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Logjam at forward? A closer look.

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06-15-2013, 01:42 AM
  #1
jaster
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Logjam at forward? A closer look.

There simply isn't one at this time. I've seen fretting about it in nearly every thread. Hand-wringing over the possibility of Tatar being waived or traded. Anger over Cleary possibly coming back, to join Bert and Sammy as "the old useless fart trifecta." Frustration over a perceived plethora of 4th-liners taking spots away from prospects. I understand people have their favorites and their loathed scapegoats, or hate veterans and love prospects, but let's add some perspective in terms of the "logjam at forward" idea.....

First of all, it's the middle of June. We are not on the verge of training camp. There's two and a half months to sort things out. That alone precludes a logjam. There may be a lot of logs floating down a narrowing river, but they aren't jammed yet, and there's time to clear away a few that are closer to the riverbank. And there are some close to the riverbank.

There are 17 forwards in play, and the Wings will almost certainly carry 14, so at least 3 need to go. By my count, there are only 11 forwards who are sure bets to be on the roster:

Sure Bets
Zetterberg
Datsyuk
Franzen
Cleary
Tootoo
Abdelkader
Miller
Eaves
Andersson
Nyquist
Tatar

Yes, I have Cleary as a sure bet. He wants to come back, the Wings want him back.... there is literally no obstacle in front of Cleary being re-signed, imo.

I also think Eaves and Tootoo are also perfectly safe. The Wings value both players, and both are under contract. Neither are going anywhere, assuming they stay healthy.

That leaves 6 guys for 3 spots; 3 forwards will have to be traded, waived, bought out, placed on LTIR, or allowed to leave via free agency. Looking at each category....

Free Agency
Filppula - It would appear that he is as good as gone. I don't believe the Wings aren't trying to re-sign him, but how half-hearted is the attempt? He's reportedly asking for much more than the Wings are willing to pay, his level of play has drastically dropped off, and we have at least one kid who is ready to step into the top-6. He's a perfect candidate to open a spot for a younger player. I think he's almost certainly gone.

Brunner - Like Cleary, the Wings want him and he wants the Wings. But unlike Cleary, his exact value is not clear, and he's young enough to try to get a bigger contract elsewhere. I believe he and the Wings will come to an agreement, but I don't think it's a certainty. It's possible we lose him.

LTIR
Helm - This back thing really sucks. Much more for him than his fans, I'm sure. Will he be healthy at the start of next season? I have no freakin' clue, and I don't believe anyone else who posts here has a clue either, regardless of optimism or defeatist attitudes. He could be perfectly healthy and ready to go, or be put right back on the IR, neither would surprise me. He's a complete wildcard.

Bertuzzi - His back is in pretty bad shape as well. And he's old. Will he heal enough? Again, it's a question mark. If he's not ready to go, but thinks he will be at some point, he's an LTIR candidate.

Samuelsson - Bad shoulder. May have surgery. If he hasn't been bought out, he's another LTIR candidate.

Buy Out
Samuelsson - He appears to be the most likely forward to be bought out, given his combination of cap hit, health, and performance. More likely than not, I think the Wings will not buy him out, but I won't be surprised if they do.

Bertuzzi - Similar to Samuelsson, his effectiveness is questionable and he also has health problems. But he's cheaper and I get the impression the Wings think more of him than they do Sammy. Bert is probably the second most likely forward to be bought out. If he's not ready to go health-wise, and doesn't think he ever will be, he's a clear buy out candidate.

Waived
Emmerton - The guy who probably has to wait and see what happens to everyone else. But namely Helm. I think if Helm isn't ready, they hang on to Emmerton to be the 4th-line forward. And if Helm is ready, and there's still a roster crunch, Emmerton is prime waiver material.

Traded
None - I don't think it's necessary, given the other options here, but it's certainly a possibility.

With Filppula virtually gone, and either Helm on LTIR or Emmerton waived, there's only one more spot to be cleared. And both Bertuzzi and Samuelsson are strong candidates for buy outs. At this point I would bet that one of them does in fact get bought out (if Bert decides his playing days are over, it will be him; if not, it will be Samuelsson). And now we're down to 14. No worries about Miller blocking Tatar, "the old useless fart trifecta" staying together, or Cleary eating Detroit-area babies. I know this leaves no room for Horton, but he wasn't coming here anyway

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06-15-2013, 01:59 AM
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Yeah, that looks pretty close to reality. If we have 14 forwards, that leaves 7 roster spots for our D-men. We already have 6 D-men signed: Kronwall, Ericsson, Quincey, Colaiacovo, DeKeyser, and Lashoff. If Holland decides to sign both Kindl (RFA) and Smith (RFA), then all he has to do to get under the roster limit is demote Lashoff, and he'll be all set for the 2013-2014 season (unless he wants to shake things up with a trade).

