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Mark Howe On The Wings

Mark Howe was just on Sportsnet during the intermission of Canadiens/Flyers.

We are in a situation we are not used to but will keep on working to improve.

That's Mark Howe, who is in charge of pro scouting for the Wings.

Howe also mentioned the Wings had so many great players who also played for a long time and the Wings sort of lost out on those high draft choices and also traded prsopects to improve the team in the past.

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How To Rebuild The Detroit Red Wings

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

The only answer is a rebuild and it’s going to take a long time. It always does. But with Detroit’s current contract commitments, there is seriously no way to avoid this.

The most pertinent question revolves around Detroit lifer Henrik Zetterberg. The captain is 35 years old with four more seasons left on his deal after this year. His cap hit is north of $6 million. Now, it would be really cool if Zetterberg finished his career with the only NHL team he’s ever played for, but is that at the end of the contract, or before? He already has a Stanley Cup ring, but if he wants one more, it won’t be in Detroit. And while he leads the Wings in scoring this season, his offensive totals have been trending down for several years and there’s no reason to expect they’ll go up in the future.

Zetterberg can still be a great mentor for the next generation of Red Wings, but the salary cap side of things will only justify that for another season or two, tops.

Long-term deals for Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall and Frans Nielsen will also have to be dealt with and it won’t be easy, since many of them have no-trade clauses. On the bright side, most of those clauses have caveats. According to Capfriendly.com, Helm’s no-trade clause is nullified if the Wings don’t make the playoffs in 2019, for example. If GM Ken Holland can chip away at those contracts in the next couple seasons, it will help immensely.

more

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Jeff Blashill On Riley Sheahan

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Blashill was asked whether he has considered benching Sheahan or altering his minutes, considering the lack of offense.

“The decision I make on a nightly basis is who gives us our best chance to win,” Blashill said. “I actually think Riley does tons of good stuff.”

Blashill said Sheahan’s poor plus-minus rating is affected by the lack of offense.

“From a process standpoint, Riley does lots of good things,” Blashill said. “Riley’s a good hockey player. He’s big and strong. There’s times I’ve been able to play him against the best players in the league. Other guys, you simply can’t, because they don’t have the same physical attributes.”

Blashill said Sheahan has had chances to score.

“There’s a balance between giving someone a wake-up call, taking someone out to put someone else in because you think it’s the better lineup, and confidence,” Blashill said. “That’s a balance I have to deal with, as a coach, every day.”

more from Blashill on Mantha and Nyquist taken off the power today in practice...

added 1:59pm, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Continue Reading »

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Ken Holland As The Trade Deadline Approaches

from Will Burchfield of CBS Detroit,

“We’re not going to be a buyer. We’re not going to trade future assets to try to bring in somebody to make us a little better. We’re either going to stand pat or we’re going to see if teams have interest in some of our players. That’s what I’ll work the phone to do here over the next three to four weeks,” Holland told the Jamie and Stoney Show on 97.1 The Ticket on Thursday.

Holland described standing pat as, “You’re sort of in it but you’re not going to waive the white flag and you’re not prepared to play future assets.”...

“First off, if you make a decision that you’re going to be a seller, somebody’s gotta want what you’re looking to sell,” Holland explained. “It’s gotta be a fit because it’s a salary cap world and there’s cap implications and then there’s assets, do they want to pay assets? Do they think the player that you might have available is what they’re looking for?”

read on plus listen to the interview there too...

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Wings Practicing At The McCann Arena In Grosse Pointe Woods

Home ice for University Liggett School

The Wings host the Islanders tomorrow night.

Ansar Khan tweets,

Petr Mrazek has a net to himself while Jared Coreau and Jimmy Howard are alternating at other end.

Nyquist and Mantha, who didn't back-check hard on first Devils SH goal Tuesday, not practicing on power play. 

power play units:
Larkin-Sheahan (net front)-Vanek, Green, Zetterberg
&
Tatar-Nielsen-Helm, Kronwall, Abdelkader (net front)

added 11:40am, Khan...

lines:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Mantha
Tatar-Nielsen-Larkin
Athanasiou-Helm-Vanek
Sheahan-Glendening-Abdelkader
Jurco (extra)

added 11:43am, Khan with the defensive pairings...

Continue Reading »

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ESPN’s Morning Roundtable weighs in on the Wings’ rebuild

ESPN's Morning Roundtable discuss the Red Wings' "tough decisions" today. Among the comments from ESPN's Craig Custance, Pierre LeBrun, Scott Burnside, Joe McDonald, Corey Pronman and Rob Vollman:

Craig Custance: It's time to sell. There's going to be a temptation to give this current group every minute of opportunity to get back in the playoff race and keep the playoff streak alive, but the better move would be to join the sellers while it's still such a strong sellers market. The Red Wings have three goalies. They could move one of them. They have winger Thomas Vanek, who absolutely should be traded, even if the Red Wings want to bring him back again in the summer. Brendan Smith is a strong skating defenseman who has the skill to play in a top four -- with his contract expiring, he should be moved. Defenseman Mike Green could be valuable to a contender, too, if teams don't mind the term left on his contract. Steve Ott brings sandpaper and a strong veteran presence in the dressing room. The Red Wings shouldn't have trouble moving players once they're ready to go down that path.

