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lordstanley

2016 Offseason Thread

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Offseason-ish, but Svechnikov and Hicketts were assigned to Grand Rapids for their playoff run (they're currently up 2 games to 0 in their best of 5 first round, little Bert has 3 goals in two games) and I'm very interested in seeing how they do if they get playing time.

 

I've posted here before how their cap situation looks pretty bleak and that was without Datsyuk leaving.  I think the Wings' best chance of "remaking" this team next year is to go full youth mode and see where it goes.  Mantha, AA, XO, and Russo should get regular spots/long looks.  Zetterberg, Ericsson, and Kronwall all need their roles drastically scaled back.  It's going to be an interesting offseason.

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Well I obviously don't think it will happen, we're going to be staring at the same team pretty much next season, but in my opinion the only changes to this team this offseason that can be made are from within.  Unless Holland suddenly decides he is okay with parting with prospects in a trade but I see that happening even less.

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Russo intrigues me. He's a bit older due to his college career and wasn't highly thought of even this past summer. I don't think the Islanders were crushed he came our way. But he seems to have had a stellar year in Grand Rapids. I'll admit to not even having seen 10 seconds of him so I'm simply going but what I've read.

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Some quotes from cleanout day today:

holland: unfortunately, we didn't have a very good year. we had a disappointing year. we never gained any momentum. NO QUICK FIXES.

"I'm not into a rebuild. They take 8-10 years and that's if you want to tank it." - Ken Holland on Red Wings future.

holland: will explore trades more at draft this year. more aggressive.

holland: we're not reloading. we're not rebuilding. we're trying to go on a playoff run.

holland: we're going to try to win. we're going to try to make team a little different. going to give more responsibility to young players.

holland: we've got a lot of young players. larkin and mrazek. we've got to draft. we've got to develop. I'M NOT INTO A REBUILD.

holland: 25 years of making playoffs took away from draft picks. you need stars. yzerman and lidstrom replaced by Z. and Pavs.. one is 37 one is 35. will find out about datsyuk in a month. lack of picks means lack of refreshing talent.

holland: I think if you expect cups you are in wrong league. salary cap means 30 teams compete for cups. times have changed, dramatically.

holland: fans need to expect less than wings recent glory years because the nhl has changed.

holland: this year trade deadline a couple of players interested in, not willing to trade 1st round pick for one. give mantha, nosek chance.

holland: fans have to accept nhl is what it is, few distinguished team, lots of parity. some other teams are better.

holland: some teams that have gone through 10 year rebuild are out of playoffs today, just like we're out.

holland: talked to mr. and ms. ilitch sunday. talked to chris today. setting up meeting with all three next week.

holland: many teams that are very good now were lousy for a long time. I'm not going to tear it down to nothing. we still have talent.

"We're going to give more responsibility to younger players." Ken Holland on Red Wings future

"There are no quick fixes. You can't wave a magic wand and find a superstar" - Ken Holland on Red Wings future   (hmm, should we imply lack of interest in Stamkos here?)

holland: UFAs available this year will not change franchises. they are complimentary players, no franchise players.

holland: we've got some good young players. do we have stars? I don't know. we have to watch. no quick fix for any franchise, any sport.

"Part of the process of the next month is looking at every which way myself and my staff can be better." - Jeff Blashill (step 1: fire PP guy)

Jimmy Howard said he'd be OK with being traded. Said it's part of the business.  (as quoted by HSJ)

From listening to Henrik Zetterberg, sure get the impression Pavel Datsyuk has decided to return to Russia for next season. Not official.  (as quoted by HSJ)

 

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The above were tweeted by Krupa and HSJ. These are Ted Kulfan's takeaways:

Holland said he's formulating 2 plans - one with Datsyuk and one without...

Holland said he'd look to into trading Datsyuk's cap space but he wouldn't trade away prospects to create that cap space...

.Holland says he's expecting news Datsyuk is NOT coming back

Both Tatar and Nyquist hinted the constant line shuffling made things difficult to gain chemistry

Helm wants to know more about his role next season...could be gone

Blashill downcast, said Bishop was huge force in this series, said power play obviously never got on track during this series...

 

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From Wojo:

Chris ilitch says GM Ken Holland "absolutely" still has the support of Red Wings ownership. Full support.

From Jennifer Hammond:
A #13 Datsyuk jersey was signed by the entire team in dressing room on Monday - The handwriting is on more than just the wall.

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Some more tweets from beat writers this afternoon:

Tomas Tatar said he'd like to play in World Championship (Slovakia) but depends if doctors clear him from undisclosed injury.

Justin Abdelkader said he's not playing in World Championship due to dislocated finger.

Tomas Jurco will play in World Championship (Slovakia).

