Bleacher Report writer Jim Balint says that he expects Ken Holland to be a buyer once the trade deadline becomes a little closer. Okay, well that’s certainly not how it usually goes and one or two moves may be likely. Jimmie-boy gives us five current Detroit Red Wings players that “need to go” and tells us why. Here they are with my critique in red…
1.) Jason Williams
This was a signing I never understood.
We needed to replace Samuelsson (right handed shot who could play the point on the 2nd PP unit).
Jason Williams doesn’t offer the Wings anything they don’t already have in the form of younger, faster players with more upside. While he has been injured most of the season, Williams, when healthy, was nothing more than a forward with below average scoring ability and average defensive awareness.
He also played the right point on the 2nd PP unit and actually showed much improved defensive awareness when compared to his first stint with the Wings.
Granted, the Wings didn’t break the bank to sign him.
He singed a one-year contract, so teams may be interested in him because he’ll free up money in the offseason. It would be nice for the Wings to get something out of his signing. In order to move him, he’d have to be packaged with other players or draft picks.
One team that might use some freed up Cap space: Detroit. Granted that this will probably be the only player most people may be willing to part with, his stock isn’t exactly bullish right now. If he comes back and plays well, he may be movable. But if he comes back and plays well, why would you move him?
2.) Brad May
Bringing in Brad May just made the Wings slower and less talented.
Hard to argue with that. I can only add that we didn’t have a true enforcer to protect our stars and our kids. May knows his role and usually plays it effectively.
I understand the compulsion to bring in a guy like May. You want to have some protection for guys like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. But the Wings had already signed Todd Bertuzzi, who actually has skill to pair with his toughness.
News flash: Todd Bertuzzi is afraid to fight. And who can blame him? That’s not a slight against Bertuzzi’s courage or toughness. One more freak accident and the guy is out of hockey forever.
May is one of the last of a dying breed. The traditional enforcer is slowly becoming outdated in this new NHL. One-dimensional players won’t cut it anymore. Maybe a team like Washington or Boston will be looking to add some grit for the playoffs.
He’s not totally one-dimensional. He can score goals, the play just keeps getting blown dead somewhere between the puck leaving his stick and it going across the goal line. (Not letting it go…ever.)
3.) Kris Draper
Here begins the part of the slideshow that die-hard, long-time Wings fans are going to hate me for.
Kris Draper’s time is coming to an end.
Here was a player that made a name for himself with hard work and effort. These days you hardly hear his name mentioned in games. He is seeing almost a full five minutes less in average ice time per game.
That can be attributed almost solely to Darren Helm. Watching Helm play is like looking at a 22 year-old Draper. Because of this, Draper has lost his value on the team.
Well that’s just not true. The “Little Red Corvettes” Line has been one of our most consistent lines all season long and Draper is a big part of it. Draper doesn’t look like he has lost one step. He may even be more effective this year than last year.
If GM Ken Holland can see through the nostalgia, Draper should be on the move to a young team looking for leadership and experience. Buffalo, Montreal, L.A.?
No f**king way.
4.) Kirk Matlby
The Grind Line has been upgraded and supercharged.
Abdelkader, Miller, Eaves, and Helm all play the style that Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper and Darren McCarty made famous. The problem for Maltby and Draper is, the kids do it better now.
The Grind Line has been over and done with for almost a decade. Maltby, Draper and McCarty had a brief re-union in 2008, but they were a shadow of their former self. And would the kids be as effective without the gritty vets out there to show them the way? My gut tells me, ‘no’.
Maltby’s time here was great, but he’s nowhere near the player he used to be. The only thing keeping Holland from moving Maltby is nostalgia, and nostalgia doesn’t win cups. Young teams in the playoff hunt could do would love to have a vet like Maltby around for a stretch run.
Nostalgia is not the reason that Maltby is still in Detroit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a factor, but Malts can still be effective defensively. Now, once we get Williams and Franzen back, #18 will probably be seeing more of the press box than the ice. Not exactly attractive trade bait. I do find this to be a little contradictory since the writer appears to want Detroit to be younger, then states that younger teams would love to have veteran leadership…so why not keep the kids AND the veterans?
5.) Chris Osgood
This all brings us to Chris Osgood.
Oh boy, here we go…
The emergence of Jimmy Howard has signaled the end for Ozzy here. It’s time the Wings got something of value for him.
Since when does half a season make a goalie’s career? Remember Steve Mason in Columbus (ahem, it was LAST YEAR). He had an entire season of greatness and has pretty much sunk the BJ’s this year. I know most of the MSM has already coined Jimmah as “the future” and that the “torch has been passed” and add whatever other cliche’ you’d like. But let’s not be too hasty…I know that’s a lot to ask for.
Ken Holland can point to his past two playoff runs and get maximum value from someone like Washington, Philadelphia, or Ottawa. Not only would those teams be addressing their glaring need in net, but being dealt to the East minimizes the chance of Ozzy coming back to haunt the Wings.
One of those teams would have to throw a goalie in the deal, as I doubt Thomas McCollum or Daniel Larsson are ready for backup duty just yet.
You’re right about McCollum and Larsson…the kids aren’t ready; not yet (and that includes putting the saddle completely on Howard). The Wings are really in a perfect goaltending situation right now if you think about it. The young padawan is riding hot while the Jedi Master sits and waits for his chance to bring order to the Force should the kid falter…alright too much Stars Wars, I apologize. But seriously, Ozzie just needs to be patient, keep his mouth shut, and play well with the time he is given. There’s no better goalie available to bail Detroit out if the Howard experiment goes awry.