The post a few down about our boy Mike Knuble actually inspired this one. I have been thinking since April about who the Red Wings might pick up or go after this off season. I believe the free agency signing period begins July 1st, but could be wrong.
On this slower than usual Thursday (for me at least), I thought I'd pose a few questions to the Red Wings fans on this board.
1. One thing the #6 and #8 seed Kings and Devils have in common is their ferocious physical play. Those two teams threw more combined big hits in game one of the cup final than the preds and the wings did in their entire series (i may be exaggerating). To me, this proves that you have to be a tough, gritty and physical team to survive the long and wary post season. I don't care for Don Cherry, but alot of us including myself who made snide remarks on his calling the Red Wings "not tough enough" back when we were #1 in the league (before injuries hit) are kind of eating our words. Do you think the Red Wings will move for more physical skaters this year? What are our options?
2. With the departure of Rafalski (6Mil in cap room) we didn't really go and spend much money. Now with Lidstrom's contract space freeing up, do you think we'll go after a few scorers? I have heard rumblings of Parise and Nash, but there's really no telling. Who are you guys up in the D hearing? Who would you like?
3. Pertaining to question #2, losing Rafalski and Lidstrom took away our #1 and #2 D-men. Who will replace them? Suter? Weber? Semin? What do you MGoBloggers think?
4. Jimmy Howard. Thoughts?
5. I'm not calling for his head. But here is an honest question... While we brought the cup home in 2008, and lost in the finals in 2009, our playoff track record has been rather, eh, shitty. Second round exits in 10 and 11, and we took a step back and won only 1 playoff game this year. In your mind, should Babcock be on a hot seat? A warm seat? Scott free? I don't know. I try to remain level headed, but after Nashville discarded us this year, the thought of at least a 97.2 degree seat cushion crossed my mind. Maybe I was just butthurt.
6. Finally, who would you be willing to part with. even the fan favorites. As a former player, and a high school coach, i think we could get waaaay more out of Franzen than he's really worth. With guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the lineup, Franzen was our goal scoring leader this year. I don't know how this happened. He has a hard time handling the puck, and in terms of physicality he and Bertuzzi both lay guys out about 10% as much as they should considering their bulk. Who do you guys think we could unload?
Sorry for the essay. As an avid Wings fan, this is what I've had to ponder since our embarrasing and uninspired playoff performance this season.
Also, I hope Kronwall is a Wing forever.