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06-15-2013, 07:44 AM
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I hope we resign Brunner though, he's our only smiley player. We need him!

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06-15-2013, 08:13 AM
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by your thorough analysis then is it fair to say the plan, the deliberate plan, is to go into next season with the same lineup that wasnt good enough to win this season and make no real attempt to get better from outside the organization? (filppula out-tatar in)

what happens if bert, helm and sammy are all brought to camp and all are ready to play on opening night? do we just waive a# of players at the last minute, do we now try and scramble to dump players for lousy returns and in doing so missing out any free agents and those players bought out two months prior to the start of camp that could have improved our team?

I am not so sure hoping a player isnt healthy enough to play to avoid making tough but necessary decisions is the best off season plan for a pro sports franchise to undertake.

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06-15-2013, 08:26 AM
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No. I think what he was saying is........ It's June. Relax.

Critique the off season after the off season. Not before.

Sure, you have valid points and we all want to see the team improved. But lets see what happens.

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06-15-2013, 08:29 AM
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Yeah, I agree with Leadzedder. I don't think it's fair to say the plan is not to improve. I think it's fair to say it's June, and these things have a way of working themselves out.

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06-15-2013, 08:32 AM
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So the log jam doesn't exist as long as Ken Holland isn't Ken Holland anymore? And as long as guys stay injured? Doesn't that seem like a remarkably and unreasonable optimistic plan? It requires being almost entirely static this off season.

Because I'm pretty sure he's been speaking about Sammy as being safe from a buyout. Also not resigning Brunner? That's a reach. And not signing a *single* new forward FA? I know the UFA class isn't amazing this year, but still, he's looking right? Hopefully if he goes after someone it means he's willing to let go of some other guys, but you never know.

Furthermore, you're entirely dependent on injuries. Like, completely. Three guys on that least, one of whom is young and "supposed" to return. Also, you knock off both Helm and Emmerton, which doesn't make sense by your own reasoning. You say if Helm isn't ready to go, then Emmerton probably stays. If Helm is ready, then Emmerton is gone. Which, using your own logic, means putting them both on the list of "non-roster" candidates is wrong.

So here is, imo, a more realistic list.

Sure thing
Zetterberg
Datsyuk
Franzen
Cleary
Tootoo
Abdelkader
Miller
Eaves
Andersson
Nyquist

Almost definitely
Bertuzzi
Samuelsson

Probably
Helm/Emmerton. Comes down to if Helm gets healthy or not.
Brunner

Probably not
Flipper

There's 12 guys on the "sure thing" and "almost definitely" list on my version. Without Tatar. And I am expecting Brunner to be resigned, so that's 13. Also, one of Helm/Emmerton *will* be on the Wings next season, it just depends on health. That's 14. Without Tatar.

I'm not so worried that Tatar will sit. He can't be kept down anymore, he's obviously way too good to just waive. Holland has spoken of him as though he is going to be with the Wings next year. I'm just wondering.

1. Then who the hell are the guys sitting, and why are we keeping so many forwards we have to while not playing them?

2. How the hell are any kids from GR going to get a chance at a callup with a logjam like that? Looking at Sheahan, Ferraro, Jurco. I want to see those kids at least get a *few* games to show them what it's like up in the NHL. Maybe it sends them back down with a sense of "Holy crap, I need to be way better." Or maybe they impress the hell out of us and stay up. But with 15 forwards, how is that going to happen?

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06-15-2013, 08:32 AM
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I think we'll have 15-16 forwards when the training camps will start. There's no quarantee about Helm's condition and some other "mursak" could injure again. We need guys. Maybe somebody is at LTIR, maybe not. Then do the moves out if needed.

One UFA outsider will come in, Bertuzzi will be in the mix. I still see Brunner as a lock. His pricetag could not skyrocket too high in this market, where's also lot's of other options after the buyout period (+cap drop at same time) and even with a little overpayment I think he will hit his potential as the best Red Wings goalscorer in next 3 years.

