A Negative Look at the Wings, Finally.
Kraftster writes “I was debating about whether to write this article for some time, but thanks to the comment debate I got into with Freeze the other day, I realized it was time.
Everybody bickering non-stop about the New York Rangers all year long. Everyone saying that Sather is ruining the league. Well maybe it is time that we look at the detrimental effect the Red Wings organization is having on the NHL, and their recent drafting ineptitude.
Two points to be explored. The first of which regards the Red Wings drafting ability, which I find to be POOR recently. This opinion obviously met with opposition in my comments thanks to the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. I did say RECENT so Yzerman, Federov, and Lidstrom are out. The drafting situation leads perfectly into the second point, that Detroit disregards it’s franchise future and is quite comfortable in doing so.
Looking at Detroits picks from 1993-1997, you’ll find Holmstrom and Dandenault, and that’s about it! Personally I don’t even see either of those picks enough to sufficently call them a good drafting team. 1998 Jiri Fischer become a Wing, undoubtedly a good pick, along with Pavel Datsyuk in the late 6th round, quite a steal. 1999 Detroit took Zetterberg late in the 7th round, another impressive find based on this years performance.
Finding Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the later rounds, hardly justifies the other poor picks by Detroit. Drafting late is definitley a quality any decent drafting team must have, and it is shown here, but again this is over a 7 year period. 3 players in 7 years…hmm??
What about all the first round choices you may be asking. Well in 1997, that first rounder was traded, in 1999, Detroit’s 1st, 2nd, & 3rd round picks…gone. That leaves Andres Erikson 1993, Yan Golubovsky 1994, Maxim Kuznetsov 1995, Jesse Wallin 1996. Wallin has played his fair share of games in a Detroit uniform, but is nothing special. Golubovsky played in all of 50 career games. Some may contend that Erikson and Kuznetsov were used in trades to acquire veteran players (Chelios, Schneider), but I don’t think they should be listed as good picks at all. The reason I don’t agree with putting guys like Kuznetsov and Erikson as quality picks is that on one level I am referring to the talent of the players chosen. (I realize they have been traded for good players, BUT that is along with other picks or players as well, neither was the selling point of the trade, but big time props to detroit for pulling off the deals). BUT, as far as talent, Erikson really has never been steady anywhere, and Kuz. was drafted 7 years ago and is just now cracking through. I realize Det. has had strong Dmen over the years, but a first round guy should be someone in a lineup sooner than 7 years. On another level, this is supporting the notion that Detroit disregards it’s future. Trading Erikson, Kuz, and Avery (undrafted) does nothing but support that point I am trying to make. If they were traded because Detroit saw something bad about them, it only supports that they were not strong draft picks, while if they traded them DESPITE them being strong players, it supports not caring about the future young core of players.
I definitely know that Detroit has lower first round picks every year, and I’ll further allow that having said later picks makes it hard to find “premier” talent. But to dispell the ability of Detroit fans to get off on the late pick line, a brief look at late first round picks around the league:
1993: Koivu (21), Bertuzzi (23), Kevyn Adams (25) — Erikson (22)
1995: Sykora (18), Denis Gauthier (20), Sean Brown (21), Alex Morozov (24), Marc Denis (25) –Max. Kuz. (26)
1996: Marco Sturm (21), Daniel Briere (24), Cory Sarich (27) — Jesse Wallin (26)
1997: TRADED! Morrow (25), Clymer (27), Huselius (47) — Butsayev (49)
1998: Jiri Fischer (GREAT PICK), Gagne (22), Gomez (27)
1999: TRADED 1st, 2nd, 3rd PICKS! Boynton (21), Havlat (26), Ahonen (27)…
2000: Justin Williams (28), Nick Shultz (33) — Nik Kronwall (29)
I am in no way directly comparing what Detroit is doing to the Rangers, but I do think that it is not all that good of a thing. With all the questions surrounding CuJo, will Detroit draft one of the many goalie prospects in this years draft to take over? In all likelihood I would say, no. Definitely not with their 1st round pick this year or 2nd next year, those both belong to the LA Kings.
I don’t see Detroit worrying one bit about their future. I think they will be comfortable to go out and find whatever goalie is on the market when Joseph’s time is up, whether that be in the offseason or in a deadline deal. Promotion of no need to build a team through the draft doesn’t seem like something beneficial to the rest of the league. At least not to me…
Don’t get me wrong, Detroit is getting the job done, but I don’t really care for the way they are doing it. I actually hope it comes back to bite them in the near future (post-cba most likely). Let the comments begin!! ”]]>