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05-09-2013, 04:34 PM
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Location: Michigan
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Ilya Kovalchuk ($3.333m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Damien Brunner ($1.350m)
Patrick Elias ($3.000m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Johan Franzen ($3.955m)
Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) / Sam Gagner ($1.600m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Aaron Asham ($1.000m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)

Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Kevin Shattenkirk ($1.300m)
Paul Martin ($5.000m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Jakub Kindl ($1.050m) / Brian Lashoff ($0.725m)

Jimmy Howard ($2.250m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)

Congrats to Dong on making it to the West Finals. I've addressed all of the Wings problems and much more. Datsyuk has needed a top six scoring winger for quite some time now. Unlike players like Toews and Stamkos, he hasn't really had the luxury of playing with somebody that can consistently capitalize on his elite playmaking since Hossa left Detroit. We've added Kovalchuk for this. Datsyuk and him would be one of the best duos in the league. We also needed another top six winger with the departure of Hudler. Elias more than fits the bill. Zetterberg loves to shoot, so putting him with Elias is truly a perfect fit. Then on the right wing is Franzen, who is known as a playoff beast for a reason. Our last need on offense was some more secondary scoring. With Helm out we've really struggled this year after the top six. Gagner was added for this reason. One of the best forwards on the Oilers this year, Gagner is a capable second line center on most teams. He's on our third line to gives us that secondary scoring, which is so key in the playoffs, with Filppula and Bertuzzi.

On defense we've really lacked a top pairing defenseman to play with Kronwall all year. Ericsson is a very good top 4 guy, but not really top pairing material yet (although he is well on his way to being one). That's why we added Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk gives us a legit top pairing defenseman to play with Kronwall, and improves our power play immensely. We've used Brunner on the point almost all year because we have no offensive defenseman for that spot. With Shattenkirk, our second power play unit will be relevant again. We also added Paul Martin, who has had a fantastic year with Pittsburgh. He gives us a great shutdown pairing with Ericsson.

We really feel like we've more than fixed all of our needs and wants. We have legit star power up front, amazing depth, an incredible defense, and a great goaltender. Best of luck to Dong, he's done an amazing job with the Hawks, no shame in losing to such a great team.

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