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Rest in Peace, MidMichSteve

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Member Since 27 Feb 2004
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In Topic: Fixing this mess....

12 April 2016 - 01:43 AM

We have been transitioning.


Nowhere in my post do I claim that we haven't been transitioning.


Playing Mantha or giving AA more minutes isn't going to make a difference in anything.




Whatever the kids become will be determined by their physical abilities, their talent, the years of dedication, training, and hard work they've done and will continue to do going forward. Not by a few minutes with Datsyuk.


Cool straw man, bro!




(I'm beginning to remember why I'd taken a break from posting here...)

In Topic: Fixing this mess....

11 April 2016 - 06:45 AM

My two cents:


The Wings need to grow, change, reinvent. Datsyuk's early retirement represents an opportunity -- and an excuse -- to do so. The Powers That Be (mainly Ken Holland) must embrace it. If losing the magical crutch called Pavel Datsyuk means the team must crawl on the ground and learn to walk again, so be it. The team must be allowed to crawl so that it can learn to walk again and allowed to walk so that it can learn to fly again. The team must be allowed to struggle, must be allowed and encouraged to find a new, post-Euro Twins identity. The team must get younger, faster, harder to play against.


I firmly believe Larkin and Athanasiou are our new franchise centermen, that they can one day match the Euro Twins in greatness.


I believe Mantha can be a force as early as next season -- hell, as early as these playoffs.


I believe Svechnikov is going to be a beast, someone a bit like Tomas Holmstrom in that he'll allow us to get to our forechecking game (which, like many things, we're going to have to rebuild from the ground up) -- but owning better size and skill and and skating ability and an incredible shot.


I don't believe Tatar and Nyquist have taken a step back this year, I think -- and the numbers bear this out -- they've seen a reduction in ice time this season and that this alone can explain the drop in their production. Similarly, I don't think Jurco and Pulkkinen's "struggles" are indicative of what they truly have to offer.


All of this is to say, I think our head coach and/or general manager has/have to come to understand and appreciate what many fans already know: Joakim Andersson and Jonathan Ericsson are not The Answer. Limiting Athanasiou to five minutes of ice time in big games is profoundly foolish, especially with Datsyuk leaving in the summer and an enormous void opening up at the top of our depth chart. The priority this season and next season has to be transitioning to a younger core, not trying to squeeze one.more.playoff.berth. out of our veterans' butts.


By all means, try to land a Martin Hanzal, someone who can play against the opposition's best players, allowing Larkin and Athanasiou to develop their game against weaker matchups. But don't cage creativity. Don't stifle scoring ability. Don't preach defense for the sake of "learning how to defend real well." I don't even want our defensemen worrying about defending. I want a precise, relentless quick-strike transition game. I want the game to be played on the opposition's half of the ice, because we always have the puck and we're always forcing the other team to play without the puck and "defend real well."


Suggested Reading


1. Darryl Sutter:

“The big thing in today’s game is you have to be able forecheck and backcheck, and you have to have the puck. You can’t give the puck up. We don’t play in our zone, so there’s not much defending.  I’ve coached in three decades now and this stuff where they said Marian had to play in Jacques’s system is a bunch of bull-crap. The game’s changed. They think there’s defending in today’s game. Nah, it’s how much you have the puck. Teams that play around in their own zone think they’re defending but they’re generally getting scored on or taking face-offs and they need a goalie to stand on his head if that’s the way they play.”


2. Dave Tippett:


"We had a player that was supposed to be a great, shut-down defenseman. He was supposedly the be-all, end-all of defensemen. But when you did a 10-game analysis of him, you found out he was defending all the time because he can’t move the puck.


"Then we had another guy, who supposedly couldn’t defend a lick. Well, he was defending only 20 percent of the time because he’s making good plays out of our end. He may not be the strongest defender, but he’s only doing it 20 percent of the time. So the equation works out better the other way. I ended up trading the other defenseman."


3. Ken Hitchcock and the Non-Stop Blues


4. Ken Hitchcock's Reliance on Rookies Is Paying Off

In Topic: Fixing this mess....

11 April 2016 - 01:52 AM

If this somehow leads us to signing Steven Stamkos, I dont see how this isnt anything but a good thing.


Well, sure. I'm right there with you on that point. But, in all likelihood, Holland isn't able to move Datsyuk's contract and Stamkos signs elsewhere (whether it's Tampa or somewhere new).

In Topic: Fixing this mess....

10 April 2016 - 06:31 PM

Unless the information I'm seeing is incorrect, the Wings would have about $18m in cap space if they're able to trade Datsyuk's contract.  That would still give them the space to try to sign Stamkos, a defenseman like Yandle and re-sign 1 or 2 UFAs that they would want to keep.  That's a big "IF," though.


There's a loophole that would, in theory, allow the Wings to free themselves of Datsyuk's cap hit. Ken Campbell explains:

Now if Datsyuk were to leave, the Red Wings would be on the hook for his $7.5 million cap hit. The reason for that is he signed a multi-year deal after the age of 35 and there is now way for the team to escape that hit to its cap.


But here’s how I was told it could unfold. The Red Wings would be able to trade Datsyuk to a team such as the Arizona Coyotes, a team that will be looking to get up to the salary floor next season. Even with the $4.9 million cap hit devoted to the injured Chris Pronger, the Coyotes have just over $28 million devoted to 10 players for next season. Should a team such as Arizona take on the Datsyuk contract, it could come to a mutual agreement to terminate the contract, which would allow a team in the KHL to sign him without violating its agreement with the NHL to not poach players under contract. However, the cap hit would not go away because the deal was signed after Datsyuk turned 35, allowing the Coyotes (or another team) to gain $7.5 million in cap space without having to pay him.


It’s imperative from the Red Wings perspective that Datsyuk informs them of his decision by July 1. If he stays and the Red Wings have him for another season, don’t be surprised if Red Wings GM Ken Holland extends him for one more season in 2017-18 at the same $7.5 million cap figure. The difference this time is that if Datsyuk decides not to come back, the Red Wings will not be on the hook for the cap hit because it’s only a one-year deal.


I wouldn't count on this happening. In all likelihood, we're stuck with the cap hit next season.


The other ~$10M in cap space could be freed up by simply not re-signing Helm ($2.125M), Richards ($3M), Quincey ($4.25M), Andersson ($815K). In all likelihood, though, at least one of these players will re-up with the Wings. Which is fine. (Provided it's Helm and he gets paid like a bottom-six winger who could spend an entire season on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and still fail to crack 35 points.)

In Topic: Ken Campbell predicts Stamkos to Detroit blockbuster

03 April 2016 - 12:19 AM

Don't stop believing.