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Everything posted by SpikeDDS

  1. @hf101 Sae that. Not good news, as Green was pretty much our only D-man with any kind of offensive production. One of the kids will have to step up, because our other D-men have shown that they can’t do it. I’d just assume the Wings wait and try to find a better D-man when one becomes available and develop our prospects earlier than we might otherwise want than pick up scraps.
  2. @yave1964 @radoran @TooMuchBeard @Haliax Late to the discussion, but... Yes, when this contract was inked, it was an unspoken acknowledgement that toward the end, he could/would retire. Let’s also be objective and say that players who would be paid a ton of money are more motivated to play out their contracts if they would not receive the $ otherwaise. That’s just true, and anyone who says otherwise isn’t being honest. All that said, the evidence shows that Zetterberg did not practice AT ALL for the entire second half of last season. Knowing who he is—his track record of work ethic over 15 years—we know that that was not because he was being lazy. He couldn’t do it. And as much as you may want to equivocate playing golf in the summer with practicing or working out or playing hockey, my only response is, “Really?” TOTALLY not the same thing. Despite the decrease in financial remuneration, remember that Z is following behind Iohan Franzen, who is demonstrating what debilitating jnjury does to someone once their career is over. Z cannot ignore that. And when ALL of the doctors say, “There is nothing more that we can do,” that is VERY significant. No, this is legitimate injury ending a career. That doesn’t mean the other things don’t weigh at all, but that last fact and Z demonstrating unwavering work ethic and sacrifice of body through his whole career trump all the others.
  3. It is becoming more apparent to the public that Henrik Zetterberg may be finished as a hockey player. That he was struggling as much with his back without the public really knowing how bad it was is both a testament to how well he has learned to play with pain and to the ability of the franchise to keep his struggles mostly on the down-low. But now that we DO know, it makes the re-signing of Vanek and Green more understandable. Even though I liked both signings before, this new information makes those decisions even more correct. If we are to lose Z’s services, it is a big blow as far as leadership is concerned. His loss—if he IS unable to play—almost certainly guarantees that Zadina will start the season wearing the Winged Wheel. The bad news is that we would have liked Zadina to witness Zetterberg’s persistence and calm despite his pain and partial disability. To experience watching the work ethic of a superstar as well as pick his brain, even if only for a season. Rather than learn from Z, instead Vanek and Nielsen will need to teach him how to go about being a pro at this level. He will need to learn to incorporate two-way play and add defensive-mindedness to his obviously well-equipped offensive skill set. I have always liked the re-acquisition of Vanek to encourage him to hone his offensive scoring skills, and add more playmaking. Nielsen will need to teach him defensive responsibility. Z could have done both, but maybe not be able. I wonder if this may also open the door for Veleno? Maybe not day one, but if Z is out, it leaves an awfully big hole to fill offensively. Defensively, the Green signing—even with his question marks—makes sense too. Without Z and without Green, our D would be even more shaky than it is. If Z does go, it is going to be a tough go this season on the defensive side of the puck. Z helped a lot from the front end in an area that we have obvious deficiency. I don’t know that our top talent from the draft solves the problem though. Bottom line: if Z is finished, this signals that our rebuild will be in full swing by necessity, and it will be the end of an era. The Wings will new to put every effort forth to train their young talent to compete.
  4. @yave1964 I would be perfectly comfortable with Larkin wearing the C. As an homage to his years of service, Kronner could be co-captain in his last season to take some of the responsibilities off of Larkin his first season as captain. No one has mentioned this idea, but I think it would be good. Good for BOTH of them. Larkin’s so likely to eventually wear it, I don’t see a big deal with getting that started. IF Z is out.
