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Red Wings mid-day tidbits: Hudler’s on the block, Toledo rocks and the Wings plug a sponsor

Updated with more tidbit-style news at 6:23 PM: Because three tidbits of Red Wings-related news and a reference to the overnight report are better than nothing on what seems to be shaking up as a quiet day news-wise:

• Let’s just say that when Lyle Richardson suggests that the Red Wings have a player who’s already a “candidate” to be traded if he struggles, it’s not hard to figure out which player he picked:

Jiri Hudler, Detroit Red Wings: A year ago, the Red Wings were looking forward to Hudler’s return from the Kontinental League, anticipating a possible career-best performance. Instead, he put up the worst numbers of his NHL career since 2006-07, with only 37 points. Hudler will be expected to rebound from that poor performance, but a recent report out of Detroit suggested if he struggles early, he’ll end up on the trade block.

Again, some Wings fans have talked about moving Valtteri Filppula instead, but Hudler’s got 1 year and $3 million in real-world dollars left on a contract with a $2.78 million cap hit, while Filppula’s both a little more important to the team in terms of his status as a second-line center in waiting and a player whose $3 million cap hit belies 2 years at $3.5 million per season in real-world dollars remaining on his contract. In an ideal world, Hudler bounces back and proves his critics (me included) wrong, and I’ll be rooting for him, too, but if he continues to display an inconsistent work ethic, he’s outta here…

• According to the Toledo Mud Hens and Sports Page Magazine’s Jason Griffin, Toledo was named the 13th-best minor league market in the country by SportsBusiness Journal, which the Mud Hens and the Wings’ ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, are absolutely delighted to hear (and this quote is from Griffin’s article):

Toledo Mud Hens and Walleye General Manager, Joe Napoli added, “This is yet another feather in the cap for the Toledo region.  What a wonderful honor to be considered one of the top minor league markets in the country.  We have top notch facilities, terrific support from our corporate partners, and the best fans in the country.  All of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan should celebrate this news.  It is something we can all be proud of.” 

“The Mud Hens organization is an integral part of the Greater Toledo area on a year-round basis,” said Mud Hens Board Member Shirley Timonere.  “Participation in community charity benefits, providing family-friendly ballpark and hockey venues, and a genuine interest in enhancing the community, have brought the recognition which is well-deserved”

“Undoubtedly, two of the crown jewels in our community are the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye,” said Dean Monske, President and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership.  “Growing communities are ones that adequately address quality of life issues, and our minor league sports teams are assets which enhance our region.  This recognition for Toledo is certainly something the RGP can use in selling the benefits of living and working in this region.”

• And we already know that the Wings have Amway patches on their practice jerseys, so it should come as no surprise that Red Wings TV posted a clip of Wings trainer Piet Van Zant heading to California to learn about the benefits of Amway’s “Nutrilite” supplement as it is personally tailored to athletes by the “Amway Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health”:

Update: These are really random….

• Via RedWingsFeed, Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov reported the following on Twitter:

Like a year ago, Kovalchuk and Ovechkin will play in a charity game “From a pure heart.” August 31, Moscow. #NHLDevils #Washcaps
A year ago Kovy and Ovy raised about 0,5 million dollars. Kovalchuk wants to see this game as a tradition at the end of summer.
Vyacheslav Kozlov will also play, Zharkov ... All money will go to help children with cancer.
Kovalchuk said me - Datsyuk promised to come. Malkin will play. Money will go to the orphanage for blind, deaf, dumb child #DetroitRedWings

• In the popularity contest department, Todd Bertuzzi is still leading “Operation Bobblehead’s” last voting period, which ends on Monday;

• In multimedia, the Free Press finally picked up on the fact that Gordie Howe was named the last of the NHL’s “Legends” for EA Sports’ NHL 12;

• In prospect news, RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau’s posted the St. Louis Blues’ roster for this September’s prospect tournament in Traverse City, MI, joining the confirmed rosters of the Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and the Wings, and for some reason, the OHL posted a press release acknowledging that Erie Otters goalie Ramis Sadikov will join the Wings as a try-out this evening;

• And you can thank TheDanban123 on YouTube for a little Summer Babcock:


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cowboycoffee's avatar

whenever i hear Hudler trade-talk, all i think about is ComradeChris’s awful trade proposals on HF boards. Do you think we’ll get Malkin and a 2nd for Huds?

