Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

When You Lose Like We Lost? This Happens

First, what do I mean by “like we lost”?  Good question.  Here’s what I mean: in the first round, to a team that has less talent but more heart, in a way that made more than a few of us wonder whether or not this team really cares all that much about winning in the first place.

Ugly. Like 1am ugly.  Ugly first round playoff losses to Nashville (or Edmonton…we’ll get to that in a second) can often lead to organizational finger pointing.  We haven’t reached that point yet, but it’s-a-comin’. 

Larry Lage

“We have tons of money and if we can use our cap space to get high-end free agents, we have a shot to get right back on top,” Babcock said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, two days after Nashville eliminated Detroit. “If we’re fortunate in free agency, we won’t have to look at going in another direction.

“The standard here has always been to chase the Stanley Cup, so as a coach, I’m hoping the free-agent market helps us continue to have those goals.”

In other words, Kenny?  Get me the players and I’ll coach the players. Get me scorers and I’ll put them in positions to score.  Do your fuching job and I’ll do mine.  That’s what our Uncle Mike is saying right there.  And why?

Because of this.

Chuck Pleiness

“I think our team played hard, but the playoffs are a new season. We led the league in 5-on-5 scoring and our special teams weren’t as good in the regular season. In the series, our special teams won 4-2 and we couldn’t score 5-on-5.”
The Predators outscored the Wings 11-4 in 5-on-5 play.

“Sometimes you’ve got to win 2-1,” Holland said. “We kept giving up three. We felt if we could keep the special teams close we had a chance because of our five-on-five play. If you look back on the series, the turning point was the two games at home. If you can’t win a home game, you’re not going to win a series.”

In other words, Mike?  I stacked your team and even though we had some injuries you’re supposed to be the best coach in hockey, Mr. Canada.  Lead this team. Coach this team.  Take them further than the second round. Do your fuching job and I’ll do mine.

Tick Tock’s words came in a telephone interview with half the world on Saturday. Uncle Mike’s quote came from a telephone interview on Sunday.  I’m thinking the two guys who should be spending some quality Don Draper/Roger Sterling time together are talking way too much to a lot of people who don’t have their best interests at heart. In other words, STFU to the media, get your heads together and start planning an all-out assault on the fortified camps of the Parise and Suter armies.

Last time we faced a disgusting pale of dog shit like this?  2006 after the punch in the face at the hands of Edmonton and snaggle-toothed Dwayne Roloson.  Remember what followed that?  The Summer of Ken.  Remember how that summer turned out?  Not all that frigging great.  At a time when we had cash to spend and a greater need than any summer in recent history? Ken Holland did a whole lot of jack squat. If you need a reminder of that, click here.

We don’t want to hear a thing about being outbid, outthought, outstrategized, outdrank, outanything. Nada. None of it.  You got money. Spend the money.  Bring us The Pair and do it on 1 July. 

Tick Tock and Uncle Mike. Nobody’s getting fired. Live with each other and deal with this problem. 

 

 

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Comments

RWBill's avatar

Since I had this worked up anyway,

Is Vancouver burning,  again?
4957042.bin

4956357.bin

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/23/12 at 03:08 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Ugh. Let’s hope the story you’re implying is not really going on, these are just random interviews.  Babs however didn’t hesitate to point out that Detroit wasn’t good enough up front, you know, the position he had specifically requested during free agency last year after the Wings couldn’t score vs San Jose, but got zero help.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/23/12 at 03:14 AM ET

Chet's avatar

i said this in a TMR comment yesterday. holland sounds like he’s in denial and sounds pretty defensive. the end of this season was a *#$%@& joke, as are his lame attempts at defending the product the wings had on the ice.

how many times have we heard from the wings brass that this is a business that only measures success through winning? shut the *#$%@& up and start doing your *#$%@& job, holland. unreal…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/23/12 at 03:57 AM ET

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I, for one, am glad Holland DIDN’T spend extra cash on older players that would be temporary patches.  It’s bad enough he had to throw $3.25 mil. at Ericsson.  Sure we coulda had Willie Mitchell for about $1.5 mil, but then we wouldn’t have had the roster space to see just how good Brendan Smith is.  Sure we coulda grabbed a Jamie Langenbrunner for another $1.75 mil. or so, but then we wouldn’t have had the roster space to see Gustav Nyquist do his best Pavel Datsyuk impersonation.  There are 2 sides to every coin, and for every person thats pissed of at Holland for not spending, there is a person like me who is glad he didn’t waste the money and roster space.

