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Abel to Yzerman

Is That Rhetorical?

So Damien Cox actually asks this question…

The Spin

They’ve got lots of bucks to spend and have long been a destination of choice for NHLers. Conveniently, with Lidstrom gone, they also don’t have an artificial individual salary cap in place any longer. So Ken Holland really is free to do whatever he wants. But can it work? If both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, for example, choose Motown this summer, will that keep Detroit at the top of the heap? The Wings themselves were built on the draft through players like Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard and Henrik Zetterberg. Can they now revitalize their lineup through free agency?

Why not? I like the subject, but the question itself seems ridiculous.

Parise and Suter seem like character guys. Both have said that wherever they sign they’d like it to be their final stop. They’re leaders. Young. Obviously talented.  “Can they revitalize their lineup through free agency?”  Um. Yeah, Damien. They can. They have and they will.

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Comments

bezukov's avatar

Everything including the trade deadline and thereafter just seems like a train wreck.  I just feel like I can’t look anymore.  Wake me up in October, sleeping through this might be the only way I can survive the stress.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/04/12 at 11:47 AM ET

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Detroit is of course a good hockey team with or without lidstrom, but i wonder if it still is a ‘destination of choice’ without lidstrom.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/04/12 at 11:55 AM ET

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gretzky_to_lemieux

I guess you never actually understood it, then

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 06/04/12 at 12:14 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Detroit is of course a good hockey team with or without lidstrom, but i wonder if it still is a ‘destination of choice’ without lidstrom.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/04/12 at 09:55 AM ET

This is my biggest fear.

I don’t buy into the lame argument that Suter wouldn’t want to be the first man in to “replace” Lidstrom and would be “afraid to fill his shoes.” I think that’s bullshit. I can see there being some nerves about that, but in the end if the money is right and Holland and Co. sell him on what being a Wing offers both on and off the ice, and both at and away from the rink, that whole “shoe filling” deal is something he’ll get over.

But I worry that with Lidstrom gone, the Wings are less of a destination. It was one thing in the late ‘90s through the early-to-mid ‘00s, where there was always a ton of star power. Now, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Kronwall, and Howard are no slouches to play alongside. But let’s be honest. That’s a lot different than convincing Hull and Robataille to come play with Yzerman, Fedorov, Shanahan, Lidstrom, Chelios…

Prior to this season, if you were coming to Detroit, you knew you were A) getting first-class ownership that would pay you well, B) getting a first-class off-ice, family-oriented environment with a front-office and teammates that would go out of their way to help you with everything from getting settled, finding the community you want to live in, and finding the right schools for your kids, C) going to have Lidstrom to bail you out.

The Ilitches and Ken Holland and his braintrust still run a first-class operation, but missing Lidstrom means something, and in some ways, it means something more than it meant when Stevie retired. This just feels different. When Stevie retired it felt right, like it was time. Don’t get me wrong, this is “right” otherwise Lidstrom wouldn’t have done it. But there’s just something different. Stevie was “The Captain” for good reason, but there’s something about the presence (and now absence) of Lidstrom that felt/feels totally different.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/04/12 at 12:27 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Detroit is of course a good hockey team with or without lidstrom, but i wonder if it still is a ‘destination of choice’ without lidstrom.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/04/12 at 09:55 AM ET

Detroit isn’t a destination of choice because of one person, it’s a destination of choice because it is one of the best-run organizations in all of sports. From the Illitches on down, it is first-class. There is a strong feeling of being family if you’re with the Red Wings, no matter what your role may be. That isn’t a mistake, or pure chance, it’s by design.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/04/12 at 12:31 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Players come to Detroit knowing that good work will be rewarded with more than a contract.  The organization is dedicated to its employees and NHLers know that you can’t find that just anywhere.  Could you imagine a situation like what happened to Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in Philadelphia happening in Detroit?  No you can’t. 

Detroit may be diminished without Lidstrom, but the organization has always been bigger than one man since the Illitch’s took over.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/04/12 at 12:36 PM ET

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Hell Yeah Detroit is still a place of choice.

