The Red Wings have scored only five goals in the last four games. That is not a number that will lead to many victories–and it hasn’t. The Red Wings have lost those last four games.
Rumors are flying around the fanbase that moves are going to happen, whether it be in sending younger players down to Grand Rapids and calling others up or putting someone on the trading block to bring someone else in. And what I’m about to say is something many Red Wings fans don’t want to hear:
We don’t need anyone else.
A few of these guys have graced our lineup this season already due to injuries. Why bring in someone from the outside when there are young guns chomping at the bit to get their chance to prove themselves? It was the problem we all foresaw when the team re-signed Dan Cleary, too.
What about guys named Patrick Eaves or Darren Helm? Those two are on the cusp of returning. Yes, they have not played in a while, but just their return alone could spark something within the lineup that gives the team an extra jump.
There’s a common argument that involves people waving their ready-made banners stating TRADE JOHAN FRANZEN!!!! Now that the Mule is injured, albeit for only a handful of games, those banners are out, loud, and proud.
The truth of the matter is that for what Franzen gives us offensively, his cap hit of $4 million is great. You aren’t going to find that out in the free agent market for someone who gets an average of 40 points per season. I said this on Twitter once and someone jokingly replied with, “Yeah, it’s usually $6+ million,” which isn’t far from the truth.
Right now, with his five points in twelve games, Franzen is playing just as well as guys like Shane Doan on Phoenix ($5.3 mil), Andrei Markov on Montreal ($5.75 mil), and Claude Giroux on Philadelphia ($3.75 mil) (though one could argue he’s playing better than Giroux, but that’s an entirely different article).
Do you really think the Red Wings could get someone like Thomas Vanek for a price like Franzen? Would a player like Vanek take that “Detroit discount” that used to bring good, moderately expensive players to this team for cheaper than what they’d get on the open market?
We have witnessed that idea fall through the cracks the last few off-seasons. Until the Red Wings see Franzen’s potential really taking a nosedive, people need to understand that he probably isn’t going to go anywhere.
Moving on from Franzen…
Daniel Alfredsson is finally starting to mesh on the power play on the point and with Franzen’s injury, Stephen Weiss will probably be moved up to second line center, which he played well in the first few games. Who’s to say he doesn’t fit right in again? Splitting up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg is unfortunately necessary at this time. Having two powerhouse offensive players on separate lines will make our opponents have to think twice about how to match lines with this team.
This team has offensive potential and they have struggled with it over the past handful of seasons. Especially when they are dealing with a losing streak, fans tend to turn against their own team. If this were the stretch that led into the playoffs and the team was on the cusp of not making it (much like last season), then yes, it would be time to panic. Right now, fans are freaking out over something that is easy to adjust.
Look, we can talk in circles all day about what the organization could do. And we can come up with ideas and line combinations that sound fantastic on paper. But it comes down to how the players actually work together during a game.