The Malik Report
I'm still all but literally on the edge of my seat regarding the Red Wings' unfinished summertime business: the team has to re-sign Danny DeKeyser and Petr Mrazek before their arbitration hearings, as CBS Sports' Chris Peters notes in an article discussing NHL teams' to-do lists:
Detroit Red Wings: Two big RFAs that the Red Wings have to get under contract are defenseman Danny DeKeyser and goalie Petr Mrazek. Both are going to be key players for the foreseeable future for the club, but finding a way to get reasonable deals done with both is going to be easier said than done. That's especially true if Mrazek wants to be paid like a No. 1 goalie on his next deal. Both have arbitration hearings set on consecutive days, July 27 for Mrazek and July 28 for DeKeyser.
The Red Wings haven't had to go through salary arbitration since Jiri Hudler filed the year he bolted for Moscow Dynamo, so it's highly likely that DeKeyser and Mrazek will be re-signed before next Wednesday and Thursday, but we neither know the salary range that they'll land (presumably in the $4-5 million range for both players) or when exactly they'll be re-signed.
Here's the press release:
Updated 3x at 3:30 PM: From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:
Here's a bit more from the Charlottetown Guardian:
From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:
Jeff Lerg, who holds nearly every goaltending record in Toledo Walleye franchise history, has signed to play next season with a team in Denmark.
Lerg, 30, from Livonia, Mich., had played a prominent role the last two seasons with the Walleye. He signed today with a team based in Rungsted, a suburb of Copenhagen.
Lerg, who was named runner-up for ECHL goaltender of the year last season, posted a 28-11-3 record. He set single-season franchise records with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Update: Here's more from the Toledo Walleye:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. MLive's Brendan Savage penned a profile of Wings prospect Dylan Sadowy:
He registered a hat trick in the first development camp scrimmage while also scoring during a shootout. In the second and final scrimmage, he had a goal and assist.
"It's just going to the net hard," said Sadowy, who will almost certainly start this season with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. "That's my game, just going to the blue paint, taking the crap from the defenders and just getting those greasy goals.
"I'm hoping to put up a couple numbers in Grand Rapids first and then hopefully get the call. Just keep playing my game, keep going to the net hard and hopefully they'll see something and give me a shot.
"Obviously I have personal goals and team goals as well. Personally I want to make that big jump to the big league next year. If I get the opportunity, just run with it. If not, just keep working hard, going at it every practice and see how next year goes."
“It’s a little bit bittersweet,” said the Eastside Elite Hockey League founder, professional hockey player and Chesterfield native. “Obviously it’s great to have the guys and have everybody involved and so much going on, but in the other sense, I want to play well, too. It’s always hard for me to shut off the business side when I’m out there and just play. I’ve got a great staff, I’ve got a lot of people helping me with everything, so that will be good, and hopefully it will allow me to relax and have some fun and play some good hockey.”
The Eastside Elite league has been up and running for nine seasons now, but 2016 will mark the first time the prestigious summer league holds an all-star game. The inaugural Eastside Elite All-Star Game, with a puck drop scheduled for 5:30 p.m., will feature the top vote-getters from the 10 Eastside clubs, along with some special invitees. Former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s captain and Eastside alum Cooper Anstett, now a musician pursuing a career in Nashville, will be in town for a special concert after the game, as well. Proceeds from ticket sales ($10 per person, children under the age of 5 get in free) will benefit the Mount Clemens Hockey Club. MiHockey is sorry to let people know, however, that ticket sales have been put on hold due to capacity concerns for the Mount Clemens Ice Arena. Four hundred tickets have already been sold.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James examines Jimmy Howard's pluses and minuses...
Looking back: Head coach Jeff Blashill started the season alternating between Howard and Petr Mrazek until Howard began to struggle in December. Howard’s woes dragged on as he saw sporadic backup duty, although his starts did also come during the second game of back-to-backs. When Mrazek went into a free-fall, Howard was able to play well enough that he took over as starter by season’s end. Howard started the first two games of the playoffs, then was pulled as part of the response to going down 2-0 in the series against Tampa Bay.
Looking ahead: Attempts to trade Howard, 32, were unsuccessful, as the few teams needing goaltending help found solutions elsewhere. If Howard is traded, the Wings would also need another veteran goalie, as there isn’t a goaltending prospect in the organization capable of jumping in. The Wings would need to acquire someone very trustworthy, because there is still uncertainty regarding whether Mrazek can handle a full NHL season. In sum, for the time being, it makes sense to hang onto Howard — he bailed them out this season when Mrazek stumbled, and the playoff losses had more to do with uninspired play from teammates than goaltending. Spending in the $10 million range on goaltending is costly, but doable. It’s always possible a team will suffer an injury once the season begins and a trade scenario materializes. If not, Howard can be exposed in the expansion draft next summer.
2. ESPN's Tal Pinchevsky penned a list of players who are already "playing for their next contract," and Thomas Vanek is among them...
via a release from the NHLPA,
Brad Richards is announcing his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following a decorated career that spanned 15 seasons.
Richards played a total of 1,126 career NHL games with five different teams: Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The talented and highly skilled forward notched 298 goals and 634 assists for 932 points over the course of his career. He also eclipsed the 100-point plateau in career playoff scoring, registering 105 points in 146 postseason games.
1. Here's the SKA interview:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. According to SI's Allan Muir, the Red Wings appear to be a playoff "outlier" per a mid-summer set of power rankings:
17.Detroit Red Wings
last week: 14
GM Ken Holland has been busy this summer, replacing Pavel Datsyuk with Frans Neilsen and taking a flyer on Thomas Vanek, but he has yet to address the pressing need for more speed and mobility on the blue line. There's still time but, for now, the Wings look like outliers.
2. I'm not sure how to deal with this one. Per MLive's Brendan Savage, a Hockey News survey of 200 or so people ranked the Wings' front office 21st out of 30 in the NHL in terms of "fan base faith" in the organization, but I don't know whether 200 people is a representative sample.
If you ask 200 Wings fans to volunteer right now, you could find some very disparate opinions of the front office, and you'd be surprised how positive some of those opinions are (really);
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.