It Doesn’t Matter If The Wings Trade Datsyuk

So, Pavel Datsyuk is likely going to home to Russia after the playoffs this season. This will clearly hurt the Wings next season, though how much depends on how much of  contender you view them as. If you don’t view them as a contender, and Datsyuk leaves, they’re still not a contender. If you don’t view them as a serious contender, and Datsyuk stays, they’re still not a contender. The only circumstance where Datsyuk leaves really hurts if is you see the Wings as a serious Cup contender next year. His absence would just cripple those expectations.

But what about the money the Wings would still have tied up on their cap if Datsyuk leaves? Isn’t that crippling? No, I don’t think so.  It would be nice if we could wade into free agency and grab a piece or two that would solve some long term problems. It’s something Holland has attempted to do off and off since Lidstrom retired. the problem has been that it hasn’t been happening. The Wings finally pulled in Green last summer to fill a massive hole on the backend, marking the first major UFA signing since, well, that guy from Florida, who was also a rarity for Wings free agent pickups in recent years. So, the chances of us landing a guy we want are likely pretty slim.

Now, how many guys out there do we really want that are going to carry a significant cost? Up front there’s definitely Stamkos, maybe Lucic. On the backend…Yandle? Maybe?

Now, here’s what really crazy. We don’t really need to move Datsyuk’s salary to afford a couple of smaller, more likely, moves this summer. Here’s a quick and dirty look at a possible roster to build off of over the summer. Despite the odd formatting, it looks like Datsyuk’s salary is included. I tried to be as realistic as I could with the RFA deals, I let Helm, Richards, and Quincey walk, and I dealt Smith to Edmonton for a pick. As you can see, at this point we have a full roster, and $8m in cap space. The only significant loss from last year to this year, imo, is Datsyuk. And his production has become steadily easier to replace as age and injuries have taken their toll.

While we wouldn’t have the room, at this point, to add Stamkos and the likely $10+m cap hit he’ll command, we should have enough space to add a couple of $3-5m cap hits to bulk out the roster. That’s assuming you want to do that sort of shopping and not just run with the kids and see where they get us. Datsyuk leaving a year early puts a wet towel on next season, but I’m not sold it really changes the team’s goals much. They aren’t a serious cup contender with or without him, and it’s unlikely they could add a significant free agent piece in either case. It would be easier to build a better team on paper with Datsyuk around, yes, but even then I’m not sure we’d be building a Cup contender, or a another 3 seed contender.

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3 Responses to “It Doesn’t Matter If The Wings Trade Datsyuk”

  1. fruscianteredwing Says:

    David backes might be a good fit but hate taking a gamble on overpriced free agents. Lines next year based on that might be z, larkin, Abby. Backes Tatar nyquist. Sheahan, athanisiou, mantha. Glen Miller (plug?). Like you said our team is relatively the same without Richards, helm, datsyuk, and Smith. All have legitimate replacements for their position. Even without a trade or free agent signing there’s the option to move larkin to second or first line center. Not sure what to do with jurco or pulk though, almost looks like they’ve given up on them.

    • charlieblizz Says:

      I like Pulkkinen, but I have pretty much given up on Jurco. I was never a huge fan, though, as I just don’t see his game translating well to the NHL until he consistently plays a seriously physical game. I actually like Pulks on the third line, playing a role similar to what Hudler did for us.

      I like Backes, too,but I’m wondering if we see him jump ship to sign with Chicago on the cheap to chase a cup for the next couple of years. If he falls short with St. Louis, I’m not sure he would justify staying there, or that St. Louis could justify not breaking things up a bit.

      • fruscianteredwing Says:

        Chicago has good chemistry in toews line anisimov,kane, and panarin. But you never know what’s going to happen in the off-season. Another wings fantasy move of mine for summer would be to take his advice in moving Smith to Edmonton but in a package deal for Nugent Hopkins.

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