The Malik Report
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
With their playoff hopes all but over, the Red Wings (24-26-10) know some of their teammates could be wearing different uniforms soon but it's not something anyone wanted to address after the loss to the Islanders.
"That's probably a question for someone else," captain Henrik Zetterberg said when asked about the possibility of some trades before the March 1 deadline. "As players we can only focus on what we can do in here."
General manager Ken Holland has said if the Red Wings' playoff hopes are dim as the deadline approaches he would attempt to unload some of his assets with an eye on the future.
That means the Red Wings could become sellers any day now....
So what does coach Jeff Blashill think about the possibility of losing some of his veteran players?
"I have no comment on that," Blashill said. "We'll have 20 guys good enough to win a hockey game on Tuesday against Vancouver. That's all I'm worried about."
But with that in mind, what was the message Blashill gave his team before they scattered after the loss to the Islanders ended a two-game winning streak?
"It's the same message we've had all year," Blashill said. "We got to come on that Monday and get better at practice and try to win a hockey game in Vancouver. There's no other message.
The Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders was an incredibly frustrating end to a pre-"Bye Week" schedule that saw Detroit defeat the Capitals and Penguins, but come home and lay an egg--if not a pancake--and I'd argue that this goal may symbolize the Red Wings' season in a nutshell:
Individual player gets mis-direction, tries to do too much himself right away instead of waiting for a better play, flub, goal against, there's your 2016-17 campaign (and Mrazek redeemed himself with some superb saves, too).
If you can't out-score your mistakes, you're not going anywhere but the golf course come April, and now the Red Wings' players will go on their "Bye Week" vacations with some wondering whether they'll return to Detroit to do more than gather their belongings and head out to play for another team.
Our friends from Brooklyn were delighted to spoil the Wings' evening, and they were doubly delighted because the team overcame the in-game losses of Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas, as they told NewYorkIslanders.com's Cory Wright:
NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the Red Wings' trade deadline plans, and while Holland is most likely going to "sell," it doesn't sound like he's going to clean house:
The Red Wings squeaked into the playoffs last season with 93 points, breaking a tie with the Bruins with one more win in regulation or overtime. Just to reach 93 points this season, they would need 35 points in their final 22 games. Are they going to go 17-4-1, 16-3-3, 15-2-5 or 14-1-7?
"By simple math," Holland said, "we're going to have to have an incredible finish to make it."
Holland has started working already.
"The last week or so, the phones have been busier, both from me receiving calls and me making calls," Holland said.
The question is what Holland has to sell, however.
We know that Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott and Brendan Smith (and, as Cotsonika notes, Drew Miller [edit: and of course Tomas Jurco /end edit]) are available, but that may be it--if the Wings don't re-sign them first:
"I've had a couple brief conversations with the agents for [the unrestricted free agents] to kind of gauge what they're thinking," Holland said. "We're going to make some decisions between now and next Wednesday."
Cotsonika continues, discussing the fact that the Wings may be able to trade and then re-sign Vanek in the summer, but he notes that Brendan Smith is a little more apprehensive about the possibility of leaving the Wings, as Smith told the press on Tuesday.
Quick update: Take what the AP's Larry Lage has to say about Vanek for what you will:
MLive's Ansar Khan and Brendan Savage report that the Red Wings will reassign Jared Coreau to the Grand Rapids Griffins for the Griffins' back-to-backs against Milwaukee this weekend, but their news about Jimmy Howard isn't as encouraging (though it solves some cap problems):
Update: Here's more from Khan:
The Detroit Red Wings attempted to stretch their winning streak to three games at the expense of the New York Islanders, who opened a massive 9-game road trip at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday evening.
The Red Wings came out and laid an egg, coughing up the puck on each and every one of their goals en route to a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders that stung, stung and stung some more going into the "Bye Week."
Per Chris Nichols...
And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa (McKenzie says the Wings are getting calls on Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott as well):
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, the playoffs are already underway, and Alexander Kadeikin had 3 shots and played 14:43 in Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's 2-1 win over Dynamo Minsk;
And in the Swiss NLA league, Joren van Pottelberghe stopped 16 of 17 shots in HC Davos' 4-1 win over Ambri-Piotta;
And here's the Grand Rapids Griffins' weekly press release:
Of multimedia-related note this evening:
1. The Red Wings are honoring Alex Delvecchio this evening, and they posted a Twitter video of the tribute they'll play at the rink this evening:
2. The Grand Rapids Griffins recently held "Lego night" at Van Andel Arena, posting three stop-motion videos...
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. The Red Wings posted their Game-Day Preview video ahead of tonight's game against the Islanders. Ken Kal sets up the game with coach Jeff Blashill, Anthony Mantha, Justin Abdelkader
2. Fox Sports Detroit's "The 313's" Rachel Elliott discusses the Red Wings' strong weekend worth of hockey...via Mickey Redmond:
Updated 2x at 1:27 PM: The Red Wings' morning skate and game day news cycle ahead of tonight's game against the Islanders (7:30 PM on FSD/MSG+ 2/97.1 FM) offered few surprises or scoops, but Brendan Smith did address the possibility that he might be traded, as noted by the Free Press's Helene St. James in text and video form...
“I only know Red Wings hockey and I like it,” Smith said after the morning skate. “That’s all I can say. I’ve loved every moment here, good and bad. They have made me a better player. I would like to continue to stay on the Wing path, but there is a business, and you never know what happens.”
The Wings have five defensemen under contract for next season, and Nick Jensen and Xavier Ouellet are restricted free agents this summer. Smith might not be back anyways, so trading him now to a team looking to go on a playoff run (Pittsburgh, for example, needs help on defense with two significant injuries) could yield a good return.
Smith says he will think about it as little as possible. He plans to be in Fort Lauderdale during the break, fitting in beach time around visiting his brother Reilly, who plays for the Florida Panthers. Smith said his brother, who has been traded twice, “has given me some good insight” into what it is like. “But really,” Smith said, “I am hoping to stick around and see how everything goes.
“I won't really think about it too much. If something happens, my agent will let me know, or I will see it on social media. It’s all speculation.”
St. James continues with Jeff Blashill's takes, and here's her video of Smith's comments:
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.