IIRC, yes. I was actually going to comment on this. Him being listed as undrafted is a bit misleading. He picked the Wings over many teams pursuing him.
Nothing misleading about it, DeKeyser was not drafted by an NHL team.
He, and a lot of other NCAA players, are late bloomers. In most cases, they aren't the kids who are ready to play major junior at 16 or 17. Major junior is usually a faster track to the pros... you're out of eligibility at 20, which would be the age of a college player in the middle of his career. Some players benefit more from the CHL, others benefit more from the NCAA. It's up to each player, his family, and his advisors to decide which route is better for that player.
I'm glad to see the building go. Yes, there have been plenty of memories and great players, but that happens at most arenas. At some point, the building becomes outdated and renovation is not feasible. There's no real way they could widen the seats and add leg room without gutting the whole bowl. Can't expand the concourses either. The sad part, to me, is that the Joe is less than 10 years older than the Palace, but they're light-years apart as far as arena quality.
Everything about the new arena says it'll be done correctly, and that's really exciting.
No, Nyquist was the only one that could go down without being exposed to waivers. Anybody could be sent down. The whole team can be sent down. Depends on whether you're willing to waive someone. Holland waives guys all the time. So why didn't he do it to start last year? Well I suspect that it has at least something to do with a coach who has EXPLICITLY made clear that until this season he preferred to have veterans in the lineup over unproven kids.
Sorry if this point was already brought up, I haven't read the entire thread. Holland didn't waive Samuelsson, Eaves, or Tootoo at the start of the year because he didn't have to. They had some players already injured, so there was room on the roster and under the salary cap for all of them to stay. That also gave him more time to try and work out a trade, which we all know didn't happen until Eaves was traded at the deadline. Had everyone been healthy to start last year, those three would have been waived.
Also, DeKeyser could have been sent down without waivers last year, but that was not going to happen.
"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.