Oh, I think it's time!
Following up on my last post, this time with a plan. First off, you'll see that there is no Lidstrom on this team. I think he'll retire. Second, you'll see that there is no Homer on this team. Hard to swallow, yes, but I don't see him taking less money and I see another team offering it up. It is a business, no matter how crappy it is. Without a salary cap he's back for sure. All others you don't see will either be allowed to leave or traded. So, here's the plan:
Free Agent signings:
Anton Volchenkov, D, Ottawa
Dennis Seidenberg, D, Boston
*Our defense was horrible and our young goalie needs some help. We have guys that can score on our roster already so we need defense first defensmen. These two will solidify that need but will be a bit costly. Volchenkov could cost in the neighborhood of $4M and Seidenberg could be around $3M but your getting two very good defensemen.
Lee Stempniak, RW, Pheonix
Brian McGratten, RW, Calgary
*Stempniak replaces Bertuzzi and I know he's not the same physical force but I think he'd score more here. McGratten is just a physical force guy only who comes low priced and plays very little unless needed. We need someone like this though.
*Watch for Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson as well.
No, this lineup isn't filled with stars as in the past but it's gotten younger, faster, and better for the long haul with possiblities for next season.
I think Lidstrom will be back. I don't believe at all for one second that he plans to retire. He'll retire next season though. Hudler doesn't play centre anymore, but Helm does. They'd have 0 chemstry together anyways. We won't be making any free agent signings, since our cap isn't exactly open right now. Holmstrom, Draper and Maltby will all be back. We need to sign Howard and Helm to extensions and probally Miller and Eaves. Stempniak will resign in Phoenix, and we wouldn't have enough for Volchenkov.
Originally Posted by hoog
A splash for a big defenseman will happen next offseason as it is inevitable that Lidstrom will retire then.
Malts will not be back.
I don't really agree with your "remake the team" idea. The Wings were close, they just faltered to a better team. You can't blame the officials either, the officiating is awful in all NHL playoff games. The Wings do need to make changes, but not significant ones. Maybe add a player or 2 from outside and within.
I just think it's time to give our young offensive guys a chance to get some ice time. Abdelkader needs to be in a more prominent role next year, Helm, Hudler, and Ritola need more ice time as well. We have bunch of offensive guys coming soon from the 2006, 2007, and even 2008 drafts that are just about here. What we don't have is defensmen, at least I don't see them. That's why I'd like to see us invest there. Even if Nick comes back I'd like to see us go after one of the guys I listed. Ericcson seems to have taken a step back and Rafulski needs a defensive stalwart next to him. All this is really just my opinion but it is what I'd do if I ran the team.
I infact love our defense. I think we have one of the best top four defenseman in the league. Lebda is extremely underated, no clue why he's the odd man out. Liljia was out over a year, rust caught up with him, and Ericsson will improve.
Originally Posted by hoog
Also, Brendan Smith will sign with the team after this year. He was a Hobey Baker finalist as a defenseman from Wisconsin this year. He is a stud. Maybe not always a stalwart on defense but he has the potential to put up Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty (ok wishful thinking on that one) numbers offensively.
What about Jakub Kindl? He is also going to be very good. So its not like the Wings don't have good defensive prospects.
I really like Kindl as well.
Am I the only one who thought that Rafalskis play was really sloppy this year? I saw him turn the puck over WAY too many times in bad situations. I really wouldn't mind seeing him replaced.
I disagree. I felt Rafalski had a very strong year playing in a very injured back end. His ice time was through the roof, and even had him playing out of position, double shifting quite a bit. I thought his first season in Detroit he was sloppy, second not so much, and this year he was absoloutly great. I'd hate to trade Rafalski. He'll probally retire after his contract runs out in Detroit, which is in two seasons.
Originally Posted by jeebus82
Maybe I just watched him at a bad time......
There were a few times I mistook him for someone else, thats how poorly he was playing at that time......I don't know, I guess its just me.
The original poster said Bertuzzi is a physical force? He is physical looking but as soft as a puppy's fur. The Wings need to get Lidstrom back for a 4 year $10M contract. Pay him $7M this year and $1M from then out. That way his contract only takes $2.5M off the books and we can sign other players. If he decided to retire in the future, he won't be walking away from big money. We can then focus on bringing in the three S's: size, strength, and speed.
The NHL would not like that contract one bit. They investigated the Pronger deal, and a 4 year deal for Lidstrom would probably not fly.
Yeah, if, and thats a BIG IF, Liddy decides to come back, I think he skates for a 1 year 4-5 million dollar deal.
Ok, just to play devils advocate, and trust me I hope wish and pray he doesnt retire and plays another year or two....
Does anyone see a good circumstance in which he leaves and his money allows us to bring in younger talent? In my opinion if he is goes someone like Volechenkov is a lock for us and also maybe another D man and a forward (his cap hit is a lot to think about tool wise for Holland)...Again I hate the idea and we couldnt get a better player for the money...just playing devils advocate