Every season there are coaching changes around the NHL – this season changes have come to Detroit as both of the former Assistant Coaches, Paul MacLean and Brad McCrimmon, have moved on to other positions within the hockey world; and made room for incoming Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters this season.
Change is change.
Good or bad it has not played out yet for the Red Wings yet. As everyone has different ideas, theories, ideologies, strengths, weaknesses, and personality finding a coaching staff that can mold together and become a solid unit will stand a high chance of putting together a team that can work together and are not pulling in different directions.
Ultimately Head Coach Mike Babcock has the final say heading into a game as to who is playing, who is in the press box (well except when it comes to injuries of course) and whom is playing on a line with whom.
We all like to play arm chair coach or GM to the point that video games now include “Be a GM” mode and fantasy leagues are huge deals to where there are professional writers that are paid the big bucks just to give fantasy advice (G rated not that other fantasy type advice).
I figure I would take a completely random crack at the Red Wings line up for this season. I have decided to test out a low tech version (pulling players numbers out of a hat – literally) of automated drafting for putting together a line up for Detroit. This is all being left to chance – just as if I had missed my fantasy draft and got a bunch of random players (which may have worked out better for me last year as I came in second to last in my fantasy league with the guys/girls/fans over at Hockey Wilderness.
And the results are:
Justin Abdelkader – Jiri Hudler – Johan Franzen
Tomas Holmstrom – Jan Mursak – Dan Cleary
Henrik Zetterberg – Patrick Eaves – Valtteri Filppula
Darren Helm – Todd Bertuzzi – Pavel Datsyuk
Benched: Cory Emmerton and Drew Miller
Talk about scary! Jiri Hudler first line center? I guess other teams wouldn’t know what to do with him – Detroit doesn’t know what to do with him anymore (Can they send him back to Russia again and get the Hudler back that was sent over in the first place? No? Well then alright).
Now onto the defense…. If you pray you might want to do so now…
Niklas Kronwall / Mike Commodore
Nicklas Lidstrom / Jonathan Ericsson
Brad Stuart / Jakub Kindl
Benched: Ian White
So… some Kronwalling and Commie fighting on the top defense pairing while Jonathan Ericsson drags down the mighty Norris Nick to yet probably another negative +/- as he tries to cover for him. Stuart with Kindl would be good for Kindl’s development and of course lets pay Ian White $3 million for the season (cap hit of $2,875,000) to sit in the press box and get up close and personal with the banners at The Joe.
Goaltending I did not do as it is a flip of a coin with the Jimmy Howard side more likely to come up more often than the Ty Conklin side. At the same time if the goalies get attacked by the injury ninja again we could see a Joey MacDonland and Ty Conklin tandem … or bring Chris Osgood out of retirement? Oh what a goaltending hullabaloo that would become.