The Malik Report
Earlier this afternoon, while hockey Twitter was imploding, the Detroit News's Tony Paul reported some unsettling news if you're a hockey fan starved for hockey talk under the Flagship Station's reign: Detroit Sports 105.1 FM got the axe, and with it went the possibility that sports talk radio listneers' ears might hear hockey talk outside WDFN's Matt Sheppard show and late night Pat Caputo on 97.1 (to be fair, when they do make hockey a priority on The Ticket, they do it very well, but they don't do it often).
The Detroit News's Paul broke down DS 105.1 FM's demise:
Around 6 p.m., oldies started to play on WMGC and the station’s website, app and Facebook page were deactivated or replaced with other content.
The news comes after Detroit Sports 105.1 failed to take any significant chunk of WXYT-FM 97.1 The Ticket’s audience since launching in August 2013.
Greater Media officials have said the sports format would be a long-term play of at least five years, but decided to change in recent weeks after firing their second program director, Dave Shore, in May, and, after some initial replacement feelers halting the search.
“Quite honestly, what changed is that we didn’t see the growth coming,” said Steve Chessare, vice president/market manager for Greater Media Detroit. “It’s a business, obviously, and my job is to deliver revenue to the bottom line, and we think we gave it a good shot and I’m proud of every single person at that radio station. I thought we did a great job as far as delivering content. ... It didn’t take hold in Detroit.”
Paul continues, and for someone who was listening to Sean Baligian and Darren McCarty interview USA Today's Kevin Allen on podcast Tuesday...This is a real bummer.
Author's note: It appears that Paul was not the person who "broke the story," as it were. No offense was intended toward the person who did so by posting Paul's story.
Updated at 12:17 AM with some bummer tweets: The reactions to Steven Stamkos' decision to remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning have ranged from disappointed and angry to just plain old angry in the comments sections of more than a few blogs, this one included, and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's revelation that the Wings were never invited to make an in-person pitch to Stamkos' agents just pours some salt in the wound...
But my gut feeling was always that Stamkos was probably going to stay in Tampa Bay as his best opportunity to win was always already around him, so while I'm very disappointed that the Red Wings were unable to add a superstar to the mix, I wasn't pinning my hopes and dreams on someone other than Sergei Fedorov being the last player to wear #91 in red and white.
I'm not in the mood to question whether there's an indictment on Ken Holland, who's gone back from genius to moron (again) in the eyes of most Wings fans, now that the Wings' sales pitch (remember the draft? They were able to make one; the team just couldn't technically discuss term or money, which was probably hinted at regardless of the rules) didn't work.
Now it's about finding the right "Plan B," and with Kyle Okposo, David Backes, Andrew Ladd, Mikkel Boedeker, Loui Eriksson, Frans Nielsen, Troy Brouwer, Milan Lucic (assuming he doesn't sign with Edmonton), Eric Staal, Matt Martin, Jason Demers, Kris Russell and a host of other free agents available (including bought-out players like Fedor Tyutin), the Wings need to crunch the numbers, crunch stats both advanced and conventional and out-smart the competition to snag the right player at the right pri...
What's that, you want to get the anger and disappointment out of the way? Well, 97.1 the Ticket's Pat Caputo provides for your needs:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"We've got cap space. We'd like to sign somebody. We got to let this system play itself out," Holland said Wednesday. "Some of these guys might re-sign with their teams. I think there's probably 10 or 12 teams doing the same thing we're doing and we'll see what happens over the next week."
The top players on the market will cost between $5 million and $6 million a season. The cap hit isn't a concern, but there are risks in giving too much term to an older player (30 or 32), especially someone who plays a physical game like Brouwer or Backes.
Nielsen is 32, but doesn't have the hard miles on him. He's a skilled two-way center. That's the hole they must plug and that's why Nielsen might be their main target with an offer of a five-year deal for around $5.5 million.
Okposo's age (28) also sets him apart from some of the older free agents.
