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?