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Everything posted by SpikeDDS

  1. And here I read in today’s Detroit News that the Wings are supposedly making a run at Ilya Kovalchuk. <smh>
  2. Uh, yeah. They don’t seem to remember how to fire people. With few exceptions, their repeated mistake has been over-rewarding loyalty and hoping that doing the same that they have been doing will once again lead to legitimate competition, all the while redefining what “legitimate competition” means until it means just making the playoffs, when more than half of the NHL does that. And now, they extend Holland and Blashill. “Everything is fine!” “Fine” now = we’ll be out of the bottom 10 in a few years once Larkin turns into Zetterberg and Mantha scores like Federov. Sometimes I wonder if they just don’t know how to run a team without having Nick Lidstrom on the blue line. He covered up and minimized the damage of a whole lot of mistakes. Once he left, consequences for bad decisions normalized again.
  3. Again, this is the result of too few resources resulting from too many second- & third-tier players being overpaid for extended terms. Only a couple years left before we get Franzen’s cap hit to work with, but that is a couple more years. Then it will be Z’s deal eventually still hanging out there. At least that will have been justified by his contributions. That in addition to trading away some of our young talent just to bring in veteran help so we could put off the word “rebuild” longer. Just poor vision at the helm of the team. Sacrificing long-term for the immediate. That is acceptable if it allows you to legitimately compete at the Conference level. If not, you don’t give away the store. The lesson that all teams and fans should learn from the Red Wings of the last 7 years is that you don’t sell the store just so you can try to claim/obtain mediocrity. Young talent is just too darn valuable to sacrifice for so little in return. That the front office has chosen “status quo” as they’re moving forward with regard to leadership tells you everything you need to know about their reasonable chance for any significant contention in the next 5 years. If it is there at all, it will be WAY closer to or beyond the 5 year mark than it is to now. Even in the best possible scenario.
  4. I have remained silent on the subject long enough. And I give permission for @hf101 to move this post to where it belongs. I have two things to say about the Las Vegas Golden Knights: 1. The LVGK have demonstrated a new and very effective way to build a team that can win in the salary cap area. They don’t have a skater that is a true hockey headliner. Marchessault is a very good player, but a Sidney Crosby he is not. They don’t really have a superstar skater on their team. I mean, the second-highest paid skater on their team is Tomas Tatar. However, what they were able to do instead is build a collection of enough middle-to-low-first tier and high second-tier players to fill all 12 forward positions on all 4 lines such that there is no real weak line. Same with the defense. No generational players and yet 3 solid pairs. The other thing to note is the speed of their skaters. This team is fast! In today’s game, that is huge. But they also, most importantly, were able to acquire a veteran goalie who had won 3 Stanley Cups and was looking for redemption after having been relegated to backup duties. And Marc André Fleury has not disappointed. In sum, a superstar skater or D-man is not necessary, especially if you have a superstar goalie. And as long as you have that, rolling 4 lines of solid, but not tip-top talent works well in today’s game. Having said all that: 2. I agree with those who bemoan their ascension. It was anything but organic, and far from what it should have been. And in this world of parity, the league basically gave them the equivalent of 30 late first round to early third round picks. in today’s NHL, if you give a team so much opportunity that they can acquire a top-tier goalie and then 18 other position players who are solid such that you have no one you need to “hide,” it is your Stanley Cup to lose. Add to that Mr. Bettman’s need to ensure that his experiment would not be a repeat of the Atlanta Thrashers story, and you have motive and opportunity for contrived success. Yep, the Knights are probably gonna win—and I’m not sure they can be stopped in the next few years—but to me, if they do, there will be a big asterisk behind it.
  5. Totally agree...except that unlike most hits, which are mostly gross violations, this particular hit had exactly the nuances that they have needed to elaborate on. While I DO agree strongly that this could have and should have been done before using a collection of different hits to illustrate the subtleties of each particular qualification, I’m still glad they FINALLY did it. If the hit is center-mass, the hitting player doesn’t fly off like this. They bounce back or stay right where they are. This was a partial body mass miss which resulted in him flying up and to the side. Kronwall’s hit library proves this time and again. And I also agree with you that had he used his right shoulder and missed like he did here, it WOULD have been a head clip. If he does go shoulder-to-shoulder that way, it is legal annihilation. That can be a very fine and precarious line.
