Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

One Man’s Opinion

from Mike Stephens of Editor in Leaf,

What the hell are the Red Wings doing?

This wasn’t intended to be read in an aghast or critical tone. I genuinely want someone to explain what exactly the game plan is for Detroit right now because I have no idea.

These aren’t your Grand Papi’s Red Wings. No sir. This version finished 27th in the standings last season, a thrilling follow-up to their 25th place showing from the year before.

There’s no sugar coating it. This is not a good hockey team....

Did the Wings at least wait until August to sign effective yet undervalued free agents for pennies on the dollar rather than overpaying when the market opened? If your answer is anything other than nope, you’re missing the trend here.

Rather, Holland came out swinging to nab Tomas Vanek, whose post-trade headshots have singlehandedly kept Photoshop financially afloat in recent years, at a $3 million cap hit.

Vanek has played on 8 different teams in the past 6 seasons, and the Wings handed him double the salary a younger and equally productive Patrick Maroon eventually earned from St. Louis 10 days later. Does that scream rebuild to you?

more

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

What the hell are the Red Wings doing?

Good question and there is literally not a person on this earth who can give a satisfactory answer.

Ken Holland sure as f*ck doesn’t know.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/08/18 at 01:46 PM ET

Avatar

Rather, Holland came out swinging to nab Tomas Vanek, whose post-trade headshots have singlehandedly kept Photoshop financially afloat in recent years, at a $3 million cap hit.

Vanek has played on 8 different teams in the past 6 seasons, and the Wings handed him double the salary a younger and equally productive Patrick Maroon eventually earned from St. Louis 10 days later. Does that scream rebuild to you?

Honestly, this is asinine.

Vanek put up 13 more points and 7 more goals than Maroon did last season, and it was the best season Maroon had in his career.  Vanek is seen as one of the better goal scorers of the past 10-15 years and was brought back to the RW to help with the PP.  Speaking of the PP, Vanek has somewhere between 8 and 9 times the amount of PP points and 12-13 amount of PP goals as Maroon when comparing careers.

In the bigger picture, however, there’s no way you can be happy with this offseason.

At some point I wonder if someone who reads this will realize the irony of how long the Leafs have fielded a piss poor team for years and hasn’t won a cup since televisions in households were mostly black and white.

Posted by neffernin on 08/08/18 at 05:24 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Honestly, this is asinine.

Vanek put up 13 more points and 7 more goals than Maroon did last season, and it was the best season Maroon had in his career.  Vanek is seen as one of the better goal scorers of the past 10-15 years and was brought back to the RW to help with the PP.  Speaking of the PP, Vanek has somewhere between 8 and 9 times the amount of PP points and 12-13 amount of PP goals as Maroon when comparing careers.

Posted by neffernin on 08/08/18 at 05:24 PM ET

All this is lacking is a mic drop.

The whole article is a joke.  DET has questions and issues, but the author does not seem to actually know them.

Posted by Primis on 08/08/18 at 05:36 PM ET

Avatar

Nit pick the Maroon comparison, but he’s not wrong on the overall write up.

Posted by akwingsfan on 08/08/18 at 05:41 PM ET

Avatar

I’ll nitpick - Maroon was released from the Flyers organization for character issues. The Flyers organization. Zac Rinaldo fared better. People change, and hopefully he’s gotten his act together whatever the case may have been (I liked watching him in the AHL), but he’s no comparable to a player like Vanek, who, as a third line scoring winger with creativity, is hardly impairing the rebuild.

Posted by Back Hand Luke from The Land of Unhealthy Scratching on 08/08/18 at 06:04 PM ET

Avatar

——-I struggle to think of a more punishing curse than being not quite good enough to make the playoffs and not quite bad enough to sway the lottery balls.
——I agree with that.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/08/18 at 07:10 PM ET

Avatar

The Maroon example is a very unfair comparison considering he has a young child who lives in the St. Louis area. If you read why he signed with the Blues that was a big part of it, including the discounted price. Maroon also mentioned disappointment with his previous agent.