...

Rob Vollman: Ever since Nicklas Lidstrom's retirement in 2012, Detroit's blue line has been due for an overhaul. If the Red Wings simply wait for the $20 million in overpriced contracts for their current top four to expire, and for their solid organizational strength to start providing effective replacements, then it could be several seasons before they are truly competitive again. That's why the organization's top priority should be finding ways to accelerate the departure of their older defensemen, while seeking to acquire high-value replacements -- even at the cost of some of their great young players up front.

The gents continue...

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Off-day Wings talk: on ‘selling’ hard, expendable defensemen, the power play & jersey-stealing jerks

The Red Wings' beat writers filed off-day articles this afternoon, and here's how their stories broke down:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James is on the "aggressive sell" bandwagon, suggesting that the Red Wings need to move many bodies at the trade deadline, including...Petr Mrazek?

There is little doubt about what lies ahead. The Wings should move as many veterans as possible for draft picks or prospects, but that list might not be much longer than Thomas Vanek. Defenseman Mike Green has had a productive season, but he makes $6 million per year. Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are below expected production levels, as each has multiple 20-goal seasons to their credit.

The problem is that so many teams still have to decide whether they will be buyers before the March 1 trade deadline, and if yes, how much? This is the result of NHL parity — a month before the deadline, only two of 30 teams truly are out of the playoffs (Arizona and Colorado).

Though he did not distinguish himself against the Devils, the Wings have indicated that goaltender Jared Coreau is preferred over Petr Mrazek, until Jimmy Howard returns this month. Something will have to be done, both roster-wise and salary cap-wise, to make room for Howard, but it seems unlikely that the Wings would find a taker for Mrazek before the deadline. Mrazek is having a mediocre season, though he does have a history of stellar stretches. Even so, few teams need goaltending. Maybe St. Louis, Calgary and Winnipeg. Those teams are all on the bubble and have to weigh whether it is worth making a trade without secure footing in the playoff picture.

St. James continues;

2. MLive's Ansar Khan questioned the Wings coaching staff's distribution of ice time (see: "Why the heck is Riley Sheahan playing at all?") before wondering aloud which defenseman will be waived or traded to make room for Brendan Smith:

Continue Reading »

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Video- The Latest Installment Of Little Caesars Arena All Access

The new rink was visited by the 1997 Detroit Red Wings and the Stanley Cup.

 

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Grand Rapids Griffins to play ‘Sled Wings’ on February 6th

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

GRIFFINS AND SLED WINGS TO PLAY 12TH ANNUAL SLED HOCKEY GAME

RAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Grand Rapids Sled Wings will face off in their 12th annual sled hockey game presented by Meijer on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park (30 Coldbrook NE).

The doors will open at 5 p.m. Prior to the game, fans can try out a sled on the ice for a minimum $1 donation (5-6:15 p.m.) and get free autographs from their favorite Griffins players (5:45-6:15 p.m.). The game will consist of two 20-minute periods with a running clock.

The two sled hockey teams will be comprised of players from both the Griffins and the Sled Wings’ junior team.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 per person or $20 per family, while children 2 and younger are free. All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Sled Wings program and the Griffins Youth Foundation. Click here to check out highlights from last season’s game.

Continued

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WDFN’s Sheppard questions the Wings’ player usage

WDFN's Matt Sheppard says he is "digusted" by the ways in which the Red Wings are twiddling away their 25-year playoff streak, and Sheppard is most upset with the Red Wings' player usage:

What's more disturbing is that there are members of this team who are under-performing and yet there are no repercussions for their poor play.

How can Jonathan Ericsson suit up every night and average the third most minutes with his consistent bad play?

How can Riley Sheahan be a healthy scratch just once when he has yet to score and is a whopping minus 17?

If messages are sent to younger players who aren't "ready to play," or "aren't bringing it every night," then why is that message not being sent to the veterans who have been lackluster at best?

Do you think the hockey world would stop on its axis if Jeff Blashill decided to insert Ryan Sproul for Ericsson?

Would reporters corner the coach and hit him with a barrage of second-guessing questions if Sheahan was benched for (fill in the blank of a young player)?

Could it be any worse if Niklas Kronwall took a couple nights off so Brendan Smith could get back on track when he returns from injury?

At some point, people will recognize this philosophy of over-ripening youngsters in Grand Rapids can't be used as a blanket belief. The long term deals are cumbersome, but Holland, or a new GM, will have to get creative to free up the cap and roster so this franchise can re-build and get back to where it should be.

Sheppard continues...

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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.

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