  6. I can't argue with this. As I said, I do think it warrants discipline. It did cause injury. I just didn't think his repeat offender was very relevant to this as much as when players grossly cross the line. I don't think 3 games is terribly unjust, and I can accept it. If I had been on the "committee" making the decision, I would have said 2 games, and if the decision made was 3, I'd be fine with it. I am, even if I wouldn't have done the same.
  7. Agreed on Kronner's artistry. But trust me, Kronner's hits were VERY intentional, just a bit more center-mass than this one.
  8. I disagree with you. If the hit is egregious, they usually go through the list of qualifications very quickly as to the illegality of the hit. They never go into such detail on egregious ones. They even say in the video--correctly--that some of these qualifications are not blatently illegal on their own. If the hit is way over the lines, the reasons for illegality should be obvious. They are not. They require explanation.
  9. I'm very late to the discussion, but a few points from an unbiased observer and hockey fan (if I have a bias, it would be against Pittsburgh): 1. My first reaction to the hit was that I thought it was a good hit. 2. The explanation for the suspension by the DPS is BY FAR the longest explanation for any hit-related infraction that I have ever seen. When you have to take almost 5 minutes to justify your decision, it means that the hit was very close to being a legal one. Thus, anyone who says that this hit was egregiously illegal is full of it. To me, and to the DPS, this was a close call. 3. I'm conflicted in that I know that in the instant that a play like this occurs, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a player making the decision to hit or not hit to consider all of the things that DPS is spending minutes discussing, much less probably hours of analyzing. To wit, I feel for Wilson and other players who need to make these decisions instantaneously. OTOH, an analysis of the details of this hit does clarify the DPS's position on these kinds of hits, which is important in establishing a standard. So I appreciate that they went into detail on why they considered this hit illegal. DPS owes it to players to communicate the standards so that players can be properly held accountable. They have a history of being somewhat ambiguous about their standards, and their decision-making often seems ad-hoc. So I like the clarity here. 4. The decision of illegality hinged on 3 COMBINED things: a. Wilson used his left shoulder instead of his right. This made head contact more possible and driving through body mass less direct. b. Wilson drove up and left his feet AFTER making contact--which they admit, even in this video, is a natural tendency to do on hits like this. c. The jaw is broken which suggests that the major force went to the head rather than the shoulder. There was somewhat of a head clip. It was not, by ANY means, a black and white head clip. There was definitely shoulder contact. But the way Wilson bounced off him up and to the side does suggest his momentum was not going through the body mass as much as the head. Someone mentioned Kronwall earlier. This was one of the main differences between some of Kronner's better hits and this one. Kronner almost always finished through the body, even if the head was the primary point of contact. In today's rules, that would make the hit legal. None of these things on their own makes the hit illegal in itself. But the combination goes to intent and execution, and after full analysis, my first impression was wrong, but not by much at all. 5. In the end, I think DPS did get this right, except I think 3 games is maybe one too many. Yes, Wilson is a repeat offender, but this was juuust barely illegal. This was nuances of a hit which added up to being juuust over the line, not a bully egregiously crossing it. The fact that it resulted in injury should give the extra game. I would have given 2 games instead of three. I welcome comments/criticisms/discussions.
  10. Truthfully, I really feel like we needed the D-man pick anyway. I'm somewhat glad--not YEAH!, but resignedly--we didn't pick second. We need talented D-men FAR more than we need Svechnikov IMHO. By picking 6th, there shouldn't be ANY confusion about the direction of our pick. If Bouchard is available, that would be a pick that few would criticize. If we build a solid D-core using talent from several drafts, it will be far easier to complete our team by picking up star offensive talent from FA than if we had star talent up front and were trying to acquire start D-man talent from the FA market later. The latter almost never happens, and when it does, the costs are prohibitive except for short-term rentals. There is a far more competitive, open FA market for forwards. If I'm building this team, I'm focusing on building where we (almost) can't build via FA acquisition. P.S. I'm not sighing today, because I didn't let myself get caught up emotionally over the Dahlen possibility. Nor will I let myself get frustrated if we don't win next year. As long as I see the team being led in a positive direction, where we are filling team needs with talent, I'll be content. Not happy, but content.