Posted by RussianRocket10 on 08/08/18 at 08:19 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’m generally ok with the off-season. Agree or not, but they seem to have a plan in bringing in both Vanek and Green. It’s having veteran leadership around that still contributes on the ice to model some good habits for the youngsters. I think the entire league noticed how Edmonton flailed around with too much young talent and no leadership to guide it anywhere.

Neither is an albatross that will ruin the rebuild long-term. They may end up a few spots out of the top pick but that will, ideally, come with the benefit of better development of the talent they do have.

They still need to slough off some dead weight, but that’s from some past mistakes. Right now, it’s not all terrible given they’re a terrible team. And they do need to get rid of Holland.

Posted by awould on 08/08/18 at 10:27 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I think the entire league noticed how Edmonton flailed around with too much young talent and no leadership to guide it anywhere.

And that is one of the reasons Ken Holland did what he did this summer. I think? LOL

Posted by bigfrog on 08/08/18 at 11:26 PM ET

Avatar

If 21 veterans are good 23 veterans are even better!
whether its KH, or Chris I, this team is trying to make the playoffs, not make itself better for the long haul. 

And that is sad.

Posted by akwingsfan on 08/09/18 at 01:17 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

I really like our team.

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 08/09/18 at 07:30 AM ET

Primis's avatar

If 21 veterans are good 23 veterans are even better!
whether its KH, or Chris I, this team is trying to make the playoffs, not make itself better for the long haul.

And that is sad.

Posted by akwingsfan on 08/09/18 at 01:17 AM ET

I agree that the WIngs are a bit too vet-heavy.  But I mean, I’d rather have Vanek and Green than Helm and Ericsson though.  I think people keep forgetting that.  The dead weight on the team is the problem, and guys like Green and Vanek aren’t the dead weight.

And I genuinely don’t think Holland is thinking playoffs.  Chris I might be pushing that idea and that might be some of why Vanek got signed in his mind, but Holland genuinely seems to have changed gears towards rebuild.

Vanek could I guess be the Nyquist replacement, and that’s why Vanek got a NTC.  Maybe Kenny is planning on trying to move Nyquist earlier than the deadline.

Either way both Nyquist and Vanek are UFA’s after this season, along with Kronwall, Jensen, Witkowski, and Howard.  Frk will be a RFA also and depending on his performance he might not then get re-signed/qualified.  DET"s cap space and roster will change noticeably after that, regardless.

Posted by Primis on 08/09/18 at 07:52 AM ET

Avatar

The Maroon comparison is stupid, but it doesn’t change that the writer is 100% correct that there is no plan in place for this so-called rebuild.

But I mean, I’d rather have Vanek and Green than Helm and Ericsson though.

Cool. I’d rather have Connor McDavid and Brent Burns than Glendening and Kronwall.

Holland genuinely seems to have changed gears towards rebuild.

What can you honestly base that on?

Vanek could I guess be the Nyquist replacement

You know they’re both on the team, right? And that both of them have contracts that end the exact same day?

Man, you couldn’t be reaching more.

Agree or not, but they seem to have a plan in bringing in both Vanek and Green.

And what is that plan? What is the plan for bringing in a journeyman winger and bringing a declining defenseman who just had surgery?

I would LOVE to know what this plan is that you speak of.

Neither is an albatross that will ruin the rebuild long-term.

No, they’re just preventing it from actually getting started in earnest. No big deal. Who cares?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/09/18 at 08:31 AM ET

awould's avatar

I would LOVE to know what this plan is that you speak of…

You should’ve kept reading my post then angry guy.

Posted by awould on 08/09/18 at 09:42 AM ET

Avatar

At some point I wonder if someone who reads this will realize the irony of how long the Leafs have fielded a piss poor team for years and hasn’t won a cup since televisions in households were mostly black and white.

That’s the first thing I thought. Just because the Leafs appear to finally have things right does not make them the model for success. They had a ton of failure before they got to this point, refusing to rebuild multiple times when it was in their best interest. While Detroit at least has Cup championships that led to their predicable downward trend, Toronto hasn’t won squat in 50+ years. Even now that the future looks bright in Toronto, there is no guarantee that group wins a Cup. Heck, they aren’t even the best team in their division yet.

 

Posted by evileye on 08/09/18 at 10:55 AM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

And what is that plan? What is the plan for bringing in a journeyman winger and bringing a declining defenseman who just had surgery?

