With Bert signing with the Ducks, and Ryan Smyth, once highly coveted by many Wings fans including myself, signing with the Avs, Wings fans can pretty much give up the hope of bringing in a big power forward from the FA market. Oh yeah, and most heartbreaking of all, fan favorite Robert Lang bolted for division rival and Central contender Chicago, only to be reunited with fellow physical goalscorer Jason Williams. Man. Tough day.
Well, balls. What do the Wings do now? Go for a small forward like Slava Kozlov or Danius Zubrus? Blech. Ken Holland says he'll sit back and wait for things to settle. Is it time for another Mikael Samuelsson/Dan Cleary type FA steal? I wouldn't mind one of those.
Dave at Gorilla Crouch suggests that without another Top 6 forward, the Wings best bet for line combos is to keep Zetterberg and Datsyuk together. And you do know that that's always a safe bet, with Tomas Holmstrom (or Mikael Samuelsson) rounding out the line. But I still say let's try to split them up. I love Val Filppula but I would rather take things slow. Here's a guess for line combos:
If Z and Pavs are really superstars they will make other players around them better. I put Sammy with Datsyuk because it's the team's top sniper with the team's top playmaker. Holmstrom with Zetterberg to take advantage of all the shots that will come his way. Franzen and Grigorenko add grit and are nationality-compatible.
Is Grigorenko a Top 6 forward off the bat? Maybe not. Cleary and Filppula are other options for Top 6 wingers. And if it doesn't work, blow it up and put the Eurotwins together. But let's at least try to spread the wealth.