  11. Wings end up with the 6th pick. No Dahlen. No Svechnikov. No surprise.
  12. Obviously, if the Red Wings are fortunate enough to actually get the first pick of the draft, they take Rasmus Dahlin. But let’s say they DON’T get the first pick, but DO get the second pick, and of course Dahlin gets taken by whomever gets the first pick. There are actually quite a number of very solid D-man prospects available other than Dahlen at the top end of this draft, and they have different skill sets to choose from. Do you go with size? Skating ability? Puck movers? Shooting ability/accuracy? Which factors do you rate higher than others in your matrix for that pick? For example, Quinn Hughes is considered one of the best skaters of the bunch. But he lacks size. He, of course, is a Michigan man. Is that what we should be going after? (I say no.) Or Boqvist? Bigger, still a good skater, and a good puck mover? (I like this better, personally.) Bouchard is also bigger. Also a good puck mover. Perhaps he fits better? I just see the Wings’ defense needing size to clear out the net front area. Dekeyser is just not built big enough to handle elite net front players with excellence. And when he does try, it hampers his game. Too much on one guy. OR since the next three best players after Dahlen are forwards, do you take the most talented remaining in the draft regardless of position? If Svechnikov is available, do you wait and fill your D with your next picks? (I say no to this. We need elite D in the worst way.) And how important is it to pick an NHL-ready player? Would you bring them up for what many are suggesting could be Henrik Zetterberg’s last year to learn to be a pro from an elite one? What do you do if you are Kenny Holland with the second pick of the draft?
  13. Yeah, I just don't know how realistic trading him for elite D-man talent would be. He doesn't help acquire a FA, other than the attractiveness his offensive skills might offer a FA considering coming to Detroit among other choices. Teams today are just not parting with elite D-man talent unless they are well beyond their peak. And then usually deadline deals as rentals right before their contracts expire. It's just becoming such a rarity in today's NHL. I'd be afraid that we would become the Islanders. Your assessment of them is spot on. And Tavares came and went (assuming he leaves as a FA), never really having seriously contended--at least not enough to win a conference title, much less a Cup while he was there. No back end leaves you there. And history has a tendency to repeat itself. I think Svechnikov is a tougher decision for the Wings vs. most teams. I'm not saying dead no. I'm just saying that decision needs more careful consideration for the good of the franchise. Is he really THAT good? Will his addition give the Wings what they need to eventually compete again? Or would his acquisition make us good enough to compete on the bubble as we have been for several years prior to last season preventing earlier draft picks of the players we will eventually need to seriously contend? To some degree, I think we have ignored our D problem for so long that we really can't afford to ignore it any longer UNLESS the talent is just SO good that it will make us competitive despite getting there unconventionally.
  14. @yave1964 Svechnikov may be worth it, but I don’t know if it gets us closer to contention than drafting elite D-men. Not without trading. But who trades elite D-men? Nobody...unless you are trading for another elite D-man ala Montreal-Nashville. We end up with an entertaining team that loses games 4-3. Certainly better than we are now, and more competitive, but not seriously competitive.