1. Datsyuk
2. Zetterberg
3. UFA
4. Franzen
5. Brunner
6. Nyquist
7. Helm
8. Abdelkader
9. Bertuzzi
10. Tatar
11. Miller
12. Andersson
13. Eaves
14. Tootoo
------------
15. Emmerton (waiver-threat)
------------
16. Samuelsson/Cleary/other UFA, if somebody like Helm is still injured.

Sammy bought out, Cleary as back-up plan if no outsiders.

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06-15-2013, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flowah View Post
Furthermore, you're entirely dependent on injuries. Like, completely. Three guys on that least, one of whom is young and "supposed" to return.
Not sure how you got that. I listed possibilities. No injuries are necessary. But they could happen.


Quote:
Also, you knock off both Helm and Emmerton, which doesn't make sense by your own reasoning. You say if Helm isn't ready to go, then Emmerton probably stays. If Helm is ready, then Emmerton is gone. Which, using your own logic, means putting them both on the list of "non-roster" candidates is wrong.
Again, it was a list of possibilities. Numerous possibilities. Only 3 of them need to happen. At the end of the post, I made my guess as to which 3 I think it will be.


Quote:
So here is, imo, a more realistic list.

Sure thing
Zetterberg
Datsyuk
Franzen
Cleary
Tootoo
Abdelkader
Miller
Eaves
Andersson
Nyquist

Almost definitely
Bertuzzi
Samuelsson

Probably
Helm/Emmerton. Comes down to if Helm gets healthy or not.
Brunner

Probably not
Flipper

There's 12 guys on the "sure thing" and "almost definitely" list on my version. Without Tatar. And I am expecting Brunner to be resigned, so that's 13. Also, one of Helm/Emmerton *will* be on the Wings next season, it just depends on health. That's 14. Without Tatar.

I'm not so worried that Tatar will sit. He can't be kept down anymore, he's obviously way too good to just waive. Holland has spoken of him as though he is going to be with the Wings next year. I'm just wondering.
Um, yeah, that's pretty much the same as my list. Except Tatar should be on the sure thing list. I think you need to read my post again


Quote:
1. Then who the hell are the guys sitting, and why are we keeping so many forwards we have to while not playing them?
Every roster has reserve forwards who don't play. That will also work itself out during and after camp. Absolutely no reason to worry about that in June. The players will compete.


Quote:
2. How the hell are any kids from GR going to get a chance at a callup with a logjam like that?
The same way they do every year. Where every year we have 14 forwards.

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06-15-2013, 09:14 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flowah View Post
2. How the hell are any kids from GR going to get a chance at a callup with a logjam like that? Looking at Sheahan, Ferraro, Jurco. I want to see those kids at least get a *few* games to show them what it's like up in the NHL. Maybe it sends them back down with a sense of "Holy crap, I need to be way better." Or maybe they impress the hell out of us and stay up. But with 15 forwards, how is that going to happen?
Every season there will be a phase when 3-4 forwards of that 14 forward group are injured at same time.

Then there will be 1-2 open spots for callups. We'll see Ferraro, Sheahan and Jurco up for few games.

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06-15-2013, 09:19 AM
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So it's not a log jam because, at some point, Holland will have to do something with the 3-5 extra forwards he'll be coming to camp with?

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06-15-2013, 09:22 AM
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I get your reasoning Jaster but this is Ken Holland we're talking about.

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06-15-2013, 09:24 AM
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jaster
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So it's not a log jam because, at some point, Holland will have to do something with the 3-5 extra forwards he'll be coming to camp with?
It's not a logjam because there are 6 forwards who are in flux, and at least 2 of them are going to easily fall off the roster before September. It's not like it's the first day of camp and we have 17 signed forwards taking the ice.

And because we only have 12 signed forwards atm

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06-15-2013, 09:26 AM
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I get your reasoning Jaster but this is Ken Holland we're talking about.
Which part do you think doesn't mesh with the way Holland works?

I do agree in the sense that unexpected things are bound to happen.

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06-15-2013, 09:35 AM
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Yeah, I agree with Leadzedder. I don't think it's fair to say the plan is not to improve. I think it's fair to say it's June, and these things have a way of working themselves out.
not sure it matters at all what month it is because if anything late jne thru early july will be the best times to improve a teams roster from the outisde(buyout period starts, the draft, free agency starts)

to say maybe everyone is healthy come sept and ready to play on opening night so we have to waive emmerton, now buyout sammy or bert, or dump someone in a useless trade(player x for late rd draft pick) to get under the roster limits is not a good wait and see approach

by doing so or having that as a plan A it now stops you from having to and more importantly having the chance to go out in late june/early july and to try and sign the best possible UFA and or compliance buyout players available because come mid-sept nobody of any value will be left on the table

hoping to have injured players not ready and thus not having a full healthy roster is not a plan for success

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06-15-2013, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaster View Post
It's not a logjam because there are 6 forwards who are in flux, and at least 2 of them are going to easily fall off the roster before September. It's not like it's the first day of camp and we have 17 signed forwards taking the ice.

