Red Wings

A Follow up to: No Matter the Result of this Year’s Playoffs, the Red Wings Must rebuild in 2013/14



I was that crazy guy that wrote that article that made a lot of you angry. I wanted to start the discussion and in turn respond to your comments. As of 2:45 am when this story was finished, I have a response for each and every comment from the facebook link that we posted on the page. Hit me back again if you want to keep the discussion going. @TheMajorsDorf on twitter.


  1. Matt Towers If we win the CUP, we must not rebuild and try to repeat
    No problems with that. It’s not going to happen, but if it does, then I suppose you can keep the band together. 
  2. James Grzelka Stopped reading at we “got lucky for two decades”, knew i shoulda stopped at, ” I’ve never been in a hockey rink”
    I told myself as I composed this article that I would make so many of you mad because I was honest and forthright with my lack of personal hockey experience. “Lucky” is probably the wrong word, but I can’t say that it didn’t play a major factor in their success. 
  3. The Majors The one thing I’ll add is this. What’s scary is that the Wings don’t have a young piece that is busting at the seems ready to go. I like Tatar, I like Nyquist, both look like they could be solid pieces… But neither strike me as the next Z or Pav, and the Wings don’t have that 20-21-22 can’t miss kid… Before I get the whole ” this is the way the wings do it” argument. Ask yourself this, Is this 2002? Is this 2008/2009 where the team is loaded? No. If a kid had “it” or was close he would be here, they need a scorer. The younger guys scare me, there isn’t a huge road block stopping them… That said, good piece Adam. I agree.
    Go Wings, and here is to Chi-Town underestimating Detroit! LGRW! –Jason
    Thanks to Jason for sticking up for me. The other contributors new about an hour in advance that this article was coming down and didn’t get a chance to prescreen it. Jason and I, although we have never met in person, see eye to eye on almost everything sports. Glad to have you in my corner dude. 
  4. Erik Seymour Re-load not rebuild
    See my twitter account @TheMajorsDorf, I said that all these comments are recycled and have been used for a decade. It’s the way of salary cap sports that you have to burn it to the ground to come back stronger. The Red Wings have done something incredible for the last 20+ years. They can only cheat fate for so long. 
  5. The Majors Got to take into account, Detroit had euro scouting locked down!!!!! From the late 80s real early 90s to early 2000s so I wouldn’t call Detroit’s drafting lucky…Lidstrom, Homer, Ericsson, Kronwall, Z…in Russia, Sergei, Vlady, Pav… –Jason
    Great point here Jason that I want to follow up on. The Red Wings built their success by catching trophy fish from a pond that no one else knew about for almost a decade. Now that everyone scouts those areas heavily, the Red Wings have to share their talent pool, neutralizing this advantage. What was the last big guy they signed out of Europe? Crickets unless you go all the way back till the early 2000’s.
  6. Bryan Rickard Ridiculous. The wings “got lucky” for 2 DECADES! Are yu kidding me right now
    Lucky was probably the wrong word. Got you to comment though! Like I said above, luck has been a huge factor. You don’t just be the model franchise for 20+ years without it. 
  7. The Majors Detroit benefited from a lot of Hockey officials and scouts not drafting Euro players because they thought of them as soft… Detroit certainly changed that. Jason
    See comment commentary #5 above. Ditto 
  8. Bryan Rickard Funny that the first time in 22 years ( in a shortened season) we get a low seed in the first round and beat a 2 seed. Then yu write this article the day we start our series with Chicago. Whata joke
    I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and it wasn’t a coincidence that I finished it up today and published it. Interest was at its peak, so I figured more people would read and discuss it. I started doing contract and prospect research before the playoffs began. Writing for the Majors is one of the many things I do. I also am a full time college student and work two other jobs. I’m a busy man! 
  9. Reyn Semmler IV This guy doesn’t know anything. Miller and Cleary aren’t that injury prone. Miller is a solid penalty killer and Cleary has contributed on both sides of the puck for years. I’ve never been a big fan of Samuelsson so I wouldn’t hate to see him go and bring up Tatar or Mursak. Bert is a great guy to have in the lineup if he can stay healthy.
