Wings don't need a second pair D. They have 3 of them. I don't see Ehrhoff as a significant upgrade over Smith, Dekeyser, or Ericsson.
Oh, please. The Wings could absolutely use a very good second-pairing defenseman. DeKeyser-Smith is not good enough, especially given the injury woes every year. Ehrhoff can hold his own on a top pairing, log huge minutes, handle the toughest assignments, run an effective power play, and put up points, all on a mercilessly bad Sabres team. He's an established high-end defenseman, and not because of ludicrous scoring prowess or "truculence" or whatever. He's just a solid, experienced, top-four two-way defenseman. We don't need a savior, we just need a legtimate top four. If he'd only cost us money, I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't want him on our thin, offensively-challenged blue line.
We're not getting Ehrhoff and Niskanen. There's absolutely, positively, unequivocally no chance that happens. We'll be lucky to get one of them.
I don't mind Ericsson. He's a good top-four shutdown defenseman. He's one of our better PKers and shot-blockers. He's a huge body who's shown he can handle the toughest of assignments. He has good chemistry with Kronwall. I don't really care that he doesn't throw monster hits every shift. Having said all that, I'd be interested to know his trade value. Certainly there's never a shortage of GMs looking to add a veteran top-four shutdown defenseman with Ericsson's frame. Show the Leafs and Oilers the clip of him obliterating Bickell and talk up his GRIT and CHARACTER and INTANGIBLES.
Brains aren't found in the balls though. Making a decision that could cost this franchise in the long run for a short term risk really isn't the strategy that KH and co have employed (aside from Legwand perhaps - but let's not batter that dead horse).
Maybe, just maybe, the Wings feel pretty happy with how things are developing, with the kids who've stepped up, and the young D core we're about to get, right now what we need is some solid veterans in the lineup like we have to complement and help the kids become the leaders of this team. It doesn't make much sense right now to trade a bunch of em away, because really, the guys who are still in GR we don't know which ones will make it.
Its a patient approach and yea, I can imagine it's frustrating when other teams around the league are seemingly going for it when we're appearing to stand pat. But why roll the dice when even doing so won't put you over the top? May as well wait and have several successful years than just 1 or 2.
My latest theory (the one I mentioned yesterday): we've been rebuilding since '09. We were legitimate contenders for roughly two straight decades, then the cap happened, then we started losing key players, and we had a weak prospect pool, and we decided that it was time to build a real pipeline of quality young talent through the draft, and that's essentially been the focus for the past five years. We've stayed competitive enough to at least keep the playoff streak (and yearly revenue windfall from home playoff games) going, but the real focus has been on assembling what every cap era powerhouse team needs: tremendous value, i.e. key young contributors on affordable early contracts. I think once we have enough of those "value players" in place and they've shown that they're legitimate difference-makers at the NHL level, that's when we're going to get really serious about acquiring a big name or two and truly competing for the Cup. (By that point, the Bruins will be old and slow and worn down. bwahahahahaha!!!)
Stevie Y's really starting to establish himself as a legitimate GM in this league. The Bolts are going to be terrifyingly good in a few years. They could use this pick to get Dan Cleary and it wouldn't matter. So much great young talent in their system.
#RedWings have talked to UFA D Dan Boyle's camp, but sense is another team will give him more $$$ & term.
Not surprising - and I don't mean that in a Holland-hating sense. I'm willing to bet the Leafs would offer him $6M x 4 years if they thought it'd get them their man. (Assuming Shanny has no real power.) Not sure if they'd be able to pull that off, cap-wise. But you get what I'm saying.
Niskanen's a solid defenseman in the prime of his career who has all the qualities we're looking for in our Quincey upgrade. If you have to give a little more than you'd like, so be it.
There's no identity crisis. There's no philosophical quandary. We simply don't have enough top-level talent. Our top four has gone from Lidstrom-Rafalski/Kronwall-Stuart to Kronwall-Ericsson/DeKeyser-Smith. Our top six has gone from Datsyuk in his prime, Zetterberg in his prime, Franzen in his prime, Hossa in his prime, Holmstrom, and Filppula to Datsyuk at 35 (and coming off an injury-ravaged season), Zetterberg at 33 (and coming off an injury-ravaged season), Franzen's corpse at 34 (and coming off an injury-ravaged season), the ghost of Stephen Weiss (RIP), Abdelkader, and...Nyquist? And Jimmy Howard has never made it past the second round.