And because we only have 12 signed forwards atm
I think it's not a log jam because we don't have anyone immediately pushing up from GR like we have with Smith, Nyquist, and Tatar the past couple of years (though Jarnkrok is close). I think it's more of a mismanaged roster, with a lot of cap/roster space tied up in guys who it wouldn't really hurt us to lose.

Now, the fact that Holland will at some point in the future be forced to fix that isn't a positive to me. While it's not on the level of Lou getting the Devils stuck with Mogilny and Malakhov on LTIR, it's still a screw up.

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06-15-2013, 09:39 AM
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Here is my nightmare scenario (and likely what we could see happen)

- re-sign Cleary (terrible move)
- lose both Brunner and Filppula
- acquire no legit top 6 forwards via free agency or trade

Which would result in us starting less year with a significant drop in talent, and likely Abdelkader and Cleary playing in the top 6 regularly

Let's hope Holland surprised me

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06-15-2013, 09:41 AM
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jaster
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not sure it matters at all what month it is because if anything late jne thru early july will be the best times to improve a teams roster from the outisde(buyout period starts, the draft, free agency starts)

to say maybe everyone is healthy come sept and ready to play on opening night so we have to waive emmerton, now buyout sammy or bert, or dump someone in a useless trade(player x for late rd draft pick) to get under the roster limits is not a good wait and see approach

by doing so or having that as a plan A it now stops you from having to and more importantly having the chance to go out in late june/early july and to try and sign the best possible UFA and or compliance buyout players available because come mid-sept nobody of any value will be left on the table

hoping to have injured players not ready and thus not having a full healthy roster is not a plan for success
That's no one's plan. Furthermore, having the number of forwards in play that we do does not in any way prevent the Wings from signing a free agent. The CBA allows you to go over the cap in the off-season, but we're not even close anyway.

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06-15-2013, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Frk It View Post
Here is my nightmare scenario (and likely what we could see happen)

- re-sign Cleary (terrible move)
- lose both Brunner and Filppula
- acquire no legit top 6 forwards via free agency or trade

Which would result in us starting less year with a significant drop in talent, and likely Abdelkader and Cleary playing in the top 6 regularly

Let's hope Holland surprised me
I think if on the off-chance we can't get Brunner signed, we go hard at free agency for a top-6 player. Our top-6 will include Hank, Dats, Mule, Nyquist, Brunner/FA, and probably Abdlekader (or possibly Cleary).

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06-15-2013, 09:47 AM
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I think if on the off-chance we can't get Brunner signed, we go hard at free agency for a top-6 player. Our top-6 will include Hank, Dats, Mule, Nyquist, Brunner/FA, and probably Abdlekader (or possibly Cleary).
I really hope we get Brunner, and if not a free agent to fill his spot. I don't think people realize the drop in skill we would experience from losing both Filppula and Brunner. Filppula is inconsistent in his production, but he helps out in possession a lot with his ability to stickhandle and pass.

Getting Tatar up with Nyquist would help counter it to an extent. But both likely won't be in the top 6.

Re-signing Brunner or bringing in someone like Ryder, Horton, or a guy like that to play a similar role is a MUST for us this off-season IMO.

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06-15-2013, 09:48 AM
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Um, yeah, that's pretty much the same as my list. Except Tatar should be on the sure thing list. I think you need to read my post again
My list has a ton more people almost definitely coming back. Which would mean... logjam. You had Bert + Sammy as realistic buyouts. I'm pretty sure Holland is not going to buy Sammy out at least based on what he's said so far in the off-season. And I, like most people here I think, expect Brunner will be back unless some other team decides to massively overpay.

Quote:
Every roster has reserve forwards who don't play. That will also work itself out during and after camp. Absolutely no reason to worry about that in June. The players will compete.
That's what they say. But it hasn't been true in at least 2 years. The whole "play for a spot/earn your ice" thing kind of falls apart when Q never sits, ever. When Cleary never moves from the PP. When Abby got how many games with Pavel before ever even sniffing a point?