    One thing about pro sports that most fans forget. It’s not about what you did for me in the past, it’s what you bring to the table in the future.
    Dan Cleary has played more than 75 games twice in his 14 NHL seasons. Most of his early career seasons he missed a lot of games as a healthy scratch. He has had a lot of nice years in the D, but his last two seasons have been awful. He will be 35 next season making him dinosaur in the post professional sports steroid era. It’s one thing to be 35 with a big frame, because you can adapt to being a low skill brawler, but a guy who is as slight in stature as Cleary is a waste of a roster spot.
    Drew Miller is an expendable part. He wouldn’t be in the lineup if he was healthy for these playoffs. There are younger and cheaper pieces that he can be replaced with. He is only going to be 30 years old for the 2013/14 season but you can do better.
    Bert can’t stay healthy. Don’t forget the Wings waived Mursak during the season because they didn’t want him and no one claimed him. I like Tatar and I am wondering why he hasn’t been a regular in Detroit yet. Is it perhaps he really isn’t that good?
  10. James Grzelka Exactly, we pilfered Russia, and then when everyone went to Russia we went too Sweden. We didn’t get lucky with Z and Dastyuk its called recognizing unfulfilled talent, and developing it. We have the best system in the NHL at developing players, its not luck.
    Best comment until your last sentence. Name the last player that the Wings developed that an average fan from another hockey city can name. You have to reach back almost a decade to find one. 
  11. James Grzelka I agree with alot, as far as bert, cleary, and miller needing to go, we can have 25 year Olds do what they do. But to say we got any type of lucky is ridiculous.
    People are killing me for the use of lucky. I debated on using “fortunate” instead of lucky. Guys under 25 should be the role players. The ones that grow into better players take you lead roles. You can’t just keep signing veteran retreads as role players. It stunts the growth of the franchise. 
  12. The Majors Reyn, I would call Cleary injury prone…. He was good and Detroit squeezed everything they could out of him… He has managed to stay on the ice this yr… But in the past he hasnt. Jason
    The Majors I think Miller is easily replaced… He is a decent PK guy… But even with him our PK has been blah. Wings miss Helm on the PK… Need a faceoff guy. Jason
    Ditto Jason! 
  13. Nick Casanova I don’t think they need a rebuild, though the definitely need a bit if an offensive reload. Calling Miller old and slow is silly, he’s not either, and he’s one of your top penalty killers. Also, I have to agree with the commenters who say that calling our scouting and drafting “luck” is ridiculous. That’s insane, sorry, you don’t get lucky for 20 years. Guys like Bert, Cleary, Sammy, have got to go in favor of some younger faces and we need to make a hockey trade for a scoring Winger, but that’s about it.
    I would argue that the only reason that it has lasted this long is because of luck. Todd Bertuzzi was a stray dog when the Red Wings grabbed him. Lucky move if you ask me. Dan Cleary was on his way out before the Wings found him. Lucky move again! What has Mikael Samuelsson ever done to get you’re respect? He’s a marginal talent at best. Only the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs have a similar run and it mostly has to do with luck as well. 
  14. James Grzelka Helm will be nice if he cab stay healthy, Babcock needs to stop his love affair with Anderrson that guys a slop bucket. I’d rather see Tatar up than him.
    Andersson and Tatar are not the same type of player. Andersson is a big body, face off artist, and penalty killer who won’t offer much offensively until he develops more. Tatar is a flashy, speedy, dangler who is totally lost on defense. They will likely never play the same role, therefore I really disagree with your comparison. 
  15. Daniel Harcourt Well thought out and statistically correct article. However the game is played on the ice and not at a computer. We have yet to finish this year out and you are taking a risk at jinxing a fine run in the playoffs so far this year. To speculate and worry about the future at this point is, well, pointless. There are people who may think you just changed a jockstrap and put a voodoo on our upcoming series against a more potent foe. You cannot be a scout for a sports team without scouting the minors or other teams. There are plenty of those who work for Mr I. I still like your research and attitude though….just bad timing.