  15. @yave1964 What's hard to know is how much Blash is attempting to teach playing the right way. He talks a good game, when it comes to that. But in either case--whether the issue is that he isn't teaching it as much as he SAYS he is or whether he is and he really isn't being listened to--in Larkin's case, we ARE definitely seeing development into a solid 2-way player, IMHO. But the jury is still out on Mantha and AA. Bert seems to be coming along nicely. I have a feeling he IS trying to teach it. So is the problem that he is connecting with some and not others? Is the problem that some just aren't going to change their game right now no matter how well the new ideas are presented? That some just need more time to mature? Hard to say. At best, it's inconclusive. Remember that Paul Coffey was traded away to bring in Brendan Shanahan by Scotty Bowman because he refused to conform his play to Scotty's left wing lock system. He was a great player, but refused to change his game. Mantha is no Paul Coffey, but he does have the choice to change his game or not, just like Coffey. But the list of players who have come through GR under his leadership who are "good" players that never became great is long! Is it because we didn't have "great" players to begin with? Very possible. Larkin was the first high-first-rounder in a while, but he skipped right to the NHL. He's only had Blash...AND Z! Does that make a difference? I think so. And if you read my other post, would a similar pathway benefit Rasmussen, allowing him to learn under Z while he's still playing to learn how a great pro works and thinks on and off the ice? I honestly think that bringing him up quickly is more of a help than a hurt. It's probably a little quicker than ideal, but losing Z's input and leaving all the teaching to Blashill and "good" but not "great" players will hurt him more--and us too. I think there would/will be a HUGE difference between Blashill trying to do it on his own vs. teaching it with Z modeling it and teaching it too. HUGE! And once Z is gone, who do we have to take his place as the seasoned veteran who due to his experience commands respect like he does? Dunno. So if they are sticking with Jeff--and I said before that I have less problem with keeping him vs. KH at the GM spot--then the thing that has to change are the players. Bring the young ones up and get them learning the game right. Next season will hurt for sure if they do it. But that is far better than the season after Z retires being horrible, whenever that might be. It's not gonna be good when he goes, but I don't want it to be rock bottom either. We need verifiable evidence of guys playing the game the right way BEFORE Z leaves, and if Blash can help make that happen, fine. I will say this categorically: Forgetting wins and losses next season, if there is not significant evidence that the young players are starting to "get it" by the trade deadline next season, there is NO WAY--ZERO CHANCE--that Blashill should continue at the helm after that season. I say bring up the kids, throw them at the wolves, take your licks, but teach and see what sticks to whom. And I'm not even going to THINK about Dahlen. Not at all.... (Wonder how long I can hold off?)
  16. Some teams call up young talent earlier than others. I think the Detroit Red Wings fall toward the later side of the spectrum, waiting longer to call up young talent and trying to get them NHL-ready before they do. I will agree that that is certainly the safer way to play it. However, it is also very helpful for younger players to learn how to be good pros and great players from great veteran players. On the Detroit Red Wings, that list has become pretty short. Zetterberg pretty much IS their list. So on the one hand, it might be a good idea to let Rasmussen develop in GR next season. However, looking at Larkin’s progression, I think he has learned A TON from watching Z play and work on/off the ice. Z is modeling how to be a great 2-way player, and not just a speedster, and it has elevated Larkin’s game. I would think that seeing it modeled firsthand would be fantastic for Rasmussen. But Z’s years remaining are numbered. Opportunity to learn from the best isn’t going to last much longer. And I’m thinking that it might be time to pull the trigger on bringing up Raz before Z retires. He is tearing it up in the WHL. He needs to adapt his game to the NHL and work his game within a 2-way system, even if he may not need to be quite as much a two-way player as they are shaping Larkin to be. Agree or disagree?
  17. @yave1964 ...aaaaand now to find out that Jeff Blashill will continue as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. Confirmed by Ken Holland today. What do you think the odds are that we get NONE of the things you hoped for? To be fair to Blash, he can’t be expected to make a decent chicken salad out of chicken poop. Where we are now has more to do with KH than it does with Blash. I’m more upset that NOTHING seems to be changing than I am that Blash didn’t get fired. Tatar and Mrazek being traded CANNOT be the only significant change before next season.
