The Malik Report
Four quotes tell a story.
From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
“Trades over the last few days have shown if you want to make a trade, there are creative ways to make a trade,” said Holland, who doesn’t believe the salary cap limitations currently are a major hindrance. “You can get creative. But this is everything to do with the young players in our organization.
“This is about where the Detroit Red Wings are at this point.”
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff...
“Right now, do I anticipate us doing anything?” Holland asked rhetorically. “I don’t know. I don’t anticipate trading any top prospects or high draft picks.”
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
“The biggest thing is it clears $2 million of cap space heading into the summer, when I’ve got a number of restricted free agents to sign,” Holland said. “We’ll see where the cap can be and how active we can be. I’m happy we were able to clear some cap space.”
And MLive's Ansar Khan:
"You're looking for a big upgrade," Holland said. "I don't see us acquiring any depth. I don't want to pay a price for someone that is older but other than experience isn't much better than our kids.
"It's got to be a type of player who's really going to improve us or give us a different look. Our younger players are pretty good. This race to the playoffs is very important, but having an eye to the future is just as important.
"Maybe a rebuild is inevitable. We're trying to figure out if we can avoid that."
Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski and NHL.com's Dan Rosen reflected upon the Stadium Series games with a "best and worst" list and a "10 Stadium Series Moments to Remember" list, respectively. As I look back upon the series, I'd argue that the Wings earning two points was the "best" moment of the weekend, but this one from Wyshynski wasn't far behind...
BEST: All Alumni Game Everything
This was arguably the best alumni game the NHL’s ever presented, and not just because of the chaotic history between the Red Wings and Avalanche – it was actually a good game! Players were throwing cross-checks, blocking shots, playing chip-and-chase. The goalies made legit saves. It was fun!
But the real draw, of course, was the rivalry. It’s amazing how both teams were principally made up of players who took part in that bone-crunching feud. (And also Stacey Roest.) It's also amazing how many of them were in better-than-good playing shape.
So we got to hear the fans boo Darren McCarty and Claude Lemieux, see Kris Draper cross-check Adam Foote, watch Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman score goals and wonder if Patrick Roy was going to remove himself from the game or not.
And then after the game was done, there was just as much hype for the handshake line.
It was the perfect capper for this rivalry. We don’t need to see the Undertaker wrestling Triple-H in another cage match. This’ll do.
But this moment, described by NHL.com's Rosen as well-received by everyone, was described, "The Avalanche knocking us over and scoring" by the Wings' alums, and that's not far off:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"We'll see what the next (24) hours brings," Holland said. "You never know if you're going to make a deal or not make a deal. I've talked to a number of teams.
"At the end of the day, we're not doing anything in goal. I'm happy with our depth on defense."
If the Red Wings trade, it would be for a forward. They could use some more offense and some size and abrasiveness for their fourth line.
But there are several obstacles to making a deal.
To begin with, the pool of desirable players is shallow following several moves the past couple of weeks. The list of forwards rumored to be on the move – or at least available – includes Mikkel Boedker (Arizona), Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay), Loui Eriksson (Boston), Radim Vrbata (Vancouver), PA Parenteau (Toronto) and Scott Hartnell (Columbus).
The Lightning aren't likely to deal Drouin to the Red Wings, who they are competing with for a playoff spot. The same goes for the Bruins with Eriksson, whom they are attempting to re-sign.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji about the Jakub Kindl trade on Saturday night. While Holland stated that he'll "continue to work the phones," he told Wakiji that two years' worth of sacrificing prospects and draft picks to add veterans was enough:
"We got to pick and choose when we want to go for it," Holland said. "We went for it last year, we went for it the year before. You can't do it year after year after year after year after year. That's the bottom line."
Holland said in his mind, not making the playoffs for five to seven years to collect top draft picks was not the way this team operates.
The Wings have made the playoffs 24 straight seasons and have chosen as well as possible later in the draft.
"We're going with our younger people," Holland said. "You see (Andreas) Athanasiou up here, you see (Petr) Mrazek up here, you see (Alexey) Marchenko up here, you saw (Xavier) Ouellet up here, (Tomas) Nosek was up here. Anthony Mantha's playing good in the American Hockey League now the last 20 games, Tyler Bertuzzi the last 20 games has taken a step in his career, (Ryan) Sproul is playing real well down there.
"They're not all going to be up here. We've made decisions the last few years to try to get in, some of those players are playing well around the NHL. We can't continue to run business like that. I think it all adds up to I'm not sure what'll happen before Monday but we'll see."
