Detroit Wheels

This is Norm Ullman, late 60s. I believe this was early in the season he was traded to Toronto but can’t confirm. The Red Wings are the one American-based NHL team to have multiple periods of dominance: they made the SCF’s 6 times in the 1940s, 5 times in the 1950s and 4 times in the 1960s. They’ve also won the Stanley 4 times since 1997 and that’s about as dominant as it gets in the modern era.

Detroit gets the on-ice calls these days like the old-timey Habs did when I was a kid. If a Red Wing falls in the forest, does the other guy get 2 or 5 minutes?

Detroit management also get heaps of applause, although one doubts it’ll ever approach the level Sam Pollock reached during his heyday. A recent article suggests the Red Wing template is state of the art and will reward the organization and its fans for the forseeable future.

As a fan it has been my experience that articles like this appear at the exact moment the team in question steps into the elevator shaft, but let’s look at the specific requirements of a modern dynasty as described in the Detroit News piece.

  • Maintain a specific coaching philosophy: I believe the Oilers have done this for much of this decade. The exceptions would be the periods of time when MacT didn’t have the horses (like when Lowe traded two defensemen at the deadline without getting an NHL veteran for the blue in return) and this past season when the incredible pressure appears to have taken logic and reason out behind the barn and shot them.
  • Keep a core group of veteran players who understand and execute that philosophy: An epic fail here, especially since the deadline. The Oilers players themselves had to buy programs each fall in order to know all the new faces. The Oiler roster has been a production line since summer 2005.
  • Find talented younger players and sharpen their skills in the minors: Well, no. The Oilers best young players do not pass go and do not collect $200, they sign bonus-laden contracts and are inserted into the NHL lineup. Theo Peckham stands almost alone among the 2005-2007 draft group in terms of honing skills in the high minors.
  • Gradually bring in the younger players to be mentored and taught by the veterans: No time for that kind of thing in Edmonton. The veterans are shuttled off in favor of rich new free agents (Roloson, Souray among the new hires, and expensive contracts handed out to Horcoff and Hemsky, plus the Penner offer sheet and the Visnovsky trade).
  • Always have players who adhere to the puck-possession style that requires discipline and patience and has defined the Red Wings since the early 1990s. The Oilers lose possession after most faceoffs because management didn’t deliver a veteran FO man to help out Horcoff. Vic has done some exceptional work on his site in regard to possession and one prays Tambellini either reads IOF or is familiar with the possession game.
  • Players Buy In: I think this is an important item in all of this. Whereas the Wings have the swagger and reputation that allows them to convince someone like Jiri Hudler to stay down on the farm, the Oilers can’t get some little piss-ant like Linus Omark to take his chances and let the chips fall at TC ’09.

Perhaps the wisest line from the entire article is this one from Ken Holland (when talking about calling up and sending down players from the AHL during his playing days in the minors): “I saw players coming and going,” Holland said of his time in the minors. “They’d play good for six weeks and the team would call them up and after a month they sent them down, and the kid was mush. He wasn’t ready to go up. I got certain strong beliefs on how to develop a player then, which is patience.” Holland wants his players “overripe” when they arrive.

The Oilers have not been patient with a bunch of players on the current big league roster. Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Ales Hemsky and Ladislav Smid were all either rushed to the majors or elevated without seasoning in the AHL might have been beneficial (certainly for Smid, possibly for Cogliano). Marc Pouliot and JF Jacques have been up and down like a yo-yo, and that (along with injuries) may have impacted their development. There were players who turned pro and spent time in the minors before earning their roster spot. These would include Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, Tom Gilbert and Kyle Brodziak.

I’d also add that the Oilers high picks who died on the vine in the minors (Mikhnov, Rita, Schremp) did so because the team never really focused on having those players push their way up the depth chart in the minors. When Rob Schremp arrived in pro hockey, who was there to push him for powerplay time? Those veteran AHLers are excellent roadblocks for kids, forcing them to learn the finer points of the game and on-ice responsibility.

Quick question: Will Justin Abdelkader have a better career than Taylor Chorney? How much of that will be based on development after turning pro? Skill is more effective when knowledge is added, and some men get three years experience in the minors during their first pro contract and others get one year’s experience three times. Oilers prospects should ask for a refund. One suspects that may be one reason Chris Vande Velde is spending another season in the NCAA.

