The Malik Report
Updated 9x at 1:07 AM...This sort of turned into an overnight report: Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave provides a post-Erik Cole trade update from Red Wings GM Ken Holland, and let's just say that the probability of the Wings making another trade seems a little diminished...
"I've been on the phone, talking with a number of teams," Holland said. "We'd feel good about adding one more piece, but prices seem to be kind of set, and they're relatively steep in terms of futures."
By futures he means draft picks and young prospects -- the kind of players he sent to Dallas: defenseman Mattias Backman, Detroit's fifth-round pick (146th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft; and center Mattias Janmark, the Wings third-round pick (79th overall) in 2013. Holland compared the final day before the trade deadline to July 1 -- the opening day of the NHL's free-agent season -- when unrestricted players are free to sign with any club of their choosing.
"There are a lot of players we'd like to add that would be good fits for our team," Holland said. "I'm gauging the price."
Holland also told Gave that he's very happy with the play of Alexey Marchenko, and that he believes the worries over the Wings' size have...been blown out of proportion...
"I'm hoping that the experience of the Boston series last year is going to benefit us," he said. "And we've added some bigger guys since then, too. Marchenko is bigger. Riley Sheahan (6-3, 220 pounds) is a man. And Luke Glendening (5-11, 200) isn't big, but he plays heavy. We've played in some pretty tough places recently -- Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville -- and our skill players keep going through the process of getting to the hard areas where they need to be to succeed."
And Gave had assumed that Jonas Gustavsson would be traded, but he's found that Holland doesn't plan on parting ways with the Monster:
Updated 20x at 9:50 PM:
Cole is 36 and is a 6'2," 210-pound forward who has registered 18 goals, 15 assists and 33 points in 57 games played for Jim Nill's Dallas Stars thus far. He's in the last year of a 4-year, $18 million contract, so his cap hit is $4.5 million this season.
Dallas can have Backman....
Update #3: MLive's Ansar Khan is confirming...
Here's your evening Red Wings trade deadline eve update from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, who spoke with Ken Holland this evening:
“There’s a small list of players we have some interest in that we think would be a good fit for our team, but I understand there’s other teams in the buyers category and sometimes the price is too high,” Holland said. “But sometimes the price is the same, but the other team’s pick might be higher or they like the other team’s prospect over ours.”
The player they would bring in has to provide an important element and dimension to the roster. A top four defenseman that shoots right handed or a winger that can provide offense could fit that bill.
It appears the asking price for any of the players Detroit, which has close to $9 million in cap space, has on its list is a prospect and second-round pick in return.
“I would love to make a deal to make us a little bit better, to upgrade us a little bit, but I also feel with the way, not only with the way our players are playing here in Detroit, but the development of our young players in Grand Rapids I feel good about the depth,” Holland said. “I understand they’re young players and when we get into the Stanley Cup playoffs that you’re not sure how they’re going to react, but as you look at other teams out there, the league is younger. Because of the cap there are lots of good young players. We might have a lot of young players on our team, but do the other teams.”
Pleiness continues, and, well...
“If we can make a move, I would love to, but if we have some conversations and some of the teams choose to go in a different direction and we don’t make a move I’m comfortable when three o’clock rolls around and we don’t make a move,” Holland continued. “Would I like to make a move? Yes, if it’s for a player we think, at a price that we can live with.”
MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James at least issued neutral reports about Darren Helm's health after getting smeared into the boards by Seth Jones yesterday. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that as of Sunday evening, Helm's prognosis is not quite as rosy:
Darren Helm’s injury free life appears to be no more. Helm was injured in the first period of Saturday’s over the Nashville Predators.
“It appears he’s out for a bit of time,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I have no idea until we know the severity of the injury.”
Helm is scheduled to have an MRI performed Monday.
The Wings don't play again until they host the Rangers on Wednesday, but they then embark upon a stretch of 4 games in 6 nights and 7 in 12 nights.
I'm not in the, "Go after Phaneuf" camp, even after the New York Rangers acquired Keith Yandle today, but the Hockey News's Ken Campbell believes that, should the Red Wings acquire Mr. Phaneuf, they may end up acquiring a Larry Murphy-style ace in the hole:
This much we know: the Leafs are exploring the possibilities of trading Phaneuf and the Red Wings are looking for a defenseman. Detroit GM Ken Holland and Toronto GM David Nonis have spoken leading up to the trade deadline and the Red Wings will almost certainly be adding a defenseman tomorrow. With Keith Yandle just about off the market, that leaves one fewer defensemen for Detroit to pursue.
One person close to the situation called the chance Phaneuf becomes a Red Wing by Monday afternoon remote. The more likely situation is the deal gets done in the summer, but with a limited no-trade clause, it’s almost certain that Phaneuf’s days in Toronto are coming to an end, either by tomorrow or after this season. But the Wings are looking and the Leafs have a defenseman, so you never know what can happen between now and Monday afternoon.
If the Red Wings are going to add a body on their blueline by tomorrow, why not Phaneuf? As maligned as he is, Phaneuf in the right situation with the right team could be a useful addition. The biggest impediment in acquiring Phaneuf is that he has a salary cap hit of $7 million per year for each of the next six seasons. That means either the Leafs are going to have to eat some of that salary or take a less-than-stellar contract back. Stephen Weiss – who just happens to be the nephew of Leafs assistant coach Steve Spott – and his $4.9 million for the next three seasons comes to mind, and the Leafs might be able to get a player such as Jakub Kindl in the deal.
“We’re exploring if there’s players out there that would make our team better,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re not looking for a lateral moves. If there’s only lateral moves or the price is higher than we’re prepared to pay, we won’t do anything.”
