The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/09/12 at 09:24 AM ET
Updated at 8:17 AM: The Red Wings and almost a dozen other NHL teams will begin pursuing a prototypical power forward today, someone who can add size, grit and especially goal-scoring acumen to the equation…And his name is Shane Doan. The Free Press’s Helene St. James isn’t sure whether Doan is really willing to leave Phoenix, despite his declaration that the potential ballot initiative designed to sink the Coyotes’ sale may very well be approved today, but she does believe that one of the Red Wings’ greatest antagonists of late will call the 35-year-old forward to see whether he’d be interested in playing the reverse snowbird’s role:
If Shane Doan is willing to listen, the Red Wings will pitch hard for him to come to Detroit. Doan has been an unrestricted free agent for more than a week, but his situation is different because he has been waiting to see how the ownership and arena situation in Glendale, Ariz., will play out. That is supposed to be cleared up today, though the issues could drag on into mid-July.
As of a few days ago, Doan let it be known he’d start taking offers from other teams this week. The Wings will make one, knowing Doan doesn’t want to leave Phoenix. In all likelihood, he’ll end up signing a one-year deal with the Coyotes, just in case the franchise ends up relocating.
If Doan gets the sense there is no long-term stability for the Coyotes, however, he could opt to sign a multiyear deal elsewhere. And the Wings believe they’re on the small list of teams he’d consider as a new home.
They hold appeal as an Original Six team, have stable ownership willing to spend money, have made the playoffs a record-setting 21 straight seasons and can offer Doan the chance to play next to Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg. Doan knows what the Wings are about, especially from having played on Canadian national teams next to Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, both now members of Detroit’s front office.
Doan is the prize free-agent forward still on the market, discounting Teemu Selanne as Anaheim is the only team he’s considering. Alexander Semin is the top under-30 forward available, but he made $6.7 million last season and only delivered 21 goals among 54 points in 77 regular-season games, followed by four points in 14 playoff games for the Capitals.
As St. James suggests, Doan’s combination of goal-scoring acumen, staying power, toughness and marketability mean that at least a dozen teams will pursue him, including several teams located closer to Doan’s adopted home…
And along those lines, the Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo offers a strange suggestion before suggesting that we should not count the Red Wings out in terms of making free agent fireworks. That first suggestion? That he wouldn’t trade Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall for Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, which is a position I’d agree with, but you might not. The important part of his article reads as follows:
The Red Wings moves this offseason have been underwhelming. In retrospect, the rash of injuries the Red Wings suffered after the trade deadline would have made it wise for general manager Ken Holland to add more depth at the trade deadline. His one move near the deadline, trading for defenseman Kyle Quincey, didn’t pan out. Quincey did not play well for the Red Wings to close the regular season nor during the playoffs.
But it is too early to dismiss this offseason, and certainly Holland as a general manager. His track record is one of the best in professional sports. And it’s too early to dismiss the Red Wings as a hockey team. They still have as good a shot as any team in the Western Conference to reach the Stanley Cup finals this coming season.
Getting Suter and Parise wasn’t going to make the organization. If anything, landing just one of the two would have created a false sense of where the Red Wings actually stand. Conversely, not landing them isn’t going to break the Red Wings.
This is still not a bad hockey team, and it remains a great organization.
If there is one team in this town that has earned trust, it’s the Red Wings. Reports of their demise just because they didn’t sign Zach Parise and/or Ryan Suter have been greatly exaggerated.
If you were wondering where the cross-sourced and cross-sourced rumor Sport-Express came up with regarding one Alex Semin being courted by the Penguins, Red Wings and CSKA Moscow came from—and I was wondering who the hell made up the numbers being bandied about—it came from another website that tends not to cite its sources regarding scoops in the Fourth Period:
The Detroit Red Wings may have lost out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but they are hoping their luck might change with another top unrestricted free agent.
The Wings are one of the teams interested in signing free agent sniper Alexander Semin, who has received more calls in the last few days since Parise left the market.
Semin, who made $6.7 million this past season, is expected to command a salary in the $5.5 million to $6 million range, though it’s unclear if there is a team interested and willing to sign him for more.
A source told TFP that KHL club CSKA has offered Semin a multi-year contract worth close to the salary he made this year, and while other KHL teams are also interested in signing him, his priority is to remain in the NHL.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland has spoken to several players, and their representatives, since July 1, but has been unable to lure a big name to Detroit.
Holland is also exploring the trade route, though it’s believed he’s primarily fishing for a defenseman. The Wings are believed to be interested in Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester and Phoenix’s Keith Yandle.
I’m not sure about the Semin part or the Yandle/Bouwmeester part as the former defenseman will require a premium price and the latter one has a $6.67 million cap hit, but I’ll give them the fifth paragraph.
In developmental news, Tomas Jurco may not have brought the razzle-dazzle with him to Sunday’s afternoon session at the Wings’ development camp, but he remains one of the Wings’ brightest prospects, and he spoke to the Left Wing Lock’s Sarah Lindenau about his goals as he prepares to turn pro and his very understandable concern about the transfer agreement the NHL and Slovakian Ice Hockey Federation have to hammer out before the Wings can sign him:
“The (transfer agreement) between the Slovak Federation and the NHL expired this summer,” Jurco explained. “They have to agree to a new one before I can officially sign. I don’t really know much about it, but they are working on the deal and then I will sign my contract.”
The 19 year-old forward is hoping to earn a full time roster spot with Grand Rapids next season and if that happens he could find himself playing alongside countryman and friend Tomas Tatar. At the very least Tatar should be a big help to Jurco as he makes the transition.
“Obviously it’s going to help if he and I are both in Grand Rapids,” he said. “I am sure he’ll give me some good advice because he has been there for three years.”