The Oilers could learn a lot from the Detroit Red Wings, but it also seems to me they could do themselves a huge favor by giving their collective heads a shake and begin using the AHL as a place to hone skills for the close-to-ready pro’s as opposed to using it as a parking lot for the members of the vaunted “50 contracts” that don’t make the show.

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59 Responses to "Detroit Wheels"

  1. marriedtotheoil says:

    and this past season when the incredible pressure appears to have taken logic and reason out behind the barn and shot them.A hearty laugh for that. And a cringe. Well said.

  2. Vic Ferrari says:

    One of my favourite hockey quotes of all time, from a Mike Babcock presser during the playoffs last spring:
    ——

    Q. I was wondering if you could describe your philosophy when it comes to developing a strong puck possession team and how far this team has come along since you’ve come aboard?

    COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don’t have a philosophy, actually. This puck possession is an interesting thing to me. The more skill you have on your team, the more you have the puck, and you play a puck possession game and everyone calls it that. But I think we’re like most teams, we forecheck real hard and we back check hard, and we try to be in good spots defensively so we can have the puck.

  3. Smytty777 says:

    The Oilers farm system has been a mess for a number of years now. It clearly hasn’t been a priority and that has likely hurt a number of prospects.

    It will be interesting to see if the debacle in Springfield produces some meaningful changes.

    That being said as much as I love Detroit’s current roster I think they are in for a rude awakening when Lidstrom retires. I’m not saying they become a terrible team all of a sudden, but a Lidstrom-less Wings are probably not the elite team that you see today.

  4. speeds says:

    Horcoff, coming from college at 22, is probably not a great comparable to Hemsky or Gagner, but even still it’s not like he spent much time in the minors. He’s only played 26 AHL games.

  5. Vic Ferrari says:

    Have you seen Bobby Ryan these playoffs, speeds. Hell, all year, sleek had a terrific post on his numbers (separating him from his linemates) a while ago. The guy is a rookie and is a genuine difference maker.

    And he was drafted 2nd overall, played out the string in junior, 78 games in the AHL, and 86 points there.

    And he arrives knowing how to play pro hockey. Cogliano and Gagner have been fun to watch, but they have the worst puck possession numbers of any Oiler over the past two seasons combined. Granted they are a hell of a lot better now than when they started. But using the NHL as a developmental league hurts the big club and kills you financially, they’ve burned two years off their entry level deals, have put up counting numbers, and haven’t help this team win.

    This isn’t good. I know that the Oilers traded away the two guys who drove corsi the most (Pronger and Smyth) and Pisani went down and Dvorak was allowed to walk, etc. And they replaced them wih opportunists, lupul and nilsson, on a team that never could create opportunities. And Smid, inexplicably, was played in the top 4 and was the polar opposite of pronger in terms of shots+/- and the like.

    At that point they had to sell the future, and Cogliano and Gagner were the poster boys for that.

    Jebus, if that had happened to the Canucks or Flames it would be hilarious. But as it is … just sad.

  6. Bruce says:

    The Red Wings are the one American-based NHL team to have multiple periods of dominance: they made the SCF’s 6 times in the 1940s, 5 times in the 1950s and 4 times in the 1960s.Minor historical note: the Red Wings of 1935-37 were one of the few teams in NHL history to score the “double double” of back-to-back first overall and Stanley Cup. Here’s the list of teams that swept and then defended both titles:

    1935-37 Detroit (2)
    1953-55 Detroit (2)
    1957-60 Montreal (3)
    1967-69 Montreal (2)
    1975-78 Montreal (3)
    1980-82 NY Islanders (2)
    Oilers just missed this standard by taking the Cup in 1984-85-87 and the President’s Trophy or eqivalent in 1984-86-87.

    So add another short period of dominance to the Red Wings impressive history.

  7. doritogrande says:

    Good post LT. Though I tend to disagree with you on VandeVelde. If he wasn’t sold on the Oilers system, he could have left the organization like Blake Wheeler did to Phoenix’s. He’s old enough that if he decides to turn pro and give the Oilers the big FU, he can get a contract offer from 29 other NHL clubs. So there’s got to be something that still entices VandeVelde about playing for this particular team. Maybe its his BFF Taylor Chorney, but it’s still something.

