"Tanking" implies losing on purpose. Whether it's players underperforming, coaches using the wrong players or strategies, or management making moves to make the team worse, it's done with the intent of finishing lower in the standings and getting a higher draft pick. Draft lotteries were invented to reduce the chances of this strategy working. It was done more often in other sports, where high draft picks almost always become impact players right away. The Indianapolis Colts' "Suck for Luck" season is one of the most recent examples.
The Red Wings did not tank to get Steve Yzerman, and there are two obvious reasons why: 1, the Wings had been terrible for almost two decades, making the playoffs twice in 17 years and only winning one series. They didn't lose on purpose in "82-'83, they just couldn't win. 2, the Wings were heavily targeting local product Pat LaFontaine with the #4 pick, but he went #3 to the Islanders. Yzerman was the consolation prize.
They didn't tank. They tried but went through a drought anyway. The whole notion of tanking is mostly a cap era phenomenon anyway. Therefore it's arrogant of you to just assume the Wings tanked the team in order to get a guy like Yzerman when you weren't even there. Because that's not what happened, and Stevie, even though he's heralded as such, was not the savior of this organization. He very well could have been the first coming of John Tavares had Wings not played their cards almost perfectly.
In regards to your above statements. Hindsight is 20/20. Just because we didn't win a cup those years doesn't mean the wings couldn't have. And the organization as well as most of us believed, and still do believe, they had a fair shot. Playing older vets kept younger players, like Nyquist, in the minors to build their confidence and develop their game better than they would being rushed into the NHL. Since vets, like you said, got essentially the same points that a rookie would have, there was more good done than harm.
I'm glad you're well-rounded in most sports. It means you obviously know that most hockey players aren't normally ready until 24, 26, or sometimes even 27, unlike most American sports where the ready-age is between 18 and 22. This organization is going to continue sheltering prospects as best they can until they hit those years despite anyone's impatient clamoring. Aside from the rare few who can truly squeak in at an earlier age.
Also, Wings players have routinely expressed their pleasure with Ken always putting together a veteran team.
Tanking has been around for much longer than salary caps. I think it's tougher to do today, between the cap and roster/player movement limitations.
This was the summer after the "Goose Loonies" incident in Edmonton, which--according to a story about it I read a few months ago--crushed Demers. He felt betrayed by a handful of his players and had wanted to bench the guys who were out drinking past curfew, but didn't want to handicap the rest of the team.
Looking back at that roster and putting together a similar or slightly-better package, here's what I can come up with: (Please note, I have no idea who was a free agent that summer!)
-C Wayne Gretzky
-D/W Marty McSorley
-C Mike Krushelnyski
Same package as offered to Los Angeles.
-C Adam Oates
-F Petr Klima
-1st round picks in '89, '91, '93
Comparable deal to LA's, but Detroit gives Edmonton some more experienced players in Oates and Klima.
Oates really began to blossom in 1987-88, scoring 14-40--54 in 63 games. Of course, Oates didn't score goals like Carson did, but "Oates and Kurri" would probably have been just as good--if not better--than "Hull and Oates". Or at least it would have been a spicy breakfast!
Klima, while very talented, was a discipline problem (and supposedly the reason the Wings passed on Jagr in 1990) and was one of the ringleaders of the curfew-breaking crew.
I upped the cash to $20 to compensate Edmonton for taking on 2 older, more expensive players than Carson and Gelinas, who were 18 and 20 (and cheap) at the time of the trade.
Los Angeles continues to toil in the lower half of the Smythe Division with Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Edmonton does not experience the fall-off in '88-'89 that they did after trading with LA. With a top 8 forward group of Kurri, Oates, Messier, Tikkanen, Simpson, Klima, Anderson, and MacTavish, they can roll out 2 high-scoring lines and a very solid 3rd line. Rather than losing to Gretzky's Kings in the first round, they contend with Calgary for the Smythe championship, possibly Detroit for the Campbell championship, and possibly win another Stanley Cup. Over the next several seasons, this trade would have made Edmonton stronger than the LA trade did.
