View Full Version : The Definitive NHL Offseason Thread for *ALL* Offseasons!

June 28, 2014, 04:59 AM
Simply too much goes on during offseasons not to have this thread. We have the draft, trades, UFAs and RFAs, folks getting fired and hired all over the place. Things that influence the following season.

So the Wings are probably on their final year of rebuilding-on-the-fly as our "kids" return with last season's experience under their belt. The overpaid dead weight accumulated by Kenny is being discarded, and I hope Alfie has one more year of hockey left in him. Top scoring prospects Mantha and Pulkinnen are likely to be the last two pieces in our offense, as our top defensive prospects try to win jobs. How ready are Sproul, Ouellet, Almquist, Backman and Marchenko? Can we land Niskanen or Iginla without overpaying? Our top draft pick Dylan Larkin is a local guy like Legwand, but a better skater with time on his side. His skillset is limited at this point but hard work and a few years with the Wolverines can change that pronto. How soon will he be NHL ready remains to be seen.

The Pens have new GM and a defense-first coach looking to get them back in serious Cup contention. It would be fascinating to see what they do next year. The acquisition of Hornqvist is a good sign. He's likely to thrive playing with two of the finest players in the world.

Can the Rangers sustain their success this year and build on it? If so, then how?

The Blackhawks-Kings dynastic scenario is very similar to the Red Wings-Avalanche from the mid 90s to the first half of the new century. Who will come out on top? Can the Ducks (now with Ryan Kesler), Sharks, Avs and Minny seriously challenge their domination of the West next season?

Has the decline already started for the Bruins? Some dynasty!

The Leafs have drafted well. Nylander may be small, but he's skilled and gutsy like a mini-Zetterberg. Will the Leafs trade him for a bigger, more "established" local player who too will crumble under the pressure of playing in the most hostile, unsettling, rumor-infested hockey market in the hockey universe? What will the Asgardian genii do with Phaneuf or Rebound Reimer? Will they trade JVR for more Clarksons of the world? The 50 year milestone is just around the corner guys! Tick-tock, tick-tock ... :floor:

Fire away.

July 3, 2014, 08:47 AM
Kenny approached a number of UFA defensemen with great offers, looking to overpay as usual -- only to have each and every one of them turn down his inept,fiscally irresponsible and abhorrently clueless yuppie @$$. Then he swallows his mysterious pride and re-signs the grossly overpaid mediocrity AKA Kyle Quincey. He was with the rest of the RWN and wanted to get rid of him before being so soundly rejected.

Times have indeed changed and nobody wants to come to Detroit anymore. The town itself may resemble a Zombie Apocalypse of the present, but living there isn't bad at all for well-paid hockey players who can afford the great life around the metro area.

We 're just not contenders anymore despite having a great scouting and farm system, arguably the best in the NHL for 3 straight decades, and money. LOTS and LOTS of money in a beautiful state where hockey is king.

So it looks like we have no other option than to go with our kids, all undervalued by the pundits because usually none of them are NHL ready before our farm system makes them into potential stars.

Of course when these kids become dominant players like Lidstrom, Fedorov, Osgood, Holmstrom, Draper, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall, Helm and Howard, there will be no shortage of quality UFAs lining up to win the Cup with us. That's reality. Only those of us in the RWN have faith in our bright future despite being critical, and we should be no longer surprised by the fact that the rest of the league doesn't see things the way we do. So we shouldn't be surprised by the reality of fair weather UFAs.

Good article from Ansar Khan about the next season in light of Kenny's most recent failure.

The Detroit Red Wings will head into 2014-15 with virtually the same roster that finished 2013-14, barring a significant trade.

This isn't how they planned it. They desperately wanted to upgrade their back end by adding a right-handed shooting defenseman and pursued several free agents on Tuesday. For a variety of seasons, none of which were financial, Matt Niskanen (Washington), Dan Boyle (N.Y. Rangers), Stephane Robidas (Toronto) and Christian Ehrhoff (Pittsburgh) – the only lefty of the group – signed elsewhere.

It prompted the Red Wings to re-sign Kyle Quincey (two years at $8.5 million), leaving them in the same spot as last season – with the same seven left-handed shooting defensemen.

They will return 13 forwards (not including Daniel Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary, whose statuses remain undecided), losing only David Legwand, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson from the season-ending roster. And they'll bring back the same goaltenders -- Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson.

It's a group that had to scrap for every precious point. They squeaked into the playoffs as the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference before being dispatched in five games by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.

But while they have not improved thus far in the off-season, there is much room for improvement from within.

The Red Wings had 421 man-games lost to injury – second in the NHL according to mangameslost.com. They missed their best players for significant chunks of the season – Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg played 45 games each, Johan Franzen appeared in 54 games. Defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith missed 62 games combined.