Obviously, adding Parise and Suter are smart moves because we know how good they are we salivate at the thought of them playing better once they work themselves into the “Red Wing System”.

For all of the Iginla haters out there, keep in mind, Calgary told him to tone down his game and don’t fight because he was the face of their franchise.  If he comes here, he can do what he wants cuz he’ll just be a 2nd or 3rd line power forward.  Let him fight all he wants.  He could be the gritty point producing winger we’ve been looking for.  Granted, he’s not young any more, but for those that stay up to watch the Calgary Edmonton clashes on HNIC, he’s got plenty left in the tank for a few more runs at the cup.  Why not here ?

It will be interesting to see how Vancouver handles losing to a #8 seed one season after being one game away from winning a Stanley Cup.  Will they panic and sell off half the team out of spite and anger, or will they maintain composure and just make a couple of necessary tweaks and not blow up their talented core ?

Sure, the season ended too soon ... summer vacation came early ... but for those of us that try to crawl into Kenny Holland’s head and figure out what moves he’s going to make to improve the team, the fun is just getting started.

Free agent frenzy is only 68 days away.  Don’t waste another second bitching about what could have been and what happened because.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/23/12 at 05:00 AM ET

Chet's avatar

meh. it’s time holland re-earned his reputation.

what’s that reputation, you ask? winning. WINNING.

anyone who says anything else is also in denial.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/23/12 at 05:07 AM ET

Chet's avatar

and again, this is the problem i have w what they’re saying: it is no less mortgaging the future to move picks and prospects for some over the hill vet who can’t make it through or disappears in the playoffs than to resign the SAME type of player, thus taking up a roster spot better used on a young player, whose development is delayed or who’s exposed to waivers OR who god forbid might contribute even more.

sorry. this used to work when the cap was new, lower, and veterans were crapping their pants about their futures. now it’s poor management. young players are as good, as hungry, as fit, and more resilient for these playoff wars.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/23/12 at 05:51 AM ET

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I, for one, am glad Holland DIDN’T spend extra cash on older players that would be temporary patches.

What about players who aren’t old and could easily be re-signed?

I love everyone who defends him not making the team better by assuming that he’s going to be trading for severly injured, concussed or decrepit old players.

Because thse are the players who were traded at the deadline, not young players who filled specific needs for teams, who added offense talent, defensive prowess or speed.

And it’s interesting that you used Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist as examples of people who wouldn’t have gotten a shot since both of them got their shots because of injuries, not because Detroit chose to carry two extra roster spots.  If Detroit picks up willie Mitchell does that somehow mean that Nick Lidstrom doesn’t get injured?

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 10:49 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Here’s how I see Ken Holland managing the Red Wing defense over the past 12 months:

- Signs Ericsson to a 3 year deal worth 3.25m per, roughly 2m over what he would’ve commanded on the open market.  See Lilja career path for best similar example.

- Publicly smirks and scoffs at Wyz comment about the Wings not paying market value (despite overpaying for Ericsson a few days earlier).

- Trades a first round draft pick for Kyle Quincey.  Mistake riddled, locker room cancer.  We’re stuck with him no matter what because Kenny will not have that egg on his face.

- Comparing Quincey’s recent tenure to Brad Stuart in spring of 2008 is a depressing exercise.

- I count four second and third line defenders on this current roster (Krons, White, Quincey, Ericsson) and zero premier first line players.  He’s got two spots to fill for Lids and Rafalski, we’ll be lucky to see one addressed while seeing a guy like Kronwall (who is not a first pairing lead nor an elite PP1 blue liner) promoted to back fill.  Losing Krons as the second unit lead will take our defense down a level.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 11:10 AM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Signs Ericsson to a 3 year deal worth 3.25m per, roughly 2m over what he would’ve commanded on the open market.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 09:10 AM ET

There’s no way he only gets 1.25 on the open market.  The insane market prices that were popping up last year are the reason he signed him to that number.  Wiz and Erhoff got ridiculous contracts that nobody had any business signing them to.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 11:44 AM ET

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Wiz and Erhoff got ridiculous contracts that nobody had any business signing them to.

