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What's Next for the Red Wings?

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106What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:54 pm

davetherave


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Mike Comrie a Wing? The Detroit Free Press says, 'maybe'...

FORMER RED WINGS MIGHT FILL MULTIPLE VACANCIES
George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, July 27, 2009

With the losses of Marian Hossa (40 goals) and Mikael Samuelsson (19 goals) -- and possibly Jiri Hudler (23 goals) to the Moscow Dynamo -- look for the Red Wings to add a scoring forward before the start of training camp.

Among the forwards the Wings are likely to have interest in are former Wings Jason Williams and Todd Bertuzzi, and former U-M standout Mike Comrie. Manny Malhotra and Mike Grier are other possibilities.

Williams, who turns 29 on Aug. 11, never found a home after being traded to the Blackhawks in 2006-07. He scored 17 goals in 63 games over two seasons in Chicago.

After failing to find common ground on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk last season, he was traded to the Blue Jackets and finished with 12 goals and 17 assists in 39 games.

Although 34 and no longer capable of scoring 46 goals as he did for the Canucks in 2002-03, Bertuzzi could be worth considering again.

Comrie, who turns 29 on Sept. 11, scored 21 goals in 76 games for the Islanders in 2007-08.

Malhotra, 29, has scored 11 goals in each of the past two seasons for the Jackets. He never has had more than 12 goals or 31 points in a season.

Grier, a 34-year-old Detroit native, had 10 goals and 23 points in 62 games last season for the Sharks.

107What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:17 pm

PTFlea


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Can they compete with the Hawks anymore? I'll have to think on it.

108What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:26 pm

Tuk Tuk


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Tartar will develope into a star with Detroit.

109What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:02 am

davetherave

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Despite all the talk about the salary cap possibly impacting teams next year, there appears to be little talk of teams who were affected this year. The Red Wings are an example.

While they spent big to take a shot at a repeat Cup win, by being so tight against the cap, they also limited their ability to make in-season changes, and even lost some talent to waivers, in Kyle Quincey.

With the departure of three roster players to the UFA market and a fourth in contract limbo, the Wings admit they have unanswered questions.

Wings Sr VP Jim Devellano was interviewed recently on Toronto's FAN590 radio and discussed his current view on Detroit's situation. Mark Spizzirri, who covers the Red Wings for Versus.com, offers this summary (NB boldface emphasis is Mark's).

Devellano expresses concern
Mark Spizzirri, Versus.com/July 24, 2009

This past Wednesday evening, Red Wings' Senior Vice-President Jimmy Devellano shared some interesting thoughts during an interview with Toronto all-sports radio station, the FAN 590. Such thoughts included:


"I think the salary cap has finally caught up to my hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings."


On keeping Marian Hossa in Detroit:

"But we knew that, in order for us to keep him, we would have to let three or four top forwards go to fit him in. That didn't make sense."


Thoughts on Samuelsson and Kopecky leaving:

"The thing we wanted to try to avoid, but couldn't avoid,
Mikael Samuelsson signs with Vancouver. Um, we let Kopecky go, he also signed with Chicago, that was not a problem; he could be replaced by another younger player."


On being blindsided by the Hudler KHL deal:

"But the curve ball thrown at us was
Jiri Hudler being signed by the Russian team, and why it was a curve ball was, uh, he was a restricted free agent, we were negotiating with his agent, he filed for arbitration, so...All appearances were that Jiri Hudler would come back.

"Now it's a little bit gray as to whether he will be back. He might be, he might not be. The problem then becomes, if you wait to find out, uh, and he leaves, you've got quite a bit of money under the cap, but then the free agents are all eaten up, for any of the good ones that might be left. If you sign him and he does come back, then we don't really have any money under the cap."


On replacing the goal production from their departed wingers:

"Up front, we've lost 82 goals, between Samuelsson, Hudler, and Hossa, we've lost 82 goals. There aren't many hockey teams that can afford that, us included, so we're a little bit, um, concerned, to put it mildly, but we're going to try to be active and try to get it at least half figured out, but, Roger, the salary cap has caught up to us."

After hearing such statements, don't you think if the Wings knew what they know now back in late-June, they wouldn't have made a bigger play to keep Hossa? It's apparent they were banking on keeping Hudler and having him produce close to 30 goals with the extra ice-time playing in the Top 6.

For a trusted insider like Devellano to proclaim there is concern within the braintrust surrounding their goalscoring capabilities, it once again only strengthens my resolve that Ken Holland should have been more proactive and aggressive in keeping a 40-goal scorer in the Wings lineup.

---

So what Devellano is saying is that the Wings have very little margin. If Hudler comes back, the Wings are tight against the cap again; if he doesn't, Devellano opines there isn't enough available/affordable talent out there to compensate for the loss in offense.

