Disclaimer: This post is in no way shape or form intended to be seen as this fan or anyone who comments on it giving up on this current season. The Wings are still fully in the hunt for a playoff spot and while they desperately need to right the ship and get the bailing buckets and fast all is not lost nor will it be until the greatest evil on the planet, Math, says it is lost. This is merely meant as a nice little break from all the talk of injuries, inconsistent play and scoreboard watching to happier days when 13, 40 and the others are back on the bench and ice in those beautiful Winged Wheels.
So there essentially is 3 parts to the NHL offseason, at least in my tiny little mind. There is the Entry Draft, Free Agentcy (to include resignings) and there is trades. I would like to look at each one individually and present what I would like to call The Ideal Wings Summer 2014 or How the Wings Rebuilt for a Cup in 15. First, the draft.
The Wings right now sit in the 12 spot in the draft. Assuming the worst happens and this is exactly where they finish there are some interesting players available in the area. The three that stand out the most to me are:
-Haydn Fleury - big bodied, RH shooting Dman with sounds to me like he plays a lot like Lids in that he uses his stick and postioning well in his own zone but he also has some physicalness to his game as well.
Jared McCann - Left handed Centerman who has good skills in all 3 zones, can get to the net and has no issues fighting for puck in the corners.
David Pastrnak - Smaller (5"10 165) right handed centerman who has incredible offensive skils and IQ but needs to learn how to play in his own zone.
In reality I would be happy with any of these three, with either Fleury or Pastrnak as my top choice. Since the Wings are shorter on center prospects than Dmen I will go with Pastrnak. I am not really going to try and predict beyond the 1st round outside of saying I believe the Wings will continue their trends of picking skills over polish, looking to add size when and where they can and adding a goalie since they did not pick one last year. Now on to FA (a topic we have all discussed several times before).
Everything here is based off of a 71 mil cap and ran through CapGeek. The main focus with the current/future roster I believe will center around getting the young gun RFAs locked up (Tots, Deke, Luke and Riley) and improving the back end. Assuming it takes 6.5 total to sign those 4, the Wings will have 21 roster players( 13 Fs, 6 D, 2 G) and 15.3 left in cap space (after Tootoo is bought out). I personally believe that they will look to bring Alfie back for 1 more season (if he wants to play another one) and try to lock up Legwand for 2-4 years. This would require them to either trade/waive a forward or not resign Luke/put him in GR but I think it would absolutely be worth it. Even signed at their current cap hits (which I do not think either one will get) the Wings are sitting at 6.0 under with only needing to add a Dman. This can be done through the FA market if they are looking for a depth guy to play 3rd pairing minutes as a gap fill until the Griffin Cavalry is ready to ride. Guys like Diaz, Morris, Orpik, Tallinder, Robidas, Zidlicky come to mind here. If there are looking for something a little more long term posbilities like Nikitin, Niskanen, Gilbert, MacDonald and Markov could be available but they will have to pay premiums for them.
I have proposed before a trade with the Jets for Byfuglien and still think it would be the best option. A package including Helm, Kindl, a prospect or two and a 2nd or 3rd round pick should be more then enough to pique their interest. I love Helm but bringing Legwand back and the return of a healthy Weiss could make him expendable in the right deal. I would say maybe Helm, Andersson, Kindl, Paterson and a 2nd could get it done. That would add a Dman while still leaving a hole open to either promote from within for the 3rd pairing (either Ouellet or Marchenko the two likely there) or sign one of those short term options so they can keep Lash in the 7th Dman role. For S & Gs here lets say they sign Diaz to a 2 year deal at 1.5. It would leave them with a full roster and 3.47 left in cap space (plenty of buffer should the cap not go all the way to 71) and a roster space to either fill with cheap vet forward or one of the kids in GR out of options (namely Landon or Callyhands). The roster going into next season would then look like this:
Goose/Weiss or Leggy/Franzen
Tots/Weiss or Leggy/Alfie
Miller/Ferraro or Callyhands or cheap vet
The Center depth would still worry me a litte but injuries not withstanding I really like the depth and balance of scoring on this roster and it gives the kids in GR like Pulkky and the Dmen to hone their leadership skills as well as fine tune their on ice skills more with anticipation that Miller and Alfie's spots would open up to forwards the following season and the possibility of Smith, Diaz and Lash opening up depending on production next season as well. So now that my novel for the offseason is over, what say you WiiM Nation?