    Thanks for a positive comment. Like I said above, the timing was entirely intentional because of peak interest. Is a lame publicity stunt, but it got one hell of a reaction. 
  16. Nick Casanova You’re a slop bucket, Anderson is awesome.
    You sound like standard sports radio call in guy on a Red Wings post game show that says Darren Helm is the next Gretzky. Andersson is nothing special, yet is very deserving to be in the lineup every night. Also, slop bucket is one of the most creative insults I’ve ever heard. You literally had me laughing out loud when I read that. 
  17. Larry Narodzonek Hey guys wishin the RED WINGS all the luck in this up coming series against the Blackhawks and beyond. BUT the question does need to answered…. Do the RED WINGS need to rebuild, I say one thing for sure is with them moving to the Eastern Conference next season they need to bigger on the defensive end !!!! I feel the East is a lot more physical than the West…. And with that being said I feel the RED WINGS need to get bigger before the start of next season. But lets enjoy the playoffs now and worry about Chicago….. LET`S GO RED WINGS !!!
    I’m surprised it took this long for our first “bigger on the blue line” comment. The defense is fine if they keep the band together. They have a great blend of speed and physicality. Now if they could just clear the zone better… 
  18. Gary VanDecar I see Ken Holland resigning Smith, Kindl, Brunner, Nyquist and Anderson we only need to sign 5 more players and that’s your 5 right there not to sure who Ken Holland would go after in free agency maybe Clarkson, Weiss or Horton. As far as i’m concerned any one of those 3 would be an upgrade over Filppula.
    Five players is just under 1/5 of your roster and 1/3 of the guys that suit up for you every night. That’s huge roster turnover. This isn’t the NFL for cripes sake. It usually takes longer than that.
    Yes the Wings have a lot of money to spend this off season, but at the same time they still have to pay a lot of their own guys. This is a very weak Free Agent class compared to last season, therefore teams are going to offer stupid deals to those guys you listed, driving them out of the Wings price range.
  19. Wesley Brock #GetBig we will get man handled next season if we don’t get a big man who can also score, helm is fast and all but one hit from Chara, or even Lucic for that matter,and we will see him with more than just back problems. We need guys who will be able to defend our team. That being said I don’t think we need to rebuild just add some pieces. Like you stated our D is looking very promising. Howard is shining right now. Just add a goal scorer and a Big presence, combined would be ideal. Do that and I feel we will continue our streak.
    Wes is another contributor for us. “Just adding another goal scorer” is not going to happen this offseason, because there isn’t one on the market. They don’t exactly have one within either that will set the world on fire as a rookie and score 30+ goals. 
  20. James Grzelka Wtf is awesome about Anderrson? The fact he can’t skate, shoot, pass or anything. He’s soft on his feet gets put down by guys half his size. Literally a poor mans Homer.
    It also took Homer five NHL seasons to turn into the guy you remember and love. Andersson is a young role player who probably won’t ever be more than that. Dude is a stud in the circle, so he is a very valuable piece to the puzzle. Homer couldn’t skate or shoot either when he first made it. Just wait to see what he becomes. 
  21. Beth Kostecki @Daniel Harcourt – your objection is that this article could jinx the playoff run? Seriously?
    Beth, another one of our contributors on the Network. And honestly Daniel if you think that an article written by some random guy in South Eastern Michigan will jinx a playoff run, you’re crazy and probably should get that checked out. 
  22. James Grzelka “Anderrson is awesome” has to be the most delusional comment on here lol. Name one aspect he’s AWESOME at.
    Faceoffs dude! He’s +50% for the season and 55%+ in the playoffs. And how many of those wins are on the penalty kill? Answer: the majority of them. 
  23. Howard Ward Andersson is over, 60% in face offs, made the pass that lead t brunners over time goal, is 6’2 and helped shut down koivu salnee and getzlaf at points oh and he is only 23, he plays a solid pk shift ever game and i cant wait till helms back because we would be very deep at center.