(BTW according to one interview, Hudler said the reason he was leaving for the KHL was because he could make in two years what it would take him seven to make here.)

So it would appear there are challenges ahead for Devellano and Holland.

A glance at the roster on NHLNumbers shows that Nick Lidstrom is in the last year of his contract, so unless he retires, the Wings will presumedly continue to make him the team's highest paid player.

Tomas Holmstrom, Kirk Maltby, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Andreas Lilja, Brett Lebda and Derek Meech are going into the last year of their contracts. Who will get a new deal, and for how much?

Wings watchers, will, no doubt, be watching closely.

110What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:04 am

SeawaySensFan

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I thought the Wings were the perfect franchise impervious to the Cap and loaded with NHL talent in the AHL? :^^^^:

111What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:13 am

PTFlea

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Samuelsson is a loss no doubt, same with Hossa, but it was time for the Wings to start trying their younger guys like Helm and Abdelkader to see if they can keep up - and to see their worth.

Holmstrom will be a big loss for the Wings, but at the same time, his production varies and is usually in spurts.

Lilya and Lebda are fine to go IMO. The Wings have it covered with Ericsson set to play 20+ minutes per night this season to go with Kronwall, Rafalski, Lidstrom and Stuart. The best starting 5 D in the business.

112What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:14 am

rooneypoo

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I've been advocating all year that the cap is going to catch up to DET very soon. I'm not at all surprised.

113What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:47 am

davetherave

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SpezDispenser wrote:Samuelsson is a loss no doubt, same with Hossa, but it was time for the Wings to start trying their younger guys like Helm and Abdelkader to see if they can keep up - and to see their worth.

Holmstrom will be a big loss for the Wings, but at the same time, his production varies and is usually in spurts.

Lilya and Lebda are fine to go IMO. The Wings have it covered with Ericsson set to play 20+ minutes per night this season to go with Kronwall, Rafalski, Lidstrom and Stuart. The best starting 5 D in the business.

Spez, is that your hockey expertise or your opinion talking?

Fact: Detroit was ranked 10th in the West defensively last year, and 19th in the league--behind the Senators BTW.

And are you saying the Wings don't need Lilja and Lebda? Mike Babc0ck said Lilja's absence in the playoffs last year put his team at a significant disadvantage.

As for Holmstrom, what's the basis for your critique of his production?

TH missed 30 games last year. Apart from last season, he's been a consistent 20-30 goal scorer--many of those goals clutch--for the previous three years. Do you know who will replace him if he leaves?

You mention Helm and Abdelkader--who become RFAs in June 2010...so decision time is coming up. As talented as they appeared to be in their short stints, those young men could be ready to make some serious money.

Rooney's cap perspective on the Wings appears, therefore, to be accurate.

BTW this post is not a 'doom and gloom' prognosis, but an elaboration on the question of where the Red Wings are going as a team and organization. As VP of the Red Wings, Devellano's candid viewpoint is to be taken seriously.

114What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:59 am

PTFlea

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davetherave wrote:
Spez, is that your hockey expertise or your opinion talking?

Fact: Detroit was ranked 10th in the West defensively last year, and 19th in the league--behind the Senators BTW.

And are you saying the Wings don't need Lilja and Lebda? Mike Babc0ck said Lilja's absence in the playoffs last year put his team at a significant disadvantage.

As for Holmstrom, what's the basis for your critique of his production?

TH missed 30 games last year. Apart from last season, he's been a consistent 20-30 goal scorer--many of those goals clutch--for the previous three years. Do you know who will replace him if he leaves?

You mention Helm and Abdelkader--who become RFAs in June 2010...so decision time is coming up. As talented as they appeared to be in their short stints, those young men could be ready to make some serious money.

Rooney's cap perspective on the Wings appears, therefore, to be accurate.

BTW this post is not a 'doom and gloom' prognosis, but an elaboration on the question of where the Red Wings are going as a team and organization. As VP of the Red Wings, Devellano's candid viewpoint is to be taken seriously.

Both my opinion and my expertise. Ahhhhh!

I know the Wings had some issues letting in goals last year, but remember how badly Osgood was for long stretches. Also, bear in mind that Ericsson was just getting his feet wet - and now that he has, he's in the NHL to stay - and above that, he looks like an early candidate to be a Norris nominee down the road. Lidstrom isn't getting younger, but he's still one of the top 3 D-men in the league. Rafalski is an amazing, prototypical puck-mover, Stuart has become one of the premiere bust your teeth D-men, who can also move the puck. Add to that Kronwall - and I believe your top 5 starting D is unstoppable.

