Thursday, July 14, 2005

HOLLAND CAN NO LONGER THROW CASH AT RED WING PROBLEMS

The NHL is returning and now we get to see how good Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland really is.
He's worked before with more ammunition than most of the league. If the Wings had a hole he could throw unlimited amounts of cash. Why do you think the Wings fielded a virtual Hall of Fame roster for many years?
Now the entire league plays on a level playing field. Let's face facts. The only way teams could beat the Wings in the playoffs was through superior goal tending.
When the league returns this fall after a 301-day lock out there is going to be a salary cap. That means teams can spend between $22 million to $37 million on player salaries. Of course the Wings will be at the high end. But Holland won't enjoy the advantages of a $70 million pay roll while teams in Calgary, Ottawa and other NHL outposts spend about half that.
The Wings are no longer the New York Yankees of the NHL. They must do more than show players the Benjamins. They must now outhustle, out think and out do rivals.
Holland has tough choices. He must reduce pay roll, buy players out and then try to sign an elite goal tender. He will smartly part ways with Curtis Joseph and try to replace him.
It is quite the challenge. And we know privately some in the organization have questioned Holland's command for the game. Was he simply the best because he enjoyed the largest war chest?
My guess is the man will remain aggressive and innovative. Remember a number of their young star players were low picks where superior scouting paid off.
The Wings should remain an elite team because we will always demand it and the NHL needs it.

** For the next week we will hear how unnecessary the 301-day NHL lockout was.
I disagree.
When you are in bad shape and in desperate need of a make over, time does not matter. You work on it until you get it right.
The NHL was about to disappear in Canada. In the United States it was about to become professional bowling. Interest in the NHL was shrinking like the evil witch in the Wizard of Oz. It needed to become leaner, meaner and more fun.
This lockout is exactly what the league needed. It hurts in the short term, but long term it may have saved the NHL.
Teams were in danger of folding.
More importantly the league needed to become something more fans could enjoy. No one wants to see men on skates clutch and grab. If you wanted to see guys tug on each other you could watch amateur wrestling.
The NHL was the only league where muckers shined in the playoffs while the stars were hindered.
Now that will change.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope for the elimination of ties!!! I see nothing wrong with a shootout, especially if they're going to do two freaking overtimes. You need a WINNER and a LOSER. No ties, or single points for overtime losses (absolutely asinine).

8:49 AM

 
Anonymous Tony Hamera said...

Terry, while I agree with the point that Holland kept an 'all star' roster with a huge payroll, he did seem to keep finding diamonds in the rough in the NHL draft, drafting so low all the time. Players like Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Hudler, and Kronwall are the result of a keen eye by GM Holland and his staff and I think that will continue.

9:47 AM

 
Anonymous Nathan said...

Terry,

He will do excellent. The scouting has proven to be the best in the league when you consider that they've made nothing (low picks) into something (all-star caliber players).

One thing people are forgetting is that even after these buyouts occur, players are quickly going to realize that they aren't going to get the money on the open market that they think they will. I think that will bring some guys back that we don't expect to have back, and I think it will probably bring in another top-notch player with a new face, as well.

I'm excited. Thank god hockey is back.

10:02 AM

 
Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

AS a huge hockey fan, its good to see hockey in the headlines again.

I have a question for Terry and all you other red wings fans:

Nick Lidstrom will make like 7.6million after the 24% rollback.

Now, I have to admit Lidstrom is/was my favorite player, and I really repect the guy, BUT, should Kenny Holland buy the guy out?
Think about it- With 7.6 million, the wings could pretty easily get a good, veteran goalie (like the bulin wall), and another veteran defenseman (like Mathieu Schneider).

I hate the phrase in the NFL, and i hate it even more in the NHL, but could be ba a "salary cap casualty"?

10:46 AM

 
Anonymous Nathan said...

sportsfromA2,

No way. It would be insane to let a guy go that is cutting himself out to be the best overall defenseman in NHL history (go to hell Ray).

As great as Schneider is, Lidstrom is a considerably better passer and offensive quarterback, all the while being more defensively responsible. Nobody in history has been as defensively good with their stick as Lidstrom. Schneider is more physical, but he's going to spend 100+ minutes off the ice, whereas Nick will only miss about 20.

11:24 AM

 
Anonymous Nathan said...

You guys... keep Shanny. He's going to be the benefactor of playing left wing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg since Hull left town.

He'll have a 25-30 season for sure, and maybe even better depending on how long it takes players to adjust to the rule changes.

This is a little naive, sure, but if they get that line flying with some of these new rule changes, Shanny might net near 40...

11:40 AM

 
Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

nathan,

I totally understand what you're saying, I just thought it was an interesting scenario, and something kenny Holland might have to think about.

