all. Babcock has had to coach a team of Griffins players into the playoffs now two years in a row, while guys taking up decent chunks of cap space sit in the press box either injured or simply not good enough to crack the lineup. All the while, he has to hear Holland talk about how everyone is too expensive and none of the deals made sense. Like everyone else, do you really think Babcock isn't wondering what part of Holland's strategy the last four years then makes sense? He may truly have a good relationship with Holland, but he's no fool at the end of the day.
Cap space has gone unused. Cap space has been wasted on guys that can't contribute and sit in the press box or play in Grand Rapids. Your so-called stars can't be relied upon to produce. The defense has withered to the point where the pairings read more like a joke someone would have made three years ago. We would've all laughed, because even though the idea of losing Rafalski, Stuart and Lidstrom sounded terrible, it could never get that bad. Welcome to 2014, where yesterday's doom and gloom jokes about the defense have taken shape in reality, but we still were signing more forwards in August last year even though we already had too many.
If Holland turns it around and gives Babcock a roster that features a real defense and a slightly refreshed offense, and it becomes clear once again that we're going to actually take the idea of being a top team seriously, I fully expect Babcock to stay, even if it means losing Blashill. If we see a repeat of the last four summers and another roster full of holes on defense, I think it's very likely Babcock will leave. Maybe he really will take a non-NHL job; who knows? As said, I doubt Babcock really even knows, though I do know for certain that Art Regner nor anyone else writing about hockey on blogs or in papers has absolutely any idea at all.
But given what's been said by Holland and Babcock, I think it's clear that Babs is at a point where he's willing to throw his weight around and send the message that he is not content to continue to polish turd rosters just enough to hopefully eek into the playoffs and lose.
Some forget that this was where we once were. Back in the early 90's we were one of the best regular season teams year after year. Yet we couldn't win the Cup. In comes Bowman, still didn't win it. Made a few moves, then we won. it took the correct balance of players, coaches, and management to win. Winning a cup is not something that is easy to do. But it is easier to fire a GM and coach than it is to fire 23 players.......
Even with the Cup they won, they beat a crippled Wings team where even Lidstrom was missing games and nearly every star was playing with significant injuries. And it still took game 7 and some very favorable calls from the refs to get there.
I'd like to see that happen, and then he actually ends up at Michigan. YOU CAN'T HAVE OUR BABCOCK!!
Future headline: U of M Babcockblocks the Penguins
To be fair, Smith has been vastly improved in the last 3 months. Lets see if that's permanent first, shall we?
Smith was shockingly pretty good down the stretch here. If he can keep improving he'll be solid. But yeah, we definitely need to see if it can last before we get too excited. He's about the only Wing that seemed to really find that extra gear to shift into for the playoffs.
I could probably be alright with one of Legwand or Alfie back, but not both. I don't really see why Legwand would be necessary with Weiss healthy and a bunch of centers already on the roster. Alfie was not good after the Olympics, though injuries probably played a major role.
First order of business has to be fixing the defense.
There was a period of time after the Olympics where Alfie wasn't as good, but neither was Kronwall. They both had long Olympic runs while everyone else had rest, and then were expected to come back and be leaders on a team that was more battered than ever. I give him a pass for that because he did get it going again down the stretch. And next year, there's no Olympics and you'd have to hope we'll be healthier and can give Alfie a role that he can thrive in more.
I have no problem with Alfie back at a reasonable price. He's taking way too muck flack for what has been a pretty solid year. I don't think we would've made the playoffs without him because he was one of our main leaders down the stretch who wasn't injured. The Cap is going up and I think it's highly likely that we're not going to use all the space up, so if Alfie is willing to stay for a reasonable amount, again, I have no problem with it. We have way, way, way bigger problems than Alfie.