Detroit ends up with 2 of the top 3 centers in the league for '88-'89, along with Gallant, MacLean, Krushelnyski, Barr, and Burr. In real life, Yzerman had his career-best year playing mostly with Gallant and MacLean this season. Having Gretzky on his team--and maybe his line--could have made that even better. McSorley would have been a great third "Bruise Brother", especially considering Probert missed most of this season and didn't produce much when he did play. It sure would have been an intimidating lineup to play against! The Wings did finish first in the Norris that year, but with 80 points in 80 games, wouldn't have finished higher than 4th in any other division and were upset in the first round by a brutal Chicago team, who wouldn't have even come close to making the playoffs in any other division. With Gretzky, Krushelnyski, and McSorley, the Wings fare better in the regular season and at least get by Chicago and St Louis before bowing out to Edmonton or Calgary in the Campbell final. Over the next several seasons, the Wings are stronger with this trade than without, for several reasons. 1, Gretzky (duh). 2, it saves them from making a couple bad trades in the upcoming seasons--the Oates/MacLean for Federko/McKegney DEBACLE, and the Klima/Murphy/Graves/Sharples for Carson/McClelland deal. Gretzky may have wanted to go to LA after a few years here, but the Wings would still have been able to get a nice package for him. Graves might have been a long-time Wing, not Ranger.
Bottom line, if they were able to pull off this trade, I think the Wings would have ended up winning a Cup sooner than '97... maybe they would have gotten one or two in the '90-'93 window.
So happy for the new arena but I do think the district would have been better suited somewhere in Oakland County like Novi.
There's just no money flowing in Detroit.
Novi is crowded as hell already. It doesn't have the infrastructure to add a project of this magnitude. Detroit does. Plus, we've seen with the Silverdome and the Palace, that suburban arena/stadium entertainment districts are not sustainable. There's next-to-nothing by the Palace. The points of this project are to keep the team downtown (Ilitch wouldn't have it any other way) and to help revive the city of Detroit.
I'm OK with them bringing back Gustavsson for one year. Two years would have been a problem for me. Mrazek will play 60+ games in Grand Rapids unless he is called up to Detroit for any length of time. My prediction is that he'll back up Howard in 15/16 and start 25 games, see more of an even split in 16/17, and take over the starting role in 17/18, if not sooner.
I don't see mediocrity as being acceptable by management what so ever. They are doing as much building from within as they can, and the right moves will be made to fill holes on the roster when the players we do have show they can compete and are capable of making a run, while pieces will be added along the way when possible. It is just unfortunate that some UFA's said no. (which is the right way to do things in the cap era). We just don't have the luxury of lottery picks to stack the prospect pool, and because of that, developing players takes some time. And I get it, some fans aren't as patient as others. That's what 20 years of success will do to a fanbase. It becomes the expectation.
When it comes to UFA's, it isn't like they spend the last year of their contracts scouting teams to see where they should go. They just look at the big picture and see a Red Wings team that had consecutive years off a win/loss record getting worse. But when you look passed that, you see a lot of realgud, young talent that keep improving and are gradually taking on bigger roles on the team. I'd bet money that this coming season is where the upswing begins. Once that happens, this franchise will become a place players want to come once again. These things just take time.
Singing a guy like Quincey just allows Holland to buy time to get that top 4 righty this team needs without having to throw too many rookie defensemen into the fire at once on an already young squad that are still learning the game at this level. Great times are coming. The team has a nice blend of vets and kids up front. They'll soon get there on the back end as well. Howard got passed his first year on a new contract, where it is not uncommon for players to struggle. Especially with goalies. But almost just as common is the fact that these players bounce back. We also have Hank who finally got his back fixed. I feel he will have a monster season. In the end, I think a lot of people's frustrations will begin to subside this season.
The way I see it, Holland is reluctant to give the younger players a chance at all. He leaves that as the last possible resort in most cases. If the Wings hadn't gone through all the injuries in 2012/13, we would not have seen Tatar, Nyquist, or Andersson at all. It would have been Helm, Bertuzzi, and Samuelsson. Lashoff wasn't in the plans, but they had to call him up and use him a lot. The Wings didn't seem to have any plans on using DeKeyser when they signed him, he was set to be GR-bound after a few days, but an opening presented itself and he had practiced well. In 13/14, we would not have seen Sheahan, Jurco, or Glendening at all, Nyquist may have been buried in the minors all season, and Tatar, Andersson, DeKeyser, and Lashoff wouldn't have had their previous experience. This summer, Almquist is leaving for the KHL without having a chance to show whether he is or isn't capable of playing in the NHL. Callahan and Ferraro are out of waiver exemptions and have 1 and 4 NHL games, respectively, on their resumes.