What can stop them however is when Lidstrom takes one in the testicle that requires emergency surgery. All of a sudden - as any team - the rest of the D begins to get worn out. By a Game 7 of the Finals, they ARE worn down and the Pens take advantage. Definitely doesn't change my opinion that those 5 guys are the guys I want to start my season with.

As for Abdelkader and Helm, I believe they both showed they can play NHL hockey - and do a fine job of it. I think Samuelsson will be replaced by Helm and at some point Abdelkader will make up for the loss of Holmer. I realize what TH has brought to the Wings, but you have to realize that eventually the body can't handle all the abuse he takes - and it's made him a much less effective player in my books. I think he'll re-sign with the Wings for LESS than he made last year, just to continue to be a part of it all. But just don't look to him to be the difference maker any more.

This is a team, don't forget, who still has arguable one of the leagues top one-two duos in Zetterberg and Datsyuk, not to mention Franzen, Cleary, Fillipula and Leino - a guy who could be in the running for the Calder this year.

I don't love Osgood, but boy did he ever show the world how 'money' he is in last year's playoffs.

Bottom line, if Osgood had a better year, there would be zero arguments about their D, but he suffered, so it suffered.

However, I'm open to debate over their starting 5 D versus another teams of course. Perhaps I'm misguided.

Shrug

115What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:57 pm

davetherave

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SpezDispenser wrote: Both my opinion and my expertise.

Well, I'm certainly no expert, but here's my response to your response.

The Red Wings had defensive issues last year, and they were NOT simply a case of Ozzy not being 'The Wizard'. But more on Chris in a moment.

Both Lidstrom and Rafalski were coming off a 100+ game season, and they are no longer young men. They have now played a second consecutive 100+ game season. Over 35 years of age, the injury factor becomes more likely; and both Lidstrom and Rafalski played hurt in the post season.

Brad Stuart now appears to be less than an elite d-man. I don't know Lebda's work enough to judge him; but Derek Meech and Kyle Quincey might have well been just as good as either one or both.

Kronwall, whose play has significantly emerged, and Ericsson--who I tabbed correctly as a rising star, a comment which was dismissed by you BTW--were consistently the best Wings on D, as was Lilja before he was injured. Kronwall and Ericsson now appear to be ones who will take over for Lids and Rafalski.

Mike Babc0ck was very vocal in his season-long concerns about the Wings getting away from playing 'their' game. Detroit being a team that relies on 'The System', gaps in execution can be exposed when key members go down and there is no one to step in.

The Wings System was strong enough to ensure their status as the dominant team in the Central, but that dominance is not a foregone conclusion. The embarassing one-sided shutout losses in the regular season to teams like the Jackets and Predators were alarm bells, and Babc0ck made no bones about that.

The Wings have talent in their pipeline, but IMHO several factors contributed to Detroit running 'out of steam', or whatever you want to call it, in the Finals.

The Red Wings did not rotate that new talent in early enough. Keeping Maltby and Draper took away roster spots that could have been used by Helm, Leino and/or Abdelkader.

Signing Marian Hossa did NOT make them a better team--though Hossa had an excellent season--as the Wings declined statistically in several areas, including wins, points, final standing, PK and GA.

You can't use injuries as an excuse. All teams have injuries, and that's why depth is so critical.

Had Holland NOT signed Hossa, and perhaps packaged someone in a trade for either a 1a goalie (rather than signing UFA Conklin) or say, another experienced d-man, for example, the Wings might have actually been a better team. At the same time, Holland would have had money to spend.

Osgood is, on occasion, a 'money' goalie. But evidently, at this point in his career, he is relying on his positional skill and knowledge rather than reflexes. His shutouts against the Jackets in the playoffs may have skewed his numbers to look better, and while he played some excellent games, he simply wasn't as good last year, as he was the year before. But he's NOT the reason the team was worse defensively.

Again, these are simply my observations.

The facts are conclusive however. As the 2009-10 season approaches, the Wings still have the same concerns on defense and in goal as last season, and now, a few others offensively. Yet, they have, as Devellano says, not much cash to address those.

Given the resourcefulness of the organization, however, it would be a mistake to underestimate the Wings' ability to configure a solution.

The signing of d-man Jakub Kindl may be one of those elements in the solution, but it remains to be seen what happens next.

116What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:03 pm

PTFlea

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You did tout Ericsson as the next big thing and I did indeed dismiss it. I was wrong, you were right...

Hossa was a mistake. Overkill. But Holland frustratingly (for Wings fans) will NOT spend money on goaltending, so Osgood it remains.

Cap space is going to catch up to everyone at some point, this was Detroit's time. They at least have the foundations built to contend for the next decade at least.