I guess my point is that if we buy out Hatcher (i hope we do), and don't sign Chelios (we should not) we still have:
Kronwoll, Fischer, Mat Dandenault (i think he could really thrive in with the rule changes), and I think we could get Jason Wolley at a very low price. That is a very good group of defensemen, young and athletic.

Again, goalie is the problem, and someone like the Bulin wall will cost around 5million- if we get him, we shold buy out manny (saves us 1million), and a joey mcDonald/Marc LaMonthe/Stefan Liv could play backup. But that still puts us over the cap, i tihnk, with a few roster sports to fill.

Of course, Lidstrom will be an UFA at the end of this year anyways, so maybe Holland can renegotiate the contact for like 3yrs/5-6mil a season. That's pretty fair.

1:47 PM

 
Anonymous Nathan said...

sportsfromA2,

Definately. Sorry if I seemed overly defensive, I know you weren't saying we should do it, I was just answering the question. Sometimes I guess I might get a little fired up? :)

Anyways, unlike Mikey X., I think that the Wings can be successful and win a Cup with Manny Legace. In this up coming season, in particular, I think goaltenders will be a little behind in adjusting to the new rules. With that said, I think a guy like Legace will have his chance to become an Osgood or Vernon-like goalie, which is all this team needs right now.

4:26 PM

 
Anonymous Nathan said...

sportsfromA2,

Definately. Sorry if I seemed overly defensive, I know you weren't saying we should do it, I was just answering the question. Sometimes I guess I might get a little fired up? :)

Anyways, unlike Mikey X., I think that the Wings can be successful and win a Cup with Manny Legace. In this up coming season, in particular, I think goaltenders will be a little behind in adjusting to the new rules. With that said, I think a guy like Legace will have his chance to become an Osgood or Vernon-like goalie, which is all this team needs right now.

4:26 PM

 
Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

No problem nathan, we just love the sport/team so much, it's easy to get worked up, LOL.

See, my thing is that with the small pads, and especially if the nets get bigger, Manny is a very small goalie. He is like 5'9", and he's not young, and he's not too fast. The have shown that they can win with an average goalie, but I wouldn't risk it, because the wings (and any other team near the cap) can't do what we used to- buy at the trade deadline. So pretty much the wings have no room for error, because they can't add any $$ during the season. So we can't bank on all goalies struggling, we have to go in 100% confident.

That is my reasoning to go for the best goalie, period- because goalies with bad technique will be exposed with the small pads, and goalies with good technique & good instincts will continue to be good.

I tihnk Kiprisoff, Turco, Luango, and Jose Theadore will realy show that they're the top goalies. I don't know if Khabibulin is up there, but I tihnk he's better then Manny.

BUT, an athletic defense will be VERY important. I tihnk a player like Dandanault will be awesome.

4:42 PM

 
Blogger Ian C. said...

I think Holland will get a grace period, maybe two or three seasons. Not just from the fans and media, who are smart enough to realize this is a different NHL. But from the players also, who still realize that regardless of payroll, Detroit is probably the best place to play in the NHL in terms of support from the organ-I-zation and the fans.

There's going to be an adjustment period because the Wings have so much payroll to sort out and jettison. But as others have pointed out, Holland has also managed to find home-grown talent to fill a roster, rather than throw money at every single hole.

5:24 PM

 
Anonymous Nathan said...

sportsfromA2,

That's a good point. I never really thought about how small Manny is. Very good point.

I think he has a quick glove, and his side-to-side movements are great, but Theadore is a better side-to-side goalie, Turco has a better glove, and Luongo is just one of the 3 best overall goalies in the world.

12:31 PM

 
Anonymous Chris said...

How big of diamonds are Hudler, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Krowall actually?

I admit, they are quite skilled, but are they future all stars?

Or, are they a product of playing with one of the two of the top 20 greatest players of all time (Hull and Yzerman)? And, not to think of future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom, All Star Mattheiu Schneider, Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, and former MVP and Selke winner Sergei Fedorov.

From what Art Regner says, he thinks that Lidstrom will be a huge part of this team under the new rules. With no red line, he expects that first pass to be crucial to offense, and Nicklas Lidstrom is the best in the game at it.

I do believe Shanahan and McCarty should be bought out. Sorry. Shanahan has forgotten where the front of the net is and McCarty has never reached his potential as a high round pick. McCarty has the desire and fire but lacks the touch and skating ability for his $1.7M.

A buddy of mine heard a rumor on the radio (he's stupid and can't remember where he heard it) that Robert Lang was a candidate for a buyout. Anyone know if there was any truth to that???

1:08 PM

 
Anonymous chris said...

Is anyone else worried that the 'smaller' goaltender equipment might lead to more injuries?

Or, is it going to be more form fitting and actually provide equal or better protection?

Has anyone heard one way or the other?

1:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:52 PM

 

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