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Wings possible lines for next year....


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  What do you Wings fans think about this projected line-up for next year...


 I'm gonna go ahead and assume that Cleary (a warrior for years, but now damaged goods) and Eric Cole (never did fit in) will be allowed to walk UFA


 1st Line 


Nyquist/Datsuyk/Larkin...A big leap of faith, but Larkin would look great on this line, doing the dirty work in the corners to set up the two highly skilled linemates, and his defensive game would mean he would not be a liability playing the big minutes.


 2nd Line

Pulkkinen/Zetterberg/Abdelkader....the depth is now there, Zetts and Pavel can be separated with no risk to goals scored. Abes does the dirty work, Zetts sets up Pulkkinen with his wicked one timer. Pulkkinen needs to be in the top 6 to maximize his immense talent, Zetts would be the perfect center for him. Pulkkinen could be a rookie of the year candidate if placed on this line. 


 3rd Line

Jurco/Sheahan/Tatar....only makes sense for this line to stay together. You don't mess with nice chemistry. All young talented forwards who can play a nice two way game, so not out of place in the bottom six. This would be the best 3rd line in the league.


4th Line

Franzen/Helm/Ferraro....I honestly did not know where to stick Franzen, his days as a top 6 forward are over, I don't believe Holland would buy him out, but he does not deserve top minutes anymore. His inconsistency is maddening. Helm is one of the best skaters around...he makes this team no problem, but I don't think he should be displacing Riley as the 3rd line center...Sheahan has upside, Helm is what he is. Not sure if Ferraro can make the jump from center to the wing, but this might be a nice spot to break him in without having a lot of pressure to produce.


 Franzen is 35 and signed for 5 more years??  That is crazy. His 3.9 mill cap hit is not outrageous, perhaps some team would take a chance on him, maybe trade a prospect and make the team take his contract to even things up? If Franzen is dealt, Miller takes his place? Where does Weiss fit in, is he part of the future plans? He makes a lot of money, so perhaps he would fit in where I have the rookies slotted, but I really think the lines I made would be the best case scenario for the Wings going forward.


 This really is the start of a new era for the Wings. Having Blaishill inserted means the old status quo will not fly. No longer will the vets have an advantage over the youth, in fact, the coach is more familiar with the kids than the vets, that might mean a more active role for the kids going forward. That is why I inserted Pulkkinen and Larkin inserted into the top 6, a new day has dawned in the Motor City. The vets are going to be challenged and the forward depth chart will be rewritten.

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Rumors are getting louder that the Mule may be LTIR ala Marc Savard or Pronger. Concussion issues may very well end his career.

I am torn by Larkin but truthfully, I would rather he spend the year at GR, or at least start the year there.

Glendening is our super pest, P/K killer extraordinaire, he has to center the top line.

Zetterberg was awful the second half, after carrying the Wings during the first half of the year he slipped badly. At this point, I think playing the Wing is the best thing for him, keep him fresh longer into the season. Weiss has to get into the lineup, absolutely has to start earning his keep.

My lines:

Nyquist Datsyuk Abdelkader The trio clicked well al year

Zetterberg Weiss Tatar Lots of firepower, Z has a lesser role on the wing

Pulkinnen Sheahan Jurco Nice kid line

Ferraro Glendening Helm Try scoring on these guys

Love the four lines.

The weak link is line number two, unless Weiss proves he can still play and line number three runs the risk of boom or bust.

If Larkin kills it at the AHL level forcing the wings hands, it allows so many options, if Jurco is bad, if Pulkinnen does not transplate to the NHL, if Weiss cannot handle the load, Z gets hurt, ect...... nice to have him waiting in the, no pun intended, the Wings....

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 Would tend to agree with @yave1964 on this one (I'm also contractually obligated to do so).  Glenndening needs to be around.  He's been one of my favorites the last couple years.  I would think pulling up Plukinnen, Larkin, and Ferraro all at the same time to permanent spots is a bit iffy.  Pulkinnen sure, Ferraro maybe, but not Larkin.  There's no hurry to get him onto NHL ice, so we should cultivate him a bit.


Pulkinnen can be up with the big boys but we'd have to be careful which defensive pairing he's coupled with.  Pulkinnen needs a lot of help defensively, so you'd need a sharp pair behind him to watch his back.  


