Really? Franzen can't be the #1 goal scorer for a team. Uh... He was last year. Hossa is a great regular season player but a playoff no-show.
I took it to mean, Franzen is most comfortable (and performs best) when he's not the #1 Guy.
Hossa is a known, and was a known at that point. He's one of the most consistent players in the league as far as production is concerned (and I'd also say as far as all-around commitment goes). Like I've said, maybe not a lamp-lighting force in the playoffs - but Franzen is? Put another way: "Hossa is a great regular season player but a playoff no-show" - take away Franzen's '08 run, and the statement's a pretty good fit for him as well. The guy plays like a big-bodied Brett Hull, minus the stuff that made Hull an elite asset.
Hossa >>> Franzen. Kenny got the wrong guy. I know, hindsight blah blah blah. But, again, Hossa was a known. Franzen was still very much a question mark. Has he done anything since the signing to really make you say to yourself, "Thank GOD Kenny picked Franzen!"? You could say, "He scores 25-30 goals for us every season." So then why get on Hossa's case about disappearing in the playoffs and only being valuable in the regular season?
And then there's the contract. That big blessed albatross.
No such thing as too much depth this "season." Or, if you're the Red Wings (who crumple when the wind blows, and slip on pucks in practice, and get their arms lacerated by skate blades), any season, really.
Hindsight is always 20/20...Rafalski retired totally unexpectedly and Holland got what he could last minute...This summer, he made a concerted effort to get the best FA defenseman available, and it didn't happen for reasons that were mostly out of his control...After Franzen's dominating 2008 Cup winning performance and Hossa's disappearing act in the playoffs the one year we had him, not many were interested in keeping Hossa at the time. Of course NOW everyone will say that wanted Hossa, of course and that Holland is just an idiot.
As I said in the Kings-'hawks GDT - Hossa always tries. That's what I like about him.
This Wings team needs more Hossas, fewer Franzens. It needs heart, effort, consistency, dogged determination. It needs some kind of edge, spark. It needs legs, speed, jump. How much is Franzen helping on these fronts?
I'm not harping on what could've been. (Well, alright, maybe I am. A little.) I'm saying Hossa >>> Franzen.
Another thing (and it's not necessarily in response to anything you just said, Playmaker): I don't really buy this "Franzen is a playoff beast, Hossa is not" line. Franzen had an amazing run way back when. And it was glorious. But, for the most part, he hasn't exactly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the postseason. I realize Hossa hasn't done much better, and he certainly hasn't had a run like Franzen did in '08, but, overall, and pound-for-pound, Hossa is the better player.
“We have to be way more competitive than we were,'' Babcock said. “We didn’t have much structure and much battle in us. It was disappointing. It was pretty easy to see and it didn’t feel very good to be a player or a coach, a manager, probably an owner.''
As I said before, for years the Wings made up for their lack of size and could beat a strong forecheck by superior skill. But that skill has been declining season after season so their ability to beat it through puck possession and outlet passes has gone away season after season as well. Lids retiring was certainly the biggest hit to that puck possession style.
So now what exactly is the system?
You're my favorite LGWer, Sir Snepsts.
I think we're coming up on an identity crisis.
I've beaten this horse to its bones. Now I'm gonna pick and grind those bones:
Skill. We've been blessed with oceans of it. This has allowed us to be a kill-with-skill (and only skill) team of frail little Euro-ninja assassin specialists. Beyond skill, we suck. At everything. Always have. So what happens when you take that skill away? Even Homer - he was the "ugliest" player ever, but damn if his one big asset made him uniquely valuable and effective in that one area of the game. Now? The skill is watered-down, worn-down. In a big-picture sense, the skill level that we've come to expect is altogether gone; it's just not there anymore. It's Datsyuk Zetterberg, maybe Kronwall. Maybe Brunner. Franzen has golden hands, but his heart is a cheeseburger and his brain is a coconut. So we've padded things with some garbage grinder types who don't actually do a whole lot of garbage grinding, and who certainly don't score a whole hell of a lot. And we're caling this...?
I mean, we can keep doing the whole puck-possession dealy. There's no law against it. But to be really effective at it, and successful with it, (never mind challenging for the Cup), (never mind winning the Cup), you need a requisite skill level. And we don't have it anymore. And we're certainly not getting it back, unless we make, like, two huge trades and two major UFA signings. Because, think about it: how many other teams do the kill-with-skill puck-possession thing? How many teams have done it really effectively? How many teams have won the Cup with it? The answer is, None. It was our thing. And now it's pretty much dead. And so, the brain trust really has to be asking the $60 million question.
I actually have a bit of a hard time giving the players crap for this problem. You could say Babs could be smarter about the lines or whatever. Ultimately, though, I think if this develops into a full-blown Thing, it's on Holland to try to turn it around.
Which reminds me: "We may not make the playoffs this year" = "We're really not very good at all."