As stated above look at the history.  Is it as good of a team with out the perfect human?  Um no.  The Avs were not the same team without Roy, sakic and crew.  the B’s were not the same after Orr, Cashman and the rest left. 

Come on guys the teams change all the time.  Players retire and players leave.  But, look at the players that have come to Detroit and thrived.  Cleary comes to mind, Hull was a puria(sp?) when he came to Detroit but bought intot he system.  Did Steve, Nick, Shanny and crew have an influence, yup.  But he changed to play here because he knew it was the place. 

Now lets look at the guys who left and were duds after then left.  We’ll start with Shanny, not a dud but he left as he knew it was time for a change to let the young guns coming up take over.  By no means a dud in NY but not the dominate player he was in Detroit.  Federov, took the money and ran, great player, yup, as great as he was in Detroit with the other teams?  Nope, system and support were not there, he was “it”.  Marty LaPointe, being groomed as a leader for the Wings, bailed for the money, 3 years later, no one wanted him.  No supporting case, he 20 goals plus a year were a memory.  Hate to say it but if Hudler goes, chances are he will be a has been in 2-3 years.  He does not get the chances he does because he is a special player, he gets them because of the guys he plays with.  What defend Hudler and leave Pav, Hank, Mule or Val alone,  doubt it.  They will light you up more than little Hudler

Ok I’m done.

Posted by hockey sinner from hockey purgitory on 06/04/12 at 12:49 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think Detroit will struggle to find their new identity for a month or two next year, but I don’t have doubts that they will find identity.  Nick’s presence was significant, obviously, but it may also have shadowed the influence of others, or precluded it out of deference.  I think Hank can be a good captain.  If Parise joins, you know he’s a character guy.  I think Kronner and Howard are also good character guys.  Also, I think the coaching situation will improve next year as the new coaches gain more confidence and assert themselves more.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/04/12 at 01:06 PM ET

yzer19man's avatar

Hate to say it but if Hudler goes, chances are he will be a has been in 2-3 years.  He does not get the chances he does because he is a special player, he gets them because of the guys he plays with.

Posted by hockey sinner from hockey purgitory on 06/04/12 at 10:49 AM ET

This.

I give Huds less time actually.  If he chases money and gets rewarded with a crazy 4-5 mil or more deal, and is put in the spotlight as a marquee player, there is no way he will survive the pressure.  We all know how well it worked for him the last time he left the Wings for more money.  Can’t say i blame the dude for wanting more money, but his career will effectively be over if he leaves again.

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 06/04/12 at 01:21 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by hockey sinner from hockey purgitory on 06/04/12 at 10:49 AM ET

Your Marty example is fair, but let’s not go too far. Shanny declined because Shanny was old. In NY, he had two 20 goal seasons, and his first season in NY was arguably better than two or three of his years in Detroit. The guy played a game that required he still be able to assert a physical presence—we’re not talking Igor Larionov or Nick Lidstrom. Shanny didn’t really decline much after he left Detroit, and in the ways he did decline, almost every other hockey player in history also declines when they hit their late 30s.

Sergei declined as well, but again, look at more than just the fact that he left Detroit. Not only did he leave Detroit, but he played for crappy teams with crappy players, and he was injured on and off for most of the post-lockout period where he was still in the NHL.

The Wings have a remarkable system and great management. There is no arguing that. I just don’t think you are making the right arguments. You aren’t going to sell Parise or Suter on coming to the Wings by saying, “Hey, look how shitty Fedorov was after he left!” You sell them by saying, “Look how Shanahan’s game went to the next level and he started winning Cups when he got here,” or, “When Scotty came in and revamped our culture and on-ice system, look what it did for Stevie Y.—always a great player, but he changed from great scorer to great everything, and won the Cups to prove it.” The success stories are what matter here, and specifically, the success stories that involve already proven stars getting better by putting on the Winged Wheel.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/04/12 at 01:25 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I know I’m stepping into “be careful what you wish for” territory, but Lidstrom’s retirement might be just what the doctor called for with this team.  The Wings have been so listless and seemly lacking an identity for a couple years now.  The vacuum left behind by Lidstrom might be just what causes this group of players to finally congeal into something more resilient and cohesive.

