I'm a huge Holland supporter and I think he is still doing a great job and is STILL one of the best GMs in the league. But look at what Nill is doing in Dallas. It's crazy how quick he is turning that team around. I strongly believe they will be a serious contender within a few years. Part of me wished he took over as GM of the Wings and Holland took on another role. Again, I love Holland, so please don't turn this into another Holland bash fest. Nill just gets s*** done.
Nill and Yzerman have done wonders for their respective clubs, no question.
The Boyle hate is hilarious. Our blue line generates no offense, can't break out of its zone, can't run an effective power play - but yeah, there's absolutely no reason why we should be interested in Rafalski-esque Dan Boyle. At the very least, he'd give as an actual power play. You know what would've helped our cause against the Bruins? An actual power play. You know what would've helped our cause against the Bruins? Better puck management, a stronger possession game. Boyle would help on those fronts.
Niskanen - he's worth overpaying, because the need is that great, because our blue line is that bad. You may overpay by a couple million, but you're getting what you need, which is a right-shooting power play quarterback in his prime who weighs 200 lbs and isn't afraid to throw his weight around. And with the cap going up every year, there's a good chance that it looks like a great deal in a couple years. We can't be too picky here.
If we don't add a high-end top-four defenseman, we have absolutely no shot at competing for the Cup. None whatsoever. We have Kronwall, two pretty good defensive defensemen, and Brendan Smith (who's 50/50 in re: whether he's going to put it together before he becomes a reclamation project). That's it. We'll be incredibly fortunate if any one of the kids ever becomes as good as Niskanen is now or even as good as Boyle is now. Talk about risk - going with the kids would be the ultimate risk, if money alone could get us a big name who could really help (and that happens to be the case here).
Get Niskanen or Boyle and we'll be a much better team.
If Holland gets outbid by other GM's - is he then likely gonna sign guys like Gilbert, or Stralman, or will he goes with what he knows, and re-signs Quincey?
My impression is that Kenny understands the situation. We need a big name, and he's willing to go balls out for one, even if that means a trade. Stralman, Gilbert, et al. = Quincey II in his book, and he doesn't really want Quincey II. He wants a real difference-maker. And even if he doesn't, I've gotta think Babcock does.
I think the biggest thing in re: our health is being able to play our possession game. We did a lot of running around this season, having to chase the puck and forecheck a little heavier etc. This is a big reason why we absolutely need to add a reliable puck-mover on our back end. Someone who makes a good first pass and can help clean up our transition game. We need to own the puck, dictate the play.
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!!!)