(Lateral moves are bad during the trade deadline but OK during the summer. Hm.)
Prior to the start of the season, members of the Detroit brass quietly acknowledged that if Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk regained their health and enjoyed big years, if goalie Jimmy Howard rebounded from a poor 2013-14 season, if depth players like Helm again became factors and the Wings’ younger players took another step forward in their progress and the club was a legitimate contender in the East, then they would look to do something dramatic prior to the trade deadline.
In past seasons, when they were certain that they had a chance to win it all and they’ve been afforded the opportunity to make a major move to acquire a difference maker, the Wings haven’t hesitated to pull the trigger – think Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Robert Lang, Brendan Shanahan.
“If we can find a player to upgrade us, to give us another dimension, we’ll do it,” Holland said.
Darren Helm may have been concussed [edit: yes, I believe that he may be concussed despite the, "It's not a head injury!" line /end edit], he may have lost some teeth as he went cheek-first into the boards via that Seth Jones smear, the Wings might be afraid about a broken jaw or broken cheekbone/orbital bone, or Helm could've simply gotten his shoulder, elbow, a rib or wrist jammed into the boards as he took a rough ride yesterday.
In any case, MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the Wings won't know what ails Helm until practice tomorrow:
Update #2: Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' report:
The Detroit Red Wings got 61 games out of forward Darren Helm, more than the previous two seasons combined. Now it's again murky when he might play next.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press today that Helm will have an MRI Monday to evaluate an upper-body injury sustained during the first period of Saturday's 4-3 victory at Nashville. "We won't now anything until we get pictures," Holland said.
Holland wouldn't specify Helm's injury, but did say it is not a head injury.
Presented without comment, other than to say that I couldn't believe this happened:
Update: Here's what Smith had to say about the butt-end and Logan Couture's slew-foot to MLive's Ansar Khan:
The play with Neal happened at 9:42 of the third period in the Red Wings' 4-3 win. Neal was penalized for high-sticking.
"I haven't seen it, but I felt he knew I was there and that was kind of intentional," Smith said.
Speaking after the game, Smith was still upset about Couture taking his feet out from under him in front of the Detroit net two days before.
"I personally didn't like the play," Smith said. "I can't defend myself. That's the biggest thing. When somebody can't defend themselves, that's when there's an issue. Obviously, it was intentional."
"I couldn't put any hand down to protect myself and I did land pretty hard on my head and that's why I had to go off and get an assessment," Smith said. "That makes me upset because there's a chance I could be out for a long time. You've seen it with Mule (Johan Franzen, out with a concussion). He hasn't been back since then (Jan. 6). Those head injuries are dangerous. At least the league saw it as it was and we'll keep going. Everybody is trying to battle for space. Things like that we got to crack down on."
from Matt Solvin of The Tennessean,
At times Saturday, it felt like the Detroit Red Wings never had left the Central Division. They hooked, obstructed and roughed .. and ultimately beat the Predators 4-3 in front of a sellout crowd.
read on for more on the game...
Mickey Redmond had suggested that the Red Wings would look to add some size and/or scoring to their bottom six forwards at the end of Saturday's Wings-Predators broadcast, and according to MLive's Ansar Khan (via RedWingsFeed), that may be the case:
"One minute I think I shouldn't do anything, the next minute I think these guys have played their (rears) off for 60 games, maybe I should help them a little bit," Holland said. "But help can't just be a body."
The Red Wings would like to add a player who provides a different dimension, like a skilled right-handed shooting defenseman or a big, gritty winger. But they're not prepared to part with valued assets (high-end prospects, their first-round pick or good, young roster players).
The Wings' 4-1-and-1 record on their 6-game road trip and Saturday's 4-3 win = Detroit owns a 35-15-and-11 record over the course of 61 games played (with 32 regulation-or-OT wins), and Detroit's 81 points place them 1 point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (with 2 games in hand) and 6 behind the Atlantic-leading Montreal Canadiens--and 10 points clear of the Boston Bruins as well.
Holland said he's been in touch with several teams and will continue to talk to general managers over the next couple of days leading up to the 3 p.m. Monday deadline. Cap space is not an issue since the Red Wings can acquire as much as $9 million in contracts.
That's not including placing Johan Franzen on the LTIR.
"We're exploring if there's players out there that would make our team better; not looking for a lateral move," Holland said. "If there's only lateral moves or the price is higher than we're prepared to pay, we won't do anything."
Khan mentions Erik Cole, Zbynek Michalek, Marek Zidlicky and Jeff Petry, but he suggests that the Wings aren't interested in Dion Phaneuf, and he reports that Holland's willing to move the team's 2nd round pick if necessary...
"We appear to be playing pretty good hockey, growing as a team," Holland said. "If we can find a player to upgrade us, give us another dimension, we'll do it."
"Our team has played at a high level," Holland said. "We've tried to test our depth, played Ouellet, Marchenko, (Petr) Mrazek for periods of time. We feel pretty good about our depth, the development of young players."
But Khan also notes that the Red Wings' coach admittedly harbors a very different perspective from his general manager for a simple reason--he's not a general manager (and Khan delivers quite the philosophical quote from Babcock in that regard)-but when Khan asked Babcock about the team's needs today, he got a roadblock answer:
"As the league goes on and the pace picks up and there's less space, some guys have really taken off and other guys haven't traveled at the same pace as the team," Babcock said. "So suddenly your needs might not be the same as they were a month ago."
Again, Khan continues, and I believe that the Wings will stand pat, but that's just my gut feeling, and my gut said that the Wings were going to get Jagr, so who knows.
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