    But the thing about Detroit’s system is that they pick the best draft picks to offer contracts to. You don’t see a lot of undeserving players on that team (minus that pick Aaron Downey, but that’s just me being a Moose fan). Abdelkader, Leino, Eriksson, Pyett all look to have NHL careers. Though they do have their share of failures (Ex: former 1st round goalie Jimmy Howard), they however are not as well publicized.

  8. oilerdago says:

    My question here is does management make decisions to for the most part rush players through the system because of a specific philosophy or because they are afraid the fan base has no patience?

    Seriously, Detroit went thru several years of being awful and then the growing pains of learning how to win in the early to mid 90′s before finally getting it right.

    Do Oiler fans have the same patience to put up with it or has the bar been set so high from two decades ago that anything less than perfection can’t be tolerated.

    I would submit that this has factored into some of the decisions made by Lowe (right or wrong).

    Just re-read some of the posts we’ve been seeing here and elsewhere since it became apparent this team was out of the running.

  9. uni says:

    A number of people have mentioned here that the lack of elite level picks has been one of the greatest weaknesses of the Oilers for some time now.

    All I can think about are the names Niinimäki, Bonsignore, and Kelly. It’s always easy and fun to play armchair GM after all the hands have played out years later though; le sigh.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Bonsignore and Kelly were far more painful because they were in the top 6.

  11. PDO says:

    I still think the good thing about the Bognoheartpick pick (and trust me, there ain’t much) is that if we had selected O’Neil, Hartford takes Smyth, and we end up with him anyway, but O’Neil instead of Smytty.

    How come the years we had good draft picks had to be such shitty drafts?

  12. uni says:

    I know, essentially two 6th overalls in row.

    Where would this team be with two Gagner type prospects right now…it’s something I often think about.

  13. knighttown says:

    Have you seen Bobby Ryan these playoffs, speeds. Hell, all year, sleek had a terrific post on his numbers (separating him from his linemates) a while ago. The guy is a rookie and is a genuine difference maker.

    And he was drafted 2nd overall, played out the string in junior, 78 games in the AHL, and 86 points there.

    And he arrives knowing how to play pro hockey. Cogliano and Gagner have been fun to watch, but they have the worst puck possession numbers of any Oiler over the past two seasons combined. Granted they are a hell of a lot better now than when they started. But using the NHL as a developmental league hurts the big club and kills you financially, they’ve burned two years off their entry level deals, have put up counting numbers, and haven’t help this team win.

    This isn’t good. I know that the Oilers traded away the two guys who drove corsi the most (Pronger and Smyth) and Pisani went down and Dvorak was allowed to walk, etc. And they replaced them wih opportunists, lupul and nilsson, on a team that never could create opportunities. And Smid, inexplicably, was played in the top 4 and was the polar opposite of pronger in terms of shots+/- and the like.

    At that point they had to sell the future, and Cogliano and Gagner were the poster boys for that.

    Jebus, if that had happened to the Canucks or Flames it would be hilarious. But as it is … just sad.

    Vic, that’s one hell of a post.

  14. uni says:

    Lords, I forgot about Devereaux, so basically 4th, 6th, 6th. 3 years in a row and not a single impact let alone franchise player.

    That hurts much more than all the missed 17-13 picks of which they are many.

    PDO is dead on though, those were just awful years for drafts.

    In ’96 the best player in Chara didn’t even go until the 3rd, of course NYI traded him after all that development time with Spezza for a bag of magic beans. Briere at 24 would have been nice, but he took his time finding his way as well and cleared waivers so anyone could have had him for nothing.

    ’95 Iginla was a reach and didn’t go till 11th, but Doan would have made me happy =(.

    ’94 Likely would have played out as PDO says, O’Neil and a loss of Smyth, but it’s nice to dream of Smyth and Ohlund.

    Oh well, not everyone can be Pittsburg or Washington and luck out with good draft years. Of course the Oilers didn’t help themselves with middling picks in the middle of the order either =(.

  15. PDO says:

    Only pick you can really fault them for is Kelly over Doan.

    ’94 we did the best we could…. I’d say we easily got the best player in the first round.

    ’96 we took Devereaux, and at best could’ve had Ruslan Salei instead.

    *facepalm*

  16. Black Dog says:

    Great post LT. Was talking to a buddy of mine the other night, lifelong Wings fan, some tough times in the 70s and early 80s.

