Posts Tagged ‘Datsyuk’

Deal him now!

June 22, 2016

Yesterday the Detroit Free Press had an article about the Wings’ ongoing attempts to move Datsyuk’s cap hit for the upcoming season, and it carried this tidbit:

Holland has “talked to a few teams” about the situation, but early demands have focused on 2015 first-round pick Evgeny Svechnikov and Andreas Athanasiou, whose speed and ability to create something out of nothing repeatedly was demonstrated down the stretch this past season.

Notice the bolded part. Maybe I am misreading this, but this seems to be saying that teams are asking for Svechnikov or Athanasiou as if they have roughly the same value. I might also just not be a huge fan of Athanasiou, though I don’t exactly dislike him, either. But his value shouldn’t be on the same level of Svechnikov, and if the Wings are looking for trade chips to land a D…well, there you go. If clubs are essentially seeing Athanasiou as a first rounder, then pair him up with Nyquist and a pick and go fishing for the good young D that we need.

I think the ability to move Datsyuk won’t be that difficult, though. I know it looks like Detroit doesn’t have any leverage, but moves aren’t made for the sole reason of what’s happening on the ice. Arizona and Carolina seem to  bleeding cash, and having a guy on the roster that adds $7.5 million to their cap without adding any salary can be a very attractive asset to an organization looking to limit their financial damages this upcoming season. The Wings will still have to sweeten the pot, but I can’t believe it will take a significant asset. Which maybe says something about how I view Jurco and Pulkkinen as I don’t believe either or both would be a big loss in such a deal.

Because I don’t want to make another post, I also want to touch on Jimmy Howard here. It appears that Calgary doesn’t want to give up a 1st round pick for Marc-Andre Fleury, and I don’t think anyone could blame them. What I don’t get is that rumors immediately turned to them pursuing Bishop and not to Holland picking up the phone and throwing a ridiculously low offer at Calgary to take Howard off the Wings’ hands.

To be clear, Howard’s pretty much done in Detroit. He might be stuck here another year, playing behind Mrazek and hoping to be grabbed by Las Vegas next summer, and he might even put up a good year, but the club’s future is Petr Mrazek. So, get something from Howard, free up the cap space, and move forward.

Which brings me to my half-assed fan trade proposal of the post:

Datsyuk+Howard+pick/prospect for Bollig+Engelland+Wideman

This is assuming Calgary wants to dump Wideman. If they don’t, drop him from the deal and I’m still fine with it. Calgary also dumps so roster filler that wouldn’t be hard for us to either bury in the minors (Bollig) or probably deal off for a pick (Engelland), while Wideman would be the blueline upgrade that I doubt we can get on the open market (especially since Goligoski is already off the market).

Where’s the motivation for Calgary? They clear some guys off their roster they don’t necessarily want or need, which is nice. How badly would we want to see Ericsson moved just for the roster space at this point? I think Engelland and Bollig are roughly equivalent to that. Datsyuk gives them the cap floor cushion to step up to the trade deadline next February and deal off whoever they want and not have to take much of anything back to stay above the floor. I also just like the idea of one-stop shopping rather than having to look to make separate deals to fill our needs, which is more likely to be that path taken.

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Just Go In Straight Lines

May 6, 2016

Chelios: Well, I adjusted I think because I played so long and had been through different types of games. Mike Babcock, I don’t think there’s a more structured coach than him, and I struggled with him. I tried to do what he wanted me to do. I was one of those players, you talk about elite players, I had a vision, I could see the puck and plays developing before it happened, but once he had me doing straight lines, I was worthless. Then I knew the end was there.

 

I pulled the above quote from an interview posted at ESPN.  Chelios touches upon the prevalence of systems in the NHL a few times in the interview, but this was the most direct connection he made to the Wings. When Babcock first came on board, and really throughout his tenure in Detroit, there were often rumors of him rubbing players the wrong way. Shanahan’s dislike for Babcock was the worst kept secret in Detroit the little time they co-existed. For awhile Babcock was seen as essentially shoving Yzerman off the ice. Rumors of Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Lidstrom rebelling against Babcock seemed to surface every couple of years, only to have everyone stay where they were and keep saying the right things. I  have to believe, though, that Chelios wasn’t the only high end player who looked at how Babcock wanted them to play and thought, “Just kill me now.”

I totally get the idea of cutting down on mistakes by taking as much of the unknown out of the game as possible. And as a team becomes less skilled, this makes a lot of sense. However, at some point I have to wonder if it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. We don’t have enough skill to let guys go out and create a bit, so we go out and get guys who are better at a simpler, more straight forward game, but they are also less skilled, bringing the team down further, and pushing the game plan to be even more conservative. And on. And on. And on. Before you know it, you have a team that is very limited on the skill front, with grinders playing up in the lineup, and having a difficult time consistently producing offense.

Sound familiar? I think it does. Maybe the Wings are hitting a point where they will realize they either need to go back to what was really the Wings hallmark or to just go all out with the crash&bang limit mistakes lineup they keep flirting with. Unfortunately, the lack of high end skill coming up through the farm system may make the decision for them.

It Doesn’t Matter If The Wings Trade Datsyuk

April 12, 2016

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.