Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

What Will Detroit’s Roster Look Like?

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

Judged by actions, Ken Holland, Jeff Blashill and their staffs continue to make plain they believe too many prospects cannot play at the NHL level to consider a wholesale shift to the apprentices.

So, last week, the Red Wings gave Mike Green another two seasons and brought back Thomas Vanek.

They provided no-trade clauses that Holland said were required to extend Green, who turns 33 the first week of the season, and return Vanek, who is 34, now.

And, they replaced their one-time goalie of the future, Petr Mrazek, with a journeyman, Jonathan Bernier.

At an average of about 30.8 years, several years into a self-described rebuild-on-the-fly, and two years after Holland said he really began to emphasize the transition, the Red Wings will be one of the top two or three oldest teams among the 31 NHL franchises.

more

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

They provided no-trade clauses that Holland said were required to extend Green

What an absolute fool.

Was there even a SINGLE rumour about ONE other team showing interest in Green?  Grow a f*cking backbone, Kenny boy, and tell him to f*cking walk, then you’d have seen just how quickly Green would’ve said yes.

Ken Holland is a joke. Seattle can’t hire him away from the Wings fast enough.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/08/18 at 09:04 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

How many Vets shouldn’t be in the NHL because of lack of ability, age, and health.

It appears to be a certainty the Wings will lose more this yr than last year.  Maybe lose with more exciting kids to watch, cheaper, healthier and at the same time developing as NHL platers.

3rd year of rebuild and going backwards, the Holland Way.

GR will be fun to watch!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/08/18 at 09:16 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

What Will Dertoit’s Roster Look Like?

At an average of about 30.8 years, several years into a self-described rebuild-on-the-fly, and two years after Holland said he really began to emphasize the transition, the Red Wings will be one of the top two or three oldest teams among the 31 NHL franchises.

So, what will, Detroit’s roster look like? Apparently old and slow…....... Again…. shut eye

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 07/08/18 at 09:40 PM ET

Avatar

Still not convinced that Blashill can coach at the NHL level, I would have shanghaied Trotz the second he parted ways with Washington. Ericsson was a protege of Lidstrom, showing that it doesn’t always make prospects much better, having Z, Neilsen, Vanek and Green make the team better, but as for making prospects better, not so much because these players need to play, not sit back and watch, or sit in the AHL. Green can show offensive skills but is somewhat of a defensive liability, our defense is already a liability. Our PP has been terrible, especially with Z, Nyquist and other veterans constantly given first team status. Team needs to show promise early or Blashill would get his walking papers. Team has shown no improvement under his tenure.

Posted by stateofmifan on 07/08/18 at 09:54 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

OK .. so its July ... and the Tigers suck ... and you can watch only so may episodes of Rick & Morty and Robot Chicken ... sI took Krupa’s challenge and tried to come up with an October roster.

First, it made my head hurt ... then I cried when I realized how much I’d be paying out for my 4th line ... but the first 3 lines are actually do-able and would be fun as hell to watch, so here goes.

First line I have Larkin centering Nyquist and Mantha (assuming both re-sign in time)
Second line I have Athanasiou centering Rasmussen and Bertuzzi
Third line I have Nielsen centering Zadina and Vanek

That leaves Glendening, Abdelkader, Zetterberg, and Helm to cover the 4th line duties at a cost of $16 mil. a season !!!

That also forces Witkowski to D only (maybe) and it banishes Svechnikov and Frk and Turgeon and Pope to Grand Rapids.

You think thats a pipe dream wait ‘til you see my D ....

First pair—Green & DeKeyser
Second pair—Daley & Hronek
Third pair—Kronwall & Hicketts
Jensen rotating in

Whats that ??  You don’t see Ericsson or Witkowski in there ??
I know… thats what makes it unrealistic.
Could we see Sulak & Cholowsik instead of Hronek & Hicketts ??

Holland may have covered his ass when he re-signed Green & Vanek but, he also may have put himself in a difficult spot if the kids really are ready for prime time.

The theory of its better to have too much talent than not enough makes sense but, it only makes sense if you can get rid of the right players.  The lack of flexibility in the contracts Holland handed out is going to force him into wrong choices.

