Per TSN, Wings re-sign Dallas Drake. Sounds like a great move to me, essentially identical to what KH tried to do last year with Greg Johnson, i.e., sign a former Wing to a cheap-o contract to shore up the fourth line with an experienced grinder. Here's hoping Drake actually suits up for the Wings. Bill at A2Y had been hoping for this deal for a while, so his reaction is obviously positive.
I could definitely get behind going to camp with this lineup, and yet Ansar Khan still thinks Holland has his eyes on another blueliner and/or another Top 6 forward. While you can never have enough depth and experience, I do think that making any more moves would start to stifle the youth movement in Hockeytown. I think it's important that every single year the Wings work on bringing along a few youngsters, and this year those youngsters should be Igor Grigorenko and one of Meech/Quincey. Add more players and those guys are potentially going to get bumped off the roster.
Khan does suggest (ibid), however, that the Wings may be stashing considerable cap space for grabbing Peter Forsberg. Dave at GC threw it out there on Saturday, and I do have to say I like the idea. Forsberg is supposed to be ready in December, so it's really more like an early deadline move. With much of the season gone it'll be a diminished contract hit, and no loss of picks/prospects. But it's also early enough that if he flops, you have time to figure it out and make a move at the deadline.
The Drake signing means that, Matt Ellis included, the Wings have 14 forwards, and Ellis is likely the odd-man out. Which is too bad, because I think he would do very well in Babcock's system (and, actually, has done well already). Ellis will provide excellent depth, unless of course Igor Grigorenko falters and doesn't make the team. Holland has said it's Iggy Grigs' roster spot to lose, so I don't expect that. But then again, Ellis might Filppula his way onto the roster.
Here are two line-ups the Wings could potentially field with Drake added to the roster:
In the first set, the Wings ice two big, physical top scoring lines, a solid grind line, and an offensively oriented fourth line. In the second set, you have basically again two big scoring lines, but a better (and potentially more offensive) grind line, and a very physical, defensive oriented fourth line. Just two possibilities I'm throwing out there.
So with Ellis likely getting sent to GR, one of the other kids will have considerably reduced ice time. How does that make you feel, Tomas Kopecky?
(Edit: Matt at OTW offers his thoughts on Drake, also noting that it might be Drake, and not one of the kids, who ends up in GR. Interesting, since he's less likely than Hudler or Kopecky to get picked up off waivers, and Grigorenko has the out-clause.)