It’s nice to see someone from The Hockey News has their wits about them, even if the rest of the crew thinks that the Wings are on the decline, Ed Fraser gives us a delightful little descent.
“I don’t want to spoil the surprise by saying exactly where the closest-thing-we’ve-had-to-a-dynasty-since-the-Oilers is slotted, so I’ll simply say I don’t believe The Hockey News, and many other punditry troupes, are giving the Wings the respect they deserve.”
Ah, the dynasty argument. 4 Cups in 12 years is most certainly closer to the Oilers of the 80’s than any other team. Since Detroit turned the corner in the 90’s they’ve been the perennial powerhouse of the league, through management, not tanking and getting good draft picks (coughPittsburghcoughChicagocough).
“Detroit lost an all-world player, one who was arguably their regular season MVP, in Marian Hossa and a trio of sniper-to-serviceable skaters in Jiri Hudler, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Kopecky, but the Wings won the Cup in 2008 without Hossa and their incomers will more than compensate for the other defectors.”
More than compensate is a bit strong, but I think that Kenny has done the best he could with what he had at his disposal. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Kopecky was NO big loss. Maybe he goes on to light it up in Chicago…but I doubt it.
“Ville Leino, a player who by all rights should have been with the big club and not in the American League last season, averaged 0.7 points per game through his first 13 NHL contests, which pro-rates to 57 points over an 82 game schedule – the exact total Hudler, the man he’ll replace as the No. 2 left winger, posted in 2008-09. The recent signings of Patrick Eaves and Jason Williams also have the potential to pay off in a significant way. Each has shown a scoring spark in the past and Motown is a place where reclamation magic (see Larry Murphy, Daniel Cleary, Chris Osgood, Brad Stuart) happens with regularity.”
Amen to leadership and management. No more words need be spoken.
“Full campaigns from seasoned youngsters Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader will further add to Detroit’s unmatched depth and, if you haven’t learned by now, never bet against the best GM in the game. If Ken Holland sees a hole in his lineup, he’ll make a move to fill it. The palette that is the Western Conference will certainly contain different shades in 2009-10, but the top of the canvas will still be painted Red.”
Seasoned youngsters in new term for me, but I suppose it fits the bill with these two. Both Abdelkader and Helm had breakout post-seasons (Helm improved from the year before), proving that they are the cream of the black aces crop.
Yeah, so stuff it, THN! Ed, you and I can be pals.