Kids are gunna be pissed and we’re gunna suck ... again.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 07/08/18 at 11:35 PM ET

Chet's avatar

solid chance they’re protecting ELCs and we’re the dumb reactionary fans. solid chance there’s no reason to upset the players and say it.

solid, except a year or two with cap space allows you to take on another team’s bad deal and get even more for that money. just bad business.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/09/18 at 02:12 AM ET

Avatar

This roster, without Z, is a recipe for a legit shot at Jack Hughes next draft.

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 07/09/18 at 06:31 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Ericsson was a protégé of Lidstrom. As in, they played together. However, the best dman in the game can’t make a star out of a mediocre player. No one can.

That’s the thing to remember, all these guys have limits… They can only be so good. Problem is, everyone around here expects every prospect to make it to the NHL and be a top 9 forward or top 4 dman. It doesn’t work like that. Other wise the roster would have 250 players on it.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/09/18 at 08:06 AM ET

Avatar

He is protecting ELC.  As the roster stands now hes got too many bad contracts.  You HAVE to try to save that ELC IF you realize you’ve locked the team in purgatory for a couple more years.

Great biz.

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/09/18 at 08:27 AM ET

Avatar

Ken Holland is a master of saying things that make sense (or are even legitimately “true”) in a vacuum, but don’t actually apply to the actual situation under scrutiny.

Like when he says “trades are hard ... no one is giving good players away.” Yes, that’s true ... but then you check the transaction history and notice that the Red Wings have made only half as many trades as the the franchise with the next fewest over the last decade.

Or when he says “it’s important that we’ve got some veterans around our kids.” Yes, again, that’s not wrong. But ... the Red Wings were already one of the oldest and most experienced teams in the NHL. Even before signing Green and Vanek and not including Franzen they still had eight players (Zetterberg, Nielsen, Abdelkader, Helm, Kronwall, Ericsson, Daley, Howard) with 500+ career NHL games.

Now throw in:
- Mike Green (863 games including playoffs, turns 33 in October)
- Thomas Vanek (1,034 games, turns 35 in January)
- Jonathan Bernier (298 games, turns 30 before season starts)

And it’s not like Nyquist, DDK, Glendening or frankly even Nick Jensen are exactly wet behind the ears either. Heck, even Dylan Larkin has three full seasons of NHL experience.

So Kenny, exactly how many veterans do you need to surround your kids? Based on his actions it seems like he has to have the absolute oldest team in the entire NHL before he’ll even think about onboarding more than one guy under 21. It’s madness.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/18 at 09:16 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Ken Holland is a master of saying things that make sense (or are even legitimately “true”) in a vacuum, but don’t actually apply to the actual situation under scrutiny.

I made bold some important words there.

The thing is, we can all speculate around here all day on a couple quotes we get from the diggers, but none of us know the ACTUAL situationS.  Capital “S” because not a single situation is singular in this business - everything has a cause and effect. 

We get a few quotes from Kahn, Krupa, and St James and we paint the picture based on the couple paragraphs we’re given.  That is looking at things in a vacuum.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/09/18 at 09:26 AM ET

Avatar

We get a few quotes from Kahn, Krupa, and St James and we paint the picture based on the couple paragraphs we’re given.  That is looking at things in a vacuum.

In fairness I made no claims about what Ken Holland’s actual complete thought process, strategy or state of mind are. That is unknowable, and I’m not trying to imply that I do or can know it.

The claim is merely that what he says does not seem to line up with apparent reality. Is there more behind his words that he’s not saying (or even lying about)? Quite possibly. But on face value the logic doesn’t hold up.

Problem is, everyone around here expects every prospect to make it to the NHL and be a top 9 forward or top 4 dman. It doesn’t work like that. Other wise the roster would have 250 players on it.

I think you are attacking a strawman here. No one that I’m aware of legitimately expects every prospect to make it. There is a very real chance that guys like Hronek, Rasmussen, or even Zadina never live up to their expectations. Heck, I’m not even convinced that Dylan Larkin will ever be more than a speedy second line forward with significant defensive liabilities.

That is not the argument.

One argument is that Holland plays it too safe with the prospects he has. He signs veterans barely above replacement level who are not really going to make a big difference either way, rather than giving a rookie an opportunity to sink or swim. If the young player can’t hack it, THEN you replace him midseason. It is not hard to acquire competent bottom six veterans via waivers, AHL, or trade. There is no reason to stockpile them before you even give your young player a chance.

