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Abel to Yzerman

Kulfan: Wings Not In Running For Schultz

Via @tkulfan

Red Wings officially out of of the D Justin Schultz sweepstakes

See George’s post below for more from Kulfan. He says it’s not that big of a deal if we miss out on Schultz, which is a ridiculous statement..especially if July 1st turns out to be anything remotely similar to February 28th.

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Comments

Heaton's avatar

Yeah.  If we don’t sign anyone and end up with 20 million under the cap we might be in trouble.  We’ll still be in trouble even if we sign Suter and signed Schultz.  In fact, it doesn’t matter a damn thing which FA’s we sign if Filppula doesn’t continue getting better, same with Helm, Abdelkader, Smith and Nyquist.  We still have a really, really solid goalie who has let in 3 goals or less only like 3 times in his playoff career.

This team is far from safe, even if we sign Suter and Parise and Semin.  But that would take a lot of pressure off.

Posted by Heaton on 06/27/12 at 11:17 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

With that option gone, and Wideman…..prices have just escalated tremendously for July 1. Its gonna be a rough seas coming up.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/27/12 at 11:20 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Sure is interesting that Holland put his neck out there publicly yesterday to say that the Wings were gonna give this guy a run only for him to say no dice this evening.

Not sure if this is a back-room favor to help inflate a client’s well being or if Holland just got exposed.  Suppose we’ll find out on Sunday when Meehan’s other big name FA (Parise) signs a contract with somebody.  If it ain’t Detroit, Kenny has some egg on his face from this.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 11:22 PM ET

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Not sure if this is a back-room favor to help inflate a client’s well being or if Holland just got exposed.

I think the bottom line is that a shitty team like Edmonton who has garbage defense can guarantee him big minutes whereas Detroit was willing to guarantee him a roster spot and nothing more.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 11:24 PM ET

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Posted by Heaton on 06/27/12 at 10:17 PM ET

And even if we sign Parise and Suter and Semin and Carle and Brodeur as the backup, we’ll still be in trouble if the team takes a bus to the mall and the bus driver locks the door and it gets really hot and all the entire team dies from heatstroke.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 11:27 PM ET

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A few things:

A) Why is a guy not wanting to play in Detroit something that means Holland is ‘exposed’?  If the dude doesn’t want to play here, he doesn’t want to play here.  That Holland said he would do something and allegedly did seems like the stuff people normally whine about him not doing, mainly how passive he ‘seems’ to be when he doesn’t make the big moves we always want.

B) Is Schultz really so good that we should all be bummed?  I get the impression he’s decent, but not as good as Brendan Smith is.  In all likelihood we’re talking about a guy who is a 3-4 dman and who will cost as much as a 3/4 dman right out of the gate rather than being the bargain most rookies are on their entry deals.  So if he’s not actually as good as the scuttlebutt is, then that’s a bit of a big deal.

C) It’s really premature to index the dman market based on Calgary’s stupid signings.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/27/12 at 11:30 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:24 PM ET

Yep, I’m with you there.  What I find interesting is the timing of the PR push yesterday when the Wings brass publicly announced they were going after this kid.  I can’t think of the last time Holland did that.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 11:31 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

A) Why is a guy not wanting to play in Detroit something that means Holland is ‘exposed’?  If the dude doesn’t want to play here, he doesn’t want to play here.  That Holland said he would do something and allegedly did seems like the stuff people normally whine about him not doing, mainly how passive he ‘seems’ to be when he doesn’t make the big moves we always want.
Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/27/12 at 10:30 PM ET

Yep, that’s all my intrigue is about, another change in approach for Ken Holland.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 11:33 PM ET

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Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 10:31 PM ET

I have to bet on Vancouver or Edmonton now.

Anaheim would’ve guaranteed him playing time and were even willing to sign him at the end of the college season and burn one of his entry level years by playing him, so I think more than anything he just wants to play closer to home as well as getting the playing time, etc.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 11:34 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:27 PM ET

Cool bro.

Posted by Heaton on 06/27/12 at 11:47 PM ET

yreland's avatar

I really wanted this kid on the Wings, but being put on a pedestal like he is and never having to earn his playing time (and large salary) in the NHL sounds pretty insane to me.  Hope he ends up in EDM so he can eat lots of minutes and get out of school in mid April every year.

Posted by yreland from Hockey's black hole South Carolina on 06/27/12 at 11:50 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:34 PM ET

Yeah, Edmonton gives him the clearest path to big minutes while the Canucks letting Gragnani go a few days back tells him that he has a spot to play regular nights while contributing on that potent PP.