    Other than marginal spelling and grammar this comments a winner. 
  24. Beth Kostecki I also have to disagree with the contention that they got lucky. What difference does it make where those guys were drafted? The point is that they were. Ken Holland believed that they could help create the team he was building. As others have pointed out, you can’t boil 20 years of success down to luck.
    If you don’t get lucky and hit on those guys, it’s the dead Wings again and you don’t have your two most recent Stanley Cups. 
  25. Matt Griffith Anderson, as a third line, rookie center was 3,5 and plus 2. in the playoffs he is 0,2 and -1. He is also averaging around 53% on faceoffs. That’s not too shabby for a Rookie at all.
    Another good comment! 
  26. Howard Ward To adress this article, luck is something that happens once…maybe twice, 20 years of solid drafting is not luck. The wings will have cap space, especially if we utilize the compliance buyout on sammy, to sign some offensive power. To claim miller as injury prone and expendable is very off putting, he is 27-28 pk specialist that any team would love to have, he has one injury in the past 2 seasons while blocking a shot…hardly cause to shift him to the wind. Cleary as much as i hate to say it has come around for the playoffs and for sure has battled hard. I would not mind losing him, but a 1 year deal(cheap) wouldnt be far out of the question. Also anyone who is worried about the wings hanging with the ,tougher more physical, teams out east must not think highly of the ducks, predators, wild or black hawks, or ever the toughness of z pav Franzen abby eaves tootoo and the rest of the gang which has historically done well against the east.
    Miller is just an interchangeable piece. Easily replaced and readily duplicated. See the breakdown of Cleary in comment number 9 by Ryan. Keeping Cleary around for another year only sets back the development of a prospect another season. You can’t avoid developing new guys when your offensive core is all going to be 33+ years old. 
  27. Adam Waltersdorf I honestly expected the “just reload” argument from most of you… News Flash, it doesn’t work in a salary cap sport where you can’t spend you way out of a rut. Honestly what are you reloading with? You haven’t landed a notable free agent in 3 years, your farm system is empty of prime talent, and your core is going to all be 33+ years old. How many 6th or 7th round NHL pick end up playing let alone being a top 2 liner in the NHL? You can count the number of those guys on you two hands. It’s luck that Holland hit on two in a row, over a decade ago. Since then, what has he done for you? What was the last wings prospect that lit the league on fire? When was the last time we had a cant miss young guy? It’s been a decade people, wake up! You haven’t been a serious cup contender in 5 seasons, which is an eternity in sports. I just don’t want the wings to become the pistons, how’s fan base used the same argument as the franchise went down in flames.
    Adam Waltersdorf You can attribute the lack of can’t miss talent to not having top draft picks because of free agent signing compensation and that’s ok as long as you are hitting on your guys in late rounds and signing marquee free agents to fill in the gaps. Presently you are doing neither, which means we very well could be back to the Dead Wings in less than 5 years.
    Adam Waltersdorf You’re right guys, I have never played hockey, I just want you guys to look past that part and realize the way of salary cap sports. This style of General Managing isn’t sustainable. It will blow up in your face. Realize it now before the Wings head into a dark period for 5-8 years while the rebuild because they waited too long. The dark period could be dramatically shortened if you start planning now.
    End Rant. 
  28. Tony Jabrony Adam..ummm you said haven’t been a serious cup contender in 5 seasons..2008 cup champs, 2009 cup finals 7 games, rethink your statement
    Tony Jabrony And honestly all you guys who are stating that we don’t have young talent must realize that the Penguins and Blackhawks both sucked for years and got alot of Top 5 talent out of that..the Red Wings do need help but the scouts do know what there doing plus they can land a FA
    Yes they did suck for a long time. Look at the position that they are in today because they blew it up. I am willing to argue that if you act sooner rather than later it won’t be 5 seasons of suffering but maybe only 1 or 2. You can still keep the streak alive and rebuild. For heaven sakes, more than half the league makes the playoffs. 