Another argument is that Holland’s reliance on older players basically assures him of receiving poor value overall for his cap expenditures. It’s basic supply and demand. A UFA-age player is going to make more money than an equally good RFA player, who will make more money than an equally good player on an ELC. Darren Helm, for example, is no better today than he was seven years ago. But in that time his cap hit has doubled twice, from $1 million to $2 million to $4 million.

When you build a team full of older players who were signed as UFAs (whether they were originally your players or not) you end up paying a lot more for the same level of talent. Good teams have realized this and are much more willing to part with secondary players—even fairly good ones—and cycle higher-value, higher-reward young players through the system faster. Between Cup wins Chicago shed guys like Campbell, Byfuglien, Versteeg, Brouwer, and Ladd in order to manage their cap and stay competitive, and guess what? It worked.

You obviously still need to get lucky and get a lot out of the prospects you do draft and develop, of course. But at least you give yourself a chance. Mindlessly locking up all your own veterans regardless of whether or not they are really “core” players is a guaranteed dead end, because you have to pay more and more for the same group of guys that are already not getting any better, if not outright declining.

You are correct that we don’t and can’t know the full story—what Holland is really thinking, situations he’s dealing with, opportunities and risks behind the scenes that come and go and that he has to manage. We can only judge him on his words (via the media) and his actions, which give only a partial account of the full story.

Unfortunately the partial account that we do get looks very bad.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/18 at 10:31 AM ET

Avatar

Unfortunately the partial account that we do get looks very bad.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/18 at 11:31 AM ET

Very well said

Posted by MZ2215 on 07/09/18 at 11:05 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

This team unfortunately has a lot of guys ( Abby, Vanek, Nielsen…etc) signed to deals, who are the type of player you add when ready to compete seriously…We have had these guys for several years now, and for several more during a period they should have been bottoming out.

Now we have a roster log jam and Kenny refuses to let guys like Hronek, Svechnikov, Rasmussen…etc get REGULAR ice time and have them make mistakes and either sink or swim during a period you were never gonna be competitive anyway. Instead we spend to the Cap and are stuck in the middle ground between truly sucking and having a legitimate shot at winning a round or two in the playoffs.

They should have been going full on youth for 3 years now. Embrace your suckage, and draft generational talent…then sign guys like Vanek & Green…...

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/09/18 at 12:22 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Most HHHT’ers look at 14 roster spots as cement from day 1 to game 82, that’s ridiculous. 

There is no NHL ready top 6 or top 4 prospect this season. There might be, but we don’t know.  We have no superstars to shelter these kids in a lineup.

Even if 2 prove to be in camp, Fans tend to discount the physical and mental jump from playing juniors/college to the NHL with full grown professional men who show up day in day out, the grind that takes, the mentality needed to play through ups and downs.

The critical ignoring by this fanbase is with our age, you can’t ignore games lost to injury. No team makes it through an 82 game season without losing a few soldiers along the way, and the wings already being old makes that more likely.  Improvements in medicine and therapy, are offset by concussion protocols and family leaves. We’re going to lose guys to give kids their looks.

So if we get an injury or two, and we are burning a kid out, guess who’s not making a deadline deal for the picks and prospects we have? Doesn’t anyone want to trade Nyquist, which I hope is an offset move to the Vanek signing, whether offseason or deadline? Maybe Glendening, Howard? Daley is a candidate this year on D.

Some of you are talking about our cap, like who cares dude? Its 2018/2019, even next year, who gives an eff? Aside from eating someone else’s problem for a return, who cares how much we save/spend. Guess what happens with we don’t start playing a kid in the NHL? His contract doesn’t start to go up either, keeping his hit down lower when the team hopefully is a contender.

We needed a backup, whatever on Green that roster spot doesn’t impact much, Vanek we could’ve done without, but its not the end of the world either.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 07/09/18 at 12:27 PM ET

Avatar

This roster, without Z, is a recipe for a legit shot at Jack Hughes next draft.

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 07/09/18 at 07:31 AM ET

But we need a defenseman!

Posted by EthrDemon on 07/10/18 at 12:45 AM 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