*Fingers crossed.*

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/04/12 at 01:34 PM ET

socalwingnut's avatar

I am not convinced that Lidstrom leaving will have much of a real impact on Suter’s thought process.  If Suter comes here it will be for the same reasons that Nick was here for 21 years and the same reason Brad Stuart re-upped for 4 years back in ‘08. The family oriented and winning culture in Detroit makes it worth it. From what I’ve read it seems like professional athletes in general and NHL players in particular want to make sure there are no serious issues at home so they can dedicate their minds as well as their bodies to playing good, winning hockey. Perhaps other franchises offer the same thing, but it would be a recent development. If Suter decides to chase the big payday, then it’s a moot point anyway. It seems ludicrous, but he will need to decide if 8 million per year for the rest of his career is enough. If it is, then the Red Wings have a great chance to land him.

Posted by socalwingnut on 06/04/12 at 02:13 PM ET

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I think Detroit is still a destination of choice because of the respect that players have for the organization and ownership, however, we have to face the reality that Suter could very well love living in Nashville, being out of the spotlight and having a chance to be part of a very good team moving forward. Let’s be honest: If Nashville can somehow pony up for Suter and Weber, with Rinne in the fold already, they’re a better team than Detroit with a better chance of winning a Cup in the next few years. If, like some suggest, Suter and Parise do want to pair up and would consider Detroit, well that changes everything. I still think there’s a decent chance Suter re-signs in Nashville and makes this all moot. At which point we can all officially start freaking out.

Posted by Eric H. on 06/04/12 at 02:47 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Certainly, Nashville still has to be considered the favorite. They have a month where only they can negotiate with him. That has to count for something.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/04/12 at 03:25 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Of course, we are throwing out all these scenarios with the belief there will be an NHL season next year.

Read the latest Hockey News ...then prepare for life without the NHL for a long, long time.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/04/12 at 04:36 PM ET

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Red Winger: Do you have a link to the article you are referring to? Would be much appreciated… Thx

Posted by Eric H. on 06/04/12 at 04:45 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Red Winger: Do you have a link to the article you are referring to? Would be much appreciated… Thx

Posted by Eric H. on 06/04/12 at 02:45 PM ET

It’s the editorial (“Recurring Nightmare”) in the June 1 edition, which I just received in the mail today. I’m not sure it would be available online, at least not yet.

In it, Jason Kay talks of how owners want contract lengths to be limited to five years and want revenues split 50/50 (right now it is split 43/57 in favor of the players).  He goes on to say sources close to both sides would not be surprised at all if there is a lengthy work stoppage. As hard as it is to believe, the NHL seems set on shooting itself in the foot again.

I’d compare the NHL to the Keystone Cops, but that wold be grossly unfair to the Keystone Cops.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/04/12 at 06:59 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“would”

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/04/12 at 07:05 PM ET

creasemonkey's avatar

The Wings themselves were built on the draft

I wish those that hate this organ-I-zation would stop contradicting themselves. Either the Wings are sneaky bastards that find gold nuggets in the $hitpiles or the Wings overpay for free agents. Getting your supposed criticism straight before you start claiming how unfair it all is might make you seem less ignorant.

But I’m also with Red Winger, this is all IF there is a season in October.

Posted by creasemonkey from sweet home san diego on 06/05/12 at 02:01 AM ET

monkey's avatar

Prior to this season, if you were coming to Detroit, you knew you were A) getting first-class ownership that would pay you well, B) getting a first-class off-ice, family-oriented environment with a front-office and teammates that would go out of their way to help you with everything from getting settled, finding the community you want to live in, and finding the right schools for your kids, C) going to have Lidstrom to bail you out.