    Thing is success begets success. Ericsson is what? 25? Now he gets his shot. A guy like Helm plays in the SCF last year and back to the minors this season. Zetterberg and Datsyuk start out as scrubs and work their way up the lineup. Franzen too.

    Great drafting but they then take these picks and put them in positions to succeed. And when you’ve been a Cup contender for what, 17 years now, then you can do things right. Seriously, since around 92 they have been over 100 points in non lockout seasons all but twice I think. And those two years they were at 96 or 98 or something like that.

    Ridiculous.

  17. Black Dog says:

    btw LT are you the sharp looking gentleman in the tie in the bottom right hand of the photo?

    ;)

  18. Doogie2K says:

    ’95 Iginla was a reach and didn’t go till 11th, but Doan would have made me happy =(.My Dad howled at the TV after that pick. When the entire arena’s chanting Doan’s name, and you pick Steve F. Kelly…

  19. uni says:

    New Jersey made out like bandits in 1994, a missed 1st rounder and never made its but here’s what they came out with:

    Overall Round Player
    51 2 Patrik Elias
    71 3 Sheldon Souray
    233 9 Steve Sullivan

    1 Elite player, 1 Elite offensive scorer, and a 1st pairing D-man.

  20. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Hah, hah, hah-hah-hah. I’m getting in my car right now and driving to your house where I will open up a big can of whoop-ass.

  21. Garnet says:

    It’s easy to praise Detroit for their patience when they always have solid teams. Of course they feel no pressure to bring a Hudler up. (And no, LT, I mean Jiri, not Rex.) I suspect it’s just one reward for their successful team, not a cause.

  22. Bruce says:

    All I can think about are the names Niinimäki, Bonsignore, and Kelly. It’s always easy and fun to play armchair GM after all the hands have played out years later though; le sigh.Well you can hardly call it hindsight when there were about 10,000 armchair GMs chanting “Doan, Doan, Doan” at that ’95 draft. I wasn’t one of them; equipped with my trusty Hockey News Draft Preview I had picked Kyle McLaren as a player of interest. Meaning there were at least 10,001 fans in the building who had more of a fucking clue than Barry Fraser that day.

    I wonder if any team in NHL history has ever fucked up a home town draft worse than that?

  23. Lowetide says:

    I talked to John Short about that draft day, and he told me that when asked how much the gap was between Kelly and Doan, the answer from Fraser was “very little.”

    This was during the “the team is still here and Sather is Superman so shut the hell up while we try and think of a good place for Slats and MacGregor to have lunch” era.

  24. Black Dog says:

    Heh.

  25. Garnet says:

    Curious fun fact: Oilers’ first round picks, mostly infamous names around here, from 1985-94 are in order, Selmar Odelein, Metcalfe, Issel, Soberlak, Leroux, Soules, (Scott) Allison, (Tyler) Wright, (Martin) Rucinsky and Hulbig.

    Flames picks from same period had Jason Kidd and Cory Stillman, but otherwise the list is Chris Biotti, George Belawa, Bryan Deasley, Jason Muzzatti, Niklas Sundblad, Jesper Mattsson, Chris Dingman and finally recovering a bit with Denis Gauthier.

    If you felt the Battle of Alberta rivalry was no big deal by the mid-’90s, this might help explain.

  26. PDO says:

    You forgot Jason Arnott.

  27. rickibear says:

    Detroit allways dips in the fringes of european pool. From 1998 to 2004. They took high ranked europeans who were going to fall to the later rounds because of the other teams North american emphasis. They were able to get the europeans who’s potential skill was 1-4 rounds higher than were detroit drafted them.
    Problem is that free style of drafting is not there anymore.

    Other teams are doing that now.

    Heck look at edmonton they have got into the game the last two years.

    Motin RD 4
    Hartikainen RD 6
    Omark RD 4
    Kytnar RD 5

  28. Lord Bob says:

    Apparently, the Detroit Red Wings could learn a lesson in bribing NHL officials. That is the worst call in the National Hockey League since Brett Hull’s skate in the crease.

    That is going to go in the hall of fame of catastrophic officiating.

  29. HBomb says:

    Detroit got screwed tonight. That was Magoo-against-Dallas bad.

    Anaheim has precisely zero business being ahead 2-1 in this series. One could argue they should be down 3-0.

  30. PDO says:

    HBomb:

    The ridiculous part is…

    … this is the second straight series they’ve done this in.

