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05-13-2011, 10:27 AM
  #5
Shoalzie
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Portland, MI
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Keep Lidstrom (if he decides to play another year obviously), Eaves and Ericsson...the rest of them can walk. We're seeing more and more that Nick can't play the minutes he used to and I think they should lean towards getting a guy that can play top 4 minutes. Phase Nick back to 20 minutes a night and save him for the spring. If he doesn't return, then you get agressive and go for a legit top 2 or top 4 guy in his prime.

The backup goalie position should be an interesting spot to watch...Ozzie is done and MacDonald was decent at times but you want a guy to spot Howard 25-30 starts so you keep him fresh for the spring. I'm all in with Howie going forward...signed for a reasonable price the next 2 years and he gives this team a chance to win every night.

I'm not going throw out names without really digging into who would be available but I would like to see Mursak get a full time gig next year and Kindl should get more opportunities to play as well. The Wings best forward prospects aren't quite ready to make the jump but I'd envision seeing Nyquist at some point in the next two seasons. Sheahan needs another year in school to develop and Pulkkinen will be a guy to watch next year. I hope Smith continues to develop in the AHL and by '12-13, he'd be a candidate to crack the lineup full time.

For the most part, the team next year is going to look very similar to this year...but I'd like to see some younger legs mixed in. The 2012-13 Red Wings should be the start of a larger re-tooling of the roster as guys like Holmstrom, Rafalski, Hudler and Bertuzzi come off the books. Kronwall and Stuart will be due for new deals but you'll have your core of Hank, Pavel, Mule and Flip in place. If their prospects develop and they continue to spend wisely, they shouldn't drop off much in the next several years. As long as Babs is the coach of this team, never count them out.

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