117What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:27 pm

davetherave

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SpezDispenser wrote:You did tout Ericsson as the next big thing and I did indeed dismiss it. I was wrong, you were right...

Hossa was a mistake. Overkill. But Holland frustratingly (for Wings fans) will NOT spend money on goaltending, so Osgood it remains.

Cap space is going to catch up to everyone at some point, this was Detroit's time. They at least have the foundations built to contend for the next decade at least.

Well, hindsight is 20/20... Wink

Remember, I watched pretty much ALL the Wings games last year--because I respect them as a team, and of course, the better to observe them from a Hawk's eye view; and as many games as possible by Central Division clubs...thanks to NHLGameCenter.

...call it my 'hockey obsession'. :^^^^:

About the goaltending...one of the ironies looking back, is that, had he not inked The Hoss Man, Ken Holland could have snagged Khabibulin off waivers at the beginning of the year for just 3MM and change...imagine that combo of Nik and Ozzy in net.

And there's no doubt about Detroit's ability to compete now and in the future. It's simply that the opposition is getting tougher.

Logically, though, we may looking at a 'new model' of the Red Wings going forward.

The difference is, again, now the Blackhawks, Blues, Jackets and Preds are better than before.

Which simply makes things more interesting.
cool)

118What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:31 pm

PTFlea

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Oh, things are gonna be interesting to say the least. Ahhhhh!

119What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:39 pm

davetherave

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For all our Red Wings fans here, the latest from D-troit.

FOR NOW, RED WINGS GM KEN HOLLAND CAN TAKE A BREAK
George Sipple, The Detroit Free Press, August 8, 2009

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is heading west to enjoy the last few weeks of the off-season before training camp next month in Traverse City.

Holland appeared to put the finishing touches on the roster this week when he signed forwards Patrick Eaves and Jason Williams to one-year contracts. He spent more time this summer than expected dealing with restricted free agent Jiri

Hudler, who left for a two-year, tax-free $10-million contract with Moscow Dynamo after filing for arbitration.

While the Wings have lost more than they've gained since July 1 -- Mikael Samuelsson left to join the Canucks and Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky signed with Chicago -- Holland focuses on how the Wings made their headlines earlier in the year with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen's long-term deals.

"If we signed those guys on the 30th of June, it would have been huge news," he said. "We signed one in January and one in late February. The cap didn't go up. The cap stayed the same, so we knew we weren't going to be a big player on the open market.

"There's a possibility next summer, depending on what we want to do with our team, we've got a lot of money coming available. But some of the money's going to go back to the players, because we're going to want to sign some of them."

The Wings will enter camp over the $56.8-million salary cap by almost $500,000. They could start the season with 12 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.

They're set in goal with Chris Osgood as the starter and Jimmy Howard as the backup.

But they enter camp with eight defensemen -- Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Jonathan Ericsson, Bret Lebda, Derek Meech and Andreas Lilja -- plus Andy Delmore, who recently signed a two-way contract, and prospect Jakub Kindl.

Lilja is still suffering from constant headaches and could go on long-term injured reserve if he doesn't improve. If he's healthy, the Wings likely will look to move Meech or Lebda.

With the additions of Eaves and Williams, the Wings have 12 forwards, not counting Justin Abdelkader. Unless he dominates in camp, the Wings would prefer Abdelkader spend a second season in Grand Rapids unless needed as an injury replacement.

120What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:38 pm

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Betuzzi might be the worst player in The NHL at this point. Just awful and he is bringing Zetterberg and Cleary down at this point. Babcock better figure out what to do with him quick because he might have already cost Detraoit the game.

121What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:57 pm

SeawaySensFan

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N4L wrote:Betuzzi might be the worst player in The NHL at this point. Just awful and he is bringing Zetterberg and Cleary down at this point. Babcock better figure out what to do with him quick because he might have already cost Detraoit the game.

I don't think Detroit needs to worry. They're so deep that Grand Rapids would be a playoff team if they were in the NHL.

Sincerely,

The Name Dropper

122What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:01 pm

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Detroit is deep but I dont see Bertuzzi being a top line guy there for much more then a couple weeks. Lieno has looked fantastic thus far. Bertuzzi has done nothing and is a liability out there in a big way.

123What's Next for the Red Wings? - Page 8 Empty Re: What's Next for the Red Wings? on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:07 pm

SeawaySensFan

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N4L wrote:Detroit is deep but I dont see Bertuzzi being a top line guy there for much more then a couple weeks. Lieno has looked fantastic thus far. Bertuzzi has done nothing and is a liability out there in a big way.

Detroit is due for a drop-off. Maybe the departure of Chelios will help a little? We shall see.

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