I would LOVE to know what this plan is that you speak of.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/09/18 at 08:31 AM ET

Here is the thing that gets me…. I understand people here don’t LIKE the plan. I understand people in the media don’t like the plan. But that doesn’t mean there’s NO plan. It just means it’s not the plan most people want. In fact, with all the time I put in every day (reading, listening to interviews, etc.) I’d say they’ve laid the plan out in plain daylight for years. It’s just that the fan base doesn’t like it.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 08/09/18 at 02:11 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 08/09/18 at 02:11 PM ET.  With CharDee here, Blashill clearly stresses defense, especially from forwards then Wings resign Green who I average at best defensively. So organization stresses defense from their forwards and offense from their defense. Not to mention all the TOI that will be used up while younger players ride the bench or stay in the AHL, Seems counterproductive for a rebuilding team who needs to evaluate their young talent not to mention valuable ice time to gain NHL experience.

Posted by stateofmifan on 08/09/18 at 07:08 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 08/09/18 at 02:11 PM ET

 

Zoom zoom zoom! Well said

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/09/18 at 07:10 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/09/18 at 07:10 PM ET
Hello homers another season, interested to see what’s in store for us fans.

Posted by stateofmifan on 08/09/18 at 11:02 PM ET

Avatar

You should’ve kept reading my post then angry guy.

“Having veterans around” isn’t plan no matter how much you want to pretend it is.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/18 at 08:50 AM ET

Avatar

But that doesn’t mean there’s NO plan.

The fact that there is no plan means there’s no plan.

I’m glad for you that you’ve convinced yourself that there’s a plan, but that doesn’t mean there’s a plan.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/18 at 08:58 AM ET

Avatar

agree that the WIngs are a bit too vet-heavy.  But I mean, I’d rather have Vanek and Green than Helm and Ericsson though.  I think people keep forgetting that.

Posted by Primis on 08/09/18 at 07:52 AM ET

I don’t think anyone here can forget that.  The problem a few seem to miss it the fact that it isn’t an either/or situation.  We already have E and Helm.  We can not get rid of them.  So the vet argument goes out the window.  This is the oldest team in the NHL I think, yet we have to bring in vets through free agency for a presence??  Do those two help up get better this year?  Maybe.  But we also gave out NTC’s so no deadline deals there.  we got older and blocked two roster spots, and the highlight potential positive is, we will do a little better and get a worse draft pick. 

I just don’t know how to embrace this as a rebuild.  We have the highest cap payroll in the league, we are nowhere near a cup contender.  We have a glut of bad contracts with NTC, that the only way we get rid of them is to send an asset with it.  No cap space to take someone elses bad contract for assets.  No cap space if for some reason a difference making FA wanted to come here.  Very little to offer in a trade for a key player that wouldn’t hurt the team long term.

We have missed the playoffs for two years, and backed into the playoffs the two years prior when we watched someone else lose to let us in.  In those years we relied on overtime points and shootouts to get there.  Prior to that we were knocked out in the first round several times.

This is in a league where over half the teams make the playoffs.

Nick left in 2012.  We have not been good since, and possibly the last two years while he was here,

say what you want about the leafs and oilers, we are looking at a 6-8 years that we paid a lot more to look marginally better, and put us further behind the curve.

Posted by murph1jj on 08/10/18 at 12:03 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by murph1jj on 08/10/18 at 12:03 PM ET

Bingo.

Green and Vanek are two roster spots. “But there are going to be half a dozen open spots after this season and next!” And who do we fill them with? Guys that have been blocked and stuck in GR or more FA’s? Holland has been preaching youth while filling holes with vets the last 3+ years.

Posted by MZ2215 on 08/10/18 at 01:11 PM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

The fact that there is no plan means there’s no plan.

I’m glad for you that you’ve convinced yourself that there’s a plan, but that doesn’t mean there’s a plan.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/18 at 08:58 AM ET

Come on, CharDee…. unkind response aside, you know that isn’t true. Well, perhaps I shouldn’t be assuming the level that you follow everything. But if you listen to Holland, Draper, Wright, Anderson, Devellano, Horcoff, Cleary, and/or Fischer, you’d hear that the plan is this: It’s going to go much slower than people want. They want to save up draft picks and have a lot of shots, with an emphasis on development and organizational competition. They don’t want to end up like Buffalo and Edmonton. They aren’t going to bottom out because they think their young players learning in a competitive atmosphere is more important than finishing with a bad record. On, and on, and on their plans go.