If he’s remotely close to making an impact like McDonaugh has, somebody is going to be really happy with this kid.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 11:58 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I think the bottom line is that a shitty team like Edmonton who has garbage defense can guarantee him big minutes whereas Detroit was willing to guarantee him a roster spot and nothing more.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:24 PM ET

This.  I never thought DET was seriously in the running for this reason.

What it also exposes is that Schultz’s competitive drive isn’t that big.  He’d rather be a medium fish in a little pong than a smaller one in a big pond.

Posted by Primis on 06/28/12 at 12:01 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I never thought DET was seriously in the running for this reason.

Posted by Primis on 06/27/12 at 11:01 PM ET

What got me going on all of this was the fact that Kenny stuck his neck out there yesterday morning saying we were courting the kid. 

Giving myself mindf@cks in the last few days leading up to the February trade and July FA deadlines has been par for the course since 2009, and for a brief moment (the last 24 hours) I really thought that there could be some big fireworks (ie: trade(s)) brewing with the defensive roster based on Holland’s unusual remarks.  Obviously that was a waste of time like the rest of my personal speculation will be until Sunday when the signings start to trickle in.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/28/12 at 12:13 AM ET

Surfer Ken's avatar

F Schultz…..He already seems high maintenance and that aint the Red Wing way.

Posted by Surfer Ken from San Clemente on 06/28/12 at 12:13 AM ET

Primis's avatar

F Schultz…..He already seems high maintenance and that aint the Red Wing way.

Posted by Surfer Ken from San Clemente on 06/27/12 at 11:13 PM ET

Unless you’re Todd Bertuzzi.  Or Robert Lang.  Or Domink Hasek.  Or…

Posted by Primis on 06/28/12 at 01:48 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Kyle Quincey.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 06/28/12 at 03:21 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

I’ve got a sincere question for all of you in the “Sign the unproven kid or bust!” camp.

If you are so disdainful of the way the Wings do business, and truly wanted them to go all in on someone who hasn’t proven anything at a professional level, why do you root for this team?  Part of being a Wings fan should be believing in the way they do business.  Half of this blog’s readership seems not to any more.  I’ll cite the belief that Feb 28th and KH not drastically overpaying to improve a team that had just gone on a historic run makes him a failure, despite the fact that injuries were the largest reason we went from the best team in Hockey to a shell of itself.  I’d like an honest answer from those of you who feel this way:  Do you really want this team to be the Hawks/Bruins and trade the future for a single cup?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/28/12 at 03:54 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Because I’m from Michigan Shane.. I imagine that’s why most of us root for them.  Everyone else can root for them because they win or because they have integrity.  I appreciate that fact.. but if this team had 14 goons and 7 pylons and 2 transformers, I’d still root for them.. and bitch about it.

Let me ask this to everyone in the “if you criticize your team you shouldn’t even root for them” camp.  Do you think DRW or Mr. Illitch appreciate our money, regardless if we bitch or not?

If we didn’t care about bitching, Paul would lose half his traffic.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/28/12 at 07:10 AM ET

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The Wings aren’t getting Parise or Suter either, I hate to break it to you guys. There were countless unique factors that made Detroit a special destination in the ‘90s and early 2000s but that ship has sailed. The Wings now are just another team, neutered by age, the salary cap and, let’s be honest, to some extent the state of things in Detroit. The Joe was never a crown jewel but it’s officially one of the 3-4 worst buildings in North America now (Nassau, O.co and Candlestick are a few others), and even though Detroit has had its share of negative publicity dating back to the race riots in the late ‘60s, the negativity surrounding the city has been at an all-time high in the last couple years. I’m a Detroiter born and raised, and I think to myself all the time: If I was young and filthy rich and could play hockey anywhere in North America, would I want to drive down the Lodge Freeway to the Joe every night?

Pittsburgh’s star players are much younger, they have a beautiful new building and it’s a great but not overbearing hockey town. Pains me to say it, but it looks like they’ve become what Detroit used to be. I think once Parise and Suter turn down the Wings, the organization can officially get realistic and think about a medium- to long-term rebuilding plan that includes a new arena downtown, however the hell they’re gonna finance it.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/28/12 at 09:44 AM ET

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neutered by age

Didn’t bother reading past this.

Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 09:52 AM ET

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Two best players are 34 and 32. You can either accept reality or choose to be a dick about it. Your choice.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/28/12 at 09:56 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Excellent point, HTO.  I think i missed the mark of what I meant to express in that post dramatically and this morning my hangover isn’t granting me much more clarity.  The Wings weren’t the best organ-I-zation in sports when I fell in love with them either, so having seen them turn into such a classy franchise has made me feel extremely blessed.  I grew up mostly here in Texas so I played football forever; and I loved the Cowboys more during the perrenially bad Hershell Walker era days but when the tram changed and became a team of criminals, druggies ad thugs, my interest in the sport, outside of my own involvement, dried up- and that’s despite the team being the best in the NFL for a four year stretch an ultimately a competitive team for the last six years or so.  I wonder, sometimes, of my passion for the Wings (and with it; hockey) would be similarly affected if they changed into one of a few different current-NHL archetypes (Anaheim-esque thug hockey, NJD-esque trap hockey… Or Flyers-circa-07-to-11 team of worthless people).  I don’t think I’d be able to run my back on them (watching Yzerman, Larionov, Konstantinov, Lidstrom succeed has been more meaningful to me than anything non-personal that football ever did for me- god, hockey is sub a great sport and it’s players, by and large, something special…), but those are the kindve things I ponder.  How much of it is “rooting for laundry”- which is what you seem to be expressing, an how much of it is rooting for excellence, conceptually and otherwise.


  I am still interested in whether you all would prefer they turn into one of these “win a cup now, don’t worry about the future” teams.  I hate that idea, especially post-Lidstrom.  I was totally in on “do what you have to to give him one more shot at a meaningful post season” but now that he’s one I think I feel, more than ever, that the forward thinking “Wings Way” should matter.  It’s not about Lids and Yzerman now, it’s about sustaining what they created.  KH is, in a way, the caretaker of their legacy.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/28/12 at 10:21 AM ET

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Two best players are 34 and 32. You can either accept reality or choose to be a dick about it. Your choice

Or they’re 33 and 31.

You added a year onto both of their ages, even though it is not difficult to find out their exact ages on the internet, just to try to prove your point, but I’m the one being a dick because I’m the one parrotting what people have been saying about the Red Wings for TWENTY YEARS.

And the fact that those two guys are currently int their prime means nothing, right?  Or the fact that Detroit has ONE player under contract who is over 35 and ONE defenseman who is over 30.

But yeah, age is catching up to the Wings.  Even though they are getting younger as a team.

You were saying something about accepting reality?

Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 11:04 AM ET

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It will be their age-34 and age-32 seasons for hockey purposes. Just like if you turn 25 in August, the whole baseball season is considered your age-24 season.

And when I refer to Pav and Hank I’m referring to guys that other star players would legitimately come to Detroit to play with. Darren Helm is a fantastic player, and on a lot of nights, you could argue he’s the best third-line player in the NHL. But he’s not a top-six player and guys aren’t coming to Detroit to play with Darren Helm. Sorry, they’re not.

It will also be Kronwall’s age-32 season. So if you expand the core of star players to include him, your three best players are 34, 32 and 32. That’s pretty old in a league where kids are coming into the league at 19, 20 and 21 and ripping off 30-goal seasons. It’s a young man’s game, even more so now than when the Wings’ run started 20 years ago.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/28/12 at 11:22 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It will be their age-34 and age-32 seasons for hockey purposes. Just like if you turn 25 in August, the whole baseball season is considered your age-24 season.

Technically, only Datsyuk will be counted as the higher age. Age considerations for players cuts off for their age as of September 15th of a league year. Datsyuk’s birthday is in July; Zetterberg’s is in October. As far as the CBA is concerned, Datsyuk is 34 and Zetterberg is 31.

It will also be Kronwall’s age-32 season.

Nope.

***The more you know***

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/28/12 at 11:30 AM ET

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Hockey-reference listed this past season as Kronwall’s age-31 season, thus this would be his age-32 season. Only reason I mention this is because I was blasted for pulling these numbers out of thin air to support my flimsy argument. Either way, the Wings’ three best players aren’t exactly 25-27 years old.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/28/12 at 11:50 AM ET

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Either way, the Wings’ three best players aren’t exactly 25-27 years old.

You’re right.  They’re veterans in the prime of their career.  Both Datsyuk & Zetterberg are among the premiere forwards in the league.  For the past 7-9 years you couldn’t point to Lidstrom’s age as a negative about Detroit, so why is it a negative when talking about Datsyuk & Zetterberg?