I have had similar thoughts but I don’t think “C” has ever factored in as much as we might think.  When guys come here they come for the history, the culture, the work ethic, and all the great players.  They want to be a part of that.  Losing Lidstrom diminishes “all the great players” in the short term, but amplifies the mystique of the history and the culture.  Let’s admit it, all these guys have egos, and losing Lidstrom opens up a spot for someone else to make his mark.  Also, if the guy is looking to get bailed out, the Red Wings shouldn’t want to sign him anyway.

The Wings themselves were built on the draft through players like Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard and Henrik Zetterberg. Can they now revitalize their lineup through free agency?

Why not? I like the subject, but the question itself seems ridiculous.  The Wings have been built through the draft AND free agency AND trades at least since their current run began.  Shanahan, Chelios, Hull, Hasek, Rafalski, Draper, Coffey, Stuart, Krupp, Lilja…  we didn’t draft any of those guys.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/05/12 at 10:28 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Suter and Parise would be enough I think.

Anyone else would not, barring huge trade(s).  No other FA’s would have that kind of impact.  Seriously, if DET can’t get Suter and Parise they may as well just close the checkbook and not waste any of Ilitch’s money.  Play the kids instead.


But I’m also with Red Winger, this is all IF there is a season in October.

Posted by creasemonkey from sweet home san diego on 06/05/12 at 12:01 AM ET

Yeah, as I said before I think the uncertainty is going to mess up Holland getting this all done.  DET’s not going to commit big contracts to Parise and Suter without knowing the new Cap limit, and also without knowing how the cap would be calculated because as it stands right now my understanding is a lot on the BoG’s want to recalculate it from something other than the avg. to curb back-end-loaded contracts.

The biggest hope would be that Kenny says “Screw it”, sings them both anyways, and then if salary needs to be cut they let loose guys like Cleary, Ericsson, etc.  Even if it tarnishes the “loyalty’ thing somewhat.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/12 at 10:32 AM ET

cementslinger's avatar

The biggest hope would be that Kenny says “Screw it”, sings them both anyways, and then if salary needs to be cut they let loose guys like Cleary, Ericsson, etc.  Even if it tarnishes the “loyalty’ thing somewhat.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/12 at 08:32 AM ET

Sign the bitches now and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.  A little hastily you say?  Here’s hastily for ya: Both Suter and Parise will be signed by some team within the first couple hours of the start of free agency.
Sign them ASAP.  Then when the new CBA fuchs Detroit over, the Wings can cut the Clearys and the Ericssons and whoever.  Small price to pay for the services of Suter and Parise.  Sign them for 20 years.  Get them signed before the new CBA bans anything over 5 year signings.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 06/05/12 at 01:03 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The Wings have been built through the draft AND free agency AND trades at least since their current run began.  Shanahan, Chelios, Hull, Hasek, Rafalski, Draper, Coffey, Stuart, Krupp, Lilja…  we didn’t draft any of those guys.

Posted by monkey from lighting my nuts on fire on 06/05/12 at 08:28 AM ET

Shanahan, Chelios, Hasek, Draper, Coffey, and Stuart were all traded for even.  (In Draper’s case I believe that’s technically still a trade anyways).

This is what has hurt DET more than anything:  there are no more good trades to be made.  Nobody trades anymore.

Posted by Primis on 06/05/12 at 05:10 PM ET

monkey's avatar

This is what has hurt DET more than anything:  there are no more good trades to be made.  Nobody trades anymore.

Parity, man.  *#$%@& Kings are about to finish the most dominant run to the Stanley Cup ever.  The Los Angeles Kings.  Nobody trades anymore because everyone really does have a shot.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/05/12 at 10:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I think I’ve changed my mind on one front.

If DET can’t get Parise, I’d like to see Holland push hard to get Nash in a trade.  DET has the youngsters to do such a deal without compromising the future.

I think it’s going to take trades to fix DET.

Posted by Primis on 06/06/12 at 09:26 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

If DET can’t get Parise, I’d like to see Holland push hard to get Nash in a trade.  DET has the youngsters to do such a deal without compromising the future.

