There's really nothing to defend here. It's not the end of the world, true, but Cleary doesn't need defending or "Can you really blame him for ___"ing, and certainly Holland doesn't need any more people slobbering over his inflated legacy and ego. The guy didn't build the '97 team (wasn't even GM), didn't build the '98 team, bought the '02 team (though, credit where it's due), and miiiiiight have been the chief architect of the '08 team (but Bowman and Nill were still around and pieces from previous teams - e.g. '97 - were still on the roster). Holland's really done nothing recently to prove that he's a top GM. We could praise the fact that he doesn't make moves for the sake of making moves, but, actually, he does. We could say some quality kids were drafted by his regime, but I give the bulk of the credit to the scouting and development people.
Ken Holland is a myth. I don't want that to be true. I want to believe he's a genius and that he's 300 steps ahead of everyone. But, really, he just re-signs guys he knows and keeps the kids down as long as possible, hoping it all adds up to another postseason appearance. That's The Ken Holland Plan.
We absolutely, positively, needed a top six center a year ago too. We got one, for a cost that wasn't worth it, and the move did nothing to help the team. We need to be wary about how far we're willing to go to fill a need.
I think Mike Green could help. But I'd be wary about giving too much for him. Because there's a thin line between need and want. The Wings have managed quite well without a right shooting PP quarterback in the past, and if the cost is too high they need to be willing to do so again. Missing out on FA has begun to turn the quest for a right defenseman into something messianic, and that worries me more than spending another down year letting the kids develop. Hell we've got people clambering for Jurco and/or Tatar to get traded for an expiring contract because we need it so bad. As if we don't need forwards with size, tenacity, and goal scoring potential, given that our current ones are getting old and injury prone.
I've been over this. We need a Mike Green, period. It's not a flavor of the month situation. It's not a grass is greener situation. Our blue line is broken and that's why we've been stumbling for the past several years. We fix our blue line, we score more. We get a forward with size and tenacity, we stil have a fundamental, systemic problem that's going to hold us back against the better teams in the league.
We're missing Lidstrom and Rafalski far more than we're missing Franzen in his prime and Hossa.
I would look forward to next season if we could get at least one single upgrade to our defense, without it we won't stand a chance again.
Y'know, I've been pushing this line of thought lately, but, as with many of the things I post here, I'm not sure I fully believe it. (Yes, I actually just said that.) Like, when we say we won't stand a chance, what do we actually mean? Won't stand a chance against an elite team in a best of seven? OK, sure. But how many elite teams are there in the East? One? True, we haven't done jack in the playoffs in years, but look at who we've faced since '09: a couple really good Sharks teams, a really good Ducks team, a really good Blackhawks team, and a really good Bruins team. True, this current roster might be the shakiest Wings team we've seen in ages, but I like its chances against any Eastern Conference team not named the Bruins or Islanders.
We barely made the dance this past season, but it wasn't necessarily because we're just that bad. If we stay relatively healthy, if Weiss contributes, if Howard comes anywhere close to earning his ridiculous contract, if we don't piss away leads, if we don't suck mercilessly at the shootout, if we don't suck mercilessly at home, if Smith keeps his head out of his ass, if Quincey doesn't singlehandedly cost us twelve points in the standings, if our power play isn't totally impotent, if one of the rookie defensemen can give us something we've been lacking on the back end, if Mantha can chip in, if Cleary doesn't return - if any one or two of those things can happen, it'll be huge for us.
I want to believe we can do some damage this season. I have to belive it.
Honestly, let's say they move Kindl for a pick, then bring up one of the kids. I wouldn't want one of those defensive prospects to be the 7th guy, but I would like them to swap into that #6 spot. I really think the defense should be more about balance, and not pairings based on "skill" or cap hit. As much as I hate the Quincey signing, it wouldn't be a total loss if we started the year with something along the lines of:
I think it's more about balance than anything. I know some would see Ericsson on the "3rd pairing" as a demotion, but really the minutes played are getting closer and closer for various defense cores. In my estimation, these pairings would be a better indicator of Smith's upside, and give those younger prospects a stable partner in Ericsson.
Yeah, I think Kindl should be moved and the kids should get to fight over that 6D spot, with the understanding that each of them will likely get a look in that role at some point in the season and that the inevitable injuries could blow things wide open. I might even try Marchenko with Kronwall. I like Smith with Kronwall, but we're basing that on a small sample size. Can Smith go up against the opposition's best every night, all season long? (Not that I'm sure Marchenko can. Just an idea.)
