The Malik Report
Updated with more Weiss talk and some Smith talk at 7:38 PM:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
General manager Ken Holland said concerns about cap space next summer, more than anything prompted the move.
"We didn't have cap issues for '15-16," Holland said. "We debated retaining him, given the (Pavel) Datsyuk injury. Over the last couple of days we talked about it. At the end of the day, because of 2016 and the people we got coming up (Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan, Peter Mrazek will need new contracts), people we want to keep, a year from now this (buyout) was going to be inevitable."
He added, "We're going to give younger players an opportunity to play. We got 14 forwards on board."
The move clears up cap space. The Red Wings are expected to make a pitch for offensive-minded defenseman Mike Green, the right-handed shooter they have been seeking. But they won't get into a bidding war for him. He could be seeking a five-year deal worth around $6 million a season.
"On defense, I'm kicking some tires," Holland said. "We got some cap space, certainly. We're positioned to do something if we so choose."
Update: Here's more from the Free Press's Helene St. James...
The hot rumor of the day has the Wings purusing Mike Green tomorrow, but Ken Holland doesn't sound like someone too enamored with free agents in an interview with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
“If we don’t do anything I’m satisfied heading into the season,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a phone interview. “We probably have interest on the market of guys that are shorter term rather than longer term, depending who they are. Our young players are going to be our future and are going to work their way into the lineup and allow us to be competitive,” Holland added.
Holland shares quite a bit of team philosophy with Pleiness:
Updated 5x at 5:34 PM: Surprise surprise:
What do you do to keep busy? "I do watch some games at home with our Swedish scout Hakan Andersson and I'm helping out with my kids, my youngest son's hockey team now. I started out with my 14-year-old the last couple of years, but this fall I'm helping out with my 11-year-old. That's been a lot of fun. I also do some business on the side. I am involved with some real estate business in Sweden. But I really enjoy helping my son's team, especially the young kids. They love being at the rink. They love being on the ice. They love playing games. It's fun to see them develop. It's great being around the kids all the time now."
Do you feel that when you're around them you absolutely have their attention? I mean, you're Nicklas Lidstrom, they know who you are, right? "Maybe not my own kids (laughs). Sometimes what I say gets through to them, but sometimes I'm just like any other dad talking to the kids and they'll block me out. I'm not giving them a whole lot of advice all the time. I give them some pointers here and there. Not my kids, but the other kids are really in more awe than my sons. That's great. Those young kids ask a ton of questions all the time."
The Red Wings and Vili Saarijarvi are preparing for the Finnish prospect to turn pro with Karpat Oulu of the FInnish Liiga, but if he changes his mind, MLive's Aaron McMann reports that the Flint Firebirds would like to convince him to play in the U.S.:
Vili Saarijarvi, a 5-foot-10, 163-pound defenseman selected by the Red Wings in the third round of last weekend's NHL Draft, was picked ninth overall by Flint in Tuesday's Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
Saarijarvi, of Rovaniemi, Finland, told the media over the weekend he has plans to play junior hockey in his native Finland next season, but the Firebirds are hoping to use their close locale to keep in Michigan following Red Wings development camp in Traverse City July 3-7.
"It's not up to us as to where the boy plays, it's up to the Red Wings," Flint general manager Terry Christensen said. "And I'm sure they'll make a decision as to where they want him and hope that he'll reap the benefit of playing in the Ontario Hockey League."
Christensen had a chance to watch Saarijarvi, 18, play in the U-18 World Hockey Championships in Switzerland in April, where he was named Most Valuable Defenseman and assistant captain for runner-up Finland, and considers him an offensive defenseman with good leadership skills.
"The one thing I really liked about him is that he played in all the tough situations for Finland," Christensen said. "This guy anchored their power play, and of course in a tournament like that you get so many opportunities against great teams. He was always one of the first guys to put others over the boards and quarterback their power play."
"We're hopeful that everything gets worked out and he'll be playing in Flint next year," Christensen said. "I did talk to Vili and we expressed to him how excited we were to have been able to draft him. He was very, very excited that we did draft him. He wants to be in Michigan. He wants to be as close as he possibly can to the Detroit situation."
Updated 5x at 4:54 PM:
Here's the Red Wings' press release:
I don't see a "fit" here, but the Free Press's Helene St. James does:
Should the Detroit Red Wings take a chance on a just-discarded big Russian who shoots right-handed?
The Carolina Hurricanes used the last chance possible this year to affect a buyout, putting Alexander Semin on waivers Tuesday, the first step toward a buyout. The Wings had considered doing so with underperforming Stephen Weiss but opted not to, especially after weekend news of surgery to Pavel Datsyuk.
Semin, 31, has his assets -- he's 6-foot-2 and 200-pound right-shooting right wing, which, in and of itself, appeals to the Wings, a stable full of lefties. He'd make them heavier, which is something they lack especially with Johan Franzen's future iffy. Semin is a former 40-goal scorer who had 22 goals as recently as 2013-14. But he's spotty, too -- last season saw him produce just 19 points in 57 games.
Some team will take a chance on him when he becomes a UFA, and it'd make sense for the Wings to get into the mix if Semin can be had as a reclamation project (say, one year and $2 million). Semin would be crazy not to want to come play in Detroit with Datsyuk, even though that might not happen till November.
She also addresses the Weiss buyout, or the lack thereof:
Updated 2x at 12:34 PM: The Red Wings didn't waive Stephen Weiss today, so he's going to remain a Wing unless the team can find a trade partner.
Edit: The Wings have until 5 PM to buy him out, but the practice of putting players on waivers almost always happens at noon EDT.
Update: Here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness on Weiss:
Is there a lawyer in the house? Paul just received this email from DirecTV regarding the antitrust case against the NHL's Center Ice/GameCenter Live package, and it sounds like the result = fans will be able to purchase individual team packages for 20% less than the entire Center Ice package. There's a whole bunch of legal gobbledeygook in here, however, so we're both asking for someone to translate this into plain English if that is at all possible:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NOTICE TO PERSONS WHO PURCHASED GAME CENTER LIVE FROM THE NHL OR PURCHASED NHL CENTER ICE FROM COMCAST OR DIRECTV
You Have an Opportunity to Subscribe to Discounted Individual Team Packages through NHL GameCenter LIVE and You May Have Access to Free NHL Center Ice Programming through Comcast or DIRECTV
A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
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