I don't know how you came up with this. Who's the old gaurd? Are Kronwall, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg part of it? We obviously transitioned well from the late 90's team and now as those three guys age we have the deepest farm system I've ever seen the Wings have. On percentage's alone we should have several very good NHL'ers in our group.
But to stay on topic, as for transition, I see Smith, Dekeyser, Jarnkrok, Tatar, Nyquist, and Andersson as high impact 22-25 year olds ready to start their takeover in the next couple years and Mrazek, Sproul, Jurco and company after that.
Yes, but with Lidstrom, Holmstrom, and Rafalski included. You're misunderstanding what I meant. We're not letting the next crop of players get any significant playing time with these guys outside of injuries happening and forcing us to. Instead, we're signing players like Sammy, Cleary, Cola, Huskins, etc. This is silly if we're trying to rebuild on the fly. We can't wait for Z and D to be gone before we start playing guys like Tatar and Nyquist full-time. Because if they don't pan out, we're royally screwed. Especially if we continue to not take chances or pay the high prices of the players that do come available.
I'm sick of the logic that because of the success in the past, then we should never be happy to see Holland go. Are you kidding me? I suppose Gretzky and Howe should keep going because of their history. Perhaps Lidstrom could keep playing and playing despite his decline and age because of all of his Norris trophies. Canucks should have never got rid of Burke, etc.
Holland, like everyone else in the organization, needs to be re-evaluated on yearly basis or else you risk falling to complacency with past accomplishments and fail to adapt to the new league. He needs to earn and keep his job. If you're satisfied with this team and the direction Holland is going (aka half-assed plan B rebuild), then you'll be in for quite the surprise when the Wings become the CBJ and NYI of recent past, especially if Datsyuk leaves.
Yes, we have great prospects - but we have absolutely zero transition from old guard to new in the works. Just like how we lost Lidstrom, Rafalski, and Stuart and had to throw together a D corps. If it weren't for injuries forcing our hand... the next wave would have been in the AHL all year.
The price will be too high though and nothing will happen in the hopes of being able to add in the off-season.
Will there ever be a time from now when the price isn't high to get star players? I mean, we can't just always wait and see and hold on to cap space forever. The reason we have too many depth guys right now is because we refuse to trade them or package them with mid-tier players and picks in order to take a chance on a more proven commodity. Oftentimes potential is valued more than actual performance, which is why sometimes you have to trade potential for a good return. Instead, most of our prospects overripe, gain some NHL experience and lose their potential value and now have tangible 3rd, 4th line value which can't be traded for quality.
The Red Wings on the other hand are the NHLs synonym for constantly competing at the highest level.
That combined with the close standings and the fact that because of the CBA some Top 6 Players will most likely be available for free this summer it would be very stupid to make a desperate move and give away our future for a player you can get for nothing this summer.
Do you really believe that the Wings have been competing at the highest level the last 2-3 years? I guess I don't equate making the playoffs as competing at the "highest level".
And, I'm not sure why everyone thinks there are going to be a bunch of FA players next summer. Teams aren't going to get rid of their best players in a cap crunch. Most of the decent UFAs will certainly be re-signed before free agency. It's a pretty weak year especially with Getzlaf and Perry already signed.
I hate to bring this word up...but here it is..."core"...yeah, "core".
We mocked "core" concept a few years back...but i am now thinking we were wrong on this. The "new NHL" is about having elite core players and then some young guys who aren't getting injured every other day that fill the line up out. We have a small "core"...Dats, Z, Kronwall, and Howard. I think Howard is close to elite the way he has saved our as* this year. That's about it. Franzen was thought to be "core", but he is not (obviously). The "new NHL" in the cap era is not about "loyalty to older guys" who tend to get beat up as the season goes on and then run out of gas in the playoffs. It's about guys who have some jump in their step and can fill out the line up...once they start to show sustained bouts of being injured or ineffective, you have to move them on and move younger guys in. And all of that is a bit of a crap shoot, but it is how you avoid the mediocrity curse (stuck in the middle).
The salary cap has made it a very cut-throat, crass business...but to compete you have to cut your losses with some of these guys, bring in the younger/cheaper talent from the minors, and continually look for elite core guys in free agency. You can't be loyal to guys that are older and have been around awhile, but have lost a step and spend three-quarters of the time on the IR.
