Well, I guess that's it, then. The rebuild is upon us.
I can't say I'm happy with it, but it is what it is.
I'm extremely frustrated with Holland's choice to stand pat, but I can also begin to understand. He wants to build this team again. We entered the twilight of this franchise's success in 2009 and now it's finally over.
We're committed to youth. Our farm system is extremely boom-or-bust, but it's all we have. Or are we? We still employ the likes of Cleary, Bertuzzi, and Samuelsson. Three contracts that could be used on young talent. But no.
So, what do we do going forward? I'll start with right this second and go into the beginning of next season. I'll touch slightly on the draft and free agency. I don't know what the market will look like come "Opening Day" and I'm not in-tune enough with the world of hockey prospects to really make a sensible draft list.
I'm doing this operating under the assumption that we make the playoffs. Missing the playoffs wouldn't change much as far as core needs and tasks, anyways.
Well, here we go.
- Begin contract talks with Filpulla. DO NOT go in with a "sign-or-let-walk" attitude. If his demands are unreasonable (I would consider pretty much what he's making now to be reasonable, given his production), be prepared to move his rights at the Draft.
- Finish Howard's extension. While he is prone to inconsistency and lets in soft goals on occasion, he's the best we have. He's probably worth around 4-5 million a season. He's playing well right now and seems to have put last year's injury behind him. Where the hell is the inconsistencies? You must be meaning over-worked. Jimmy is the centerpiece of consistency, and has been one of the few wings to be considered consistent this season. I have to disagree with your statement, "He's playing well" he's playing on his head right now.
- Go into the playoffs and do what you're going to do. Allow our current rookies to show what they can do in the playoffs. Sure, use all of our rookies and ice the Griffins, i'm sure they'll work their way to the cup instead of veteran's who have done the dance before. You need a perfect influx of youth and veteran leadership. Talented youth won't get you far, look at Edmonton and their previous years. They add #1 overall's to their roster 3 years in a row and still struggle. Luckily, they're finally pulling something together before they drafted for the 4th year.
- When all is said and done, go to work. It's time to trim the fat. Use cap-compliance buyouts on Samuelsson and Bertuzzi. Try and move Colaiacovo at the Draft, if possible. Bertuzzi should not get bought out unless his injury calls for him to retire. Why do you think Pavel likes Abby on his line? He can replace Bert and play that role. Bert and Pasha produce together, and work together very nicely. Sammy shouldn't have been brought in but what can we do.
- This is the big one: dangle Franzen at the Draft. By no means am I saying to absolutely move him for whatever someone shoves under your nose. I'm saying to dangle him. See what you can get. If you find an offer that you can't refuse, take it. He's aging, inconsistent, soft, and doesn't use his size. He's not a player that will perform well in the East. As much as we hate Franzen, you will not replace his point production for his cap hit. I just can't agree with this.
- As far as draft strategy, size and scoring need to be the focus. The East is a totally different monster from the West. We're going to get eaten alive in the first couple of seasons. Find a sniping power-forward who plays with an edge and a big, strong, right-handed defenseman early on. Fill out the draft with some good two-way guys. We need all the effort at both ends of the rink we can get. We are getting bigger, and we have bigger guys in the pipeline. The East is not as big as everyone thinks. The Wings have been playing the Eastern conference since day one, we just play the Western conference a lot more. Go look at our records against the "big bad teams" we will be matching against next season, you'll be surprised to know we're well over .500 on every single team. Smaller players do exist in the East, it's not a myth, and they produce just fine.
- After the Draft and everything settles down until the re-sign period, sit down and have a REAL heart-to-heart with Datsyuk. I don't care what BS the media spews about him wanting to leave after this contract. I want to hear it from his mouth. If he does indeed intend to leave, be prepared to make him available at the deadline and move him. Losing Datsyuk for nothing is absolutely unacceptable. Holland already said that he hasn't had talks with Pasha, but plans on having them with him and his agent before Pavel leaves for Russia during the off-season. Oh by the way, you don't move Pasha, you just don't.
- Seriously re-evaluate your position on Brendan Smith. Let's be honest with ourselves. He hasn't been very good since his first few games after being called up. He's been invisible far too often. He makes a ton of mistakes and, quite frankly, isn't contributing offensively. This should affect your demands from him contractually when it's time to re-sign him. If he doesn't like it...tough. Wowzer, so we're going to give Kindl all the time in the world to get his chances, but in the first full season of Brendan Smith you want to write him off? Okay.
- Now comes the re-sign period. Brunner needs to be the top priority. He shows a desire to go to the dirty scoring areas, and that translates to the East. While he is undersized, totally un-physical and hard to watch defensively, he scores goals. We can't afford to let that go. Get him for a reasonable raise (3 million should be fine, at the very most). Next, Kindl and Smith need new contracts. Neither realistically command a significant raise. 2.5-3 million each should be just fine. If not, I wouldn't go beyond 4 for either.