Wiz and Ehrhoff were big names, and Ehrhoff for a $4M cap hit is not ridiculous, regardless of what the “real world” dollars are.  Holland hugely miscalculated what Ericsson was worth and what he would get on the open market.

Ehrhoff had 50 points to Ericsson’s 12 points and is better in pretty much every aspect of the game, and his cap hit is 3/4 of a million more than Ericsson.  Oh, and he’s being paid that much to be a top defenseman on Buffalo, not to be the #6 defenseman on the team.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 12:21 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by BrendonR from Toronto, ON on 04/23/12 at 09:44 AM ET

There continues to be a big misconception of inflated d-salaries last year based on two players, Erhoff and Wiz.  The problem is, Ericsson doesn’t come close to that nor did 99% of the rest of the dmen inked in the days leading up to and following July 1.

Take Ian White as a starting example: 

- White is four months younger than Ericsson
- White had 2x more TOI mins than Ercisson for his career
- White had averaged 18mins of TOI the past three seasons compared to Ericsson’s 12
- White was called on to be in the top pairing for three different NHL franchises
- White was paid a two year deal at 2.8 compared to Ericsson’s three year deal at 3.25.

Perhaps you are like Holland and you have bigger aspirations for a guy like Ericsson, who has had ample time to prove that he is something more than a 3rd line defender who can work the PK well? 

These are guys that swapped clubs starting on July 1st and would’ve been just as fine for my dollar, keeping us clear from being stuck with a 3rd line 31 year old Ericsson getting paid as one of the the top 60/90 player (ie: top line or second line lead across the 30+ NHL teams) in his position group:

- Shane O’Brien = 1 year at 1.6m
- Sean O’Donnell = 1 year at 1m
- Jim Vandermeer = 1 year at 1m
- Andres Lilja = 1 year at 600k
- Kent Huskins = 1 year at 1m
- Randy Jones = 1 year at 1m
- Sami Lepisto = 1 year at 800k
- Colin White = 1 year at 1m
- Scott Hannan = 1 year at 1m

Holland blinked just before the July 1st gun went off.

If you think Ericsson would’ve commanded more money and a longer term with otehr NHL than any of these guys, I’m all ears ready to be pursuaded as I have been for the past year.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 12:21 PM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

There’s no way he only gets 1.25 on the open market.  The insane market prices that were popping up last year are the reason he signed him to that number.  Wiz and Erhoff got ridiculous contracts that nobody had any business signing them to.

This.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 04/23/12 at 12:22 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Ericsson could have nailed at least that amount on the open market.

I’m glad most of the moves people suggest over the years are not done by Holland.  I would have liked to see them add something to this team that for most of the year was considered a top 4 or 5 contender for the Cup (see how well the other favorites are doing too - Pens, Canucks, NYR trailing, Sharks hooked and cleaned ), this also maybe was Lidstrom’s last year, but they didn’t make a move.  I didn’t see too much there to spend money on at the deadline.

Quincey is a cancer in the lockerroom?  Yeah, sure he’s got that impact.

I’ve been interested in getting Iginla although his contract and status as Calgary’s Captain have prevented that.  Despite his age I think he would still be a physical, energetic, and gritty forward who, most importantly, is a skilled goal scorer.  Don’t have a clue if that’s even remotely possible, haven’t checked his contract status.

It IS time for the KH to show something this summer… Turnover of personnel and for once, cap space is not a major restriction, not unless he signs a couple of franchise players.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/23/12 at 12:25 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

This.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 04/23/12 at 10:22 AM ET

This:
- Shane O’Brien = 1 year at 1.6m
- Sean O’Donnell = 1 year at 1m
- Jim Vandermeer = 1 year at 1m
- Andres Lilja = 1 year at 600k
- Kent Huskins = 1 year at 1m
- Randy Jones = 1 year at 1m
- Sami Lepisto = 1 year at 800k
- Colin White = 1 year at 1m
- Scott Hannan = 1 year at 1m

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 12:26 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by RWBill from the Land of 12 in 12. on 04/23/12 at 10:25 AM ET

Since others who share ideas on what Holland should be doing are usually off with your perspective, where do you think the defensive position group should be in 2 years?

