The Malik Report
When getting down to brass tacks regarding the details surrounding and sources of funding for the Red Wings' follow-on rink and real estate development in sum--there's a 56%-private-funds-44%-public-ones split--the most controversial part of the dollar picture came at the beginning, when the State of Michigan legislature approved the diversion of $12.8 million in taxes collected by the Downtown Development Authority to fund the project.
Now the whole, "This money is coming from schools and children!" line was BS from the start, and Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea (who's been following the scuttlebutt surrounding Joe Louis Arena's follow-on facility for over half a decade now) confirms that fact, but he also reveals that the biggest public contributors to the rink will in fact be downtown businesses like General Motors, DTE Energy, downtown casinos, Quicken Loans and, well, Compuware:
[edit/update: I wrote this and plain old forgot two points of my argument: 1. With the cap going down this summer (to $64.3 million from $70.2 million and 2. Given the Wings' comments about their youth movement, I've tended to believe that the "go with the kids" philosophy is in fact a two-year plan, not a one-year plan. Just my theory /end edit] I've spent the last...Oh, six weeks talking about the concept that the Red Wings' track record over the past three to five seasons--if not longer--provides the best indication of their future plans.
I've suggested that the vast majority of the Wings' roster changes will come from within, i.e. via the maturation of Joakim Andersson, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff; that the Wings' cap situation and free agency record tends to indicate that the team may re-sign Daniel Cleary, will probably re-sign Damien Brunner, almost certainly will not retain Valtteri Filppula's services, and that once the Wings lock up their RFA's (add Brendan Smith to Nyquist and Andersson), the team will probably simply go after a free agent forward to bolster their goal-scoring ranks, if not off-set Filppula's departure...
Updated at 7:57 PM with the Detroit News's John Niyo demanding a big move/free agent signing: As noted last night, Red Wings GM Ken Holland suggested to the Windsor Star that the vast majority of the Red Wings' roster changes will involve Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff joining the Wings on a full-time basis, and he both reiterated those points to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and expanded upon them, suggesting that all five players will be full-time Wings on a team that will indeed have to utilize trades or buy-outs to alleviate a roster crunch designed to accommodate the "youth movement":
“I’m pretty comfortable saying that none of them are going through waivers. Someone will claim them, which means that we either have to have him on this team or we have to make some moves. We started the year with 23 players and you add those five, that’s 28, so we probably have 27 or 28 players."
Beware the lure of free agency? That's what Holland told Pleiness...
Nine days removed from the draft and thirteen from the start of free agency, it's easy to read the Free Press's Helene St. James' report about the Wings' desire to move some bodies up front and/or use some cap compliance buy-outs, to think about the progress made by the Grand Rapids Griffins' players during their Calder Cup run, and to start letting our minds wander.
Two buy-outs, three trades, four free agents signed and eleven kids promoted next year! The roster's going to be completely different! (and surely, we can clone TSN Player of the Year finalist Pavel Datsyuk's competitor, Pavel Datsyuk!) Right? The elevendy twelve signed forwards and eight defensemen mean the Wings have to make tons of moves right away!
It's at this time of year, when TSN's Scott Cullen pens his "Off-Season Game Plan" for the Wings (it''s a great read but it doesn't translate well to a blog entry), that Wings fans tend to head over to Capgeek and build radically different Red Wings rosters, ignoring what Ken Holland told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff--that the vast majority of the changes made to the Red Wings' roster this summer will involve the players that the Wings sent down to the Griffins to bolster their ranks (and Tomas Tatar) joining Detroit's lineup on a full-time basis:
The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings' management plans on easing its roster crunch by making some pre-draft or pre-free-agency trades (the Wings have $10.6 million in Capgeek-estimated cap space, but they're going to spend $4 million-plus re-signing Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith, and they may need to spend up to $3 million to re-sign Damien Brunner), but if the team can't move bodies, it may buy out Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi or Carlo Colaiacovo--and she also reports that each and every one of the NHL's 30 teams can make cap compliance buy-outs at any time from 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final ends until July 4th, the day before unrestricted free agency begins this summer!
The No. 1 buyout candidate is Mikael Samuelsson, who was a non-factor this past season, felled by one injury after another. He's got a year left at $3 million, money that could be well used towards funding a top-six forward.
The vast majority of our discussions over the last couple of days have involved the proposed follow-on rink that will replace Joe Louis Arena, as well as the surrounding economic development that's absolutely essential for a still-blighted Cass Corridor--and, quite frankly, developing those swaths of vacant land behind the Fox Theatre will finally allow the Ilitch family to escape those creeping-in comparisons to land-hoarder Matty Moroun.
We'll continue talking about the $450 million rink and proposed $650 million investement in both the rink and surrounding development in a little while...
Update: From Mr. Datsyuk himself:
We've reached the Final Round of TSN.ca's 2013 Play of the Year Showdown, and for the first time in POY history the final match-up features just one player, Pavel Datsyuk. Both of Datsyuk's plays have beat out outstanding goals, passes and saves to land in the final two spots of this year's Play of the Year competition.
On his way to the finals, Datsyuk's skillful play narrowly defeated an absolute show-stopper of a save by Jake Allen, edging out the goalie by a mere 0.5 per cent, on the other end of the bracket, Datsyuk easily moved past a stellar play by Cody Hogdson. Which of Datsyuk's two plays will take the crown?
As Paul noted, the Dallas Stars hired Lindy Ruff as their head coach, all but ensuring that Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill will defend Grand Rapids' Calder Cup championship while continuing to mentor the Red Wings' top prospects.
Blashill just happened to speak to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner about his status this morning, and Blashill stated the following regarding any sort of involvement with the Stars or interviews with Jim Nill:
“I had zero conversations or contact with them regarding that,” he said.
Likewise, Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said the Stars had not sought permission to speak with Blashill.
Blashill, who has two years remaining on his contract as Griffins coach, said, “I fully expect to be in Grand Rapids next year. I am really, really just focused on the progress of our players in this organization,” he said.
Blashill does want to coach in the NHL one day, but that day is not today:
Updated at 7:05 AM: As we've discussed over the past week or so, the Red Wings appear to be ready to move on from Valtteri Filppula, they've got a hard decision to make about Daniel Cleary, and in terms of both their restricted free agents (Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith) and free agents-to-be, the Wings find themselves in the most peculiar pickle regarding one Damien Brunner, who seems quite intrigued by the prospect of testing the unrestricted free agent marketplace on July 5th.
With an extremely limited NHL resume, an incredibly inconsistent 2013 season to his credit and few "comparables" salary-wise, it's hard to say what the 27-year-old forward could earn on the open market, but there's no doubt that he could more than double his $1.35 million cap hit , and while the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that Brunner's agent, Neil Sheehy, and the Wings are talking contract turkey, she wonders what the Wings might do, and whether Brunner's worth the investment:
The Grand Rapids Griffins' video crew produced a lovely little video of the team celebrating its first Calder Cup win. It plain old made me smile:
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.