Jurco is anticipating the transition on the ice as well and is spending the off season increasing his strength and conditioning. If he makes the Griffins opening day roster, he’ll be one of the youngest players in the AHL next season and he will have to adapt to playing against older and stronger players.
“That is my goal this summer,” he said. “I want to put on weight and add strength so I can compete and be my best. I am going to work hard and hope that I will get an opportunity in the NHL in the next couple of years, but we will see.”
• You won’t see too much of this article as it’s a subscriber-only affair, but the Traverse City Record-Eagle’s James Cook confirms that a) Chris Chelios did indeed bring his paddleboards up to Traverse City and b) the Wings’ prospects are enjoying their stay in the Cherry Capital, both on and off the ice:
I think it’s excellent,” said assistant general manager of hockey administration Ryan Martin. “We used to hold it in Detroit, and there’s not a whole lot of opportunity for the players to do much meaningful things during the down time. This is great. We stay right on the beach. They’re working really hard here at the rink, but when they’re not here, they’re able to relax and have some down time. Between the downtown area and the baseball team and the beach and the watersports ... Chris Chelios always brings up paddleboards, so it’s a really good bonding experience.”
Assistant general manager Jim Nill called coming back to Traverse City a “no-brainer.”
“With the extra locker rooms that were added, it gives us extra room for all the guys,” he said. “You’ve got the city and the environment itself, so it’s a really nice set-up. It’s great to be back up here.”
The 41 players in camp will also be able to enjoy Cherry Festival this year if they so choose. Last year’s camp was at the tail end of the festival, but this year’s dates coincide with the meat of the event.
“Last year, we came right at the end of it,” Martin said, “so I don’t know that we were able to take in what that had to offer. So there’ll be even more things for us to do up here.”
Cook also says that Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard will be holding a goaltender’s clinic tonight and tomorrow at Centre Ice Arena, but every spot’s been spoken for, and Cook offers a suggestion for a “new grind line” consisting of Jordin Tootoo, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader:
“When you start talking about having Tootoo, Darren Helm and Abdelkader on the ice playing together — they’re going to cause a lot of trouble for opposing defensemen,” Nill said. “They’re going to get in on the forecheck. They can all skate, and they’re all physical. It just adds another element to our team that we haven’t had for awhile. They have a real edge to them.”
• Much further down the developmental line, Kris Draper posted the following yesterday evening:
According to the Edmonton Journal’s Cam Tait, the Toronto Bulldogs defeated the Junior Red Wings 4-0 in the championship game at the Brick Invitational Super Novice tournament in Edmonton on Sunday.
Also of Red Wings-related note:
• Sportbox.ru is holding a chat with CSKA Moscow GM and former Wing Sergei Fedorov today;
• DetroitRedWings.com’s Zack Crawford spoke to former Red Wing and Maple Leaf Tim Eccelstone about his “dual citizenship”;
• And while it’s not “new news,” the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan reminds us that the Wings have done a fantastic job of keeping key contributors from their Cup-winning teams in the organization:
Nicklas Lidstrom isn’t going to be entirely out of hockey.
Lidstrom retired after 20 Hall of Fame-bound seasons playing with the Red Wings, but he has decided to remain with the team in a yet-to-be-determined role.
Lidstrom will remain near his native Sweden.
He joins Jiri Fischer, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby as past Red Wings players currently in the Wings’ front office.
Update #2: Amongst USA Today’s Kevin Allen’s “Ten Biggest Offseason Surprises, this one is my favorite:
7. Renney joins Red Wings: You can argue about whether coach Tom Renney deserved to be fired in Edmonton, but you can’t argue about Renney’s reputation around the NHL. Given Renney’s international experience, it would have been easy to predict Renney coaching in Europe this season. Nobody saw him becoming Mike Babcock’s right-hand man.
These, not so much:
2. Jagr does Dallas: Based on the good fit Jaromir Jagr was on the Philadelphia Flyers last season, the general presumption was he would return there. He probably would have, had he been more patient with the Flyers organization. General manager Paul Holmgren wanted to take a run at Parise and Suter. Those negotiations caused havoc in the marketplace. Many free agents understood that and patiently waited for Parise and Suter to sign. Jagr didn’t. The Detroit Red Wings were interested, but they also were in the Suter/Parise sweepstakes. Nobody guessed Jagr would end up in Dallas, where the team has missed the playoffs the last four seasons. It was an exceptional signing for GM Joe Nieuwendyk. At 40, Jagr can still play in the top six and it sends a message that the Stars are in it to win it.
8. Red Wings, Rangers well below salary cap ceiling: The New York Rangers are almost $16 million below and the Red Wings are almost $17 million. That reflects two situations: There was a lack of players to spend big money available this summer, and there is power in cap space. The Rangers are still in pursuit of Rick Nash, and they seem like the team in the best position to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a quality return. They have to sign Michael Del Zotto and Anton Stralman. The Red Wings have to sign Kyle Quincey and Justin Abdelkader. They are reviewing their options, but they seem open to the possibility of carrying cap space forward with the hope of maximizing their buying power at the trade deadline next season or in the free agent marketplace next summer.
9. Doan considers leaving Phoenix: Shane Doan doesn’t want to leave the Coyotes, and it’s still possible he will stay. But the Coyotes’ ownership situation is not settled and he’s going to be bombarded this week by quality free agent offers. He might have the chance to be Crosby’s right wing or Pavel Datsyuk’s scorer or Mike Richards’ linemate. The majority of prime contenders covet Doan, who is a quality person, exceptional leader and still a heavy hitter and a 20-goal scorer.
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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.