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Columnist claims Red Wings are “no longer the chosen ones” in NHL

Jul 4, 2012, 6:59 PM EDT

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 Getty Images

In the grand scheme of things, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise didn’t choose the Minnesota Wild because of the team’s brand name and probably not really because of cash, either. Instead, it came down to geography. It also left teams like the Detroit Red Wings holding a bag of money, leading the Detroit News’ John Niyo to claim that the Wings aren’t the NHL’s “chosen ones” any longer.

Still, the bottom line is this: The Wings are no longer the chosen ones in the NHL. They’re just one of 30 teams. Still a good team, mind you. Better than most. And still an Original Six team, for what that’s worth. (Sadly, not as much as it used to.)

But for those who still carried delusions of a decade ago, when owner Mike Ilitch had the money and the motive and the marketplace to assemble a roster stacked with future Hall of Famers, well, where have you been the last few years?

Red Wings GM Ken Holland probably said it best when he called the current NHL a “level playing field.”

Then again, some view it as a possible “changing of the guard.” James Mirtle has a great chart that shows how the league’s hierarchy of big-spenders has been altered, yet this blurb probably tell the story in the simplest way.

In 2004, Wings and Rangers spent $50-million more than Minnesota. Right now, the Wild’s payroll is $13-million higher than Detroit and NYR.

Now, the Red Wings and New York Rangers could easily add a bunch of cash and make it even (or at least closer), but the point is that there aren’t just a few big cats throwing their weight around any longer. With more teams willing to spend on blockbuster deals, players can consider other factors, such as proximity to loved ones and chances to contend. We’ll see about the Wild’s viability as a contender starting next season, but there’s no doubt that Parise and Suter valued location as much as anything else.

Which leaves the Red Wings and other teams picking up the pieces.

  1. geo91 - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Wait, the Wild just committed 196 million dollars to two players and you mean to tell me they’re spending more than the Wings?! Outrageous I say!

    • spetznaz777 - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      wings will get rick nash i guess that will level things out. suter is a good player but how good without shea weber?

  2. abnranger - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Print this after they miss the playoffs…21 straight and counting!

    • phillyphever - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      That’s nice, want a cookie?

      • hockinj25 - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:54 PM

        No we have 4 cups in that period. Maybe you would like one of them.

      • halo81 - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:56 PM

        No Phever, would you guys like a Stanley or Lombardi cookie? Rangers and Wings fans can afford to give a few away in those 21 years.

        Of course, I’m sure you still have your signed John LeClair jersey to cuddle with. That makes it all worth while.

      • claysbar - Jul 5, 2012 at 6:35 AM

        Rangers may wanna hold onto that one from the past 21 years. Not sure if anyone else is alive from the one before that….

  3. tigers182 - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    The Wings have few players on their roster that weren’t drafted by the team. They’re one of the most “homegrown” teams in sports. But they need to add more outside help to keep their 2+ decade streak alive.

    • polegojim - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Bingo – well said on all fronts

  4. tru2joelu4eva - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    the salary cap has mad it impossible for dynasties to exist

  5. abnranger - Jul 4, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Is it a Carter Cookie? Understsnd they come with a Cup!

  6. emperorzero - Jul 4, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    First, I know it’s been 21 years, but eventually the Wings are bound to come down to Earth (hopefully not ’85-86 down to Earth). What seems to be catching up to the Wings is it’s been a long time since they’ve drafted an impact player like Zetterberg, Datsyuk, or Kronwall. Obviously, they are still a top notch organization, but instead of bemoaning that Detroit isn’t the place to be, maybe the question should be asked: What’s going on with the draft?

  7. mojosmagic - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    The Wild seriously over paid especially in what they committed in years and dollars to Sutter. If the Wild do well and win a Cup it works. If not they will be in big trouble.

  8. chibimike - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    The Detroit media has been saying this for years. They said it after 2002, after the lockout, and again now. Nothing new to read here, just writers trying to get attention.

  9. johnnyd1956 - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    How many former Devils succeed after free agency?

    • phillyphever - Jul 5, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski on lines 1 and 2 for you.

  10. eddieapoc - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    zzzzz. I hear this every year or two. Like it or not the Wings don’t need flashy free agent signings to be a contender every year.

    • mickeyb21 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      That was with Lidstrom back there every year. Detroit did not do well with him injured last year. I am looking forward to seeing how they do without him this season, especially with no replacement thus far.

  11. redwingsfan999 - Jul 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    This columnist doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I agree the wings r not the chosen ones but were still good and in 04 when we made those offers that was before the lockout and therefore before there was a cap

  12. darksidecowboy - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Down with the WINGS!!! They’ve ruled for too long. Was looking forward to Lidstrom retiring (best defenseman ever)

    a jealous Dallas fan.

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