-Free-agency comes next. Waive bye-bye to Cleary and White. Completely unnecessary plugs who aren't much use anymore. Make Gustavsson available, and take whatever you can get for him. In what little we ask of him to do, he has been downright awful. Mrazek needs the experience. He deserves a chance to prove he can hold down the backup role. See if Miller can be re-signed for about what he's making now. If not, it's not a catastrophe to let him walk. Mrazek is easily 2-3 years before even backing up Jimmy Howard at this level of play. He simply isn't ready to be considered a back-up right now. Let Monster continue out his contract.
- Same strategy should apply to free agency as was applied to the draft. We won't have a whole lot of money to spend, so we're probably not going to be very active. We're screwed cap-wise with so many free agents. I'm going to do the rest of this assuming we aren't active.
- As we enter training camp, we now have 7 defenseman (Kronwall, Lashoff, Quincey, Smith, DeKeyser, Kindl and Ericsson), so there aren't many open spots. None of our defense prospects are close to being ready. I can see Lashoff being the 7th defenseman during the season. Lashoff being the 7th next season? Babcock is already giving him big minutes for a rookie and putting him out there in key chances. He has absolute trust in him, and treasures his play. I really can't see him sitting 7th, especially if he isn't THIS season.
- Forward is a little trickier. Put Abdelkader in the bottom-6 where he belongs and keep him there. He is not, and never will be, a goal-scorer. There are three openings now that Cleary, Bertuzzi, and Samuelsson are gone. Tatar should be brought up full-time. No one else is really NHL-ready. Try to find two young forwards with size and decent offensive skill on the market. I can see us going with a lineup looking like this: Abdelkader WOULD be in the bottom 6 if Bert wasn't hurt. He simply is one of the few that can mimic the play of Bert and provide Pasha the same Bert does. Tatar has shown us a lot, but he certainly needs to be better defensively. I would bring him up this year but it isn't my choice. You want to call no-one else NHL ready but you state right after this that you want Jarnkrok to be a call-up next season? He needs atleast a full season with the Griffs or an OUTSTANDING summer to break the lineup next year. Sproul called up? He just is getting called up to the Griffins. Sproul is not going to be ready next season. Even if Pulk joins the Griffs next year, I won't see him being ready until the following year.
Filpulla - Datsyuk - Franzen
Tatar - Zetterberg - Brunner
Nyquist - Andersson - Abdelkader
Miller/Eaves - Emmerton - Tootoo
Kronwall - Ericsson
Smith - DeKeyser
Kindl - Quincey
- Be prepared to call-up Jarnkrok, Pulkinnen and Sproul during the season if injuries hit. They aren"t ready for full-time duty, but could hold down a spot for us.
And that's about it right through the start of the season. Essentially, it's about cleaning up the mess from last offseason and getting serious about installing a youth movement to me.
I do NOT want to go the way of Calgary, Buffalo, and Dallas. Middling in the middle while you try to rebuild on the fly DOES NOT WORK. We can get back on the road to winning consistently if we cut the over-loyal BS and start managing in the 21st century. If you had faith in your GM, and saw the past history, he would rather keep this team in mediocre playoff contention than allow us to just rebuild for the next 10 years. Come... on.
I tried hitting on everything, but this whole post just makes me want to implode.
Who knows if those offers were even competitive? If your roster is the same as when you entered the deadline, you stood pat. He could've upped the ante, but he didn't. He decided to stick with what he had. It's neither here nor there. The deadline is over and there's no sense bitching about it anymore.
Literally nowhere in this did I once say he stood pat during the summer.
In addition to all this, this has nothing to do what the original post.
If they weren't competitive they wouldn't have continued talks. Holland just wouldn't extend further when they took the price too high. The Rangers wanted Brunner apart of a package for Gaborik. Pominville would've costed us Mrazek, Jarnkrok, a 1st, and 2nd; LGW would've IMPLODED if that had gone down. Iggy didn't want to come to us. What else did you want him to get? Another depth player? I'm sorry but Holland is 100% right when he says, my injuried players are better than any depth player that was on the market. WHY trade away a prospect, pick, ANYTHING when you already have a player of that skill within your system, they're just injured?
We need to seriously take a step back and see the smartness in not pulling the trigger on these dumb trades. So what if Holland didn't do s*** this trade deadline, he was smart for not doing so. That rebuild you don't want us to experience... we would've been experiencing if we wanted to start trading away picks and prospects at this point. At this point and time, Wings fans just want a new toy, some change, something. You know it's bad when you consider fighting for a playoff spot for the first time within 22 years, "a horrible thing." MY GOD HOW COULD HOLLAND ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN? FRONT OFFICE. UNACCEPTABLE CONTINUED SUCCESS.
Oh and final note: we have enough of these "I hate my life and the Red Wings life" threads. Stop making separate threads to simply ***** about something. This easily could've been included within another "If****** hate Holland and this team" threads.