What Next?

An era has ended not just for the Red Wings but the NHL. There are many great tribute articles out there so I wont add to it, but I would like to say just one thing before I move on. Nick Lidstrom was the greatest player of our generation, not just for his skill, but the person he is. The way he lives life on and off the ice is something the NHL will miss dearly. I fear for the youth who will have players like Patrick Kane to look up to.

Nick may not only be the greatest defenseman in hockey history, he may be the greatest person that hockey has ever seen.

Where do the Wings go next? They certainly still have enough talent on the roster and in the system to keep them competitive, but there are still holes to fill.

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Ryan Sutter and Zach Parise could fill two of Detroit’s most glaring holes, but what happens if they re-up with their current teams. Do the Wings really want to throw 5-6 million at Matt Carle or Dennis Wideman? Would you feel ok with Alex Semin making more money than Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Even worse what if Hudler becomes the best available forward come July 1st. I’m not sure that 5 million for a one-dimensional player is where the team wants to be even if it does mean I can have more photoshop fun.

Trades can be dangerous. We have some very valuable assets in Filppula and Franzen, and there are prospects in the system that have been compared to Hull, Zetterberg and Hossa. Do the Wings want to gamble some or even all of that for a player like Nash?

The 2012 free agent class is not very deep in terms of players that could improve the Wings. 2013 however could be the time to spend all that cap space. Can the Wings fill some of their voids with players like Smith and Nyquist to get there? Could the fans buy into a quazi-rebuild year?

Team needs:
#1 defenseman
Top-6 goal scoring sniper
3/4 defenseman
One, maybe two 3rd/4th line grinders with size and grit.
Backup goalie

One thing I do know is Kenny Holland won’t sit back and watch the fireworks. Ilitch and Co will do everything they can to put the best team on the ice come fall. We tend to put players on a pedestal in Detroit and only want to see players like Hudler, Ericsson and Emmerton gone. If we are to fill all the needs on the team we may have to part with players of value like Filppula, Franzen, Abdelkader or promising prospects like Nyquist, Pulkkinen, Jarnkrok and Jurco.

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