Joe Thornton is an insanely good hockey player. For the record.
Also for the record: Steve Yzerman was a playoff choker who would obviously never lead his team to ultimate glory. Until he did. And then he did it again the very next year. And then he did it again four years later. And now he's a legend.
The crazy thing is we don't even know how good DeKeyser really is, since he spent most of last season - his first full season with the Wings - dragging Quincey around. His underlying numbers suggest he's already our second best defenseman, pound-for-pound, and that's with Quincey on his back.
I see your concern but let's be honest with what Boyle is : A stop gap (admittedly a better than most of our current D-man) till we find a younger replacement, be it from our own young guys or via trade/UFA. While the problem you pointed out would concern me too if we'd sign him longterm I don't think they have that much weight in what this signing will much likley be.
I'd actually meant to mention that it'd concern me even on a good one-year deal. (FWIW, he's rumored to be looking for two years but may be open to just one.)
I'd worry about Boyle's endurance over a full season as a Red Wing. We saw DeKeyser get hurt in that kind of situation. We saw the Ducks hammer Doughty behind his net every chance they got in the second round. It'd be much less of a concern if our goalie could handle the puck (like, I dunno, PETR MRAZEK) and we were great at breaking out of our zone (like, I dunno, A GOOD TEAM).
But, all things considered? I'd be thrilled to have the guy on our team. I believe that if we have a healthy Zetterberg, a healthy Datsyuk (dude has not been close to fully healthy for some time now, regardless of what he says), a healthy Ericsson, and Boyle playing in place of one of our bottom-three defensemen, we take the Bruins to seven games and quite possibly take the series and maybe even the Wales Trophy. (Not the Cup, tho. We wouldn't stand a chance against the Kings. Sorry.) Boyle means we actually have a power play to speak of. Boyle means some of our shots from the point actually hit the net. Boyle means we move the puck much better and have an honest-to-goodness transition game and we spend less time in our zone and we score more goals.
And if none of that actually comes to fruition? If we sign him and he never really delivers? That's Opportunity for a kid, and we have Dan Boyle on the third pairing or something. I could live with that.
We should be kicking the tires all up and down that Jets team. Kane, Wheeler, Byfuglien, Little, Ladd, Enstrom, Bogosian, Trouba - dear Goc, how do they have all that talent and not even make the playoffs???
Like said a couple weeks ago, kid is a gem. His production thus far puts him where Patrick Kane was at his age, and Patrick Kane has always been surrounded by quality players, whereas Evander Kane has played with plugs. I don't care about his attitude or whatever. Patrick Kane's a ****** nozzle but he's white and he plays for an elite team and he's, like, totally reformed. (SHOWTIME!)
As for the Oilers...pass on all their forwards, unless they're thinking about moving Hall or RNH. I love Klefbom and Nurse.
To be clear...1) I meant Nyquist or Mantha. Not both. And 2) Shattenkirk is my guy *if it has to be a trade, as opposed to a signing*. If we're serious about getting a young, proven high-end defenseman who shoots right and can play a full season (averaging 20+ minutes a night) and play in all situations and score 10+ goals and put up 40+ points and run a power play and drive an efficient and effective transition game and is on a very agreeable contract (three years left on his deal, cap hit is $4.25M) and is only now knocking on the front door of his prime years and is, in many ways, perfectly suited for the kind of game we want to play and the basic systems we use and the personnel we have...Kevin Shattenkirk is my guy. I love Nyquist, but Nyquist for Shattenkirk, straight up? That would be incredibly tempting.
It's not a knock on Nyquist. I just believe our '08 team - The Model - was as dominant as it was primarily because our top three was Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall. Our top defenders were, together, the engine that drove our lethal attack. We're struggling to score these days because we've done nothing to compensate for the offensive prowess Lidstrom and Rafalski took with them when they retired. Shattenkirk would help that cause in a profound way, and we might actually have an outside shot at him because the Blues - who are no longer in our division and conference - need scoring depth and Euroskill and our guys are all very familiar with the Western powers, especially the Blackhawks, whose fans absolutely loved (hated) Nyquist in last season's seven-game series because he gave them fits.
But this is all unrealistic. So, whatevz.
On a more realistic note - Cody Franson. Thoughts? Huge frame, shoots right, 26 years old, can move the puck, can run a power play, has a great shot, and he plays under Randy Carlyle (so he's probably better than he seems). Not the most mobile guy, and he's a work in progress in his own end - but, again, The Carlyle Factor looms large. Maybe Andersson, Kindl/Almqvist, and Legwand's rights for Franson and a pick?
RYAN: "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." I can do those things, because I'm not a hero, not like Duchy. I lost the Minnesota series. That's what I can be.
GENERAL MANAGER JOE SAKIC: No, you can't! You're not!
RYAN: I'm whatever Denver needs me to be. Call it in.
GENERAL MANAGER JOE SAKIC: They'll hunt you.
RYAN: You'll hunt me. You'll condemn me, set the dogs on me. Because that's what needs to happen. Because sometimes the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.
SAKIC'S SON: Ryan? Ryan! Why is he running, Dad?
GENERAL MANAGER JOE SAKIC: Because we have to chase him.
SAKIC'S SON: He didn't do anything wrong.
GENERAL MANAGER JOE SAKIC: Because he's the hero Denver deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a two-way dynamo. A Lady Byng candidate. A Hard Day's Knight.
"Both of those teams have built programs with a lot of depth after being terrible for a long time," Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said in a phone interview. "They made good picks and made the right moves."
Mike Babcock, folks. He'll be here all week, hopefully longer.