Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Wings' Draft

It's hard for me to be overly critical when I haven't seen a single player that we took. But from reading different reviews of the draft, having seen the draft rankings, and looking at organizational needs, I have to bitch about a few things here.

First off, if there's one area where the Red Wings are lacking in prospects, it's on defense. Factor in that Lidstrom and Schneider are getting up there in years, Chelios is way beyond getting up there in years, and Fischer is completely done in all likelihood and it's evident there's going to be a huge need for defense in the coming years. So what do we do last night? Pass on Chris Summers, Nigel Williams, Jamie McBain, and Brian Strait. Because USA doesn't have a history of putting out defensemen or anything (I think they have something absurd like 14 of them in the NHL currently). And we pick one defenseman in the entire draft, with our last pick. And he's small. It does my heart good to know that in 3 years, our defense corps is going to consist of Brett Lebda, Derek Meech, Nik Kronwall, Kyle Quincey, and me. Way to plan ahead guys...because if there's one thing we're going to need more of, it's undersized centers! Because they've worked out so well for us in the playoffs.

They drafted a forward in the second round that was unranked by a lot of scouting services (but he's Swedish so he rules and I want to see him OMG Shirtless!!!), and was something like the 172nd ranked European skater by the report I read. And they took him in the second round? Even if you think the kid is potentially a player, isn't there something to be said for making value picks? Or have I just watched too much of the NFL draft?

Then they follow it up with a goalie in the third round that was also not among the 18 European goalies ranked by the NHL Scouting Services. Who did they pass up to get him? Joe Palmer. Because USA doesn't put out good goalies either. But again, he's Swedish so he's awesome.

I understand they've had a pretty good track record of pulling players out of Europe, but holy crap! Chances are, if the guy isn't ranked by the ISS, you don't need to go grabbing him in the 2nd or 3rd round.

I'm becoming very very scared of this upcoming season. From the looks of things, it seems that all this "Expect some big chances" talk was just that. Talk. Now we're hearing things like "If Shanny comes back, we're looking for a fourth line forward. And we need a defenseman but he's going to be more of a role player. And we need a goalie." But it appears they're dead set on bringing Osgood back for another year (could happen as early as tomorrow). Holland has also said that he wants both youngsters (Howard and Liv) in the AHL.

So it appears that we're looking at a Biron/Osgood combo that just might not be any better than what we had last year, with no major changes to the roster itself. How does that saying go? Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it? I'm not hitting the panic button just yet, but this weekend--between losing out on Luongo who we apparently never made an offer for, and having a disappointing draft--doesn't bode well for the future of this team. These are not encouraging signs I'm seeing....

1 comment:

Tom said...

I was also a little surprised with the way that the Red Wing's draft played out. I really expected them to move Datsyuk, despite Holland's comments otherwise. I would be amazed if they resign him when he comes up as a free agent. I had pictured them packaging Datsyuk and Lilja to pick up a troubled star due for a resurgence (sorta like Hossa/de Vries for Heatley). Unfortunately, the only player I could think of that fit the bill was Bertuzzi, but he went for the other player that Datsyuk could have been dealt for, Luongo.

Detroit not getting Luongo doesn't break my heart. Although by the numbers he's a pretty good goalie, I'm doubtful that he will live up to expectations in Vancouver. Luongo is always portrayed as a heroic goalie on a terrible team, but Florida has a ton of young talent and Luongo never seemed to carry them anywhere.

As for Detroit's goaltending situation, it may come down to a case of trying to cobble something together to make one more run. I really like Roloson (although not if he costs an arm and a leg). Gerber might not be so bad either. To me everything keys on Yzerman. If he doesn't come back, Shanahan could be allowed to walk and some of the other older players could be dealt at the deadline (I'm thinking Chelios here). In this case, they might be further ahead to just call up Howard and start breaking him in early.

If Detroit does decide to make another run, a player I would really like to see wearing red is Sergei Samsonov. I don't know what kind of money he will command, but I think that his wife is from the Detroit area and they still reside here in the offseason.