I think the biggest challenge for the Red Wings is that they don't have a Drew Doughty or a P.K. Subban or Oliver Ekman-Larson on their blue line. I think Niklas Kronwall is a heck of a player and Jonathan Ericsson is a nice player. Danny DeKeyser has also been really impressive but he's hurt again. They just don't have one of those game-changers. Without having that, it's pretty difficult to make plays and help get the puck out of your zone and get the puck out of trouble. Detroit doesn't have one of those guys right now.
Of course, they had one of the game's all-time greats in Nicklas Lidstrom. They haven't filled that hole since he retired in 2012. Obviously, Nicklas Lidstroms don't come along every day. But at the same time, look at the L.A. Kings. They had Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson and they were able to trade Johnson because they had Slava Voynov. That's a lot of good D.
When you look at a lot of the top teams, including the Boston Bruins, quite often they have one, if not two or three, of those guys on the back end. Detroit has some room to improve in that area.
And before someone says "YEAH BUT NAME ONE REALLY GOOD DEFENSEMAN WHO'S BEEN TRADED (HA! THEREFORE WE CAN'T TRADE FOR ONE BECAUSE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. THESE STICKS KEEP THOSE LIONS AWAY REAL GOOD)"...
ST. PAUL – The moment Mike Babcock learned the San Jose Sharks had acquired defenseman Brent Burns, he instantly got the look of a guy who’s [sic] team just let one get away.
His Red Wings are looking for a defenseman to replace the retired Brian Rafalski, but it was the playoff rival Sharks who pried the talented Burns away from the Minnesota Wild in a blockbuster trade.
“They just hit a home run,” Babcock said of the Sharks. “That’s a gold medal pick. I’m pissed off.”
Can you believe that? We still had Nick Lidstrom at that point, yet Babcock was, by his own candid admission, pissed off that we didn't add this top-four defenseman! I ask if you can believe that because, well, here we are, it's several years later, we have no Rafalski, no Lidstrom, and still no "Brent Burns" (solid top-four defenseman). And, oh yeah, our core players are that much older*.
*(Datsyuk is 35, slowing down, and making incredibly uncharacteristic mistakes on the ice. Z is 33 and has been battling back problems which recently pushed him to the ultimate measure of last resort for a pro athlete: back surgery. Kronwall is 33 and is being leaned on way too heavily. [Which is the whole point here, really.] Franzen is 34 and probably one concussion away from early retirement. Hell, our kids are barely even "kids." We talk about Smith like he's 20 when he's actually 25. Young, but not a kid.)
Kenny needs to be aggressive. He needs to be ruthless. He can't be completely averse to risk. To which he'd say:
"Well, we need to draft well and build from within. We can't go chasing big names. We can't go out and get a guy every time we have a hole to fill. That's not the way you win these days. If you look at the top teams in the league right now, they got to where they are today by drafting well and developing well. Now they're reaping the benefits. Blah blah blah."
And yet, he was in on Suter and Parise. And he was in on Edler. And he was in on Bouwmeester. And he kicked the tires on Weber. And he kicked the tires on Salo. And he actually brought in two guys in Colaiacovo and Quincey (and a third in DeKeyser, if you want to count him that way). And he also brought in Alfredsson and Weiss. And he traded one of our best prospects and a second-round pick for a few weeks of Legwand.
Thats odd. I didnt know being invisible 95% of the time was good?
He's a good hockey player. He's just not much more than a fourth-liner in the NHL. Which, from our perspective, makes him worthless, because he's not going to help our team. But if he can be more valuable to a KHL team (and make way more money), more power to him.
Y'know what's crazy? Evander Kane's numbers.The gist of it: he's right where The Other Kane was at his age, and he's done it with second-rate linemates. Maybe he has maturity issues (likely overblown by racist local pundits), but then, so did (does?) The Other Kane.
Point being, I'd give up quite a lot to get Evander Kane if the Jets were to shop him.
Hate him but would love him. No way they shop him though. He's on an awesome contract.
I wouldn't be so sure. My impression - for what little it's worth - is they'd like to move a key player, whether it's to free up money or adjust the team's dynamic or play the accountability/optics game. I guess in Neal's case it'd be more the second one (team dynamic). Neal seemed really lost without Malkin. And when Neal gets lost, he gets frustrated. And when he gets frustrated, he gets stupid. And when he gets stupid, the Pens spend too much time shorthanded. Don't spend too much time shorthanded. Get rid of Cable and upgrade to DirecTV.
In a way, it's sort of poetic. They rolled over a Bishop-less Bolts team. Their whole thing now is "No one respects us. We deserve everyone's respect. We proved ourselves. We're an elite team." I guess we'll see.
To be clear: it seems safe to say there's very little, if anything, to these rumors. This is likely just a combination of Babs being a living Canadian legend and poorly run franchises looking for an easy fix-up. If LGW thought for a moment that Drew Doughty might be bought out, we'd be all effing over that s*** with our custom capgeek rosters and homer logic ("Well, we need a #1 on the back end, and Babs coached him at the Olympics. Man, now that I think about it, I bet he's demanding out of LA cuz he wants to be a Red Wing. Yeah, that has to be it!")
he won't be around for what looks to be some heavy rebuilding/tooling when contenders are going to offer him a lot of money and the chance to coach some young superstars.
What are you basing this on?
I'm inclined to believe that, if anything, he likes the challenge set before him: to prove his true coaching might by steering this team through a quick "rebuild," back to true contention, and, ultimately, back to being the class of the league. (Imagine the SCF battles we could have with Chicago.) If he jumps ship to a contender and wins a Cup, then everyone turns around and says, "Oh, that Mike Babcock, so overrated. Clearly he can only win the Cup with a totally stacked roster and he knows it. That's why he left Detroit. He was never the driving force behind their post-Bowman greatness. He doesn't know how to develop young talent and turn them into stars. He lets other people do that for him and then he swoops in and takes all the glory and everyone showers him with praise. This is the guy who wanted a washed up Cleary over Nyquist. What a phony."
I think if we're still in the West, we're looking at a genuinely long road back to the top. Not necessarily so in the East. Michel Therrien is not a better coach than Mike Babcock, nor is Alain Vigneault, and their respective teams aren't much better than our current team, and our current team is about as bad as it's going to get for us, I feel.