I think it’s going to take trades to fix DET.

I have a hard time believing The BJ’s would trade him to a Central Division team, but I’d love to see it happen as long as he landed in Detroit.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 06/06/12 at 12:22 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

Detroit is of course a good hockey team with or without lidstrom, but i wonder if it still is a ‘destination of choice’ without lidstrom.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/04/12 at 09:55 AM ET

Just so you know, that’s Lidstrom with an L…

Posted by pgoody on 06/07/12 at 04:49 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

All I know is one thing, “standing pat” just will not do.

Tick, Tock.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 06/08/12 at 11:45 AM ET

Avatar

family-oriented environment with a front-office and teammates that would go out of their way to help you with everything from getting settled, finding the community you want to live in….Philadelphia Movers

Posted by Philadelphia Movers from Philadelphia on 06/09/12 at 10:08 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

“I don’t buy into the lame argument that Suter wouldn’t want to be the first man in to “replace” Lidstrom and would be “afraid to fill his shoes.”

I don’t think it’s a “lame” argument at all.  In Nashville, Weber is the top defenseman and Suter doesn’t live in the same media spotlight.  In Detroit, Suter would be subjected to huge expectations from the fans and the media would have microphones shoved at his face all the time. If all other things are equal, why wouldn’t he stay with the Preds?  (This assumes, of course, that they can come up with the money.)

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/09/12 at 10:15 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Since April I have said a similar thing, first off, what makes us think Suter or Parise will leave their current teams?  Inertia is difficult to overcome.  It kept Lidstrom in Detroit 10 or 12 years longer than he originally started considering going back home.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/09/12 at 02:19 PM ET

monkey's avatar

I thought Kronwall would become our #1 defender even if we did sign Suter.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/09/12 at 04:15 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Also, given the roster limits and the possibility that Brendan Smith could move up to Detroit next season, with Kronwall as our #1 the only roster spot left open is Brad Stuart’s.  I think the potential pressure aspect on Suter is overrated.  It doesn’t look to me that the team moving forward is going to be built around the D, rather it will be built around the forwards.  Assuming they both go UFA, the Wings will hunt Zach Parise with more intensity than Suter.

You know, looking at the numbers, it’s interesting.  Given the roster limit of 23 and three players RFA whom we can all assume the Wings want to bring back in Helm, Abdelkader, and Quincey, and assuming both Nyquist and Smith move up to the majors next year, Detroit could sign one forward and one defenseman and have a full roster.  More can be added depending on what options we have for the rookies.  If they are out of options they are going to make the club or get traded.  Picking up four players in free agency or via trade would be a lot of activity for Detroit in one off-season. 

If Detroit goes bat-shit crazy they could sign Parise, Suter, Dennis Wideman, and Alexander Semin.  With a $70 million cap they probably could shoe-horn all those guys in.  Not a likely scenario.

Inertia is difficult to overcome.

Not for $8 million a year and a pretty red sweater it isn’t.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/09/12 at 04:35 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Detroit could sign one forward and one defenseman and have a full roster.

I said a similar thing a week or so ago.  If Eaves and Cleary come back healthy they’ll certainly have roster slots.  If you add NyQuil, certainly keeping Abdelkader and Helm, you’ve got Emmerton hanging around who at first may be considered the most likely not to make it again, but I think does have a lot of ice sense and was a fraction of an inch from being the leading goal scorer of the first round.

Yes, so even if we lose Hudler, plus Lidstrom retiring and Stuart migrating, the Wings’ roster very possibly will not look much different from last year.  2 big time additions could make all the difference in the world however.

Inertia is difficult to overcome.

Not for $8 million a year and a pretty red sweater it isn’t.

Posted by monkey from lighting my nuts on fire on 06/09/12 at 02:35 PM ET

If you like mustard and $8M, and playing next to Shea Weber guarding your back, you stay put.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/10/12 at 12:33 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