  29. Adam Waltersdorf and its 2013… Ok I miss spoke. 4 seasons might as well be a lifetime in pro sports.
    I stand corrected. I still contend that 4 years is an eternity in professional sports. 
  30. Matt Zavislak i read this article, and the more i think about it, adam’s game plan still sounds more like retooling or reloading rather than rebuilding, i mean youre still keeping howard, youre keeping all your dmen, youre only getting rid of some of the older names like cleary and bert and trading filppula. rebuilding is like getting rid of at least half your team.
    All you can do is re-tool. The farm system has average talent that is nothing spectacular. The defense has never been the problem. It’s a young group, who are all under team control for a couple seasons. They can grow together. Name me a future 40 goal scorer in the farm system… you can’t. If you want to take the free agent route, I can’t possibly claim to be educated enough to predict those moves. 
  31. Erik Seymour With amnesty looming, there will be quite a few good top line free agents on the market. Some of them just couldn’t fit with their current teams. That’s why I say reload!
    And you are not a free agent destination anymore. Offer away and don’t be surprised when they all leave you at the altar. Grow from within and you don’t have to risk them not signing with you and not having a backup plan. 
  32. Craig Engstrom I think there will be 4-5 new guys on this team come the fall. Wings have plenty of young talent, they just need to bring more up and let them play.
    Couldn’t agree more about needing to play the young guys, just I don’t agree about the plenty part. 
  33. Erik Seymour Adam please go away you honestly have no clue what your talking about! This team is has one of the best farm systems with some of the best young talent in the league! Jurco, Pulkkinen, Sheahan, Ouellet, Lashoff and that’s just to name of few. We ARE reloading on the fly, if we acquire a couple FA’s we are right back in the Stanley Cup chase!
    If they were that good, they would be in the D already. Lashoff isn’t dressed and you have two guys on the blue line out with injuries. He’s a 50/50 dress or healthy scratch guy. He’ll probably spend most of next season in Grand Rapids unless there are lots of injuries. Just because you happen to know a prospects name doesn’t mean they are going to be a stud. 
  34. Erik Seymour O and let’s not forget Daniel Dekeyser, this is a guy that half the damn league wanted and IS a “can’t miss prospect” get your shit right bro before you go and have diarrhea of the mouth again! I would say Jurco is a cant miss guy either.
    I didn’t consider DeKeyser a prospect because he’s the real deal already. He never is going to Grand Rapids unless it’s for a rehab assignment. Jurco isn’t a can’t miss guy either, or otherwise he’d be here already. The Wings have struggled to score this year, and they would have turned to him without a doubt if he was ready.
  35. Matt Bray So, apparently the other scouts thought those Euro players were soft…They were DEAD wrong, and clearly underestimated them, juuuuuust like you’re underestimating the Red Wings…Coincidence? I think not! Go Red Wings FROM CHICAGO!!!
    Recycled old argument alert! The Wings were the first to realize that European talent would work in the NHL. News Flash! Everybody knows now and has adjusted. 
  36. Jake Skolas Adam I encourage you to look at this and then try to tell us there is no decent prospects we literally have close to 5-6 defenseman that are less than a year or two away. Calle Jarnkrok is one of the top players in the Swedish elite league and will be over with either the wings, or griffins next season. It’s blasphemy when u come on here and say we have nothing in the pipeline worth anything more than 3rd line center..3rd pair defenseman type prospects. You wonder why holland stays put at the deadline it’s because all of these players are demanded for 2nd-3rd line players that are either overpaid or to old. This next draft is deepest it’s been in years. Prospects | Red Wings Central
    Hardly a neutral or objective site. Read an outside assessment of them and you’ll realize how average their prospects are. 
  37. Nick Bartholomeo I’ll be honest this article does bring a few things to light and I do agree with portions of it. The wings do need to shed some more of it’s much older and slower players given our shift to the Eastern conference, but I think we’ll be fine over all. Getting Helm back next season will be a huge boost for us in the speed column as well as the best third line center in the league. This team doesn’t seem to rebuild like other teams. There is never a really big rebuild like setting a huge fire burning the team to ashes like i’ve seen others do. The wings seem to rebuild on the fly almost like a quick reload. When it finally comes I wont be surprised. I’m ready for my team to have it’s down years. After all you can’t be the best team in the league forever. Our 20+ year reign will come to and end sometime. Loyal to the end.