  18. @yave1964 @yave1964 Well, so much for the ideal offseason. Ken Holland is GM for the next two seasons. It’s NOT going to be the complete revolution you have ordered. Having said that, I DO wonder how much influence Mike Ilitch had on KH’s decisionmaking. It is hard for me to believe that KH was being prevented from doing the right things for the franchise. But I agree with you completely on the other stuff. Much of this we have discussed before, particularly Hartley. I love that idea. I think it would be quite a good thing for Holland to go out and get the coach that Scotty Bowman has called the best coach he ever coached against. Scotty is no longer officially advising the Red Wings, but you can still pay attention to what he said. If you’re smart. I LOVE the Tavares idea too, but obviously it would require losing a key player to make enough cap room to fit him, but if we can do it, BY ALL MEANS!! I don’t even want to talk about Dahlin. Our odds are gonna be less than 1 in 10, so I don’t even want to set myself up for a letdown. Imagine the “disappointment” we would have if we won the SECOND pick. Soooo close! Not that it would be bad, of course. Truthfully, we have ZERO control over whether we get Dahlin or not. I’d rather ya focus on the things over which we DO have control. That matters to me more. As far as I’m concerned, Dahlin would be a HUGE bonus. It certainly might attract a guy like Tavares, though. IF we could afford him. Not sure we could afford both. Be fun if we could. Gus who? Darren who? ;-D
  19. OK, I realize that having the 4th-worst record makes arguing for a higher chance of getting one of the top 3 picks somewhat self-serving. That having been said, it seems to me that the system is not favorable enough for the teams in the bottom five. Like it is weighted TOO much to avoid tanking. It is also strange to me that nobody knows what the odds really are. Tankathon.com posts odds, but they admit that they are guesses. There seems to be zero accountability here. An understanding of how the system works should be known and public to avoid increased risk of suspicion of manipulation. This whole concept of “trust us, we will make it fair” just smells suspicious. As much as I would LOVE to get Dahlin, I DON’T want the pick given to us. It should be awarded not by men but by a ping pong ball i.e. chance. But it should also be known how many ping pong balls we will have in the pot. Tankathon doesn’t seem to know that. Is it known? It should be if it is not. This all just seems too hush-hush to me and too ripe for manipulation. The fact that we are WAY more likely to get the 5th or 6th picks in the draft than any of the top 4 speaks to the odds being off. Or is this just seeing this too much through the Red Wing-red lenses?
  20. Yeah, but then again, when it comes to top 5 picks, look at Buffalo, for example. In the last 5 years, they have had 2--count 'em, TWO--top five picks. Yet they have sucked the whole time, and they still do. They got Jack Eichel with the 2 pick. And they HAVE been in the top 10, but a LOT of these drafts, the top 5 you see play, and then the talent level drops off significantly. It's not as if the Sabres have been helped all that much. Remember also that Toronto got helped with Marner the year before Matthews at the 4th pick. It reall has been that combo of the two in a row that flipped the switch for them. Buffalo has never had that. Phoenix hasn't had jack squat, really. Edmonton is the head-scratcher. All those number 1 picks and not much to show for it, even with a generational player like McDavid. And Taylor Hall goes to NJ and becomes a force to be reckoned with. They prove that just getting good picks ensures you of nothing. You have to develop. They obviously have issues. Detroit, let's face it, were able to buy, draft and keep exceptional talent. The 2002 team? That team was the greatest assemblage of hockey talent on one NHL team EVER! The difference-makers were bought. They were helped immensely by Steve Yzerman getting so tired of being not-good-enough to win the Cup that he WILLINGLY took a salary cut to let Ilitch buy more talent around him. Nick Lidstrom saw that and followed the example, refusing $4-5M more per season to resign with the Detroit Red Wings for his final contract for $8M/season. That set the salary ceiling for the Red Wings until he retired, and worked right into the salary cap era that way. THAT is how the Wings stayed so good for so long. They also were drafting Hall of Fame talent (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, etc.) in the later rounds of the draft. Multiple times! Those days are OVER! The good teams of the last decade--Chicago & Pittsburgh--both got multiple high picks from multiple successive drafts to assemble their core (top tier scorers, top tier D-men, and goalie). They have remained successful because, unlike the Red Wings, they didn't ride out their existing talent until they all retired. Chicago mixed up the second tier players before their performance began to lapse. Pittsburgh acquired Kessel among others that, once again, put them over the top. But in order to do it, they had to get multiple top-5 picks in successive drafts/. Usually that is a winning formula. Toronto is the latest example. Marner, then Matthews, and suddenly they are significant again. To me, Buffalo hasn't had that kind of break. Had they had a top-3 pick either before or after Eichel, it would be different. They didn't, and Eichel can't do it by himself. You can blame Edmonton. It's harder to blame Buffalo. They haven't had Edmonton's fortunes.
