Most of that boils down to one thing; being a good team that drafts late for 20+ years and therefore struggles to replace core players. And most of that will start solving itself when we find some new elite players. When we find better kids, they will start getting more icetime than the "mediocre veterans" at an earlier time. We've already seen this with Larkin. Trades are unlikely to ever be something Holland uses much, but it's a different position to be sitting on many draft picks, prospects taken in the top 10 of the draft and be the GM of a non-playoff team trying to change things up rather than the position he's had in the past. And when 1 or 2 or 3 young players start emerging as elite/core pieces, we won't be able to afford guys like Abdelkader or Ericsson. I mean the list of players that wouldn't have contracts with the Wings if we had landed Suter/Parise/Stamkos is pretty long. There's not much Holland can do this offseason to make this into a playoff team unless we see a massive internal improvement on the side of coaching and some young players. I think it's absolutely the right thing to send a message that they want to make the playoffs, because you want kids like Larkin/AA/Mantha/etc to go into the offseason with that goal in mind. You want them to go into Game 1 with a mindset to win. Let's wait and see what Holland actually does this offseason. If he starts trading prospects and picks I'll become concerned.