OI wouldn't say Erik Cole never fit in.  He's moved the puck well and scored his fair share of points.  I would love to see him back, but I think his health issues are going to end his career unfortunately.  He's 36, has a wife and family, and has suffered what, at times, can be a paralyzing injury.  I think he's thinking of more important things right now, and probably won't be back unless he gets full permission from his family and probably three sets of doctors saying he's 100%.  


I will say that yes, Cleary needs to hang 'em up.  I don't know if he'll get a whole lot more playing time elsewhere.  Time to bow out gracefully.  Franzen is probably done too.  He barely skated all year, much less participate in drills.  I understand he still has monster, debilitating headaches occasionally.  That's not a sign you're close to a return.  

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@WingNut722  Yeah, it probably was pushing the envelope, putting 3 kids in there....but hey, if it is ever gonna happen, it would be under the new coach.  I'm just wondering out loud, what if Weiss stinks and Larkin rips it up in GR....never know.

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@jammer2@yave1964@WingNut722@Old School Hockey


The beautiful thing is the options we will have. I'm not as big a Weiss fan as yave is, and I know that he thinks Babs had it in for him, and he may be right. But if he isn't any better than he was last year, he isn't gonna be on the 2-line long in my book, and we have options to replace him.


I have a hard time seeing Helm on a 4th line. His speed is just too darn valuable to relegate him to a 4th line. I know, just cuz it's a 4th line doesn't mean it has to get 4th line minutes, but I like him better in a more offensive role. He'll still be on the PK, so we'll still see him in a defensive role enough. But I like Ferraro with Glendening a lot, and Helm would fit that role well, I just think it's beneath him some and to a degree a waste of assets.


I like the idea of Sheahan and Pulkinnen. Sheahan is becoming a VERY good setup man, and Pulkinnen needs that to play at his best. To me Jurco may be the weak link here. I just wish that kid would get really good at SOMETHING! Glendining has found a role. Sheahan has found a role. Pulkinnen's role is obvious. What does Jurco do? ? Even Ferraro seems to already have developed a good defensive reputation. Jurco just seems to be skating along without definition. He needs to QUICKLY define who he is gonna be or else a kid will be defining who THEY will be.


See, and the other thing is that Weiss mucks things up a bit more. If Weiss plays, Larkin will be a Griffin until the end of the season, where he might be called up to rest somebody. I KNOW he may have potential, but I haven't seen it since we got him, and I wonder if he will ever regain his play from years past.


Franzen is history. We can't afford to take the risk of playing him. I agree he is LTIR into the sunset. Thanks for those few brilliant stretches where you showed your potential, and then thanks for nothing these past few years.


Z on the wing--I like it. We've got enough talent down the middle where we can afford to let him focus more offensively some and try to regain his confidence. I think he's never been as low as he was at the end of this season in his career. He needs to right the ship, and letting him focus is probably a good idea. Unfortunately it meas Weiss is in the middle for now, but Weiss is replaceable. We have the talent to do so if he doesn't play well.


I agree with WingNut on Cole. Just can't afford the risk of playing him, even though I could see him doing well if he wasn't damaged goods. He's damaged goods, unfortunately. I wish him well.


I'm just gonna say this: Jeff Blashill has got a good team to work with, and good options to go to if he needs them. He has a VERY good opportunity here. There's plenty of coaches who would love the kind of options he has with this team and with the kids who will still be in GR at the ready. It won't surprise me to see him move a few lines around to get a sense of the assets he has to work/experiment with and the chemistry some individuals have with one another. Other than that top line of Nyquist/Datsyuk/Abdelkader, we could see a lot of tinkering to find the best fits.


I would like to see Larkin at least start the season in GR. I'd rather him tear it up in GR forcing us to bring him up than take the risk of bringing him up too soon, him struggling to adapt to the speed of the NHL and damaging his confidence. Let his play in GR tell Blash when he's ready. The ONLY way starting him as a Wing works is if he plays VERY well up here right from the start. Risky, IMHO. Let him start down there, and if his play demands a call-up, no need to hesitate. But seriously, I'd LOVE to see what he is able to do to help make Mantha and Athanasiou better players as well. I am really intrigued with that line in GR right now, and if he can continue to make those guys play better along with him, watch out!

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