Ideally, Ericsson is on the second or third pairing. That's just the kind of defenseman he is. I do like his size for our top four, though, and his $4.25M cap hit would, at some point, have the kids thinking, "Well s***, if being a steady #5 can get me that much..."
I'm not a fan of Green but you make a convincing argument. Injuries would be my main concern with him, especially after last season.
As much grief as Rafalski got for his defense the last couple years his puck movement, especially his stretch pass, was 2nd only to Lidstrom for keeping things moving forward. A couple long bomb passes from Rafalski would keep the forecheckers honest.
Even with Green's defensive shortcomings, maybe a real puckmover can help keep the Wings from getting pinned in their own end so often.
That's Dave Tippett, but it could just as easily be Mike Babcock or Darryl Sutter. It's the new school, popularized by the Wings teams of '08 and '09 and, more recently, the Kings. When someone asks Darryl Sutter what it is about his team that makes them so good defensively, and he deadpans that it's easy when your team is never forced to defend, he's not joking. And he's right. Erik Karlsson isn't a stud in his end, but there's more to being a defenseman than defending. P.K. Subban isn't a stud in his end, but there's more to being a defenseman than defending. Datsyuk isn't a 50-goal scorer, but there's more to being an elite 1C than scoring goals.
When our top three was Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, we didn't spend time in our end and therefore never had to defend. And it wasn't just that we'd "get the puck out." The second we regained possession (i.e. pretty much any time we had the puck, anywhere on the ice), we were thinking attack. We moved northward with poise and purpose and precision and propulsive, predatory intent. It wasn't "We escaped from our zone!" It was "Here comes the boom." Our breakouts, our rushes, our transition game - everything was about being on the offensive.
That was the foundation of our game. That was the key to our dominance. That was Red Wings hockey. We lost it, we haven't meaningfully addressed the loss, and now, accordingly, we're losers. Mike Green, while maybe not ideal, would be a step in the right direction. He'd give us something we don't have and sorely need. Saying he can't play defense is missing the point. Saying Kindl can move the puck is missing the point. Saying we have some promising kids who might be top-four material in a few years is missing the point. We have three years left with Datsyuk. What's keeping us from giving him a legitimate shot at another Cup is the fact that our defense doesn't generate any offense, doesn't move the puck especially well at all.
I'd rather stand pat and miss the playoffs by a longshot (hello top 5 pick), than trade for Mike Green. The guy has had injury problems and doesn't know how to spell defense, his PP QB qualities are "pass to OV and wait for something to happen" he doesn't have a great nor accurate shot. The Wings don't have a player like OV so whom should he pass to ?
Knowing our genius GM he would give up Nyquist, a first and whatever for one year of green so it is not worth it. The only risk I would like at this point in time would be Tyler Myers but other than that there isn't one UFA of interest...
Mike Green can put up points, he can run a power play (give him Alfredsson or Pulkkinen), he's a right-handed shot, his trade value is low, he's on the right side of 30, and he's in a contract year. At the right price, he's worth a shot. I get that every time someone mentions Mike Green someone has to say OMG HE CAN'T PLAY DEFENSE, but our blue line's biggest need isn't actually "better defending," it's moving the puck out of our zone, driving play the other way, generating offense, putting up points, running an effective power play. We have some pretty steady guys in Ericsson, DeKeyser, Marchenko, and Ouellet, and we're generally better than the Caps on the D side of the puck. We have to move some bodies out anyway.
Can't compare teams that have a bunch of top 5 draft picks. We just had our highest since 91. We never started with guys like Kane, Toews and Doughty. Things were way rougher for them before there success as well. If we can get back to elite without becoming a bottom feeder then Holland is a genius
I agree somewhat, but mostly I think that's a copout.
Firstly, while we didn't start with Kane and Toews and Doughty, we did start with Datsyuk and Zetterberg and Lidstrom.
Secondly, a bunch of top-five picks doesn't necessarily get you anything, as the Oilers have demonstrated. Even if a couple generational talents fall into your lap, you still have to build a team around them. The Kings didn't draft Williams or Carter or Richards or Gaborik or Stoll or Mitchell or Greene or Penner or Regehr.
Thirdly, having said all that, what does it matter that those teams were terrible forever if we were able to get Datsyuk and Zetterberg while Lidstrom was still at the top of his game?
Fourthly, I dislike this "We've taken the high road. We've done it the right way" angle. Like, I get it, and I marvel at it...but we all know it's a little dishonest. Were the Wings not terrible for years and years and years and years and years? Did we not draft Yzerman fourth overall? Have all of our decisions and strategies been full of integrity?