Datsyuk and Marchenko officially commit to playing in World Championship for Russia. More expected to follow.  (my comment: what does that say about Russia's D if Marchenko can make it)

 

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The retooling talk is nice, developing the young guys and getting them in the lineup is nice, but then they ride Zetterberg/Kronwall/Ericsson while AA plays no minutes, Mantha gets sent down, and XO/Russo are stuck in the AHL.  So basically they just want to tread water with the vets and pray some young guy develops without playing time in the NHL to save them down the line?  I don't get it.

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44 minutes ago, drownwithyou said:

The retooling talk is nice, developing the young guys and getting them in the lineup is nice, but then they ride Zetterberg/Kronwall/Ericsson while AA plays no minutes, Mantha gets sent down, and XO/Russo are stuck in the AHL.  So basically they just want to tread water with the vets and pray some young guy develops without playing time in the NHL to save them down the line?  I don't get it.

I found it interesting that in Helene St. James' recent column she at least touched on indirectly the "Swedish Mafia" rumors that had been swirling. For those who missed it, ex-WDFN, ex Toronto sports talk Greg Brady was saying that Zetterberg runs the Wings dressing room and was the one pushing for Ericsson to play over Smith and for Andersson to be called up in place of Mantha. Of course Jeff Moss of the Detroit Sports Rag took it ran with it a whole bunch of dramatics. 

Is Blashill a strong enough coach to make his own personnel decisions without too much influence from Holland and Zetterberg? Sure, get their opinions, but I can see both Holland and Z looking forward to Babcock's departure because they thought they'd have more influence on a rookie coach. If Blashill thinks Zetterberg is now a 3rd line center, Kronwall a 2nd pairing defenseman and Ericsson a 3rd pairing defenseman, will Holland and/or Zetterberg outrank him and overrule him. Not that I believe that the situation is as dramatic or an .open revolt like Brady and Moss would have us believe.

Some of the comments I heard from Holland sound like excuses for average records. Sure, it's HARDER under a salary cap but not impossible. His job is to do the hard stuff. 

 

 

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I always struggle to believe the veteran player is pushing for his friends to get more playing time angle.  I just don't feature professionals doing that.  Also, I am to believe Zetterberg pulls strings for Swedish players because they are Swedish?

Think of your own job.  For example, I don't know of too many guys in my line of work that would push for their friend on a project who is clearly worse than another option.  If anything, they distance themselves from a friend to prevent the suggestion they threw a bone to their drinking buddy.  Also, are to believe Holland defers to Zetterberg?  Blashill?  I don't see it.

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Also, above all else, athletes tend to respect skill.  You can be a total piece of ****, but if you win games by your play, your teammates will back you.  The minute they think you are costing them wins, that support dries up quick.

I would guess what pull Z has in the lockerroom would diminish pretty quickly if his teammates honestly thought his actions meant worse players played more.

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Quote

"holland: we're not reloading. we're not rebuilding. we're trying to go on a playoff run"

Oh great, stagnation and more of the same. Can we please end this before it gets any worse. At least if they blew the whole thing up and started over there would be a vision for the future that one could rally around and a coherent plan you could point to. What's being done now offers fans and the organization alike nothing. Kenny's gotta go.


 

Quote

 

"holland: we're going to try to win. we're going to try to make team a little different. going to give more responsibility to young players".


 

Yaaaaaawn, I'll believe it when I see it.

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If that report is true (and I find it very hard to believe, especially since Moss gave it steam) Blashill needs to take the C from Zetterberg because he's letting friendship/nationality hold the team back.  If Holland tells him he can't then Blashill should resign.  He's been successful everywhere, if he resigns and says look I was basically a puppet for Holland and Zetterberg I can't coach like that, I have to imagine he'd still get an opportunity down the line.  He was sought after before and the Wings had to turn down teams from interviewing him.  Zetterberg making roster decisions for his friends that blatantly hurt the team is not what a veteran captain does.  Go back to Sweden if you want to play in a fantasy world with your buddies.

 

But that's just my thoughts on the situation if it is true, I doubt it is.  I'm guessing Blashill took advise from Z and Kenny since he was a rookie, and deferred to vets because of the ol experience factor, his comments to the press point that way.  I wouldn't be surprised if Kenny did tell him that he needs to be more conservative down the stretch to try to preserve the streak (I'm also guessing this is coming from the top since the Illitch's don't want a bad team for the new arena) and this translated into giving all the vets time, etc. 

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I don't believe in a Swedish Mafia or that Zetterberg is deliberately putting nationality ahead of talent. But I believe Zetterberg could be biased and believe Ericsson is better than Smith and that Andersson would be more important in the playoffs than Mantha. And that Zetterberg would tell Blashill that.

