Remember when the NHL trade deadline was a holiday in Detroit? Names like Murphy, Chelios, Schneider, and Stuart came to Detroit via trade for prospects becoming what turned out pretty significant pieces to an elaborate hockey puzzle. Well we’re three years removed from the last impact move for the Wings while fans are reminded of how things once were with the Penguins loading up with player after player preparing themselves for a cup run. This was Detroit’s last shot in the Western Conference and they should of decided a better path than standing pat.
Instead on April 3rd 3:00PM, 2013 what did the Detroit Red Wings do to reward your fandom?… Nothing again!
This is year three of having the ability to take on money with cap space available. It’s becoming more common to see guys walk out the door instead of new faces walking in. I’ve also been told all this time Detroit is Hockeytown in which case don’t you think the time, the money, and the energy you put forth for your team you deserve some light at the end of the tunnel?
The truth here is the Red Wings have become victim to a common Detroit practice, falling in love with players and not knowing when to say goodbye (I exclude Lidstrom from that). The Red Wings have become full of themselves in thinking they can continue to milk veteran players or get something from a cast away. Samuelsson’s second tour of duty has been a bust, Tootoo wasn’t good enough to skate for Nashville and Cleary most nights is a shell. Detroit had warning signs going off a few years ago and now in 2013 it has gone to a full blown Tornado siren, causing Detroit to be re-active instead of pro-active. Now don’t get me wrong, Detroit has a lot of nice young talent, but none of it is elite and no one is beating down Detroit’s door to acquire a young guy for a known veteran commodity.
The worst move Detroit could’ve done is stand pat. If you truly believe that Detroit can win the Stanley Cup as a lower seeded team, with the likes of Chicago and Anaheim standing in their way, how do you not get a winger to play alongside Datsyuk? What a slap in the face to Pavel this year having to be on a line with Franzen and Abdelkader, enabling opposing defenses to easily target Detroit’s best offensive weapon.
On the other side of the coin, if you see this as a transition year for Detroit with the continued roster turnover (as I see it as) why not deal away some veterans? Still Detroit is going to trot out the likes of Dan Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi, and Mikel Samuelsson while slowing the growth of the kids trapped in Grand Rapids.
Now before you tell me the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup as an 8th seed please note the move’s the Kings made prior to last year’s deadline. They hired Daryl Sutter midseason to coach the team and added Jeff Carter to play along with Mike Richards who was acquired the year before. And with Sutter’s guidance the Kings went 25-13-11 just missing out on winning the division. Bottom line this is not the same position the Red Wings are in.
Entering this offseason, GM Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock are going to be on the hot seat. If Detroit fails to land some key pieces then what do you have? A winged wing on the chest of your jersey doesn’t guarantee anything.