Late to the party, as I was out of town all weekend, but overall I think it was a very good free agent frenzy for the Wings.
The number one thing we needed going into Friday was a top 6 center, and Nielsen seems to be a very good addition. The cap hit is fair, just a year or two longer than I would have liked. Overall solid signing.
I liked the Vanek signing as well. Seems like a low risk, high reward signing that has the potential to work out for us, if not, no big deal.
The Ott signing was basically the same way I felt about the Miller signing a few days ago. Completely unnecessary, but can't complain about minimal cap, depth signing.
Unlike most here, I was ecstatic to see Helm back. It was about $0.85M higher than I would have liked, but I'm okay with it. One of the most under-rated / under appreciated players on the team.
With these signings, it looks like Holland has set himself up to trade some forwards for help on the back end. If there's any way we can land Trouba, I think we will be in great shape going in to next season...
Agree with you on nielsen, and an important signing. Also thought the term was too long, but this is the nature of the beast these days its seems.
Side note, I love how everyone is preparing for another lockout with all the contracts signed at the moment being mostly made up of bonuses which are salary protected....
Also agree about Helm. While he has been inconsistent, his speed is an element that is key these days, and while the money was a bit too much, I'm glad he;s still here.
I have a problem with the Vanek signing for 2 reasons:
1. It represents an ongoing philosophy from KH whereby it seems he keeps signing 'veterans' on cheap deals that were once pretty good but are now obviously falling off the table in the hopes they regain their old magic. The problem here is that they actually don't regain this kind of magic, and instead of being a key player like KH hopes they will be, the end up clogging up a roster spot and prohibiting the team moving forward.
2. It's also another example of how KH really doesn't seem to want to give guys like Mantha and AA a real chance at getting good quality minutes at the NHL level, let alone make the roster. My own personal opinion is that it's holding this team back. We need to develop these new core players and give them the responsibility, yet eliminating roster spots by signing veterans who are basically past their prime is misguided in my opinion, and tantamount to another first round exit. (i'll eat my hat is Vanek scores 20-30 goals and am perfectly fine with that)
Ott I don't mind, because he brigns needed grit and energy and someone who actually will stick up for teammates besides Smith and Abby. Yes, it still eats another roster spot though, but ah well...