Teams are way too fast to rebuild in the NHL. A rebuild could mean 25 years of failure. It's never worth the risk. Keep your team, add some pieces, stay afloat, draft well and even a bad team can turn it around.
People often have different definitions of what a 'rebuild' is. Is it trading away your star player Is there a certain number of players you have to trade? I think most people see it as the unloading a good chunk of your top 6 forwards and top 2 D-men. Doing this all at once is pointless - why tank yourself for years to come? Rebuild as you replace (over time), like most teams do a la NJ.
In bolded: for me, the rebuild alarm goes off when a team bottoms out, Devils 2010-11-style, over the course of at least one full season (I say 'at least' because some teams might think a singular disastrous season might be a fluke), and the GM decides that he is no longer spending more money to augment a bad core that is either aging or simply run its course.
Clearly, the Devils are not in this kind of position (big difference between being 5 points out of a playoff spot, as opposed to 15+ and never being a factor), but you do wonder what this core is going to be going forward:
Schneider (if he re-signs, and we don't really know what kind of playoff goalie he is yet)
Clowe (due to contract)
A lot of guys who are here now won't be much longer (especially all of the 30-somethings), which is why I don't have them listed . Zids and Jagr could be gone this offseason. Elias has two years left after this one...maybe he re-signs after that...too soon to tell, impossible to predict the future of late 30-somethings. Zubrus also has two years after this one and is almost certain not to get re-signed. Won't surprise me if Lou tries to move him this offseason.
The big question is does this list look like the beginnings of a "you can build around this" kind of core. If all of the defenseman pan out (Greene has quietly become a nice reliable vet, which is why I have him on the core list...I get the feeling Lou will keep him here), then you can argue that it does. But some of the current forwards clearly have to go.
One thing to keep in mind: a LOT of the current contracts on the books come off within two years. This is good, in that it won't be as hard for Lou (or whomever) to change this team up as it sometimes feels:
UFAs in 2014: Jagr, Zids, Carter, Bernier, Gionta, Fayne, Brodeur RFAs: Josefson, Gelinas
UFAs in 2015: Schneider, Ryder, Brunner, Sestito, Salvador, Greene, Harrold
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 24 March 2014 - 12:26 PM.