    They’re being completely out played any time that #1 line (and… sigh… it’s an elite line) isn’t on the ice. When they are, they’re more or less going punch for punch with Zetterberg or Thornton.

    … and to think, between the Comrie deal (not that I’m promoting that douchebag, but he does get results…) and the Pronger deal, at the very least 2/3 of that line should be Oilers….

  31. HBomb says:

    PDO: Comrie deal, Pronger deal and 2003 draft – that whole line could be part of the Oilers.

    That being said, I wouldn’t take Perry on my team if given a choice – I think the guy is completely overrated and a product of his center.

    Getzlaf’s the real deal – write his name in pen and continue to question Lowe’s competence as a GM for why he did not INSIST on his inclusion in the return package for CFP, rather than that waste of space Joffrey Lupul.

    Bobby Ryan? Big rookie year, seems like the real deal, probably ends up as the 2nd best player on that line soon enough.

  32. uni says:

    PDO said…
    You forgot Jason Arnott
    .

    Nah, Arnott wasn’t a bust and was an impact player at 7th overall, along with Smyth at 6th overall. I was only listing the missed picks with essentially throwaway 4th, 6th, 6th picks.

    Also yes, Getzlaf seems to be the driver on that line, and gods I would have loved to have him as an Oiler. Even a Weber for Pronger would have been nice (I don’t know if they’d have traded him but Nashville was looking for a splash that season judging from the Forsberg trade). Hell, Luongo for Pronger straight up.

  33. Sean says:

    Excellent post LT! The opinion of development being more important than scouting has been something I’ve bought into recently.

    Detroit of course separates itself from the pack cause because it build from the top-down with elite players. When your core is Yzerman/Fedorov and Lidstrom and now its Zetterberg/Datsyuk and Lidstrom its easy to be patient and the youth has much better leadership. IMO leadership will help a young player more than any coach will.

  34. Dennis says:

    This won’t make anyone feel a whole lot better but I saw Kelly quite a few times in the A and I dare say that MacT would’ve Horcoffed or Stolled him if he’d been the coach during Steve’s time.

    BTW, I think it’s fucking great that the Wings got ripped off. I’m cheering for the ducks because of monetary reasons – playoff pool – and it’s fun to see a team that gets so many calls end up getting screwed when it matters most.

    Also, it’s fun to see old Marchant out there working his nuts off against Datsyuk.

  35. Lord Bob says:

    Dennis, I was the biggest Todd Marchant fan alive for a lot of years, so seeing him skate in a Ducks jersey is like getting kicked in the testicles with steel-toed boots.

    Marchant with the Ducks, Lundmark and Rene Bourque with the Flames… all my favourites seem determined to break my heart.

  36. knighttown says:

    @H-Bomb:

    That being said, I wouldn’t take Perry on my team if given a choice – I think the guy is completely overrated and a product of his center.That’s just ludicrous. For a guy that supports Horcoff so fervantly, to ignore what Perry does and praise what Getzlaf does makes no sense. Perry led all 100PIM players in goals this season. He’s not a banger but he’s mega pest with a big enough body (6’3″, 215lb) to do some damage.

    I’d say the Perry-Getzlaf comparison is like watching the Crosby-Ovechkin battle and dismissing what Sid did as garbage goals.

    Perry takes a beating and is slippery as heck, like Ryan Smyth, to get into position to score. And when he gets there he has 150 point (junior) hands so rarely misses.

    Go ahead and call him douche but to say he’s over rated and that you wouldn’t take him over vanilla, no hitting, non penalty killing, 0.4 PPG players like Nilsson or Pouliot is not correct.

    I said it last week, but we need more players just like Corey Perry, not less. I’d like to see one of the three Dallas A-holes, Ott, Morrow or Neal come in exchange for some of our soft talent.

  37. DBO says:

    off topic, but the balsillie offer for the Coyotes and the league’s subsequent FU in the papers makes me shake my head. Can Bettman really stop someone from paying double the value of a franchise and pretty much guarantee a sell out for the next 10 years? BNot to mention inflating the value of every other franchise in the league wih such a price tag. Regardless of what the commissioner may think, this is a gate driven league and the “massive TV deal” the commish is hoping for will never come to fruition. Moving this team to Ontario will triple the revenues from that franchise, thereby cushioning the impact of the economic downturn, keeping the cap a bit higher then projected and adding another team that will spend to the cap (thereby making the NHLPA very happy).