    Solid comment. You managed to add something to the discussion without insulting anyone! Thanks dude! 
  38. The Majors Glad a couple ppl seen Adams point that goes missed on most… Wings move to the East…. Different style folks…. Jason
    Wanted this to be the biggest point of the article, but it morphed into the monster that it did.
    The Majors Last I saw the Wings were ranked 10th in the minor system… Issue is whether or not anyone becomes a top 6 fwd. Jason
    Exactly my point! Thanks Jason for the backup! 
  39. Nick Bartholomeo We got some promise coming up through the system but i think we’re gonna have to cut some ties and sign a few hard targets to get back in the game and actually be a real contender
    Signing hard targets is going to be hard. Modern young stars want to get paid and have a city to themselves who they don’t have to share as the dominate sports personality. We have the Tigers and Lions, who more people care about. 
  40. Erik Seymour We’ve typically played eastern teams very well
    Yes they have, but only when they play them once a year. When they play multiple times a year and have a thicker scouting report things will change. It won’t be as friendly in 2013/14 to the Red Wings. 
  41. Adam Waltersdorf I didn’t consider DeKeyser a prospect because he was a baller since the day he signed. But you can’t honestly tell me you think any of those guys in GR are top end offensive talent. Because you’re dead wrong.
    Adam Waltersdorf “only a couple free agents away” line is getting old. All the big ones have passed on good offers from the wings for the last 4 years. You’re not a free agent destination any more.
    Adam Waltersdorf If all the prospects were that good they would be in Detroit already. especially with all the injuries 
  42. Paul Pinto I remember shanny, yzerman,hull,fedorov all them leaving and this same convo comming up and guess what you fucks we won the cup with a cap in 08 so relax and chill out this season isn’t done and we do have a chance at chi town!
    The difference is that you had top end young talent waiting in the wings and free agents fighting to come here. You now have neither. 
  43. Jake Skolas Adam we do have some top prospects being groomed in Grand Rapids hockey isn’t like football where guys can jump right in and contribute most of these draft picks are not ready out the gate..ya if we did it the cheap way and tanked we could score a Sidney Crosby but that is not how you treat a fan base in a market that expects a winner every year..we have a handful ie Jarnkrok ,Jurco, Tvrdon, Sheahan, Tatar that have the potential to be top six forwards on the farm that will be ready if not next season the year after..We also have a lot of depth on D as well..the wings have always built on depth because that is how you acquire high-end talent especially in the cap world..The future is incredibly bright when u literally have 10-12 legitimate high-end prospects knocking on the door in the next two seasons
    Football guys rarely start as a rookie unless they are a first round pick. The Red Wings have kept their guys in the minors forever in recent history because “that’s just what they do”. I will contend it has been because they haven’t been very good. If it takes 4 years in Grand Rapids to develop an average role player, you need to reexamine your development system.
    Read up on these prospects. None of them are projected to be more than average players. You don’t have another Pav or Z waiting somewhere, you just have 5 Dan Cleary’s. 
  44. Adam Waltersdorf A 7/10 rating is a C. That has always meant average. Average doesn’t mean high quality. Quit drinking the koolaid. They aren’t that good.

Thanks guys for the great response. I’m surprised none of you threatened to injure/kill me, because that’s the kind of passion that you fans have. Thanks for the engaging discussion. Hit me back again with your responses.

About Dorf

Adam "Dorf" Waltersdorf is the Vice President of TMSNX and contributor across the entire Majors Sports Network. He is the Editor in Chief of the Majors East Lansing and an editor at The Majors Detroit and the The Majors Sports Network. He also is the Host of TMSNX's weekly Football podcast "Inside the Huddle" and on air personality for the weekly Detroit Sports Podcast "Motor City Uncut" and the weekly baseball podcast "The Sandlot Report".

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