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Abel to Yzerman

Why Are The Wings Interested In Ilya Kovalchuk?

from Craig Custance of The Athlietic,

The Red Wings are rebuilding but management wants to do it in a way where the young players feel like they have a shot to win on any given night. The organization still wants Detroit to be a place where players still enjoy coming to the rink on a daily basis. Bottoming out completely typically doesn’t create that kind of environment. There’s also a new building in Detroit that was half empty at times in year one and would get some needed juice with a player like Kovalchuk.

But really, it only makes sense on a one-year deal that can be spun at the trade deadline. In fact, that’s a great idea if you’re Detroit. It’s almost like buying draft picks and prospects in free agency. But if that’s the case, why would Kovalchuk do it?

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Comments

Figaro's avatar

Just…..no.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/12/18 at 03:29 PM ET

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Because Ken Holland doesn’t want to rebuild, he wants a quick fix to get back into the playoffs.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/12/18 at 03:38 PM ET

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If he takes a one year deal, why not? He could be easily worth a first at the deadline

Posted by neffernin on 06/12/18 at 05:28 PM ET

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I’m with neffernin.
Because why not? We won’t be seeing any different results until a new administration has control for a couple of years anyway (at least).

Posted by hotnickels on 06/12/18 at 05:53 PM ET

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(not to say that it is a thing I actually want… or a thing that I think Kovalchuk would even really consider)

Posted by hotnickels on 06/12/18 at 05:55 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Because Ken Holland is a dinosaur, incapable of change.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 06/12/18 at 06:13 PM ET

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Because why not?

Because it would be pointless.
Because they’re supposed to be rebuilding.
Because it would block the path of a prospect.
Because signing Kovalchuk isn’t going to get them to the playoffs.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/12/18 at 07:55 PM ET

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Who else is going to score for this team? Who else do you want to watch? What high-scoring winger prospect would he block?

Put me down for why not.

Posted by Back Hand Luke from The Land of Unhealthy Scratching on 06/12/18 at 09:16 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

Are we just trying to logjam the kids in GR so they won’t get a sniff in the NHL? This is def the way to go.
Are we trying to teach our kids how to play the right way? Kovalchuk is -116 in his NHL career.
Are we trying to make the playoffs? We’re not a 35 goal scorer (if he’s even still that good) away from the playoffs.

Just a bad idea on all fronts.

I can kind of see the appeal of signing him to a 1 year deal and then trading him for picks at the deadline, but he has no incentive to sign in Detroit for that. He’ll be offered more elsewhere, so this is a textbook non-starter.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 06/12/18 at 09:20 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I want to say no, because he would be taking someone else’s spot. But who from gr is really ready? Ras is exciting, but he’s not going to make the team. Svech probably has the best chance. After that I’m not sure.

Tatar being gone helps open up a spot. Who knows… AA might not be on the roster opening day either.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/12/18 at 09:32 PM ET

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AA might not be on the roster opening day either.

I’m on team NO but if AA is gone it kind of makes sense on a 2 year deal for the Wings.  An AA deal with likely yield a D-man and/or draft picks.  That would leave a gap at forward that I don’t think any of their prospects is ready to fill.  It sure doesn’t make sense for Kovalchuk.  If his goal is to win the Cup before he retires Detroit is not the place for him.  I think he signs with a team closer to winning.

Posted by Steve1306 on 06/13/18 at 08:03 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Is the DRW really interested in signing this Kovalchuk, or is it the Press needing stories so they’re pushing rumors of the interest?  Maybe I’ll be proved a wrong, but I believe it’s the latter.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 06/13/18 at 08:15 AM ET

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Who else is going to score for this team? Who else do you want to watch? What high-scoring winger prospect would he block?

Hey, I’ve got a crazy thought.  Instead of signing a 35-year old who isn’t going to help the team in the short or long term, maybe give a prospect a chance.

Crazy thought, I know, but sometimes it’s good to try and get your young players into the NHL. That’s why you draft them, why not give them a shot?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/13/18 at 08:29 AM ET

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Is the DRW really interested in signing this Kovalchuk, or is it the Press needing stories so they’re pushing rumors of the interest?

It was reported by Darren Dreger, a pretty reliable source.

Posted by Steve1306 on 06/13/18 at 08:42 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Wings shouldn’t make a decision till after the draft anyway. I’m not convinced Svech has an NHL future. I wouldn’t mind watching Kovalchuk for a year, but I really don’t think he wants to come back with Detroit. I think he’s said he wants a chance to win. His agent is probably throwing Detroit’s name in to help bid his price up any way he can.