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 12:27 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Ericsson could have nailed at least that amount on the open market.

Posted by RWBill from the Land of 12 in 12. on 04/23/12 at 10:25 AM ET

If I’ve missed some comparable contracts from last summer for others in the position group, please send them over.

We Wings fans like to think that Ercisson was considered a top 5 d UFA last summer (which is where his contract $ and length ended up coming in against all other d-men on the market), the problem is he’s not viewed that way by the rest of the NHL, let alone the others that were signed in the same summer class.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 12:37 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

My point was not that Errorson and Wiz/Erhoff are comparable, but that those two are perfect examples of how inflated the market was, real-world dollars or not.  It was a seller’s market due to the scarcity of quality D and the amount of teams needing them.

I obviously agree that he didn’t deserve nearly this much, and if it were up to me, he wouldn’t have be re-signed, period.  Not when you have Kindl and Smith both chomping at the bit.  But he has one thing they will never have and that’s huge size.  True, he never uses it, but obviously the team feels that can be taught.  A defenseman of his size, with an offensive history at forward, that’s been drafted and developed by Detroit and has proven to be a playoff performer in the past (who, exactly, scored the only Wings goal in that forgetful Game 7 against the Pens?) is a valuable commodity on the open market.  Pro scouts watch a lot of games, but they don’t watch the Wings as often as we all do, and so his mistakes are amplified for us and muted for them.  Even though he’s older, he’s still not at the prime age for D-men and so while we see someone who commits blunders on a regular basis, they see potential.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 12:44 PM ET

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the problem is he’s not viewed that way by the rest of the NHL

I can’t imagine he’s viewed that way by anyone.  It was a clear panic move, with Holland simply not wanting to have to fill two d-spots instead of one.

If Ericsson goes to the open market he maybe gets up to $2.5M, and guaranteed he’s still waiting for a contract offer when the Wings ink White on the second day of free agency.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 12:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sean O’Donnell is 40 years old and played for 13 minutes a night in only 51 games.
Jim Vandermeer? 25 games - 10 minutes per night
Lilja: 46 games - 13:41 per
Huskins: 25, 15:28
Jones: 39, 14:48
Lepisto: 26, 10:33
White: 54, 14:56

Onto the good comparisons:

Scott Hannan: 78 games played, 20:21 per night
Shane O’Brien: 76 games played, 19:13 per night

Shane O’Brien is also a cast-off plug who’s played for 5 teams in 6 seasons and took 14 more minor penalties than Ericsson this year.
Scott Hannan is 33 years old. He had good numbers, but he’s not the kind of guy a team that’s facing down significant defensive turnover is looking to “lock up” for any period of time.  I mean, why didn’t you use Mike Commodore’s contract in your comparison if you’re going to throw out a bevy of names way more comparable to him than you are to Ericsson?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/23/12 at 12:54 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by BrendonR from Toronto, ON on 04/23/12 at 10:44 AM ET

Appreciate your points, you’ve obviously put some thought to this situation as well.

When guys were getting signed in the post July 1 days last year (look at the list that I cobbled together) I couldn’t help but think that the size situation could’ve been addressed more effectively without cornering us into a lengthy contract for a guy that won’t be anything better than a 2nd line compliment on a below-average NHL club. Having had a fantastic 2nd line pairing for four years (Krons/Stuart), I’ve never felt comfortable with the notion that Ericsson would be a capable replacement which is what that contract tells me.


If Ericsson goes to the open market he maybe gets up to $2.5M, and guaranteed he’s still waiting for a contract offer when the Wings ink White on the second day of free agency.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 10:47 AM ET

Yep, that’s it right there.

It’s an unfortunate gamble by Holland (akin to surrendering a first rounder for Quincey) that we’re going to be stuck with for two more years.  He places a premium value on his guys, which in many ways contradicts what he was telling us three years ago when the Red Wing discount program was his dog and pony show.

