5 Moves to Make a Good Detroit Team Better

The Detroit Red Wings are rolling through this season, on pace for yet another 100+ point season and a 21st consecutive playoff appearance. While they already have a good team in front of them, these five changes could make them into an even better one, and all of them are plausible situations.

1. TRADE FOR A GOAL SCORER

There are not a lot of pure goal scorers on the Wings. Henrik Zetterberg hasn't been a huge threat and Pavel Datsyuk is basically a great set-up man. Johan Franzen is the closest thing to it, but he is inconsistent. A player like Zach Parise is someone who can score every night and would benefit from a move to Detroit. Look for fireworks at the trade deadline.

2. KEEP CHRIS CONNER

Conner has been a great addition to the Detroit line-up, playing with Dan Cleary and Darren Helm. He has bounced around from Dallas to Pittsburgh to Detroit, but he finally seems a little comfortable with the Red Wings. His speed and tenacity overshadows the fact that he's only 5'8. When Jan Mursak comes back, I suggest having him with Helm and Conner, all three of them have amazing speed.

3. WAIVE CORY EMMERTON

Emmerton has been non-existent this season, and this is even with Patrick Eaves and Mursak out of the line-up. He was drafted in the second round in 2006. Isn't it about time he was in the line-up on a regular basis? I think he is projected as a fourth liner, not something you want from a second round pick. When Mursak and Eaves come off the IR, Emmerton should be the one sent down, not Conner. We all know Brunnstrom is probably never going to amount to anything and should just stay in Grand Rapids. The Wings won't waste a spot in the stands and Emmerton should be the one let go.

4. REPLACE JONATHAN ERICSSON WITH BRENDAN SMITH

Have you heard the trade rumours circling the Wings? It's always Jiri Hudler, Todd Bertuzzi and Jonathan Ericsson. Clearly, Brendan Smith is better than Ericsson, who signed an outrageous contract in the offseason. Detroit really should find a sucker to take this lumbering pile of garbage off our hands. I think Babcock and Holland both see it (maybe not, but I hope so) that Ericsson is a liability. Have you noticed that when Niklas Kronwall was with Ericsson he would never join the rush? Hello - Ericsson is the only one back if he gets caught, no thanks. With Brad Stuart, Kronwall can do that, with Ericsson it's a nightmare. So not only is Ericsson bad, he's making his defence partner look bad too (Jakub Kindl is NOT as bad as he looks out there). So trade Ericsson for anything, I could care less. On another note, Mike Commodore seems kind of useless right now too.

5. PLAY TY CONKLIN AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE

Jimmy Howard is an all-star goalie this year (screw the ballot). Having him start so many game sis good for the guy's confidence. His GAA is below two. He leads the league in a bunch of goaltending categories, the top one being wins. So having Conklin come in and ruin winning streaks just doesn't seem to be the right move. With Howard's age (27), Babcock has even said that he expects Howard to be alright with the work load. Once in a while he can take a maintenance day. Fatigue is not an excuse. Lot's of great goalies play 70+ games and Howard is certainly on target.

What do you think the Wings can do to make a good team great?

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Kyle Busch

5 Comments

TheWellKnown's picture

Well, all are good ideas (especially Zach Parise) except...

Holland must not think Ericsson is a pile, otherwise he wouldnt have signed him to that extension. He's only 27 and he still has a couple years before he is considered a bust. Defensemen usually take longer to hit their prime anyway. The extension makes sense considering what was at stake. Ken Holland doesnt panic and if he did he would have panicked by getting in on the bidding for Wisneiwski or someone like that. Thank god he didnt. Ericsson wont be traded unless the Wings get what they believe to be an equal or better return. So...he likely isnt going anywhere. Brenden Smith is, what, 22? Bringing him up now in a full time top 6 defense position isnt the right thing to do. He'll have growing pains too and he wont be any better than Ericsson for another 2-3 years. The Red Wings dont give up on players easily and they wont give up on Ericsson either.

not tearing apart your article, just giving my opinion.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

As of now, Smith is better than Ericsson, bar none. I'd rather have a 22 year old guy that makes next to nothing over a $3.5 million guy that brings nothing to the table. I've heard too many times that Ericsson has potential, which is what you're basically inferring, and he's 27 like you said. We've seen through the years that Kronwall had the ability, and now he's turning into that top line defenceman. Ericsson has shown nothing to a.) warrant such a ludicrous contract and b.) deserve any more opportunity. Clearly Holland thought he was something, but don't you agree it was probably the worst signing Holland has ever made? He got Ian White for way less. Watching Ericsson every game clearly shows me he will never be anything more than a 6th-7th defenceman in the NHL.

George Prax's picture

Your comment is good and appreciated, but let me tell you know, TheWellKnown, trying to convince Kyle that Ericsson doesn't suck is like trying to tell a Fox News anchor that torture is wrong. Just ain't going to happen lol.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

We all know I despise the guy, but this isn't just me. Go and check other message boards and Wings sites and there is most definitely a thread entitled "Johnny Shitbox." No word of a lie, that's what some Wings fans call him. I think the only fans he has are 15 year old girls because they think he "looks nice."

Rachel Bellono's picture

Kyle, I totally agree with each of your 5 moves to make the Wings a better team. TheWellKnown, you do not have to like Ericsson to recognize that Brendan Smith has more potential than Ericsson ever could. Smith is younger, faster, and actually does good things... like scores and gets assists while only playing with the Wings a couple times. I really liked Smith and I like Conner a lot too. They both have great potential, I think. Emmerton is really no good. I would be happy to see him replaced with Conner.

I think your most valuable point, a goal scorer. Zetterberg will never be that. He is getting too old and he hasn't been a good goal scorer for a while. He has his moments, but he is not a goal scorer. Datsyuk makes some crazy goals, but what you said is true. He is more of a play maker. Franzen is too inconsistent. I would like to see us have another Shanahan (who wouldn't). He was a strong leader, a great forward, a goal scorer, a play maker, and someone to look up to all put into one man. I think it would be beneficial if we had another Forward, goal scoring Captain. Just my thought though.

As always a good article, Kyle.