Posted by duhduhduh on 06/13/18 at 08:57 AM ET

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Crazy thought, I know, but sometimes it’s good to try and get your young players into the NHL. That’s why you draft them, why not give them a shot?

Perhaps readiness is a factor? Hopefully I’m wrong, but other than Svechnikov, who looks ready to take the next step this season? Granted, I’m no scout, and the last time I saw GR in-person here in NY AA was tearing it up and Mantha looked ineffective.

Kovalchuk is likely not the answer, no question, but the blocking prospects reflex loses some effectiveness if the prospects aren’t ready.

Posted by Back Hand Luke from The Land of Unhealthy Scratching on 06/13/18 at 09:02 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Perhaps readiness is a factor? Hopefully I’m wrong, but other than Svechnikov, who looks ready to take the next step this season? Granted, I’m no scout, and the last time I saw GR in-person here in NY AA was tearing it up and Mantha looked ineffective.

Kovalchuk is likely not the answer, no question, but the blocking prospects reflex loses some effectiveness if the prospects aren’t ready.

Posted by A-A-ron from The Land of Unhealthy Scratching on 06/13/18 at 09:02 AM ET

Except Rasmussen looked ready in the preseason last year, when he tore it up against a mix of NHL & AHL players and prospects.

Also, you never really know when a prospect is truly ready. Kids have torn it up in the AHL and floundered up here (cough, Russo), others seemed to struggle but looked good playing in the NHL (cough, Hicketts). There’s factors that Kenny has never been able to understand, and it’s the diminishing returns of “over-ripening” prospects, and that you never truly now how NHL-ready a prospect is until you TEST them in the NHL. If you want players to develop into good NHL players, then NHL action needs to be a part of their development. Pittsburgh has won cups by giving young guys you’d never heard of previously like Jake Guentzel or Connor Sheary chances to show they are ready.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 06/13/18 at 09:36 AM ET

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Are we trying to teach our kids how to play the right way? Kovalchuk is -116 in his NHL career.

That’s heavily weighted by playing on some truly aweful Thrasher teams early in his career where he was asked to do more than humanly possible.

He’s a great competitor, something the Wings could use a role model. Mantha, AA, Bertuzzi and Ras could benefit.

I don’t see him signing a one or even a two year deal and that’s all that makes sense for Detroit. If Frk or AA isn’t back there is an extra spot above and beyond one for Ras. They could always wave a low forward if Svech happened to be ready too.

 

 

Posted by evileye on 06/13/18 at 11:12 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I would pick him up if he accepted a year, basically your paying for bandwagon fan interest and picks/prospects at the deadline IMO, no harm no foul. 

As far as players being “held back” I continue to go back to this time and time again. No player has left this organization and went elsewhere to blossom.  Pulkinen, Ferraro, Kindl, Marchenko, Nestrasil, this list goes on of the players HHHT sheds tears over, even players we traded something for, Jurco Sheehan,etc. That’s an indictment of our crap drafting but not the NHL readiness assessment, nor holding kids back.

Signing 1-2 players also doesn’t mean that’s it, the kid never plays, some of you forget that 82 games is a long season for perfect health and this team is likely trading again at the deadline. There’s opportunities to get looks

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 06/13/18 at 03:16 PM ET

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Because it would be pointless.
Because they’re supposed to be rebuilding.
Because it would block the path of a prospect.
Because signing Kovalchuk isn’t going to get them to the playoffs.


To all:

We won’t be seeing any different results until a new administration has control for a couple of years anyway (at least).

Posted by hotnickels on 06/13/18 at 04:33 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

That’s heavily weighted by playing on some truly aweful Thrasher teams early in his career where he was asked to do more than humanly possible.
Posted by evileye on 06/13/18 at 11:12 AM ET

His time in ATL didn’t help, certainly, but his worst +/- year was in NJ at -26 (in 81 games) in front of Martin Brodeur. They were a sub-.500 team, but still pretty stingy defensively. So my point is that we’re benching guys like AA (and yes, I know he’s no Kovalchuk) for not playing a 200 foot game, according to the coaching staff.

But yea, I doubt he’d sign in DET, if he’s coming back to win, knowing we’re not making the playoffs anytime soon, so he’d be trade bait in Feb.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 06/13/18 at 05:01 PM ET

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Is there potential for a scenario where a cap tight team looking for the last piece to get the cup approaches Holland and says lets make a deal?  We want him but cant afford him until lets say January, and then only half of his salary.  So if you sign him and pay him x, which he has agreed to to play for us, a contender, and as soon as we can afford, because you know stuff happens, and you retain the max 1/2 his salary, we will give you our 2020 first rounder and prospect X that we may have issues signing anyway.

Posted by murph1jj on 06/14/18 at 10:52 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com