If Detroit’s core was a bunch of has-beens in their mid-to-late 30s and on a distinct downslope, you might have a point, but they aren’t.

Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 12:03 PM ET

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They’re certainly not has-beens (and if they are, I didn’t use that term) but how many goals did they score last year? I think Pav fell just shy of 20 (missed a few games to be fair) and Hank barely got to 20. They’re spectacular two-way players and probably about as good of teammates as you could ever ask (my perception) and they’ll go down as all-time great Red Wings, but they’re not producing like they did in their late-20’s. I don’t think that’s insulting, it’s just the truth. The game is ridiculously young and fast right now.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/28/12 at 12:07 PM ET

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They’re spectacular two-way players and probably about as good of teammates as you could ever ask

Yes, they are still premiere players in the league, no matter what their age is.

And again, the team is getting younger, not older, which is why the age argument is not only old, but inaccurate.  Over the last couple years we’ve seen the retirement of Maltby, Draper, Rafalski, Osgood and Lidstrom (and probably Holmstrom this year) and none of those players has been replaced by someone the same age.  There will likely be 6 players over the age of 30 on the entire team this season..

Once more for the cheap seats, the team is getting younger and this year will be younger than it has been in a long time, so the age argument holds no water.

Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 12:21 PM ET

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Welp, I’m going to wade into the crossfire here.

Eric H. has legitimate points and I think it’s foolish to throw them out. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are still great players, and they may well continue to play at our near their current levels for several more years.

But it doesn’t take a degree in statistics to understand they aren’t getting any better, and that their most productive seasons (especially in Datsyuk’s case) are in the rearview mirror. That is not a criticism—that’s just the reality of aging. We don’t know exactly how long they’ll still be stars or how much they can slow their declines or if they’ll be able to keep playing full, healthy seasons, but they’re both at that place (due to age and injuries) where significant decline becomes a very realistic possibility. It doesn’t mean they WILL go into freefall anytime soon, but if they did it wouldn’t be terribly surprising.

Are the Wings’ getting younger? That’s literally true in the sense that the unadjusted average age of the team is decreasing. But almost all of the most productive players are at the point where they at best should be plateauing and at worst declining. The young players currently on the team have little potential to become stars at or even close to Datsyuk and Zetterberg’s level.

I’m not going to preach that the sky is falling. But with each passing year that Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Kronwall and others get older, and the free agents and prospects who join the team fail to emerge as elite players (the way Datsyuk and Zetterberg emerged to replace the fading stars of the previous generation), the risk of the Red Wings taking a big fall in the standings increases.

Maybe this year we sign Suter and Parise and all will be well. Maybe Datsyuk and company will hang on at close to their current levels long enough for guys like Pulkkinen and Jurco and Smith to become the next generation of stars, if they have the potential to do so. Maybe Kenny finds an altogether different solution.

But just because the Red Wings have managed to be successful with old teams (or at least old cores) for the last 20+ years doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be successful next year, let alone another 20. The ax may not fall this season, or the season after that, or even the season after that. But we’re at the point that it could happen virtually anytime, and Kenny had better be ready for it when it does.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 06/28/12 at 01:21 PM ET

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Very well stated, Sven.

My other point was that, in the past, when you knew you were coming to play with Yzerman, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Shanahan, Hasek, etc., it was a lot easier to overlook the incredible shortcomings that come with living in the city of Detroit. And now I’m wondering out loud if that will finally catch up to them.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/28/12 at 01:26 PM ET

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That point I’m not as sold on. Maybe a young, single guy with a wild streak is going to prefer Manhattan or Chicago or L.A. over Detroit due to the off-ice entertainments that await.

But I think for most players, it’s more important to just find a nice, rich, comfortable neighborhood where you and your family can have space, freedom, good schools and a few nice conveniences. Since you can get that anywhere (even in Metro Detroit), you might as well make your choice based on whether or not you’ll have a successful, fulfilling job with good ice time and a legitimate crack at a championship. Players who’ve played and lived in SE Michigan seem to really like being Red Wings and often end up living there for good (unless they’re Swedes, of course).

In short, I don’t think “ugly scenery during the commute” is a particularly likely deal-breaker when set next to matters like “how many extra millions will I make?” or “do I have a shot at a championship?” or “is this team environment stable and honest and fulfilling to be a part of?” or “will my wife and kids be happy?”

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 06/28/12 at 01:49 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