Holland didn't rule out the possibility of re-signing Darren Helm, who has been talking to other teams this week. If Helm isn't re-signed, the Red Wings might make a pitch for Matt Martin, a 6-foot-3, 221-pound bruising winger who led the NHL in hits last season with the New York Islanders.
To this, I can only reply, "Ouch." I know Holland did some wining and dining with Don Meehan at the draft, but...
Good news for the Red Wings' developmental system:
Update: The Walleye's YouTube channel posted an 8-minute interview with Watson:
Well, it was fun while it was possible:
Update #2: No sign and trade:
The Toledo Walleye are going to officially name Dan Watson their head coach a little later this afternoon, and the Walleye's two former coaches, Nick Vitucci and Derek Lalonde, gave their highest recommendations and strongest compliments to the long-time assistant in conversations with the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:
Lalonde said he predicts Watson will have immediate success. Lalonde said he expects as many as 12 players from last year’s team that went 47-20-5 and earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs will want to return due in part to the hiring.
“He had overwhelming support from our core players. I think he can retain a lot of the guys. He is the coach that the guys wanted,” Lalonde said. “Dan will have that nucleus back and he will have some tough decisions to make. This is a place where players want to be now.”
Vitucci said Watson has grown as a coach and knows the ins and outs of the ECHL.
“Now he has learned from a couple of different coaches how to handle certain situations,” Vitucci said. “He's been in the league long enough to have great contacts with agents and other coaches.”
Vitucci said the amount of video work Watson put in bettered himself and the team.
“The hours are endless that he has put in front of his computer,” Vitucci said. “He’s ready to be an NHL assistant with how good he is with video. It’s a perfect fit for both the Walleye and Dan Watson. He will do a great, great job.”
Ken Holland told The Fan 960's "Boomer and Pinder" that he'd rather spend excessive money on two goaltenders in Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard than have one flame out and have no back-up this upcoming season.
The Free Press's Helene St. James questions whether that's a good idea in asking whether the Wings should, "Buy, sell or hold" with Howard, examining the Wings' options with #35, six years' worth of a buyout included:
This is where a buyout comes into the picture. It’d be very costly, though, in term. It'd be two-thirds of Howard’s remaining salary, averaged out over twice the amount of years left. So $14.75 million over six years.
Thanks to the handy buyout calculator offered by the website http://www.generalfanager.com here&,#39;s a breakdown of the money situation:
Updated with an unusual Tweet at 2:25 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. Red Wing GM Ken Holland appeared on Sportsnet's The Fan 960 on Wednesday, speaking with "Boomer and Pinder" regarding the team's free agency strategy, the Datsyuk trade--as well as Datsyuk's desire to go home--and more over the course of a 21-minute interview:
Quoting Sportsnet's Luke Fox:
Of Red Wings-related note:
1. Ken Holland appeared on TSN 1050's Naylor and Landsberg show, admitting that the Red Wings are interested in Steven Stamkos and "lots of players," but stating that the Red Wings continue to contact agents and players as the team doesn't want to see a free agent go elsewhere and have no more options. Dave Naylor and Mike Landsberg ask Holland a whole bunch of good questions, and Holland answers some of them, including whether the team can pay a player $12 million (which Holland suggests is a decision you make on the fly):
2. Via Steven Choate, the website for Centre Ice Arena now has a short development camp schedule;
3. MLive's Tom Mitsos examined the "fit" of Steven Stamkos and 5 other free agents via advanced stats;
4. And MLive's Ansar Khan examines Stamkos' fit with 8 teams over the course of a 13-image photo gallery, strangely stating that the Wings have "no star players" in their developmental system.
Update #2: We can only hope that the Fourth Period is accurate about the Wings' interest in Demers:
On the blueline, the Wings are not expected to re-sign defenseman Kyle Quincey, and are believed to be eyeing the likes of Dallas Stars' rearguards Jason Demers and Kris Russell.
Depending on whether or not Stamkos signs in Detroit, and for now much, the Red Wings are being extremely active in their pursuit of bolstering their roster for the 2016-17 campaign.
About The Malik Report
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.