I see that leaving *at least* 14 guys on the forwards roster, probably 15. And I see that as a problem when some of our promising prospects down in GR have had tremendous years and post seasons. And I'm not even counting Tatar.

Based on the current speculated size of the roster, its makeup, and the tendency of this organization to keep prospects down while playing veterans when available, I don't expect those kids to get a real, fair shot at making the team or playing any significant games up either. Barring injuries

And I don't like counting on injuries to see that the kids get a chance.
Quote:
I think it's not a log jam because we don't have anyone immediately pushing up from GR like we have with Smith, Nyquist, and Tatar the past couple of years (though Jarnkrok is close). I think it's more of a mismanaged roster, with a lot of cap/roster space tied up in guys who it wouldn't really hurt us to lose.
What about Jurco? Ferraro maybe? Sheahan got a game or two this year even. Maybe it's because they wanted to try out a centerman, but still, it indicates he might be higher up on the list for callups. I think there *is* some talent knocking on the door.

And yeah, definitely, a lot of guys that it would not hurt to lose, being kept on for a decent chunk of change. Mismanagement is the name of the game.

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06-15-2013, 09:48 AM
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That's no one's plan. Furthermore, having the number of forwards in play that we do does not in any way prevent the Wings from signing a free agent. The CBA allows you to go over the cap in the off-season, but we're not even close anyway.
do you feel KH will be active in free agency or at the draft or with buyout players between the third week of june and the second week of july(lets agree the best players are gone usually within the first two weeks of free agency) knowing he has a forward roster of possibly 17 players before adding anyone knew?(remember you believe cleary and brunner are coming back)

i dont think KH will act if his hand isnt forced to

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06-15-2013, 09:55 AM
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And I don't like counting on injuries to see that the kids get a chance.

What about Jurco? Ferraro maybe? Sheahan got a game or two this year even. Maybe it's because they wanted to try out a centerman, but still, it indicates he might be higher up on the list for callups. I think there *is* some talent knocking on the door.

And yeah, definitely, a lot of guys that it would not hurt to lose, being kept on for a decent chunk of change. Mismanagement is the name of the game.
This isnt like last year where we had a guy like Nyquist was top 10 in the AHL in scoring the year before and a PPG player and lighting it up on the reg. Jurco had a good half of a season, and I think they want to see if Sheahan or Ferraro's offense will develop a bit more. They have more things to work on than Nyquist and Tatar.

I think if Helm can't go this fall Sheahan should get a legit look as the 3rd line center. Other than that I don't really think any of those prospects are pushing the issue quite yet. But Jurco could be real soon if he keeps up his momentum from the end of last year.

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06-15-2013, 10:15 AM
  #24
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This isnt like last year where we had a guy like Nyquist was top 10 in the AHL in scoring the year before and a PPG player and lighting it up on the reg. Jurco had a good half of a season, and I think they want to see if Sheahan or Ferraro's offense will develop a bit more. They have more things to work on than Nyquist and Tatar.

I think if Helm can't go this fall Sheahan should get a legit look as the 3rd line center. Other than that I don't really think any of those prospects are pushing the issue quite yet. But Jurco could be real soon if he keeps up his momentum from the end of last year.
If Helm isn't ready to go next fall, then Andy will be the 3C and Emmo will continue as the 4C. Babs has been public about the fact the Sheahan is not ready for the speed of the NHL game, and Andy really came on at the end of the regular season and into the playoffs while he was in the 3-hole.

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06-15-2013, 10:21 AM
  #25
SoupNazi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frk It View Post
This isnt like last year where we had a guy like Nyquist was top 10 in the AHL in scoring the year before and a PPG player and lighting it up on the reg. Jurco had a good half of a season, and I think they want to see if Sheahan or Ferraro's offense will develop a bit more. They have more things to work on than Nyquist and Tatar.

I think if Helm can't go this fall Sheahan should get a legit look as the 3rd line center. Other than that I don't really think any of those prospects are pushing the issue quite yet. But Jurco could be real soon if he keeps up his momentum from the end of last year.
I have to agree. Sheahan and Ferraro aren't guys who should be locks for roster spots in camp, as Nyquist and Tatar were, to an extent, last year, had Holland not signed Sammy et al. Jurco is a little ways off, Jarnkrok needs some seasoning in the AHL, and Sheahan and Ferraro need to do a bit of work before they get up here.

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