Offseason Plans Checklist
Now that the palyoffs are over, let the offseason begin, and boy, is it going to be a huge one for the Detroit Red Wings. Nicklas Lidstrom is retired, Brad Stuart is gone, Jiri Hudler is likely siging elsewhere and Tomas Holmstrom is pretty much toast. Let's go through some of the things that are going to happen during the next few weeks and why we should all be refreshing our web browers every ten minutes.
1. Replace Nick Lidstrom (which means find someone half as good)
2. Replace Brad Stuart (not with Jonathan Ericsson)
3. Replace Jiri Hudler
4. Draft some studs and make some deals
The Red Wings have a bunch of ways of going at it, but here's my thought process; I made a depth chart and seeing what I filled out, the Wings have some huge needs.
Obviously Howard is the starter, but keep in mind Joey MacDonald is on a one way deal, but back problems are ailing him. They might go after a backup just in case.
So, looking at my depth chart, the Wings need a top line winger, a scond line winger, a number one defenceman and a second pair man. Obviously in a perfect world, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter slot in the top and Nyquist and Smith turn into top half players. But seeing this is a cruel world, the Red Wings need a back up plan.
Here's some of the guys they need to look at (other than Parise and Suter) and stay away from.
-Matt Carle: apparently he is going to resign with Philly, but he can be a second pair man with Smith
-Justin Schultz: Lidstrom and Stuart are gone? And there's an opening to play in the NHL for Detroit right now? Come on Justin, play with your buddy Brendan Smith. Wisconsin guys Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski didn't mind it here, either.
-Jason Garrison: One good year is all it took, but Garrison has a bomb from the point and is still young.
-Jarrett Stoll: did you see him in the playoffs? This guy is a grinder, scorer, and speedster. He's still 29. He can play the wing if need be.
-P.A Paranteau: 67 points on the Islanders is very nice. The only negative is that David Jones is making $4 million a year to get half of that.
-Kyle Wellwood: the little playmaker has 47 points on the Jets, and seems to bounce around a lot. He produces points, but needs to be with top line players
-Dustin Penner: 17 points in the regular season didn't dampen his drive in the Kings Cup run. Huge body and can replace Holmstrom.
-Brandon Prust: when since Sean Avery and Aaron Downey did the Wings have a shit disturber on the roster? Brad May? I'll take Prust.
STAY AWAY. FAR AWAY:
-Alex Semin: attitude. The guy doesn't care if he wins as long as he gets his paycheck. No thanks.
-Dennis Wideman: sure, he was an all star, but he's no Ryan Suter. Paying him premium money and watching his play will upset Wings fans.
-Filip Kuba: the guy is 35. We don't need any more old guys.
-Anyone else over 30: seriously, the Kings won because they were young big and fast, not old, small and slow.
I would keep my eye on the week leading up to the draft and during the draft, because Holland has to be ballsy and pick up some negotiating rights. He has to try everything in his power to get the top guys, or the Wings aren't siting too pretty next year. Looking at the defence, they clearly need help. They needed help when Lidstrom and Stuart were around. Kronwall is a perfect second pair guy. We can't count on Brendan Smith just yet. Ericsson, Quincey and Kindl? Forget it. And Ian White isn't playing with Nick anymore.
The perfect world scenario is getting Parise, Suter and Schultz. Can you imagine? I can.