I don’t think last summer was the time to be gambling on contracts like this, hell, Holland told us all we were just a few pieces away from being a “final four” club last June when he was reviewing other teams rosters.

I’m curious to hear what others think this position group is going to look like in two years. 

Do you think that this is the solution to get us back into the “final four” (last years mantra) or the “second round” (this years mantra) as Holland may very well be banking on?

Suter*/Kronwall
Quincey/Ericsson
Smith/White

*who is nowhere close to being a guarantee to sign here

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 01:01 PM ET

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(akin to surrendering a first rounder for Quincey)

In hindsight he overpaid for Quincey, but I still think there’s a good chance that Quincey works out.

*who is nowhere close to being a guarantee to sign here

Especially after Nashville beat Detroit.  It all depends on whether Nashville can re-sign him, but if they can’t re-sign him I don’t know how high Detroit would be on his list.

As much as I like Smith, I’m still hoping that our d-corps looks more like this:

Lidstrom/White
Kronwall/?????
Quincey/Ericsson
Kindl

I’m not comfortable yet with either Ericsson or Quincey on the second pairing.  Whether it’s Suter or just a stopgap one-year signing like Wideman, Roszival, Carle or someone along those lines.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 01:14 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

When guys were getting signed in the post July 1 days last year (look at the list that I cobbled together) I couldn’t help but think that the size situation could’ve been addressed more effectively without cornering us into a lengthy contract for a guy that won’t be anything better than a 2nd line compliment on a below-average NHL club.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 11:01 AM ET

I totally agree with the sentiment, but I’m not sure who was out there for KH to sign to address the size issue.  Big E was homegrown and already fully embedded in the system.  I don’t see any players on that list that are true comparables in terms of size, ice-time, and relative youth.  It’s the same reason why Franzen has value beyond scoring.  When your star players aren’t big guys, that has to come from somewhere else.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) “It’s the going rate, if you look at what’s happened (in free agency). If Big E’s on the market he would have gotten more money,” Holland said. “As we’ve seen (with some of Friday’s signings), everybody covets defensemen. His best years are ahead of him.”

If anyone on here claims to have had a better feel for the market last summer than Kenny, I’d have to laugh.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 01:20 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I mean, why didn’t you use Mike Commodore’s contract in your comparison if you’re going to throw out a bevy of names way more comparable to him than you are to Ericsson?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/23/12 at 10:54 AM ET

Dah, yeah, I guess I left Ronald out as well, thanks for pointing that out.  Although it begs the question, how many of the guys in that list saw fewer than 25 NHL games in 2010-11 with a third rate NHL club?

Take personal situations out of the mix for all of those guys (some were bumped off depth charts on deeper clubs, had injuries, etc.) and you’ve got a handful of viable solutions for the third pairing for this past season.

I remember talking to you about this back in December, at the time, Ercisson was still seeing 13 mins of TOI.  I was glad to see that his numbers went up quite a bit when Lids got hurt.  Someone making that much cash should be commanding bigger minutes.

It all leads me back to the roster vision for this group in a few years down the road following the expected loss of Nick and the unexpected loss of Rafalski last May.  I’m not sure the pieces they are working with right now are sufficient enough for this team to continue to play at a level we have grown accustomed to watching around here (and of course that is going to be the case sans Nick, but the depth, contract and potential pairings are nothing to write home about provided that Quincey is retained). 

As a result, contracts like Ericsson’s and the trade for Quincey get thrown under the microscope by a crabby fan like this cat.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 01:26 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 11:14 AM ET

Glad to read that you think Quincey could work out well here.  Really respect your opinion on this sh!t and I know you wouldn’t throw that out there without putting some serious thought behind it.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 01:31 PM ET

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If anyone on here claims to have had a better feel for the market last summer than Kenny, I’d have to laugh.

OK, here’s the thing.  WHO gives a flying *#$%@& about what Buffalo might have paid him?  Fine.  Someone else might’ve given him $11M a year to play for them.  That doesn’t make signing him for $3.25M a good deal.

So what if you lose a #5/6 defenseman because some other idiot wanted to overpay him?  Lose Ericsson and maybe Commodore gets into the lineup regularly and plays well like he showed he could the second he was given a shot in Tampa Bay.  He’s the same size as Ericsson and USES IT but was signed for LESS than a third of what they signed Ericsson for.

