I know we have a rosterbation post already, so I'm not trying to create that here. What I want to dialogue on this post is needs vs wants, dreams vs realities. Tell WHY someone should be signed, how long they should be signed, what their cap hit should be, why someone will be let go, or whatever you can think of that is similar to that. I'll start after the jump...
Idea #1: Most of you have seen my rosterbations. I've been 'critiqued' for having Cleary as a healthy scratch. Quite honestly, I don't think he will return. I know $2.8M is a lot of money (I don't know what he gets if he retires) and I quite positive that Holland won't buy him out. But if I was Kenny, I would have a nice sit down with Dan and find out if he will honestly be 100% come preseason. Not 100% by January, not 100% by the playoffs. Dan Cleary needs to be 100% by the end of the preseason, which means 95% by the start of preseason. I love everything Dan Cleary has done for this organization in his 7 years here, but I think he's not capable of being the Dan Cleary 06-07 or 07-08. He's never played a complete season for any of the clubs he's been with. With Draper, there was still a TON of things he did that others couldn't. He won faceoffs, played great defense, provided leadership. With Cleary, he is not a faceoff guru, and while he plays solid D and kills penalties (as did Draper), he's not considered a defensive specialist. He's a veteran and I'm sure he has the respect of younger guys like Filppula, Hudler, Helm, Abby, and Emmerton, but Draper wasn't just a veteran. He was a legend in that locker room. He had the respect of Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and dare I say Lidstrom. Dan Cleary does not provide the offensive ability to play on a top 2 line. With Helm centering the 3rd line, while Cleary provides leadership for that line, he doesn't possess the speed needed to stay with Eaves and Helm. On the 4th line, there's no grinding ability either that you get from Cleary to warrant his presence there. He finishes checks but he's not going to go run at people, pick fights, or other grinding necessities. I have a hard time seeing him fit on this roster anymore. Retiring would be honorable and respected. I believe he's earned a place in the organization. He'd be very fitting as a scout. ***side note: When Darren Helm loses his amazing speed, he's going to be no better than Dan Cleary, except for this faceoff ability. Neither of them are pure scorers, pure playmakers, pure anything. They're both talented in many different areas but not exceptional in any one***
Idea #2: Another thing you might have seen in my rosterbations, a true 'grinding' center for the 4th line. Someone with size, grit, and nastiness. I like the idea of a 4th line of Bert, Abby, and a cheaper, not quite as talented as Jordan Staal. If you think back, what was the most impressive thing about Draper, McCarty, and Maltby together? As much as they could mix it up and bash heads, they could shut down top lines with swarming pressure on the puck, blocking shots, smart hockey (no dumb penalties), hard hits, pinning against the boards and they could even surprise us with more than just a handful of goals. Draper won his faceoffs, they got the puck deep, they played the system right. The Red Wings can have that. Abby is a hard hitter who blocks shots and pressures the puck well. Bertuzzi will play that role if it's handed to him. He knows that he owes the Red Wings for taking multiple risks on him. He's shown he'll accept a grinding role. He's shown in the past that he can use that big frame of his to push a guy off the puck just as well as keep the puck away from a defender. Jordan Staal is way too talented (and unavailable) for the 4th line C position. But someone like him. Size, vision, ability to play with an edge, faceoff winner, solid defender, not afraid to mix it up. There aren't many guys out there that fit this mold anymore.
Idea #3: Nyquist and Franzen should play with Datsyuk and any scoring winger signed by the Red Wings should be on the Zetterberg line. First off, I think the Zetterberg line should be considered the top line. Not because Zetterberg is better than Dastyuk, I consider them both stars that do great things differently. But it was quite clear that Zetterberg and Filppula can carry a team much more easily than Datsyuk can by himself. Nyquist would benefit most from playing with Datsyuk. And I think vice-versa. Franzen does not play well with others. He's stated it and shown lack of motivation when he's been put on another line. If he isn't moved to another team, I would leave him with Datsyuk to try to get the most out of him. Datsyuk and Nyquist are both more than capable playmakers and Franzen is a pure scorer. I like that ratio. On the Zetterberg line, there are 2 playmakers in Filppula and Zetterberg, so adding a pure scorer in Parise, Semin, Doan, Jagr, David Jones, or P-A Parenteau would create that same ratio.
Idea #4: I really like pairing Helm with 2 quick wingers. Eaves and Miller, Eaves and Tatar, Eaves and Nyquist, Eaves and....? I believe Eaves will be ready to play next season and if I had to choose between Eaves and Miller, I would pick Eaves. He still has more upside to his game and I think is a more pure scorer. Having Helm and 2 speedsters allows them to stretch the defense and run the legs off another team trying to keep up with them. Forcing more changes, opening breakaways, drawing penalties.
So to break it down, my ideas are:
1. If Cleary isn't 100%, talk him into retirement.
2. Sign a 4th line C with grit and size.
3. Have the Zetterberg line be the top line and sign the winger for that line.
4. Have the 3rd line be a "speed" line more than anything else.
What ideas do you have?