The Malik Report
Hockey's Cap gives the Wings an estimated $14.822 million in cap space with the aforementioned Nyquist, Smith, Jurco, Pulkkinen, Landon Ferraro and Joakim Andersson to re-sign as restricted free agents, and that number includes Daniel Cleary's tolled $1 million bonus...General Fanager estimates that the Wings have $15.092 million in cap space.
In any case, the Wings will have between $5-7 million to "play with" in terms of targeting unrestricted free agents minus a Weiss buyout, Franzen on the LTIR or a probable re-signing of Daniel Cleary.
And lest we forget:
You can file this under, "Probably won't happen" because there are other flavors of the year at the NHL Awards, but the Free Press's George Sipple duly notes that the Red Wings will have a representative at the awards, and he could join some heady company if he takes home his fifth Lady Byng:
Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk has a chance to join Frank Boucher and Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy at least five times. Boucher won seven times, Gretzky five.
Datsyuk is up for the trophy again, along with first-time finalists Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and former Wing Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames.
The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards show Wednesday in Las Vegas (7 p.m., NBCSN).
Hudler will probably walk away with the trophy...
Updated 5x at 12:45 PM: Per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the Red Wings are "cautiously exploring" the trade market ahead of the draft and free agency:
"We’re always looking to upgrade, but it’s hard to upgrade," Holland told ESPN.com Monday. "Part of what we're also doing is that we're going with our young people. We're like every other organization in the cap world, it starts at the draft table and it's got to work through your farm system."
Part of the delicate balance for Holland is to continue to try to improve his team while not blocking kids who need a chance. For example, starting next season forward Teemu Pulkkinen, 23, needs to clear waivers if he's sent to the minors. The Wings need to give him a chance on the big club. Other Wings prospects will be in the same boat over the next two years. More than half of the team is under 25 years old. The Wings have turned the roster over in the last half-decade while not missing the playoffs. Amazing.
"The more young people, the more speed, the more energy we can bring," Holland said about his group.
"Can you find a player that upgrades your top 4 [defensemen] or a player that upgrades your top 6 [forwards]? Realistically? It’s hard to do," Holland said. "Because those people for the most part aren’t available. Then you add in the salary cap and the people we got to sign over the next two years. ... It’s a long way of answering, for the most part I’d like to stay the course, keep going with the young players."
Which doesn’t mean, for example, the Wings won't take a look at a UFA blue-liner such as Mike Green. But at what cost? The price has to be right.
"I’m exploring the market, I’m going to explore July 1, we’re trying to find dimensions that upgrade your team," said Holland, refusing to mention any specific names. "But the direction of our team is keeping with the young guys."
Daniel Cleary's $1 million bonus will be "tolled" to the 2015-16 cap as well.
The Grand Rapids Griffins have posited two interviews with new coach Todd Nelson, constituting about 25 minutes' worth of viewing, and here are parts one...
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan reports that Ken Holland will name two of Jeff Blashill's three assistant coaches on Tuesday (three because Blashill will need a video coordinator)...
General manager Ken Holland said he will name two assistants today — likely Tony Granato and Chris Chelios — and hopes to add another at a later date.
(For what it's worth, Blashill worked with one full-time bench assistant for his first year in Grand Rapids)
And he updates the statuses of Daniel Cleary and Marek Zidlicky...
Holland has not talked with forward Daniel Cleary or defenseman Marek Zidlicky, both potential unrestricted free agents. Cleary, who had two points (one goal) in 17 games last season, turned down three-year contractsthree years ago from other teams to remain with the Red Wings for a lower salary.
With with another season of little playing time likely — there are several young prospects ahead of him — Cleary might pursue other opportunities or accept a coaching role similar to what Chelios had in Grand Rapids.
Zidlicky also is facing a tough battle to return with a deep corps of defensemen. In addition to several veterans — Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl — Zidlicky also faces a crop of young talent itching to reach the NHL.
Holland has said one spot will go to either Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen or Ryan Sproul.
Update: FYI from the Free Press's George Sipple:
Asked about assistant coaches for new head coach Jeff Blashill, Holland said: "We're close.... Pecking away. We're just about there." The assistant coaches could be announced as early as Tuesday.
Updated 2x at 9:29 PM: Of very brief Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan reports that we'll learn the identity of the Wings' assistant coaches on Tuesday:
2. The Red Wings have a draft page up on their website, and it includes the Wings' "order of selection" and links to NHL.com's by-position-and-nationality player rankings. It also includes a photo gallery;
3. Speaking of photos...
4. Regarding photos of a different kind, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that no other Red Wings or Griffins players were involved with the gambling ring to which Nathan Paetsch pled guilty of participation with today;
Update: Make it six items, because ESPN's Ben Arledge suggests that the Red Wings are a good "Value bet" for a Stanley Cup championship next year:
Quite happy to spread the word regarding these two events:
GRIFFINS' YOUTH HOCKEY CAMP AND GOLF OUTING RETURN
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – This summer, the Grand Rapids Griffins are inviting fans to participate in either of two long-running West Michigan traditions: the Griffins’ Youth Hockey Camp, to be held the weeks of July 27-31 and Aug. 3-7 at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park, and the 21st annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic at Egypt Valley Country Club on Monday, Aug. 31.
The Griffins Youth Hockey Camp will be conducted by Griffins assistant coach Pat Ferschweiler, who will be joined on a part-time basis by four notable hockey pros from West Michigan: former Griffins and current Red Wings Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening, current Griffin Mitch Callahan, and longtime NHLer and current Grand Rapids assistant coach Mike Knuble. Offered to kids ages 6-16, the camp helps players maximize their skills through on-ice instruction, dry-land training and off-ice video sessions.
Paul found this Tweet from the National Post's Michael Traikos, and if it's accurate, it's intriguing:
One could argue--as we've been arguing in the Franson thread--that there are or are not any real upgrades on the market, and if the Wings really want to "let the kids play," that may not preclude the team from cutting ties with Jakub Kindl....
Update: For what it's worth, Pro Hockey Talk's Dhiren Mahiban posited the following:
With their lone right shot defenseman, Marek Zidlicky, likely headed for unrestricted free agency next week, the Detroit Red Wings will attempt to fill the void internally.
Dion Phaneuf has been rumored to be headed to Detroit, and there are options on the open market come July 1 (i.e. Cody Franson and Mike Green), but PHT has learned the Wings would like to give their young blue liners a chance.
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner, noting that the Griffins have experienced a rare spate of coaching stability over the past three years, wondered aloud how long Todd Nelson might call Grand Rapids "home" again before pursuing NHL employment:
The 46-year-old Nelson also made it clear his goal is to be an NHL coach. But whether that happens because of success in Grand Rapids – or even how fast that might happen – wasn't his concern.
"Oh, I don't know. Right now the way my track record has been, I might be sticking around for a while," he said with a laugh. "But I just take each year the same way. Obviously, I have aspirations to be a head coach and had that opportunity last year and because of circumstances it didn't work out. In this position, you just take it day by day and hopefully at the end it's always positive. The future's unknown; you never know what can happen."
The Detroit organization knows the risks. They ran into it with Blashill, who attracted attention after winning the AHL title his first season and prompted to Red Wings to give him a new three-year extension after last season, when as many as six teams inquired about him.
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