I’m not going to lie and say that I have it all together when it comes to being a Red Wings fan. In fact, my fandom has gone on a roller coaster ride ever since the Wings lost in the 1st round back in April. Free agency (or lack of) hasn’t helped. I have been slacking on writing lately partly because my hockey emotions have left me pretty numb. I care about this team just like many of you through the good or bad. Being angry about the last few months is perfectly acceptable
It wasn’t until the other day when Semin signed with Carolina and Holland dropped out on Doan that I took a long hard look at the state of the Wings.
Click the jump to see why you all should just sit back and relax
Detroit has a top six that consists of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Filppula and any combination of Nyquist, Brunner, Samulesson, Bertuzzi, Cleary, and possibly Eaves. That’s a pretty solid bunch, and given the right combination is better than what we saw in 2011-12. Zetterberg came to life in the 2nd half. Filppula had a monster year. Datsyuk still has plenty more dangle left in the tank, and Nyquist showed that the talent pool is still feeding fresh legs. The bottom six will be much harder to play against now that the Wings finally have a pest with the signing of Jordin Tootoo. Every team needs a guy like him and the upside is he can do more than just get under the opponents skin.
The defense is another story. We lost one of, if not the greatest defenseman to ever play the game, as well as a solid shutdown/stay-at-home/part-time backup goalie in Brad Stuart. Kronwall must now take the torch and lead this rag-tag group of defensemen into a new era. He has grown into a premiere defender that eats minutes, contributes offensively, and delivers some of the best LEGAL hits the game has seen in a long time. Ericsson turned it up late in the season and started to show us the potential that Holland and Chelios saw when we were all crying last June 30th. Quincey didn’t have a good run since being acquired, but given a little more time back I feel like he will fill the role that Stuart left. Let’s give him a break, he needs some time to unlearn all the bad stuff Colorado taught him. It is entirely possible that Brendan Smith could break out of the gate and become a top pair defenseman.
Ty Conklin is gone, and Jonas Gustavsson will now be pushing Howard as the backup. I love this deal. Gustavsson has all the skill to be an NHL starter, but was never able to play his game in Toronto while having to deal with all the scrutiny that comes with being a Maple Leaf. This should up Jimmy’s game even more along with giving him the ability to rest when needed.
When all is said and done this team is adding some nice young talent in Nyquist, Smith and Brunner along with some grit. Holland is likely to add another bargain defenseman and with guys like Kubina and Spacek still on the market Kindl should still have some competition for that 6th spot. I also wouldn’t rule out another veteran forward like Arnott, Rolston or Sykora to round things out.
The new CBA could also make things interesting if teams need to cut salary due to rollbacks. Who knows that perfect player could fall right into our laps. At any rate where we stand now in forward depth some guys are going to be shown the door.
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