  38. HBomb says:

    knighttown: What you’re saying is probably correct to some extent. I’d probably hate the guy a lot less if he was on my team.

    That being said, I do not think he’s the superstar some people seem to think he is – Getzlaf is driving the bus on that line. Top it off with the fact he’s a cheap piece of shit, and I’d probably have a very hard time adjusting to cheering for him, 30 goals a year notwithstanding.

    Give me Steve Ott anyday, however, despite him being ranked as 2nd dirtiest player in the NHL. That guy is a player.

  39. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah Dennis, nice to see Marchant still contributing. 35 years old now, damn! Grier too, though Mike looks very near the end of his career.

    I thought that Marchant would fade pretty quickly once he lost half a step, I wouldn’t have guessed that he’d play much byond 32 years old. But he’s managed to find a way to stay useful.

    Ron Low was quoted the other day saying that he thinks Marchant hasn’t lost any speed. His theory must be that everyone else has just gotten faster. :D

  40. uni says:

    The thing with Marchant wasn’t only that he had speed, it was that he managed to turn himself into a quality shutdown/shadowing centre. His speed just allows him to be a heck more effective at it.

    Also as much as I cringed everytime he flew up the ice with the puck to little effect, I did love the guy…just hate him being on the Ducks. I pretend he isn’t on that team.

  41. uni says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think that Bettman will do everything in his power to stop Basille from owning a team that he relocated to an American desert and thought would do well is delusional.

    Bettman won’t let his mistakes be exemplified to such a magnitude, his hubris and ego won’t stand for it, instead he’ll compound his many mistakes by making more and more of them.

  42. relic says:

    @uni:

    then maybe this will be the beginning of the end for GB.

    Balsillie has been through this twice before now, safe to say he’s learned from those experiences. My guess is that he knows what cards GB has this time and he’s sure he’s got the better hand.

    Slightly more OT but I’ve heard the word Jets so much in the past 24 hours I thought I’d provide a link to some indie style doc for those who have a taste for it. Being oiler fans I’m sure you’ll get a good chuckle.

    http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-6405669483655957433

  43. Dennis says:

    Vic: Rosey didn’t look great vs the Ducks but the word was that he came back too early. He’s UFA so it might be a good idea to look at him as a bottom sixer who can kill penalties. I mentioned this about a week ago but it was only two years ago that the Mitchell/Grier tandem played tough min for SJ and did a good job to boot.

    I dare say the Miller/Marchant/Neidermayer line isn’t generating many chances vs Datssa but they also aren’t giving up a lot either. I fell asleep in the 2nd int but I saw Datsyuk log two chances on the same shift but it had been awhile since i noticed him.

    BTW, this won’t be exact but I think that during G1 at Det, Marchant was 11/15 on the dot and the rest of the Ducks were 8/36.

  44. Dennis says:

    DOB: I haven’t read the phx papers – though I imagine the best coverage will come from the Globe – but the deal seems to be that there were three offers coming – one of the men who fucked baseball (Reinsdorf) being one of them – but then Moyes declared bankruptcy.

    Anyway, in today’s reading I saw papers from both chi and det lamenting the lack of versus in all cities across the US so that’s already a hot topic and now you don’t think the PA’s not gonna jump at building more rev by putting a team in SoOnt?

  45. uni says:

    I’d be the 1st one heralding the beginning of the end for Bettman, but I won’t underestimate his ability to slip away relatively unscathed. He’s gotten away with so much for so long…slippery little worm that he is.

    Also I’m all for the Hamilton Coyotes, seeing as I work pretty near there at the moment =D.

  46. slipper says:

    Dennis: I love Grier to death, but two years ago is forever at the tail end of a career.

    My favourite Rosey memory is that string of games where his shoulder kept popping and he’d pop it back in on the bench. I remember he instigated a big check on the wall – the glass shook and you could hear his scream clear form the ice, through the TV. And I’m sure he finished that game.

  47. Quinn says:

    I dislike Bettman as much as the next guy, but I think we are missing his motive in opposing Balsillie. I believe Gary wants things to run the way he wants to run things. And Balsillie wants what a passionate fan with wads of dough wants – his own team in his own town (I think we got one of those in E-town too).