Lately, I think Holland's moves are the comfortable ones for him, not the "right" moves. I'll skip the misery of the 2012 off-season, but that wasn't his only shortcoming. He gave up a 2nd-round pick, a valued prospect, and a depth forward in exchange for Legwand, who turned out to be a rental... yes, they needed a center for a few games, but he ended up being a 4th-line winger as soon as those centers started to come back. was it worth both the pick and the prospect? That trade helped keep the playoff streak alive, so maybe it was worth it financially and for pride, but it gives them two less pieces with which to build. Re-signing Bertuzzi back when he did, in February 2012, was poorly timed IMO, but again, it's someone Holland was comfortable with. Keeping Cleary around last year, when he'd been awful for 2 seasons and the club had no roster or payroll space to do so, was a bad move... and now they're talking about ANOTHER contract? Keeping Quincey was a knee-jerk reaction to failing on every free agent they talked to. Yes, it "buys time" for either Holland to make another move (he won't) or for the prospect D to develop a little more, but unless there's a corresponding move where Kindl is shipped out of town, it's not a good deal.
I don't think there will be an upswing this year. A healthy Datsyuk and Zetterberg should help, but if you look at it, last year, with both in the lineup earlier in the year, the Wings weren't in a playoff position. It's after Datsyuk went out that they started to make their push, and solidified that position with Zetterberg out also. They did that on the shoulders of a motivated Franzen (after someone pissed him off with a cheapshot) and the young guys that Holland didn't want in Detroit.
Unless a move, or moves, are made later in the summer, we're looking at almost exactly the same roster that lost to Boston in 5 games, struggled to score, and couldn't handle the better opponent. There are no additions, only subtractions--Legwand, Bertuzzi, and possibly Alfredsson and Cleary. How is that inspiring at all?
Other GMs also make moves just to make them and don't get any better, they just look different.
Sometimes different is all it takes. New voice, fresh blood, different look.
Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results? That's the definition of insanity.
Everything Holland says in trying to explain his job has become laughable. It makes him seem lost and out-of-touch, even if he really isn't. (I think he is.) The "kids/mans league", "hockey store", and not knowing why players aren't coming here really take the cake.
One thing for which I've given Holland a lot of credit is that he trusts his people (assistants, scouts, etc). He doesn't seem to be one who just does what he wants and leaves the rest of the room shaking their heads. IMO that's part of being a successful leader. However, with the gradual exodus of front-office talent, there really isn't anyone to listen to anymore... which helps explain the lack of quality moves, excluding the drafting, of course...
I think this will be like the maltby deal. I can't see him wanting to play in the ahl. And if he does play on the wings then it will be because he earned it. Maybe he busts his ass in the offseason and gets in beast mode for one last hoorah. Or maybe his body can't do what his mind wants to and he realizes it and hangs em up. His knees are pretty much shot.
This will be exactly like the Maltby situation... which was an embarrassing for the organization and the player. I don't think Cleary sees himself as anything but a viable NHLer and he'll be pissed if/when they try to send him down. Remember him bitching about being a healthy scratch?
I don't care if we lose Babcock or not, and I also wouldn't want to resign Legwand for $5M, but there is no way he will be our #4 center anyhow. Whatever, I just think since we gave up a ton (in comparison to others on Trade Day) that Legwand should at least be in the immediate future plans for a couple of seasons...but again, not at $5M.
I do not like that they say that hey are going to build the D from within...I do like our kids, but I just think we need a vet or two to bridge the gap while the kids gain experience. BUT, I do feel that Marchenko, Sproul and Ouellet are going good solid players and am excited to see their progress. If they aren't going to bolster their D with better NHL players, then they damn well better convince Howard to waive his NTC because he proved this season that he cannot make the save when needed and needs a BETTER defense in front of him, not a greener one... Damn Holland, you are going to have $20M available and you want to fill you roster full of rookies? Why save the cap Kenny, so you can acquire that player at the deadline? Give us all a break!
I think the Wings might have been a little disappointed overall in Legwand... he had some really good games when he first got here and showed some flashes after that, but for the most part, he played his way down to 4th-line wing. I can't see the Wings being excited to bring him back (even after what they gave up to get him) and I can't see him rushing to sign here and play 4th-line minutes again (even though he's a local and had wanted to be here). Had he produced more, I wouldn't have been surprised to hear that the Wings wanted him back...