  5. Since I’m nowhere near Detroit, I have to read about what going on there hockey-wise. And because I’m only seeing it in the Freep and not the Detroit News—whose hockey writers I prefer over Helene St. James—perhaps this is simply St. James just creating a story more than a story in itself. That said, is there serious talk about the Red Wings retiring Sergei Federov’s #91? And whether there is or not, are you for or against it? I see both sides of the argument. Personally, I don’t have a 100% problem with it, but I also don’t tend to hold grudges. Though I didn’t like Datsyuk walking away mid-contract, and the damage that did to the organization, I wouldn’t have any hesitation about raising his #13 to the rafters. But #91? I have more hesitation. I don’t have 100% problem with it, but it is more than 50% problem, yes. OK, Pav didn’t finish his contract, but he left for home and didn’t come back. He didn’t decide to play for another NHL team. He left primarily for family reasons and to play in his home country before he retires. I can respect those priorities, even as I didn’t like him walking away mid-contract. Federov is different. To his credit, he didn’t walk on any agreements he made. But he held out for more than half of the 97-98 season after winning his first Stanley Cup. Now, that being said, his fresh legs and play DID play a very significant role in winning the 1998 Cup. He had a superb abbreviated season and playoff performance that year, of course motivated by a $12M bonus for getting to the conference finals. Now, as much as I didn’t like that when it happened, that WAS about business, so I really don’t hold that against him, especially since he came through WELL and helped us win another 2 Cups. But his walkaway leaves even more of a bitter taste than Pav’s. He took LESS money for the same term to play for the Ducks. Not just a little less. 20% less. And Ilitch, who was responsible for helping Federov defect from the USSR, made our offer to Sergei personally. Unlike some others, where we can say it was just business, this wasn’t. This was a player disrespecting the franchise that enabled him to escape and become who he was. Loyalty to the franchise and to the men who took significant risks to get him here was thrown out the window. As good as he was as a player—and there is absolutely no question that his skill and play are deserving of his number being retired—it seems hard, due to his disrespect of the franchise/team for that same franchise to honor him much like they honor legends like Steve Yzerman, Gordie Howe, and Nick Lidstrom, who throughout their entire careers held the Detroit Red Wings with respect and in high regard. Two of these played their entire careers in Detroit and even voluntarily took pay cuts to continue to play here. I do recognize that without Federov, the Wings do not win 3 Cups in 6 years. (They still win in 2002 without him. That team was just so stacked with talent!) Thus, I do recognize his contributions to the team, and see the importance of that in addition to his skills and abilities. However, I still say he does not deserve his number in the rafters. They can have his image on some of the walls of LCA. He can be included with some others in remembrance there, but it should not be the same as the others I listed, and one way to differentiate would be to NOT retire his number. Let’s be honest, though. Any kid coming in would be stupid for wearing 91, and I doubt anyone will, so it will likely be practically retired anyway. Which is fine. Again, I’m fine with remembering him. I’m fine with acknowledging his accomplishments. I’m not as fine revering him in the same way as others who have demonstrated unwavering respect for the franchise. What say ye, Wings fans? (Others’ opinions also welcomed.)
  6. @yave1964 Though I agree with you that it would be pretty cool to have them raised together, I don’t see it happening for several reasons: 1. It is possible that one or both may not have their numbers retired. 2. They didn’t leave the league/Wings at the same time. (Not a huge deal.) 3. Each man deserves his own celebration of his own career and merits without having to share the spotlight. 4. The Red Wings need as many PR opportunities as they can muster as they rebuild to get as many people in the seats as possible right now. Putting these together would halve that opportunity. Like Trammell and Whittaker “should” have been inducted into the HOF together but won’t be, I don’t see these two having their numbers retired together. It WOULD be cool. I just don’t see it happening.
  7. Over time I have come to realize that the competitive system the NHL had in place at the time is what allowed this. They just took advantage. He couldn't have done it as a less-skilled player. He was a good player, and we won another Cup that would have been difficult to win without him. (It was hard enough to win it with him!) Yes, Carolina took advantage, and so did Federov, but hey, that's competition and letting the market decide. And, yes that DID bother me...until he came through and won that second Cup. Making it to the conference finals was not enough--if we hadn't won the Cup in 1998 I would still be pissed. But we not only won it, but he also played well that season and in those playoffs. So it's kinda like the difference between cockiness and confidence--if you can actually do what you say you can/will do, then I'm OK with you saying it beforehand. It wasn't all his doing, but the Wings still could have let him walk away to Carolina. They (wisely) paid the man. And you're right about the dialogue on here. With few exceptions, talking hockey--even in the face of significant disagreement--is pretty darn good. Millennials on FB and other social media could learn a thing or ten from HF contributors on agreeing to disagree agreeably or even <shudder> actually coming to a consensus!
  8. @Haliax And this will be my last comment, because I think we've covered things pretty well--I have more of a problem with Federov's exit than his holdout. He held out to get what he thought he was worth on the market. The Red Wings, reluctantly, gave it to him. That's business. I didn't like it at the time, but in retrospect, both sides got what they wanted on that deal. His slap-in-the-face turning down of a $50M offer for 5 years and taking $40M for 5 years to play on another team--that's not about business at all.That's about ego. Federov put his ego before his love for the team--the team that stuck their necks out and took great risks allowing him to become the star player that he was. That is what is in stark contrast with any of the other names we have listed in this thread. And that's why I'm OK with any of the others being retired, but not so much Federov. I would swallow the bitter pill if the Wings decided to do it--they DO need reasons to celebrate these days, and I can see them trying to bring excitement/relevance to their franchise as they rebuild. But I won't like it as I swallow it. Maybe later I'll be more OK with it. Time, as they say, heals all wounds. But scars remain, despite time.
