RD - I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I don't say we need to trade Schneider for any return, and the more I think about it the more I see his high value as a dependable back-up, even if that's all he ever is.
I haven't heard Gillis say lots of teams are desperate to trade for him, and if that is the case then clearly I'm wrong. The sense I had gotten was many teams made low-ball offers because they thought the market value for him was low.
I guess where you and I disagree is the value of Downie, and that's totally fair, like I said I don't watch enough Tampa games to really know. I'm pretty sure he's a second line guy on that team, gets PP time...unfortunately for my argument he's not producing this year. His first year in Tampa I thought he was a breakout star in the making, and could even be a 30 goal producer. He had an off year last year, but stepped it up big in the playoffs. However, a lot of Tampa players had huge numbers, makes me wonder if they're artificially inflated due to their matchups.
If Downie is a third/fourth line goon, then I 100% agree with your assessment that we don't need him. If he is a second-line power forward who brings a huge physical element, speed, and scoring, I think he's worth kicking the tires on. And if he's the bat-shit crazy loose cannon we saw in Philly crosschecking Kesler to the face, then you don't touch him with a 10 foot pole.
So that's my mea culpa - but at least its fun to talk about
In terms of building a dynasty as Fred said, I think nobody has done a better job of that than Paul Holmgren. He tanked for one year, and now has a steady stream of elite-level prospects coming on line at every position except goalie. Detroit on the other hand is riding their old warhorses, getting big performances out of minor free agent pick-ups, and slowly developing their prospects, none of whom seem to have first-line upside.