AND if you sign Commodore for 1/3 or Ericsson’s money, if he falters you have no qualms about putting in Kindl or Smith in his place because he only makes $1M, and we ALL know that if Ericsson wasn’t making $3.25M, he would’ve been scratched a few times.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 01:31 PM ET

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Glad to read that you think Quincey could work out well here.  Really respect your opinion on this sh!t and I know you wouldn’t throw that out there without putting some serious thought behind it.

Good to know you care enough to passive agressively comment without putting some serious thought behind it.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 01:52 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

That doesn’t make signing him for $3.25M a good deal.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 11:31 AM ET

It’s not a good deal at all, and no one will argue with you on that.  It’s about a combination of Detroit’s perception of his potential and the marketplace.  At the point of signing him, they didn’t know for sure if they would find someone for the Top 4 in free agency.  Maybe White signs somewhere else.  Perhaps Ericsson signs for a million more somewhere else a day or two into free agency.  Then you’re sort of stuck (in their eyes) and end up over-paying for someone like Wiz.  Putting Big E in the mix with Lidas/Kronner/Stuey and expecting him to learn from them, mature, and grow over the year into someone who belonged in the Top 4 was not a huge, huge stretch when compared to the other options available on the market.

Also don’t forget that Commie didn’t ever really crack the lineup.  Just because he had success in Tampa, who are coached very differently, doesn’t mean it was going to happen here.  Look at what Leino did in Philly and didn’t do in Detroit/Buffalo.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 01:58 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 11:52 AM ET

Ha!

Honestly, the third pairing peg that you listed earlier seems like a decent home for Quincey and Ericsson provided we can get the top dog filled a a solid compliment to Krons on the second pairing.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/23/12 at 02:10 PM ET

Chet's avatar

arguing about ericsson at this point is kind of missing the point. his contract is nowhere near the problem a few of our forwards’ seem to be of late and he really wasn’t as bad through the second half. then again, it was no surprise watching him nearly dump it at nashville’s blue then, then seeing klein pot that rush goal a week or so ago…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/23/12 at 02:38 PM ET

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At the point of signing him, they didn’t know for sure if they would find someone for the Top 4 in free agency.

OK, fine, but even if they don’t find a top 4 that doesn’t automatically mean that paying $3M+ for a #6 defenseman is a good deal, whether you’re playing him at #6 or trying to pretend he fits in the top four.

Also don’t forget that Commie didn’t ever really crack the lineup.

Oh I know, but he was never really given much of a chance to.  He didn’t see any regular season action until 10 games in and was never allowed any real stretch of play to assert himself.  The most games he played in a row for Detroit was six, and probably the only reason he was given that many was because of Ericsson’s injury.  I honestly think his signing was as much of a panic move as Ericsson’s was and when they signed White they likely weren’t able to trade him.  Commodore’s value on the open market was such that he agreed to sign with a team whose coach he went on the record as resenting.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 04:39 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Commodore’s value on the open market was such that he agreed to sign with a team whose coach he went on the record as resenting.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 02:39 PM ET

I think the Commie signing was one of KH’s usual what-if signings on the cheap, as in what if a few D get injured, or what if he grabs a spot and actually makes the team better.  I was a fan, and I know Babs seems to have his favourites and didn’t give him a true chance, but him and Kenny saw enough out of him in training camp and practice to make that call.  I would replace ‘panic move’ on both his and Big E’s accounts to ‘insurance move’.  And that’s why he’s a GM in control, because if Plan A doesn’t pan out, he has Plan B.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 05:28 PM ET

wedge56's avatar

There’s no way he only gets 1.25 on the open market.  The insane market prices that were popping up last year are the reason he signed him to that number.  Wiz and Erhoff got ridiculous contracts that nobody had any business signing them to.

—At the time, White had bounced around from team to team for a couple years.  We signed him for the most affordable contract we could and then he turns out to be very, very good.  That’s Holland’s fault?

So, when Q was released and he did pretty much the same in a different system with more ice time, did the LA fans blame their GM for all the D men on the team getting paid more than Q?

Posted by wedge56 on 04/27/12 at 12:49 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com