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 08/19/11 at 03:57 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I almost feel sorry for Happy.  It must be awful being him.  Knowing the team tried to trade him in the early summer and nobody would bite, and now knowing if he doesn’t come through, he’s gone. 

But like I said, I almost feel sorry for Happy.  His fate was in his hands.  If he’d played worth a damn last season (and had a better attitude), he wouldn’t be in this position.

If, after camp, the coaching staff believes there are enough forwards not including Happy, could they simply put him on waivers?

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 08/19/11 at 04:13 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 08/19/11 at 01:57 PM ET

I think that’s why Doughty is holding out, actually. LA is trying to lowball him so they can make a more attractive trade offer for Hudler. They need a guy who can finish some plays for Kopitar and Richards.  cheese

Posted by awould on 08/19/11 at 04:15 PM ET


We all know what Hudler is capable of from his 2008-09 season. If you just look at his overall simple stats he really hasn’t done as terrible as people claim. I hate seeing when its the players mentality affecting their game because its obvious the talent is there aka Franzen. Hopefully he can start producing like all the hype predicted but at this point its on his work ethic/determination.

Posted by CourtneyDunagan on 08/19/11 at 04:34 PM ET


Hudler understands what he needs to do to hold his position with the Wings.  If he can do that without pressing too hard, he probably will have a much better seasons than he had last year.  I do think Hudler has an issue with chemistry.  I do not see him as a player who compliments anyone on the current roster.  As has been suggested, he might work better with some of the LA players, but the LA management would be out of its minds to trade Doughty, who is by far their best player, for him unless they get a whole lot to boot.


Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 08/19/11 at 05:06 PM ET


If da Wings give Happy a night with a hooker for every five goals he scores and a three-way for every ten goals he scores, Happy is a shoo in for the Rocket Richard Trophy.

Posted by Da Pimp from Cass Corridor on 08/19/11 at 05:50 PM ET

awould's avatar

As has been suggested, he might work better with some of the LA players…

I was joking. Doughty would be the best player on a lot of teams and Hudler will never be confused with a player that finishes.

I wish he’d work out though, I always liked him before. This past season was very frustrating.

Posted by awould on 08/19/11 at 06:02 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

some Wings fans have talked about moving Valtteri Filppula instead

I’ve been in off-season mode for a while.

Are there seriously people on these boards suggesting that?

Are they insane?

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 08/19/11 at 06:21 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

@awuld EXACTLY

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 08/19/11 at 06:42 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

some Wings fans have talked about moving Valtteri Filppula instead

I’ve been in off-season mode for a while.

Are there seriously people on these boards suggesting that?

Are they insane?

Agreed - I still don’t understand the Fil trade talk.  Sure he’s underachieved too, but he’s got way bigger upside compared to Happy, not to mention actual physical size compared to our favourite midget pimp.

Just stick Fil as a winger on a line with a good center, and we’re golden.  He’s got a lot more potential, in my opinion, as a winger in the Top 6 compared to Bert or Cleary (and I’m a big Cleary fan).  As in, he actually belongs in the Top 6, whereas I see the two mentioned above, along with Hudler (in his current state) as belonging on the third line (on the Wings…other teams are another story).

Posted by BrendonTO on 08/19/11 at 06:42 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Are they insane?
Posted by Mandingo

I think it is more like ‘batshit crazy’.  The same crowd with unreasonable expectations for Abby, and forgetting that Happy was way overrated before heading off to Europe.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 08/19/11 at 06:50 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

The same crowd with unreasonable expectations for Abby

Didn’t he score 50 goals in Junior?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 08/19/11 at 07:15 PM ET


Agreed - I still don’t understand the Fil trade talk.

Detroit’s been trying to trade Hudler since at least the draft and nobody wants him, so if he ends up being a bust for us later on, what kind of value will he have then?  I don’t agree with trading Fil, but I absolutely understand the talk. He’s an underachiever who still has some serious untapped potential.  He’s not particularly expensive.  And he’s not really a “core” member of the team.