    This is shaping up to be a monumental match, courts-wise, with Gary’s knowledge of legalese pitted against Jimmy’s knowledge of how to run a business. I see ravaged fields, gutted buildings and smoldering craters following in their wake. And I still don’t think GB will stop JB from owning the ‘Yotes.

    Here comes the Hamilton Berries.

  48. rickibear says:

    You guys miss critical points.

    It is easy to keep guys down when you have no holes to fill.

    You bring them up if they are better or able to play at the same level for less cap.

    Remember I said only Detroit was playing a good fringe draft game up till 2002.

    look at there team:
    Player–Draft-Age–RD–First NHL season
    Lidstrom–1989–18–3rd- 21YR
    Holmstrom–1994–21–10th-24YR
    Datsyuk–1998–20–6th–24YR
    Zetterberg–1999–19–7th–22yr
    Kronwall–2000–19–1st–24yr
    Kopecky–2000–18–2nd–25yr
    Hudler–2002–18–2nd–22yr
    Filpulla–2002–18–3rd–23Yr
    J. Ericsson–2002–18–9th–26yr
    Franzen–2004–24–3rd–26yr

    7 years past 2002 draft. 2002 is an interesting cut off point. Hmmm!

    Acquired thru trade or F.A.
    Samuelsson FA
    Cleary FA
    Stuart Trade 2nd & 4th
    Hossa FA
    Rafalski FA
    Lebda FA
    Chelios Trade 3-1st
    Maltby FA

    Edmonton:
    Player–Draft-Age–RD–First NHL season
    Pisani–1996–20–8th–28yr
    Horcoff–1998–20–4th–23Yr
    Hemsky–2001–18–1st–20yr
    J.D.D–2002–18–2nd–24yr
    Pouliot–2003–18–1st–23Yr
    J.F.J.–2003–18–2nd–23Yr
    Stortini–2003–18–3rd–22yr
    Brodziak–2003–18–7th–23yr
    Reddox–2004–18–4th–22Yr
    Cogliano–2005–18–1st–20Yr
    Chorney–2005–18–2nd–21yr
    Peckham–2006-18–3rd–21Yr
    Gagner–2007–18-1st–18Yr

    Acquired by trade or FA
    Vishnovsky (Stoll 02 2ND; Greene 02 3rd)
    Grebeshkov (Bergeron & 3rd)
    Gilbert (Salo)
    Smid (Pronger)
    Kotalik And Sullivan (Cole)
    Nilsson (Smyth)
    Penner (1st, 2nd , 3rd 08)
    Rollosson (1st 06 – Riku Helenius)
    Staios FA
    Souray FA
    Strudwick FA

    The guys 2001 draft on are 2 or more years from there prime. But, we are at a position were depthwise we can move assets for better if the prospect coming in can be better for cheaper.

    Our Prospect, can they be better?

    I feel pretty good about this group:

    Eberle: 2nd U19 goals/Game point/game in the AHL @ 18.

    Cornet: Top 15 and leading 18yr scorer in the Q.

    Hartikainen: One of three 18yr in history to get 15 goals in SM-Ligga.

    Omark: One of 14 in history To be top 10 in SEL. We know the list.

    Van De Velde: Size and scoring while playing hurt.

    Nash: Conference Allstar. Top 15 in scoring for Sophmores and Freshman. #40 PPG in the nation.

    Milan Kytnar: Strong 2 way player with point/gm pace in the Dub. His coach says strong PK, FO.

    Petry: Identified as top prospect. Plays all roles.

    Motin: Ranked 6th best Swede in his draft year. 7th Pair Dman.

    Plante: Leadership award. 4th Points/gm WHL playoffs.

    Picking @ 10 and 40, we stand a good chance of getting 2 more.

    I look at this and ask who has the stronger drafting Philosophy since 2002.

  49. digger says:

    I wonder what the Red Wings would have done differently if they’d had the 6th overall pick in ’07, and had picked Sam Gagner?

    Would they have kept someone who’d averaged over 2 PPG in the OHL as a 17 year old in a league where he’d already looked like he was dominating it, for not only his 18 year old season but his 19 year old season as well? And from there, in the minors for a couple more years before giving him even a sniff of NHL action?

    I’m not convinced they would’ve given Sam Gagner the same developmental track that they gave someone like Jiri Hudler.

  50. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Dennis said…

    Anyway, in today’s reading I saw papers from both chi and det lamenting the lack of versus in all cities across the US so that’s already a hot topic and now you don’t think the PA’s not gonna jump at building more rev by putting a team in SoOnt?

