The Malik Report
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday signed veteran defenseman Brennan Evans to a one-year contract.
Evans, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Peoria Rivermen, recording 21 points (5-16—21) in 142 games. Over his nine-year pro career, Evans has also played for the Lowell Lock Monsters, Binghamton Senators, Worcester Sharks, Iowa Chops and Toronto Marlies. In 636 career AHL games, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of New Battleford, Saskatchewan, has recorded 100 points (14-86—100) and 1,349 penalty minutes.
Evans’ only NHL action came in the 2004 playoffs, when he skated in two games with the Calgary Flames during their series against the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to turning pro, Evans spent five seasons in the WHL, recording 41 points (12-29—41) in 257 games and capturing a Memorial Cup with Kootenay in 2001-02.
This morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James is confirming a story from the general manager’s mouth: as MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness reported, the Red Wings did indeed attempt to make a very strong push to acquire Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but GM Scott Howson demurred, not wanting to see his franchise’s poster boy play for the Blue Jackets’ self-styled arch-rival.
Ken Holland did indeed make his pitch, but what was probably a better return than the one the New York Rangers sent to central Ohio went over like a practical joke at a funeral:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland was bound to say something more than he offered the Free Press’s Helene St. James regarding what was all but certainly a better offer for Rick Nash than what the New York Rangers ended up giving Columbus, which declined doing business with Detroit…
#RedWings GM Ken Holland: “I talked to Scott Howson a number of times, we did make an offer for Rick Nash.”— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) July 23, 2012
And he did just that while speaking to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, albeit while keeping what I can best describe as that strangely dichotomous party line going—cue the “happy with our team” versus the team will move aggressively to improve itself spiel. First, Pleiness confirms that the Wings offered the Blue Jackets More than the Rangers did….
Updated 3x at 7:48 PM: Even during the last full week of July, I hate toe engage in any sort of speculation, Arthur Staple’s reports that current New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is filing a grievance with the NHLPA, asking them to negate his trade to the Islanders per his no-trade clause as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, most certainly has Ken Holland’s ears perked up.
I had an, “I can’t believe I was dumb enough to wait until now to spit it out” moment earlier this morning (okay, so it’s the middle of the night for most of you. It’s the end of the day for me): after reading some of your takes on MLive’s Ansar Khan’s report that Ken Holland’s hoping that Shane Doan’s “Tour of Potential but Unlikely Employers” will make a stop in Detroit, as well as your takes on the Wings’ desire to avoid having to pay what is probably a sticker-shockingly high asking price to acquire one Alex Semin…
I headed over to Capgeek.com and found a very simple answer as to why the Red Wings don’t want to find their hands tied financially going forward, even if exercising fiscal restraint means that the team might lose out on Doan, Semin and any free agent leftovers who may or may not believe the theory that Detroit is no longer the “place to play”:
Via RedWingsFeed, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers some welcome relief to what has otherwise been a bit of a frustrating week and weekend for Red Wings fans, stating that Red Wings GM Ken Holland wants Shane Doan to come to Detroit as the unrestricted free agent forward continues his “grand tour” of possible suitors’ rinks and visits with their respective front office personnel:
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Sunday that he hopes to meet face-to-face with Shane Doan, as the club continues its pursuit of the free-agent forward.
Doan met with the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers over weekend, after attending NHL labor talks in New York on Friday.
His agent, Terry Bross, did not respond to messages Sunday. But Bross told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Doan likely will meet with a couple of more teams, including the Penguins.
Doan, 35, is in the process of determining whether to re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes or go elsewhere. Bross has said Doan would prefer to remain in Phoenix, where he has played since 1996, but that the team’s unsettled ownership situation has cast some doubt of his future. Doan wants some assurance that the franchise won’t relocate following the 2012-13 season. The Red Wings are seeking a top-six forward and Doan is their main target.
Annoyed, frustrated, irked by players declining invites to play here, and more than a little bit scared. That sentence pretty much sums up how the vast majority of Red Wings fans feel at the midpoint of a summer in which Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin, Mike Babcock and even Mike Ilitch have made pitches to and for Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Rick Nash, Shea Weber and possibly as many as a dozen free agents and/or trade targets who’ve gone elsewhere or remained with their current rights-holders.
We assumed that the Wings would leverage their “program” and what appears to be a disappearing competitive advantage in terms of the lure of playing for the Detroit Red Wings into a summer nearly equal to the 2001 coup of Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille signings for a team with almost an equal amount of money to spend on bringing prime talent to Detroit…
Red Wings overnight report: on Jurco’s uncomfortable summer, free agency, the CBA and Bertuzzi-Moore
Most of the NHL’s top prospects have little to worry about in terms of finding a place to play for the 2012-2013 season. If the players have two-way contracts, they qualify as members of the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, and as the PHPA is not attempting to negotiate any sort of collective bargaining agreement with the AHL at the same time that the NHLPA is attempting to negotiate a CBA with the NHL, players on two-way deals will simply head to the AHL.
Tomas Jurco couldn’t speak to the same level of comfort at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, and he looked downright nervous at times—for good reason. Jurco wasn’t signed by the Red Wings prior to the lapse of the NHL’s transfer agreement with the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation, and as such, Jurco remains Wings property until he’s signed, but until the NHL hammers out their new transfer agreement—which happens to be part of the CBA negotiations that aren’t exactly going swimmingly right now.
Via RedWingsFeed, with the Caroina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford confirming that the Red Wings are anything but alone in the, “If Shane Doan doesn’t sign here, we’re interested in Alex Semin” sweepstakes, and the news that Doan visited the Rangers and Flyers (per Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy) isn’t exactly super fantastic, either…
But with a boatload of CBA uncertainty and one restricted free agent to re-sign in Justin Abdelkader, the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness doesn’t believe that the Wings will waste their cap space by simply trying to out-spend their rivals in attempts to bring a 20-plus goal-scorer to Detroit:
Aside from discussions as to whether the Red Wings should add Shane Doan, who Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy reports is meeting with the Flyers today, or Alex Semin, who Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has reiterated his interest in over the next 24 hours…
The other divisive topic among Wings fans who believe that the team needs to pursue free agency and/or trade options to bolster the team’s offense is, well, where the team goes from here to address the Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart-sized crater on the team’s blueline. As it stands right now, Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl would be Detroit’s starting six defenders, and we all know that’s not going to cut it going forward.
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.