I forgot to link to the HSJ column and pertinent paragraph. Using the words "biggest challenge may be to change some of the culture" suggests there's something going on.

http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nhl/red-wings/2016/04/24/detroit-red-wings-big-changes-needed-ken-holland/83457274/

"The biggest change the Wings made last season was behind the bench, where Jeff Blashill took over after a decade of Mike Babcock. Blashill has proven himself successful at different levels of hockey, but going forward, his biggest challenge may be to change some of the culture in the Wings’ dressing room. A very telling incident took place late in the season, when Blashill was told Zetterberg had commented he’d like to see what rookie Andreas Athanasiou could do with 18 minutes of playing time rather than half that. Blashill asked if Zetterberg had said he’d be willing to give up his minutes to make that happen. Zetterberg has put in many years of outstanding service, but he is no longer the player he was. He was left at end of the playoffs admitting he needed to do more."

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That makes me feel like it isn't a Swedish Mafia situation, just maybe some vets aren't able to accept their new roles yet.  If he wanted AA to get more minutes then that goes against the Swedish idea.  I wouldn't be surprised if Z asked for Andersson because of an extra penalty killer being on the team, and Mantha doesn't do that.  But the fact that Andersson didn't even play at all when he was up doesn't seem like Z was forcing him out there because of his nationality either.  My best guess is the culture that needs to change is that Z, Kronner, and Ericsson need to accept that they aren't very good anymore (well Ericsson needs to realize he never took that step to be above average) and step up and say the other young guys need expanded roles at the expense of their time.

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I was a little surprised that Helm seems unhappy. He won't be back.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/nhl/red-wings/2016/04/25/howard-helm-would-ok-leaving-red-wings/83509710/

There were situations I definitely wasn’t happy with this year, when those situations arose,” said Helm, though he would not provide details. “I want to see why that happened as often as it did and make sure I find a place where it won’t happen as often.”

Said Holland: “I have interest in Helmer coming back but it takes two to tango.”

 

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Mr. Tatar Salad wrote:

Oh great, stagnation and more of the same. Can we please end this before it gets any worse. At least if they blew the whole thing up and started over there would be a vision for the future that one could rally around and a coherent plan you could point to. What's being done now offers fans and the organization alike nothing. Kenny's gotta go.

Yaaaaaawn, I'll believe it when I see it

-------------------------------------------------------------

.

But Holland 's line about rather eating Datsyuk ' s cap hit if the price to move it is a lot of futures is the biggest hint I've ever heard dropped that the Wings aren't going to all they can to preserve the playoff streak.

Holland is right that tanking for years is stupid. But rebuilding through aggressive trading and smart free agent signings has to be done. He gave indications today that he will let Helm and Quincy go and try to me Howard - that is a start.

Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk

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I think this is a situation where it would be helpful to replace Granato with an older, experienced, former NHL Head coach type who is looking to get back behind the bench. Reminds me a little of Ausmus, who seems to let the inmates run the asylum too.

I don't get why Blashill would even ask Zetterberg.

I liked what Holland had to say.  It is definitely different from years past and I'm hopeful that there will be changes.  In years past, he could blame injuries or say well, we've got these great kids in GR, and Datsyuk and Zetterberg are still stars.  He knows he couldn't say that this year.  Talk is cheap, but I think it will be an interesting summer. 

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All that Holland had to say meant two things to me:

1) He is full of ****, excuses, whatever you want to call it.  Guy has lost his touch and now he wants fans to "lower expectations".  Will he lower ticket prices in exchange?  Screw him.

2) Holland needs to be let go.  It is time.  The cap era Is clearly too hard for him and he just has no clue how to build a roster anymore. 

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37 minutes ago, Kacie said:

I think this is a situation where it would be helpful to replace Granato with an older, experienced, former NHL Head coach type who is looking to get back behind the bench. Reminds me a little of Ausmus, who seems to let the inmates run the asylum too.

I don't get why Blashill would even ask Zetterberg.

I liked what Holland had to say.  It is definitely different from years past and I'm hopeful that there will be changes.  In years past, he could blame injuries or say well, we've got these great kids in GR, and Datsyuk and Zetterberg are still stars.  He knows he couldn't say that this year.  Talk is cheap, but I think it will be an interesting summer. 

What did he say that you liked?  What was any different from years past?  He is going to utilize the youth on the roster?  He says that garbage every year and then keeps guys like Cleary and Ericsson around.  I just have no faith in him anymore.  The team is in deep trouble going forward.

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Off topic, but helluva Game 7 going on in St. Louis. Blues 3 Hawks 2 with 8 minutes to go.

On topic, Radulov rumors? For 1 year, I'd be open to considering it.

BYE BYE HAWKIES. That was as intense as it gets.

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