  21. Yeah ever since Crosby went to the Pens, and with the Oilers repeatedly winning the top picks at the expense of worse teams, I have serious concerns about meddling. Short of accusation, but like with goalie interference, I want the league to be an open book on how they run/decide things. When they hide stuff, it just opens the door to corruption. And it is naive to think there is no corruption at the top of the NHL. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  22. Love the thought process here, even though I may disagree with it. I think a better way of addressing it might be to make the draft lottery be for the FOLLOWING draft, not the immediate one. Let's be clear that the draft is designed to give truly bad teams the opportunity to right themselves through acquisition of young talent. If the draft lottery worked, but NOT until the FOLLOWING year's draft, it would discourage the one-time tanking, and make you have to commit to tanking for two seasons. Toronto seemed so egregious because it made itself a bottom feeder for one season and got rewarded for it, as you said. Making it the FOLLOWING season would make them at minimum plan their tanks and not get instant gratification. Either that, or average the standings from this season and the season prior, so that a team that has been decent who decides to tank isn't rewarded for a one-year tank. I might like that idea even better. A team that is in the bottom five for 2 seasons running needs help. Avoids the one-time tankers. Teams like Phoenix--other than the question of whether a team should be in Phoenix AT ALL--need help, and the draft is supposed to help them. They're not tanking. They SUCK! Same with Buffalo. The fact that Edmonton and Toronto keep taking first picks from these guys is ugly, IMHO. Again, IMHO, the #17 team should have minimal chance of getting pick #1. Not zero, but not much. That part of the system seems right to me. If a team is in the bottom 3-5 teams, I don't have a problem with them selling off talent to attempt to get a generational talent. But they have to suck--LONG and HARD--and shouldn't be able to just tank for half a season to easily win the big prize. that's not right either.
  23. 0-8-1 in our last nine games. Worst losing streak since 1986. For not tanking, we sure are tanking! The frustration is my concern. If I was AA, and I was asking myself why I should stay with this organization right now, I’d be having a hard time coming up with good reasons unless: 1. We get a new coach that has a GREAT resume and a history of winning. Someone I will HAVE to listen to because I KNOW he he is right, even though I am probably not gonna like what he says to me about my game. Am I willing to deal with that? 2. We get Dahlin. But even with this, it’s still gonna take 3-4 seasons to become a serious competitor again. Do I really want to wait that long to play for a potential contender? We have now officially entered the “it’s gonna get worse” phase; the one that comes before the “it gets better” phase. And it is looking as dark and ugly as I thought it would. When Anthony Mantha’s best play of the last 9 games is his fight against Corey Perry, you know you have arrived in Phase 1.
  24. If you listened to either Henrik Zetterberg or Jeff Blashill in their post-game comments after their 4-0 loss to the Golden Knights last night, there was a new catchphrase “poke and hope.” Both of them used it more than once. It was not coincidental. It was a reference pointed at Anthony Mantha among others, but specifically him without naming him, for his insufficient defense in our own zone that manifested as an attempt to poke a puck free and skate by the opponent out of the zone for a potential breakaway chance. Except that he forgot to make sure he got the puck. The result was that he skated out of the defensive zone, leaving his opponent free to skate alone into the slot and score a goal. I like Anthony Mantha, but they are right—if he doesn’t learn to stop being a liability, he will never be great. Same with our other young players. This is EXACTLY why TOTAL, COMPLETE rebuilds are not great ideas. You still need veteran talent to both tell and, more importantly, show young players how to play a complete game. But you can see the frustration building within Zetterberg. This keeps up, I can see him asking for a deadline deal to get him to a Cup contender for his last hurrah in a season or two. Either that, or he will start asking for trading away those who refuse to conform. I’m not saying that he is there yet. I’m saying if this continues, he will eventually get there.
  25. I don’t know when we will play against David Backes next. We don’t play Boston again this season. But make no mistake, justice will be served for his completely unnecessary hit on Nielsen. I’m not sure if Luke Witkowski is going to be on the Red Wings’ roster next season or not, but if he is available the next time we play against Backes, I have a feeling he will be “assigned” to Backes. I know Backes is not known as being a dirty player, but we need to stand up for our teammates. And the Wings front office may need to consider having a guy like Witter around to help protect our young talent that will be getting their feet wet next season not allow others to take advantage.