  9. @Haliax Pav's inability to speak English well really took him out of any serious consideration of captaincy. Captains have to, by role, be able to tell the team what they need to hear when they need to hear it from non-coach team leadership. But I would argue that Pav's on-ice and off-ice demonstration for how to be a pro was very captain-like and was there his entire career. It was noted, by Larkin IIRC, that Pav was always the first player on the ice at practice and the last one off. And as skilled as he was, he was the one practicing his skills to try to get better. His walk did the talking for him, even as the role of team captain was not a role suited for him. On a Russian team, perhaps. But he still isn't the most outspoken player by his nature anyway, I would agree. Neither is Z. Neither was Yzerman for much, if not all, of his career. Nor was Lidstrom. I think Pav's performance, the fact that he has 2 Cups, all the Selke's, his excellence in stealing pucks--no one was better than him in the league for a majority of his career--plus the revolutionary moves he made that no one had ever seen before that made him a YouTube star, even before that was a thing, speak to his worthiness. I think a lot more people are aware of his play than Z's. Certainly, I think that is why his chances for the HOF are greater than Z's. Retiring the number is more a Red Wing thing, though.But I certainly think Pav has had almost as much influence on the direction and success of the franchise as Z has. They just did it in different ways. It would be fine to have the franchise recognize them both.
  10. @Haliax I would retire #13. #40, it might depend on whether he makes the Hall, which I don’t think he will do. Pav should make the Hall. If Z doesn’t make the HOF, I can see Detroit honoring him with his number being retired, but the argument to do that for Z is weaker than for Pav. One of Z’s biggest strengths has been his steadfast loyalty to the team—the opposite of Federov. Certainly not as gifted as Sergei, and has less hardware to show for it—only 1 Cup. But he also didn’t have teams like Sergei had. He was never on a line with the equivalent of Yzerman in his prime and Shanahan. Not even close. But he led very well and his strength has always been in his two-way play. You may remember Gretzky commenting that he thought the toughest opponent he played against was Henrik Zetterberg. That says a lot about how much the guy has done that doesn’t make the score sheet. That doesn’t often warrant a HOF induction, but can be enough to retire a number.
  11. @yave1964 And I guess I missed it, but apparently the NHL ruled that Little Z can, indeed, play in the AHL, which gives the Wings some options, dang it! A part of me wanted the Wings to have to choose juniors or NHL just to make them bring the kid up. Now, I wonder if they will. I would LOVE to see him in the winged wheel sweater on the ice on opening night! Not sure I’m gonna get my wish. Might have to move Glendening.
  12. @jammer2 @yave1964 I agree, the rep is more critical than he deserves. I WOULD like to see him master the net front more, even though Ras may end up being that guy too. Dirty goals and redirects are almost always a critical offensive weapon of real Cup competitors. Him mastering that would make him all that much more valuable. Yep, Blash has it in for the kid, although he does have offensive dry spells, and it could attributable some to effort. But the numbers don’t lie—Blash could/should be getting on a whole lot more at other players than Mantha.
  13. Vanek helps refine Zadina’s scoring. Zetterberg instills 2-way play.
  14. @yave1964 I like all three as well. I was a lot more hesitant with parting with AA prior to this draft. However, with our drafting forwards, he does become more expendable. For the future of the franchise, I like Zadina /Vanek/Ras far more than I like AA. We aren’t parting with Mantha or Larkin, and we can’t afford them all, and AA felt snubbed last year, so his enamor with the franchise is gone. He’d stay if the deal is good enough, I just can’t see how it CAN be. The addition of Vanek is good for what he can show Zadina. I have a feeling they will play off of one another. Vanek, in his last stint, really showed that he was more of a playmaker than I gave him credit for. And as you said, he will be sealable to a potential Cup contender if we don’t surprise with a playoff chance. We have young kids who need to be shown how to be a pro and also the pride of being a Detroit Red Wing. These guys aren’t just coming back because of the deal. They probably could get more from a less-desirable franchise if they waited it out. Their return invalidates any idea that Detroit doesn’t have much to offer. With this infusion of talent, we do. Holland has definitely responded to the question, “What have you done for us lately?” hasn’t he? He is wisely not completely blowing this team up to do the rebuild. There remains a core of respectable veterans who are able to demonstrate and teach these kids, critical for these formative years of their careers. I agree about Ras. Another yet of juniors won’t help him much. He needs to be brought up. And with the addition of Vanek, there will be more work required for ice time. A little competition is a good thing. But we need to be loose with the opportunities given to these young players. No gimmes though.
