Like all other Red Wings fans I'm just emerging from a bad dream turned reality that was being eliminated by Pekka Rinne and our own defensive lapses in the first round. Now that the pain and embarrassment has lessened slightly I feel its time to get back to business and start getting pumped for a long Wingless summer that will hopefully culminate into bigger, stronger, faster, scorier lineup that Ken Holland should bring us all.
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I'm not a downer, and I'm certainly not in the same camp as most when they say that this team just doesn't have what it takes to compete anymore. I am however a realist. As much as I would love to see Holland go out and grab both Suter and Parise this July 1st, I just don't see it happening. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter if they even make it to free agency are the only 2 sparkly shiny diamonds sitting atop this summers giant mound of coal that is the free agent market. There will undoubtedly be another team that can and will offer them much, much more than the Wings will be willing to offer.
I do expect the Wings to get bigger and nastier by trying to lure a big rugged 4th liner by the likes of Paul Gastaud, Jarret Stoll or Zenon Kanopka. They probably will try and add some scoring. They may take a chance on Semin. They may try and turn Penners career back on track (hopefully with a no pancake clause), or they may go after an unproven guy like PA Parenteau.
The Wings will be contenders, and with the right mix will go for cup 12 for the 22nd season in a row.
I just ask you all one thing come July 1st. Don't get your hopes up for a major splash. If I'm wrong... I'll eat that crow with hot sauce and a smile.
Woo, yeah, they should get another fourth liner because there aren't enough 3rd and 4th liners wearing Winged Wheels as it is!!!!
It did seem like Parise would be willing to compromise to play with the wings, it has been known to happen in the past. But I'm not getting my hopes up for both. Considering the idiotic contracts that were signed last year (Leino) who knows what they could be offered. Parise might be less of mercenary than Suter, and maybe Kenny can sweet talk the kid.
@Reddy It all depends on how successful the Devils continue to be in the playoffs, Parise might not want to move if he gets close with the Devils.
I don't think Parise-Suter solves our problems. If we lose Hudler and compare his stats straight up for Parise, Parise is +1GP +6G +13A. That isn't going to solve our problems folks. Wings lose (likely) Hudler, Lidstrom, and Stuart. Parise would improve on Hudler but not actually provide a solution to our problems scoring goals. Suter, though not TPH, would take Lidstrom's spot. We get a veteran #6 d-man to replace Stuart (promotions from within actually replace him). That still leaves us as 100.3% of this year's team. I want Parise, but I think getting him will not solve our problems. We HAVE TO get a legit goal scorer to really compete next year (i.e. Iginla, Ovechkin, etc.). Those guys would require a HUGE splash by us, but that is what we need. If that means we can't afford Parise, then so be it.
@ThroatShot Parise brings all the intangibles too. He is a mega upgrade over Hudler. The guy is a sniper that can score 50. Don't forget he's been playing in a defense first system in NJ
@Jordan_Reis @ThroatShot He is definitely an upgrade over Hudler. He is better defensively, and he is a better passer. He is a great young player. He is not big, and that is not disputable. So, he does nothing to address that issue, but we aren't losing anything in physicality from Hudler. Parise. As to sniping ability, Hudler had a 9.2% higher shooting percentage this season. That is almost doubling-up Parise. He was 3% behind Franzen, 5.4% behind Fil, 2.6% ahead of Zetterberg (who has really trailed off there over the past 4 years), and 1% behind Datsyuk. These stats do reinforce what we have said all season- SHOOT THE PUCK, JIRI!
Anyway, compare these shooting percentages to serious snipers- 9.2% behind Stamkos, 1.9% behind Ovechkin, 3.1% behind Malkin, 2.1% behind Iginla, and even 0.1% behind a messed up Crosby.
I'm not detracting from Parise at all, but he is not a premier goal scorer. Assuming the production of our current players stays the same or goes down slightly due to aging, Parise is not going to score the goals to make the difference for us. His consistently hard play may bring a lot and improve us, but we need to get a real honest-to-goodness goal scorer to make the difference for us. If Semin could be more consistent, he would be that guy. However, he is far streakier than Mule, so I don't think he is the answer.
@ThroatShot Shooting percentage is a flawed way to look at it. You could have two shots and one goal with a 50% shot pct but that doesn't mean you are a sniper. Parise score more goals than Hudler and that's a fact. Parise is also much more of a sniper than Semin and is more consistent. I also have to disagree with Parise and Hudler being a wash when it comes to physicality. Just watch Parise play and you can see he has no problems getting to the net, he doesn't easily get knocked off the puck and he wins a majority of his battles. Getting Parise won't solve all the problems, but it doesn't have to either. There is no doubt we need size, but Parise is the perfect fit alongside Datsyuk he can be a perennial 50 goal guy
I vote for PA... dude can play. Only problem is he benefits from playing with Tavares... so.. put him with Datsyuk for a shot of youth.
Now those would be two potent lines... mark my words.
@Josh Howard That first line is 3 playmakers. Switch Franzen or Z for the counterparts on those lines. Not a bad setup, but we need someone to consistently score goals for all those passers!
Totally agree with everything BUT I will say, I personally believe we have a better chance at landing either one of them than almost any other team other than their current team. The reasons being: For Parise, having a chance to play with Datsyuk is almost too cool to pass up for any forward. Plus, he spent time in Ann Arbor as a youth, right? Both of those factors add to our appeal. For Suter, he's seen what this organization is like up close since he's in the same division. He knows the stars we have. I like our chances to get at least one.
I agree with the unlikelihood of the Wings scoring Parise or Suter. 29 other teams also think they have a chance to get these 2.
I think Penner would be a real nice pickup. Too bad L.A. is good now, Dustin Brown is the exact type of player who, in my opinion, would fulfill all of our off-season needs on offense.
Defensively - aside from bringing in a tough fighting d-man (miss you Commie!), I don't think much needs to change. Stuart may leave, we've got Smith and Kindl, and hopefully one of them (or both!) will step up next season.
I don't think our defensive personnel needs to change, possibly just the coaching? who knows, but I am satisfied with the d-men we have on the roster.