So how’s your off-season been?
Given the news that Nick Lidstrom is coming back for next season, and that the NHL is raising the salary cap by another two million dollars. The end result is that Ken Holland has about nine million dollars left to spend. Holland says he intends to spend the bulk of that money on resigning players like Holmstrom, Bertuzzi and a raft of their restricted free agents. To a large degree I can see the wisdom in this. The team, as constructed, suffered a host of disastrous injuries last season, and yet still managed to break the 100 point mark. However, I remain vastly skeptical of the team’s ability to generate secondary scoring. It just seems like management is in danger of falling into the trap of being overly enamoured of their own talent. I’m not advocating that they rush out and spend money on Ilya Kovalchuk, but I do feel Holland needs to add some new, proven talent to the mix. Now who knows, perhaps Filppula and Cleary will get hot next year and produce on a higher level, which would eliminate the need for that second line scorer, however I’m not sure if Filppula will ever live up to the team’s hype. Hopefully a full season with a minimum of injuries will see the team perform up to it’s expectations — not neccesarily running away from the league, but mixing it up with the elite. If they scuffle through another season though, then heading into the 2011-2012 season Holland will have to make more significant changes.
Today the Red Sox are introducing their newest acquisitions OF Mike Cameron, and P John Lackey. Signing the elderly Cameron to a short-term deal wasn’t terribly surprising. He’s a little worse a hitter than Jason Bay, but a much better defender, and far cheaper than either Bay or Holliday. It’s a classic Theo signing. The Lackey deal on the other hand, did catch me off guard.
By now it’s readily apparent that the Lions are not going to follow my cunning plan to rebuild the team. They failed to follow through on both points one and two — hire Scott Pioli and Josh McDaniels. There is however still time to act on step three. Offer the draft picks acquired in the Roy Williams trade to New England in exchange for the services of Matt Cassel. Yes, it’s a hefty price to pay for a guy with a single year of experience as a starter in the NFL; however, that’s a year’s more experience than any quarterback available in this year’s draft. It also means the Lions can use the number one pick strengthening the O-line or the defense. As much as I would love to put those two picks to use drafting two starters getting a Pro-Bowl caliber QB is worth it.