  15. <sigh> So there it is. This is not a bad pick. Overall, the most talented player left in the draft for our pick. Even though we DO need an elite Dman more, I suppose we can’t turn down what is arguably the 3rd most talented player in the draft. Tatar’s replacement, eh?
  16. I would give the nod to the Islanders. It DID help that they had the two back-to-back at ##11-12, but they made the most of their opportunities, and their two were overall better than our 2, and thus they got two definitely solid players. We have what could be a superstar and a gamble, but a good gamble. Lamoriello did really well. Time will tell. If Veleno pays off like he could, Holland will, once again, look like a genius.
  17. It DOES seem like there are two trains of thought on him--one that thinks he's a top 15, and those who think he's a high second rounder as far as potential goes. There isn't much question about his skating ability, and that fits right into what the Wings usually like, and how they are choosing to rebuild. However, I do see the potential of Veleno being another Darren Helm. Helm has been so fast, but just never seemed to reach what I thought his potential would be, because he doesn't know how to finish. Kris Draper was the same way. I LOVED Draper, but we didn't pick him at #30. We paid $1 for him, and he FAR exceeded those expectations. But he was a 3rd liner. A GREAT 3rd liner, but a 3rd liner. Helm really was a 2nd-3rd liner at his best, and though I have liked him, he IS being overpaid for what he does now. Veleno will ultimately prove which side was right. IMHO, I think they still made the right decision as far as near-future impact goes. There was no Dman left who would be NHL-ready as soon as Veleno can be. Might be season after next if he does well this year. I don't think we would be saying that about any Dman we could have picked instead at #30. For #6, yes. But Zadina was just too much talent to ignore. So in that sense, Veleno may be a gamble, but with a pretty big upside if we win the gamble. The question DOES remain about who is going to play defense for us, though. If there is a criticism of this draft, it is that the Wings didn't really address their top concern, which is obtaining a top-tier Dman. But nothing good comes without cost, including opportunity cost.
  18. Though, let's not be TOTALLY forgiving: You'd have to be pretty stupid NOT to take Zadina at #6 or Veleno at #30. But give him credit--where he has not been as smart in the past, this was a good draft. Perhaps created more by circumstance than Holland's brilliance, but since he is at the helm, he gets the credit. So yes, he gets it. Job-saving draft, perhaps?
  19. Boy, me too, and it’s really the ONLY reason I am OK with us not taking a Dman in the first round. Holland et al must have been saying, “OMg, lookee what we have here at #30!” Though a couple of months ago, I would have said to take a Dman instead of grabbing the talent, the potential impact of the available Dmen vs. Veleno made this pick easy, despite the fact that it would mean we wouldn’t pick a Dman until the second round. And, like you, I was probably more familiar with kids in the draft this year than any other year. This draft was SO crucial for the Red Wings moving forward. This will probably be true of every Wings fan on here with the exception of @yave1964.
  20. If I am not mistaken, it was reported before the draft that Zadina warned Montreal that if they didn’t pick him, he would fill their net. The press just ate that up and were goading him to repeat what he had already said. Took them 3 attempts to get it out of him. But there was no question that the slide pissed him off. And though he tried to hold his tongue, there was little chance of the press not forcing that comment out of him again.
  21. @jammer2 I’m quite surprised no one took him at ##3-5. I didn’t think Montreal could resist the talent when they really needed a center, but they did. That surprised me, and I think the others were somewhat decided on what they needed. We got the first bargain picknof the draft after the obvious first 2. And then we did it again with Veleno at #30. I also agree with this choice, probably more so than the Zelina pick, because the level of impact the remaining Dmen had at that point was FAR outweighed by the upside of Veleno.
  22. @yave1964 This is a good add. If you aren’t gonna replace Blash right now, this is an add that can transition well. The two have worked together before, which may soften the seeming eventual looking replacement. I mean, if the Wings play significantly better, and the PP has anything to do with the jump, how do you NOT replace at that point? It is obvious, Bylsma is not Scotty Bowman. They coach very differently. You won’t find many Scotty’s out there. But he can be very effective, and I think he may be what we need. Our PP has been dreadful—and that isn’t even talking about the road scoreless streaks that we have had these past few seasons. Other than having a decent QB, we have some talent that SHOULD be able to score better on the PP than we have. It is hard for me to see our PP getting any worse than it has been. It’ll be hard for them NOT to get better now.
  23. And here I read in today’s Detroit News that the Wings are supposedly making a run at Ilya Kovalchuk. <smh>
  24. 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.
  25. 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.

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