And I agree with you on the D, they really do need a vet for a year or two, someone solid and responsible. I do want to see Sproul, Marchenko, Ouellet, and maybe the other guys, but don't want to have to rely on them just yet.
It seems like the organization is talking out of both sides of its mouth... they are going to build from within (so, YOUTH) but they expect to be much better and make a deep run in the playoffs next year. Are they "blaming" the 93-point, 8th place finish and the 5-game first-round elimination on injuries? They were a factor, yes, but this is also a team in decline. Its key players are old, half of its support players were replaced during the season, and it has no budding superstars on the immediate horizon. Yet Holland wants to keep the band together. He won't trade anyone away because he never does, it sounds like he's not going to pursue any free agents of consequence (they might throw off his 2006-based team salary structure)... does he really think everything is just roses?
I'm not saying they'll never be good. But I don't like wait and see approaches in sports. You just waste years doing that. They will learn, but we won't become a stronger team by adding even more rookies. That's the Edmonton route. Some people want to just promote from within and I think that's a bad idea. It relies on too many flaky "ifs". Nyquist and Tatar will be beasts one day, but until then they need bonafide prime year players to bridge the learning gap years. Players don't learn from losing. Datsyuk and Zetterberg didn't learn by sucking. They learned because the team struggled but had reams of talent. That's all I mean. We need to keep trying to win to avoid complacency and installing a mediocre or losing culture. See: all the other perennial middling teams. Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
Here are the players between the ages of 25 and 31: Abdelkader, Helm, Kindl, Miller, Quincey, Ericsson, Eaves, Weiss, Emmerton, Tootoo, Gustavsson, and Howard. ZERO top-6 forwards, 3 bottom-6 forwards, 2 top-4 defensemen, 2 goalies, an injured free-agent signee, and 3 guys we've exiled to the minors or traded away. Not exactly a core to build a team around. There's a generation gap here--all the top players are aging, this group in the middle, and some young up-and-comers who aren't quite ready for playoff success yet. This is the price the Wings are paying for years of success, low draft positions, and trading away first-round picks. Pretty much every good team is led by guys between 25 and 31. Detroit is led by guys over 31. They'll either have to trade for top players in that age group or ride out the youth movement for another year or two before reaping the benefits of it.
I think we all got carried away with the youth movement. It failed miserably when it mattered. I'd rather keep the kids that are up, surround them with capable vets and return to a one or two rookies a year tradition. We've got so many kids coming up we will have to trade some anyway. Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2
Young teams need to learn how to win. This year's active playoff roster only had 5 guys who played in the '08 Cup finals--Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Helm, and Kronwall. The young players have gained invaluable experience over the past season or two, they'll continue to grow and improve, and I think we're looking at a very, very strong Red Wings team in 2 years if they continue to mix in the youth and stop bringing back veterans who have nothing left in the tank. Adding a good veteran on D would help also.
The young guys haven't "failed miserably". This team wasn't all that good, wasn't supposed to beat the #1 team in the NHL, and barely made the playoffs, aided by the epic collapse of 2 other teams. The playoffs are a different animal, it takes time for them to be able to figure it out. Look at Datsyuk... 3 goals in his first 42 playoff games! He had 3 this series alone. At least now, they've gone through that experience in 2014 rather than 2015 or 2016, as the organization had originally planned.
This is the new course. The future has already begun.
Don't get me wrong, joshy, I totally get where you're coming from. I just don't think there's much of an actual organizational problem here. Maybe some issues with the way a few specific cases have been handled, but any true red flags regarding The Process?
My biggest issue is that this is the automatic way it's done. The roster is always full of veterans so there's little room for any of the prospects to even get a chance until someone gets hurt or until they've run out of waiver options. I'm sure it's because Babcock and Holland don't generally trust rookies/young players until they prove their worthiness, but maybe that's changed this year. I think it has with Babcock, and I hope it has with Holland. Not completely, I don't think they should abandon the process and rush Mantha, Pulkkinen, Athanasiou, Mrazek, and some of the young defensemen all up here next year, but start leaving room for some of them to get a decent taste of NHL action and go from there.