It was a wasted season for second-line center Stephen Weiss (four points in 26 games), who can only be healthier and better.

A team will have a lot of injuries every season, but not like that.

Fortunately, several young players stepped up. They must continue growing ...

... Having all or many of these players for the entire season, or most of it, will boost an offense that ranked 16th out of 30 teams. That is why acquiring a forward was not the priority. ...

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE (http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2014/07/detroit_red_wings_can_improve.html)

July 3, 2014, 09:15 AM
I for one am *GLAD* that Kronwall, not Niskanen will be our best paid defensemen next season. Sure you can pay a Weber, a Doughty, a Keith or even a Suter more than our top defensive guy, but neither Niskanen nor Boyle are of that class. I'm also glad that DeKeyser and a finally improving Smith can ask for more now.

Team still eagerly pursuing defensemen via trade, unlikely to add a forward is closer to the article’s substance, and frankly I’m fine with that. If at the end of the day we make a move for a defenseman and have space remaining to add a non-Alfie scoring forward we should check the market then. I think we’ll move a roster forward in almost any trade worth making, but we have time to determine if Mantha, Pulkinnen, Ferraro, Callahan, Nosek, or Jarnmark can fill a role occupied by a tradeable asset now.

The only thing that bothers me is that Kenny and Babcock have been saying since the end of last season that we must improve the blue line. So far we are bringing everyone back from last season who were all factors in our line not being good enough. Sure Kronwall was great, and Dekeyser was a rock and Ericsson did his thing. But Kindl, Quincey, Lashoff and Smith at points were all liabilities. While Smith made leaps and bounds over the last few weeks of the season and the playoffs with more minutes, in a limited role he committed more mistakes and was even moved to forward at a point. Kindl lost his spot in the playoffs in an elimination game to a rookie with less then 5 regular season games under his belt who absolutely made him look like a pylon in comparison. Lashoff was never going to be more than a 7th defenseman and that is where he should be at the start of the season, which is not bad but the team can not rely on him to play as many games and as many minutes as he had to do to the injuries and bad play of Kindl and Quincey at points.

And I can understand why we brought Quincey back, but I do not agree with it. The only hope we have now is one of two things. A. A trade for a better defensemen, at what surely will be a big cost (Prospects and picks are Detroit has right now to leverage) or B. Some of the kids do win, and Kenny and Coach Babcock own their promise of letting kids have a chance to steal jobs, and actually admit that jobs were stolen. I do believe they will but that remains to be seen.

Having said that, some folks seem to be treating the Quincey signing as if we chose Quincey over those other UFAs. He was obviously a last resort and a decent one at that. Not only was he actually one of our most reliable players the second half of the season, but at least there’s no question marks in terms of locker room chemistry or understanding our system. Those question marks would obviously be worth it for a 1-2 dman, but after missing out on those other guys if we HAVE to fill that position with a Quincey-caliber 3-4 guy, it might as well just be him. How much did we have to hear from both Weiss and Legwand about getting used to the Wings system. I realize those aren’t dmen, but at the least we know Quincey should in theory be able to pick up where he left off and there shouldn’t be any transitional period.

Now if we can make a trade at some point for Green that seems like the way to go. A UFA would have obviously been best, but if we can improve a little without losing a top prospect or a first rounder I think it’s worth doing. Green+Quincey is definitely better than just Kindl.

July 3, 2014, 09:24 AM
Of course Howard needs to get better. I think he will provided the injury-prone Gustavsson Bin Mortaza stays healthy enough to push him. Something Mrazek is also ready to do. We need Howard to be a .930 goalie, not a below .910 one. He's always at his best when he has to fight for his job, so I remain cautiously optimistic on that front.

July 10, 2014, 09:32 AM
Kane and Toews got paid ! matching $10.5 mil/yr.

Meanwhile, pens re-tooling continues. New Comers : Hornqvist ( don't know much about him except I heard he likes to play in dirty areas ), Nick Spalling, Christian Erhoff, Blake Comeau, Steve freaking Downie, Thomas Greiss and Goc re-signed We will see how they mesh together. Lots of Euro players coming in all of a sudden. Shero always avoided them for some strange reason, but drafting Matta possibly changed things. No.1 pick is kappanen this year. Its good for the franchise. We used to have Czechs galore once upon a time. I think Rutherford will make another trade before the season starts. Martin maybe traded, since he is a UFA next year, and most likely he would be gone.

September 5, 2014, 10:58 AM
35 days till puck drops...

September 5, 2014, 10:59 AM
BTW, how do I change my signature? Disco and his quotes gotta go..