I totally disagree with the let them "ripen" concept. What is the physiologic peak of a human being? It is at 28 years old...at least from a respiratory physiologic standpoint. So after 28, it's a downhill trend from an athletic perspective. Leaving these guys in the minors forever is a detriment because they are not developing against the best talent (NHL talent) and you are wasting some of their best years from a physical standpoint in the minors. Andersson has been great this year. Without injuries, he would be in the minors. What about Lashoff? He would be in the minors without injuries.
It seems like our management can't even evaluate our young talent to know when to bring them up. If you can fill your line up on the cheap with the younger talent, then you can afford to break the bank in free agency to get a couple "elite core" players. But we have management who continually think that signing guys like Bert, Sammy, Cola, and Cleary is the right strategy when we have guys like Andersson, Tatar, Lashoff, and Nyquist wasting away in the minors. If you save the money you spend on Bert, Sammy, Cola, and Cleary you can then sign one or two elite players who have high skill and are difference makers. Yes, last year we crapped out on Parise and Suter. But unless we are continually re-evaluating our line up at the end of year and cutting guys who are not really producing or have a high chance of being injured, we are gonna be stuck in mediocre hell.
I'm not sure there has ever been a post I more agreed with here on LGW. This sums up my feelings pretty well and I was certainly one of those anti-Core people years ago.
But, your last paragraph is EXACTLY what I feel is a case of Holland and Co. not adapting. Young players getting a chance to become the next Bert, Sammy, Cola, and Cleary (or better) while spending that cash on a bonafide Top-6er or D, even if we slightly overpay, seems to be what is working these days.
Unfortunately, "potential" seems to be valued way more than actual production to us. One day we have to come to terms with the fact that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are anomalies of drafting and not a strategy for success. We can't make all of our prospects untouchable in hopes that we produce another one.
Given that Holland constructed the team that Hossa felt gave him the best chance to win the Cup, how could he NOT have factored into Hossa's decision to sign here? Though it would not be accurate to say the precise of opposite of what you have---that Holland did literally EVERYTHING to make it happen---that claim would be infinitely closer to the truth than yours.
We're going to play the semantics game? C'mon.
You know exactly what I am saying. Not all players/agents are going to be proactive to sign a one year deal like that - in fact I think it is safe to say that is pretty rare. Holland was lucky that the stars aligned that day and they decided to call him while he was pumping gas. So, we're just going to hope Holland continues to construct a Stanley Cup team by waiting for star players to approach him? That sounds like a fantastic approach.
Also, I stand by what I said - he literally did nothing to make it happen. He didn't construct the team in order to sign a player like Hossa.
I mostly agree. This is a different era of managing a team and Holland hasn't fully adapted. It is getting harder and harder to steal quality players from someone else and if you don't draft exceptionally well - then you have to overpay for a quality FA or give up some middle-of-the-road prospects and picks to take a chance on a proven commodity (even short term).
Well, he refuses to overpay for a quality player in FA, but certainly loves to fatten up the contracts of role players. For example, he wouldn't sign Jagr or Semin to expensive 1 year deals - but will give useless inflated contracts to injury prone and role players like Samuelsson and Colaiacovo looking for "value" that end up making roughly the same amount as one "star" player. Why? Because Cleary flourished here on a chance.
It would make much more sense to tie up some short term money in a star player and have to cut dead weight later if there are cap problems and let your coveted young prospects (that he refuses to trade) get some playing time. Instead he loses out on quality players, pays a ton for mediocre players, lets prospects overripe in the minors instead of gain NHL tangible value, and wastes the remaining years of our star players.... waiting... for something miraculous to happen. In the end he just says, "Aw shucks, we kicked some tires, but apparently you have to actually be willing to give something up".
Truthfully, injuries have been the best GM we've had this season. It forced out the useless older players and gave our prospects time to shine. Although, thats the good and bad of it because Holland is like Golem and now Tatar, Nyquist, Andersson, and Lashoff have become the preciousssssss Wings property- which he would never let any go in order to upgrade NOW.
And let's go to the other extreme. Since he's not willing to wheel and deal, spend some money on FA, or let go of old players - then at least start a true rebuild and get some draft picks with our soon to be UFAs or redundant players.
You won't win in this league by being middle of the road.
PS - save the Hossa talk because we all know that Holland literally did NOTHING to make that happen.
This can't possibly be right. I know he's a Wings guy, but if we're going to overpay, overpay for someone who has done something. At some point we need to realize that we can spend a little money on FA's who aren't 36+ and/or lifetime Wing's players.