Wakiji continues, speaking with Holland regarding the Wings likely usage of cap space to help re-sign the Wings' restricted free agents (Danny DeKeyser, Petr Mrazek, Alexey Marchenko and a host of prospects) this summer.
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
Richards signed just a one-year deal before the season so if the Wings do end up in another outdoor game, maybe they'd better re-sign him. Whether this was Richards' last NHL outdoor game or not, it's something he says he'll always remember.
"It was a special weekend to be a part of," Richards said. "Just growing up, anytime I wanted to watch hockey, I wanted to watch Colorado or Detroit. There's so many great players. So to be part of this history of that rivalry, being around, seeing some of the guys yesterday and knowing they played. And it's a huge two points for our team and a great experience.
"It was a pretty neat night under the lights and the way it was presented. They're all special though, especially the ones you win. This will be a great memory."
2. DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose spoke with the Wings regarding the extenuating circustances unique to the outdoor setting, including fluffy tornados of fake snow and skating into the wind:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek saw chunks of white cotton floating through the air during the third period Saturday and did a double-take.
"I was like, 'How could it be snowing in the 50s?' " Mrazek said.
It was fake snow, used as decoration around the rink at Coors Field. When the winds gusted during the third period, it made for a blizzard-like scene during an NHL Stadium Series game in which the temperature at puck drop was 65 degrees.
"There were a few times during whistle timeouts they had guys come out and get the cotton," Detroit's Justin Abdelkader said. "I think there was one time where a good amount blew on the ice but for the most part they did a good job of cleaning up."
The still Wild Card-occupying Red Wings really, really needed to snap a six-game winless road streak (0-4-and-2) during Saturday night's Stadium Series game in Denver, and Detroit delivered via a combination of balanced scoring and strong defense, defeating the Colorado Avalanche 5-3.
The Wings' power play most certainly still stinks--it went 0-for-5 on Saturday and is, according to CBS Sports' Adam Gretz, an ugly 0-for-17 over the Wings' past six games...
But the Wings managed to stifle the Avs' attack, and the ways in which the Wings bore down and played with urgency in the 3rd period of what was a game the Wings either played while trailing or tied for the vast majority of its 60 minutes of playing time.
The fact that Brad Richards' gamer was something of a trick shot didn't hurt...
Outside or not outside, the Red Wings could only pause and adjust to the playing surface against the Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field before getting down to the business of earning two points.
62 games into the season, sitting in a Wild Card spot, Detroit rather desperately needed to snap an 0-4-and-2 road winless streak, and they could be playing on a teacup for all it mattered.
The game was a little sloppy and a little lopsided at times--and a little scary when the Wings went 0-for-5 in 10 minutes of PP time--but the Red Wings emerged with a 5-3 victory over Colorado thanks to some very clutch goaltending by Petr Mrazek, dogged determination by the players in front of him and some surprising scoring from Darren Helm, Brad Richards, and overdue goals for Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader, who need to be scoring on an every-other-night basis down the stretch.
The Wings gave up too many shots, too many chances and too many goals, but from an overall perspective, the desperation and urgency with which the Wings approached the 3rd period can serve as a blueprint for the final 19 games of the regular season, and it sure as hell felt good to see the Wings earn 2 points after dropping the alumni game.
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly regarding the Red Wings and outdoor games, and Mr. Daly gave some encouraging but nebulous answers:
"What I'd say about the Red Wings, which is to their credit, is they travel well," Daly said. "You go to any NHL arena on any night, and the Red Wings are playing, they've got a lot of fans. That's helpful in outdoor games, and helpful to the league generally. They have a very good following."
Asked specifically about the possibility of the Wings playing outdoors next season in Toronto, Daly said, "it's something that's been raised, but not something we're in position to make any announcements on."
The NHL had as many as six outdoors games during the 2013-14 season. This year there has been three -- the Winter Classic and the two Stadium Series games featuring Detroit-Colorado and Minnesota-Chicago.
Asked what an ideal number is Daly said, "you look at your opportunities in each year as to what cities and what venues can host games. We haven't made any announcements with respect to next year, but they're coming.
"It's a little bit different next year because it's our centennial season starting 2017. So we'll see what next year has to offer. I don't think you want to do too many of these games. I think we're at the right number with a couple outdoor games a year."
Update: And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also spoke with Daly:
The Red Wings posted a game-day preview video ahead of tonight's game between Detroit and Colorado (8 PM EST start on NBC/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM)...
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.