An era has ended not just for the Red Wings but the NHL. There are many great tribute articles out there so I wont add to it, but I would like to say just one thing before I move on. Nick Lidstrom was the greatest player of our generation, not just for his skill, but the person he is. The way he lives life on and off the ice is something the NHL will miss dearly. I fear for the youth who will have players like Patrick Kane to look up to.
Nick may not only be the greatest defenseman in hockey history, he may be the greatest person that hockey has ever seen.
Where do the Wings go next? They certainly still have enough talent on the roster and in the system to keep them competitive, but there are still holes to fill.
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Ryan Sutter and Zach Parise could fill two of Detroit's most glaring holes, but what happens if they re-up with their current teams. Do the Wings really want to throw 5-6 million at Matt Carle or Dennis Wideman? Would you feel ok with Alex Semin making more money than Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Even worse what if Hudler becomes the best available forward come July 1st. I'm not sure that 5 million for a one-dimensional player is where the team wants to be even if it does mean I can have more photoshop fun.
Trades can be dangerous. We have some very valuable assets in Filppula and Franzen, and there are prospects in the system that have been compared to Hull, Zetterberg and Hossa. Do the Wings want to gamble some or even all of that for a player like Nash?
The 2012 free agent class is not very deep in terms of players that could improve the Wings. 2013 however could be the time to spend all that cap space. Can the Wings fill some of their voids with players like Smith and Nyquist to get there? Could the fans buy into a quazi-rebuild year?
Top-6 goal scoring sniper
One, maybe two 3rd/4th line grinders with size and grit.
One thing I do know is Kenny Holland won't sit back and watch the fireworks. Ilitch and Co will do everything they can to put the best team on the ice come fall. We tend to put players on a pedestal in Detroit and only want to see players like Hudler, Ericsson and Emmerton gone. If we are to fill all the needs on the team we may have to part with players of value like Filppula, Franzen, Abdelkader or promising prospects like Nyquist, Pulkkinen, Jarnkrok and Jurco.
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from here in nashvle...the "fight " to keep Suter is ON....Det can pay more BUT ties are strong Suter loves the city...here's hoping Kenny can sell the proxmity to Madison WI where Suters family lives. Ryan has ayoung family and wants them to be near family when he's on the road.
Least make a play for Sutur if anyone. Semin and Dustin Penner coule be good secondary players after Parise.
They have enough money, but that doesn't mean that either is obligated to come to Detroit and thats even if they make it to July 1st. - Jordan
I would say that ditching Filpulla or Nyquist would be wrong. Aside from that, any of the players you mentioned (and others) should be fair game. I would say the Wings need the first 4 things on your list of needs to be competitive next season. Yes, they might make the playoffs without all or some of them, but I just can't see a real Cup contender team without those moves, barring some of our young guys blowing our minds. Good post!
@garth While I agree mostly, remember inflation. With the CBA almost certainly going up 10%, the diluted pool talent pool with too many teams, idiot GMs who chronically overpay FAs, and the very few good UFA this season, salaries are going to be much higher than they have been in previous seasons. That will likely continue to be true as long as Gary pursues this unsustainable business model (too many teams and too many in small markets).
@ThroatShot I'm not saying Semin won't get more than Zetterberg, just that Holland won't give him more than Zetterberg. Holland likes two-way players, which is why he's going to go after Parise, assuming he hits the open market. I would have no problem if Parise or Suter made more than Zetterberg (partly because there is no way in hell that Parise will make less than Z and Suter is likely to also make more), but there's no way Holland looks at Semin and decides he pays that floater more than Z or Datsyuk.
@ThroatShot Maybe you thought I didn't understand what you were saying, but I actually did. What I am saying is that Ken Holland will not. Pay Semin. More than. He's paying. Zetterberg. Or Datsyuk.
@garth Ok, so roll with this hypothetical, which may in fact be likely. Parise and Suter resign with their current teams before July 1. KH is faced with doing what? Doing nothing means we got a good bit worse (losing Lidstrom and Hudler). Given that situation, I think you are going to see the player would earned $6.7M this last year getting the same or more. KH can choose not to do that, but then we aren't going to be addressing one of our most glaring needs and ensuring we drop from our low last season. Do you do nothing but little 3rd/4th line moves and sit on $15M in cap space or do you overpay to get the best available people? If becoming a losing team isn't an option, then that might be the only short-term solution. Getting back up through the draft is going to take a long while, only prolonged by the Quincey deal...Anyway, my point is that a contract signed 4 years ago at, say, $5M is going to be equivalent to a $6M or $6.5M contract this year. You can't just compare the raw numbers, because many of those were long term deals. I doubt KH is going to want to shell out $7M for Semin, but you can't rule it out with the changing face of the NHL.
@ThroatShot Actually no, I don't. For Parise and/or Suter, yes, but I guarantee you that Ken Holland is NOT going to pay a one-dimensional player more than he's paying Datsyuk or Zetterberg.
Parise or Suter would be different stories, because Parise is an excellent two-way player and Suter is a potential #1. Semin is never going to be anything but a complimentary player. He's not going to lead, he's going to take a pass and put it in the net.. He's too one-dimensional for Mr Holland to break the bank on.
@garth With the rate of inflation due to the factors I named above, you have to remember that contracts money has to be valued at the time it was signed. That's why I think if this trend perpetuates, you are going to see teams begging for long-term deals and players wanting short-term deals.