Simply, if Detroit wants to improve and not deal picks or prospects, Fil really is the best option probably.  Getting a bag of pucks for Hudler at the deadline isn’t going to help the Wings much…

Again, I wouldn’t want the Wings to trade Fil, but playing devil’s advocate I can completely understand it in comparison to the idea of trading Hudler.

Posted by Garth on 08/19/11 at 07:16 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Is it hockey season yet?  If Happy can’t get it together in his contract year, who would want him?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 08/19/11 at 07:22 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Red Wings on the J.J. from Kansas trading block in order from most-to-least tradeable.

My own soul
Everybody else.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/19/11 at 07:35 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/19/11 at 05:35 PM ET

I pretty much agree with that. Though I’d be willing to trade your soul before Filppula and Franzen. Maybe even Abdelkader.

If Filppula and Franzen showed some consistency, I’d move them into the ‘no trade’ category too.

Posted by awould on 08/19/11 at 07:43 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Didn’t he score 50 goals in Junior?
Posted by Nate A

I thought that was Maltby

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 08/19/11 at 08:32 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Abdelkader’s best college hockey season with the Spartans produced 19 goals, 21 assists and 40 points over the course of 41 regular season and playoff games.

Helm’s best season with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers yielded 41 goals, 38 assists and 79 points over the course of 70 games.

It was Maltby who posted 50 goals and 91 points for the Owen Sound Platers way back in 1991.

And there are some updates to the post above. Just tidbits, but the Babcock video’s pretty cool.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/19/11 at 08:38 PM ET

Nate A's avatar


I was just kidding. No way I could forget Maltby scored 50 in junior after so many years of Ken and Mick.

Honestly I don’t expect Abby to become anything more than DMac light. I think 3rd line is where he will top out, and right now I think even that is to high for him. He’s not savvy enough yet to get the extra minutes. I like the kid well enough, but I think he’s expendable.

I don’t expect Helm to ever stick with the top 2 lines either. But he’s certainly further along, and with his tenacity is a better fit for it than Abby. As much as he draws Draper comparisons, Helm is far more dynamic than Draper was. Love seeing him crash and bang, but I think he cold hold his own with the 2nd line for a time if pressed.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 08/19/11 at 09:16 PM ET

rrasco's avatar

God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.  Talking about trading Flip and Mule….that’s just insane.  We do need better consistency out of them though.

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 08/19/11 at 09:21 PM ET


Filppula is the world’s longest work-in-progress.  Every year there seems to be a little more than the year before - a little stronger on his skates last year versus the year before.  Honest to Howe, two seasons ago it would seem he would fall down if an opposing player sneezed.

Perhaps this is “the year”.  Again.  There is no reason to not expect 20 goals/50 points, and a firm spot on line 2.  It is so much more fun when the Twins are playing together on #1 anyway.

Posted by Colquohoun from Where the world ends, MN on 08/19/11 at 09:55 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

i’d trade J.J. from Kansas’ soul for Shane Doan, but then we’d be down a soul.

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 08/20/11 at 04:35 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

• And you can thank TheDanban123 on YouTube for a little Summer Babcock:

I really enjoyed that video!  I have a question, though.  When I talk to my doctor about viagra, what should I say?


Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 08/20/11 at 11:01 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I swung about 180 degrees on Abdelkader from the start of the 2009 season to the spring of 2011.  2009 he was forced into a lot of NHL minutes at the start of the season when he was supposed to be maturing in GR.  He was on the ice for a lot of goals against along with Ericcssson.

This past season he was a team leading +15 on just 18 even strength points, 19 total points. 

This is an astonishingly frugal amount of goals against when he was on the ice, and he was on the ice 10th of all forwards total time on ice, #9 forwards even strength.

This ratio of +/- to total points is crazy high, the highest in the league among forwards.

In short, this shows there were only several goals against the Red Wings when he was on the ice even strength during the entire season.  He was extremely responsible defensively and well positioned to clear rebounds.

His numbskull penalties in several games against the Sharts were baffling, hopefully will learn. 

I don’t expect to ever see high offensive numbers from him, but he’s developing into an extremely solid player.

Posted by RWBill on 08/20/11 at 03:28 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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