Again, I’m not advocating for the plan. Neither am I advocating against it. Most people here want to hear, “we’re gonna tear the whole thing down, trade away every veteran, bottom out, draft super high end talent, and turn the reigns over to the kids.” I get it. But it’s ludicrous to suggest that just because the plan they’ve made public isn’t your preference, that there is no plan. Now, I can understand it as a figure of speech. I can see it as, “the plan is so bad that they MIGHT AS WELL not have a plan.” That makes sense. But anyone who suggests that professional hockey execs with a decent resume have NO plan, are lying to themselves.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 08/10/18 at 01:57 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 08/10/18 at 01:57 PM ET.      I can’t speak for CharDee but I took it as a figure of speech or I would use the term no definite plan. Coach is still learning hockey at the NHL level himself. KH is grasping at straws trying to assist Blashill with vet experience on ice. This team isn’t appreciably better and it comes at the expense of ice time. Again KH and JB are using the grasping at straws approach rather than a definite plan.

Posted by stateofmifan on 08/10/18 at 02:55 PM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

I can’t speak for CharDee but I took it as a figure of speech or I would use the term no definite plan. Coach is still learning hockey at the NHL level himself. KH is grasping at straws trying to assist Blashill with vet experience on ice. This team isn’t appreciably better and it comes at the expense of ice time. Again KH and JB are using the grasping at straws approach rather than a definite plan.

Posted by stateofmifan on 08/10/18 at 02:55 PM ET

The figure of speech thing I can understand. And was open to that possibility until I read:

I’m glad for you that you’ve convinced yourself that there’s a plan, but that doesn’t mean there’s a plan.

That makes it seem like it’s being presented as more of a literal, Holland sits down at the meeting and just shrugs. And there’s no reasonable evidence to believe that would be the case. Holland may not be the best GM for the team, he may be too stuck in his old ways, and may be in over his head post lockout era, but there is absolutely no way he goes into any meeting with anyone and takes the approach of, “We aren’t gonna have a plan, we’re just gonna blindfold ourselves and throw darts.” Time will tell.

However, I do completely see your points. Makes perfect sense in the context of, the plan isn’t working or the coach and GM aren’t on the same page (maybe?).

My personal opinion: don’t know if the plan will work or not, but it won’t be decided this year or next. It’s the long game at this point and time will tell. I think I just want noticeable, tangible progress within a single season, and I think it’s more of a 5-7 year game. And when I try to look at a one year window, it inhibits my ability to see the full picture.

I will never claim Holland is going to be the savior of this team. Because honestly, I don’t know. Often I get called a Holland sympathizer, but more so I just want criticism of this team to be thought out and reasonable/realistic. And its also great when people are willing to explore things and even challenge their own stance.

The biggest area where I will support Holland til the end: this team has always been special to me because of integrity and leadership. Following the RedWings growing up, it was always fun for me to learn about excellence and what it means to be the best at what you do. Yzerman and Lidstrom (among others) always taught me how to be a better person. So, when I see an organization that rewards it’s players, that puts an emphasis on culture, becomes a home for people in need of redemption (Bertuzzi), cultivates relationships like Babcock had with Holland, and makes it a priority to develop people (Yzerman, Nill, etc. or just prospects in general).... that is an organization that will have my support for forever. The RedWings are in the people business as much as the hockey business.

And yes there is an absolutely valid argument to say that the balance is off. Perhaps it is. It isn’t wrong to say, great that’s a wonderful story but it is working against us and is getting in the way of hockey. Yes, perhaps. Again, time will tell. But I have to say that every time I root for the winged wheel, I know I’m rooting for the things that I (personally) value the most, and it’s wonderful. Change the regime and the culture, and that might be lost. And I’ll be excited to win a championship again, but I’d always mourn the team I once loved.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 08/10/18 at 03:11 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Abel to Yzerman

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