    Already have:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/05/06/sp-kelly-coyotes.html

  51. Vic Ferrari says:

    Digger,

    I think that if Gagner had been drafted by the Wings he would have played fewer than 10 games in the NHL this season, and none before that.

    I don’t know whether he would be a better or worse player because of it. Though when you look at the lockout year, when the young guys went to Europe or the AHL, it didn’t seem to hurt their development a fig. (It turned out that a lot of the ‘young guns’, especially defenders, weren’t as good as many older AHL veterans, but we probably should have expected that anyways).

  52. pboy says:

    “We fix the problems. We don’t run out on cities,” Bettman told the other commissioners, in reference to past economic troubles facing NHL teams in Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Ottawa.I’m sure the fans in Winnipeg and Quebec City might have an argument with that statement. If there’s a bigger prick than little Gary running a sport, I haven’t seen him.

    The Phoenix Coyotes have lost upwards of 180 Million + over the last 8 years. Their current owner wants out and is unwilling to put anymore of his money into this franchise. There are some interested parties out there but ownership of this team isn’t the reason it’s consistently lost money. Professional hockey in Arizona is a losing bet and no matter who owns the team, they are going to get tired of throwing good money after bad, season after season.

    If the Coyotes were moved to Southern Ontario, the NHL would be trading a team who is sucking money out of the other teams coffers for a team who will almost certainly become a Top 12 Revenue earner within a single season. Only little Gary would be willing to go to court over moving a NHL franchise showcasing Wayne Gretzky to Southern Ontario.

    The Islander’s, the Predator’s, the Lightning, the Coyote’s and the Thrasher’s are all in pretty desperate straits and luckily enough, next season is the last one on Gary Bettman’s contract. I don’t imagine that the Board of Govenor’s will be bringing him back for more.

  53. Quinn says:

    I look at this and ask who has the stronger drafting Philosophy since 2002.

    Wow, great work. I didn’t really look at the overall in that list. I keep getting hung up on Schremp and the incompetents down in Springfield. But you make a good argument for 5 years down the road, if management can contain itself with the current crop of picks.

  54. Smarmy Boss says:

    Make Bobby Orr the commissioner!

    I’m only half kidding.

  55. Master Lok says:

    PBOY The Islander’s, the Predator’s, the Lightning, the Coyote’s and the Thrasher’s are all in pretty desperate straits and luckily enough, next season is the last one on Gary Bettman’s contract. I don’t imagine that the Board of Govenor’s will be bringing him back for more.Are you suggesting that Bettman is going against the BoG’s wishes? I’m pretty sure that’s NOT the case. He’s paid to represent the BoG, not lead them nor control them. Bettman’s viewpoints are reflective of the BoG’s viewpoints, not in spite of.

  56. pboy says:

    Master Lok: Don’t you think when Bettman shut down the NHL for a full season with the promise of getting the salary escalation under control, losing those same owners a full year of revenue they might have had a change of heart? Apparently, the most influential BoG member was Bill Wirtz and he is now gone, so I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if little Gary has alot less support than he once did. Anyway you want to argue it, the NHL is in worse shape financially now than it was in 2004 and the dismal world economy isn’t responsible for 100% of that problem. The NFL and MLB are cutting corners and the NBA had to co-sign a loan to help out some of their franchises but all 3 of those leagues are relatively healthy still and at least they have income from their tv contracts. The NHL is more gate driven than those other guys and have practically no money coming in for their television rights. When you have franchises that can barely draw flies and those teams are constantly taking money out of the community pot, something needs to change.

  57. Master Lok says:

    pboy.

    Why do you call him “little Gary”? Just a constant stream of belittling a guy who’s really just a front man for the BoG. I’m just saying that he has the support of the BoG because he is their mouthpiece, not the brains.

  58. Dennis says:

    I seem to have a habit of trying to reanimate dead threads but I read in one of the chi papers this morning that Reinsdorf will “likely pass” on making any kind of offer for the yotes because it’s all “too complicated.”|

    This despite a couple of enticing finanical promises made by Bettman.

    So, it looks like there’s nothing beyond Moyes even IF the NHL wins the court battle.

  59. CrazyCoach says:

    I think JIm Ballsillie has a goal of knocking GB off his perch once and for all.

    Not that that would be a bad thing.

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