The Malik Report
As I am recovering from the great Wal-Mart Incursion of June 2016, here are a few tidbits to help you get by:
1. TSN's Bob McKenzie had this to say about the Red Wings and Pavel Datsyuk's cap hit:
MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed that scenario and also stated that the Wings are unlikely to move Jimmy Howard at this point...
2. I'm not saying that there's a fit here, but I'm saying...Farmington Hills boy, played in Windsor...
3. The Free Press's Helene St. James offers a gallery of 10 free agents that may interest the Wings as well.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who traveled to Buffalo on Tuesday afternoon, plans to meet with Newport Sports, which represents the team’s two biggest restricted free agents: goaltender Petr Mrazek and defenseman Danny DeKeyser....
Holland has talked to unrestricted free agent forward Darren Helm, but Helm wants to talk to other teams once the free-agency window opens Saturday. Teams can bid on UFAs starting July 1 at noon.
Mrazek and DeKeyser both are going to command annual salaries in the range of $4.5-$5 million. Frederik Andersen just got five years and $25 million from Toronto. He’s 26 and has played 125 NHL games, with a 2.33 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Mrazek, 24, has played 94 career games, with a 2.29 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"I've talked to a lot of teams; I really started talking last week," Holland said. "Whatever trades are going to be consummated, around the league, I expect them for the most part to be Friday-Saturday. I've had conversations with lots of managers, I'm not sure what will come of it, but I'm talking to a lot of people."
If the Red Wings make a trade, it's likely to be for a top-pair defenseman, their biggest need.
They could use offensive help up front, too, especially after Datsyuk's departure. But there are better free-agent options at forward on July 1, starting with Steven Stamkos, if he doesn't re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The free-agent market on defense is thin (top names include Jason Demers, Brian Campbell, Dan Hamhuis and Luke Schenn). That is why several names are being tossed around in the rumor mill, including Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), Cam Fowler (Anaheim), Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg), Zach Bogosian (Buffalo), Matt Dumba or Jonas Brodin (Minnesota) and even P.K. Subban (Montreal).
"Everybody is looking for a top-three defenseman," Holland said. "If one is available the price is going to be steep."
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the imminent NHL Draft in Buffalo:
The young talent pool is up for grabs Friday and Saturday during the NHL draft. The Wings select 16th when the first round is held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
“There’s a good crop available, and we’re excited about where we pick,” general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.
With good reason: The most recent time the Wings had near this high of a pick, it yielded Dylan Larkin at 15th overall in 2014. He made the team a year later and led the Wings with 23 goals this past season.
This year, there is a strong possibility the Wings opt for a defenseman — the good ones really have to come from within these days, as they rarely hit the open market.
“At some point in time, we need to draft some defensemen, but if our scouts deem the best available player when we pick is a forward, we’ll pick a forward,” Holland said.
[edit: MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright about the draft as well:
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa argues that while the Red Wings' roster may require some massive changes to truly rebuild--probably more than the UFA market could bear if the Wings had an unlimited budget due to its increasingly limited amounts of talent available--the Wings need to approach a Datsyuk-less, Gordie Howe-less future with both roster moves and something of an attitude adjustment:
The problems are various and big. The first step should be singular and small. The Red Wings should set as a goal a roster of players who will be happy with their tasks, who understand this is not their father’s Wings team, and that no small amount of rebuilding is occurring and likely to continue.
While so much focus is on Steven Stamkos — with multiple, reliable sources reporting the Rangers and Red Wings are likely among those in the running for the talented, high-powered Lightning goal scorer — a couple defensemen to shore up the back end would be enormously valuable.
The needs are varied and ample enough that something less striking than landing Stamkos might also be effective enough to improve their prospects next season.
But with so many teams targeting improvements along their blue lines, the Wings quest for defensive help is likely banging up against both intense competition around the NHL and their own problem with the salary cap.
And then there is the matter of trading a goaltender, presumably Jimmy Howard. With the potential availability of two big performers in net — Ben Bishop of the Lightning, and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Stanley Cup champion Penguins — Howard’s attractiveness to franchises willing to part with the talent the Wings desire to upgrade in goal (Flames, Stars?) is likely lagging.
Krupa continues, and with the Red Wings increasingly likely to make fewer roster moves, Krupa's arguing for something Jeff Blashill promised during his sometimes defensive, sometimes combative end-of-season media availability.
Blashill promised that the Red Wings' players would be happier in their assigned roles, whatever those roles would be, and that involves both better-assigned and better-defined roles for each and every Red Wings player.
Holland's dared to call Petr Mrazek his #1 goalie over the past few days, and I'm told he dropped the words "youth movement" on an NHL Live appearance. Those are slow but steady adjustments in team attitude, and they have to work their way from the top on down to a revamped coaching staff and player corps.
Just don't be too angry (I know there are a lot of angry Wings fans right now, and I promise, it's just reflexive, "Damn it what did you do now Holland/coach/manager!?!" anger, a natural response to front office remarks) if next year's Wings team looks a lot like this year's team. If it truly can adopt a more positive attitude, I s*** you not, they will be a better team because of it.
Prior to throwing the first pitch at Wednesday night's Tigers game, Danny DeKeyser spoke with MLive's Brendan Savage about the state of his contract negotiations with the Wings...Or the lack thereof:
"We haven't really gotten a whole lot into it," DeKeyser said Wednesday. "We had just one talk or something like that. I'm sure talks will get moving more towards the end of the month or into July as we get going. I don't expect it to drag out real long. Hopefully it gets done sooner rather than later."
DeKeyser was at Comerica Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the Detroit Tigers-Seattle Mariners game. His appearance was part of Western Michigan University Night at Comerica Park. He spent some time on the field watching batting practice and posed for pictures with Tigers' outfielder Justin Upton.
DeKeyser said he doesn't know that the Red Wings' lineup will look like next season with so many questions still to be answered.
The NHL draft begins Friday and free agency opens July 1. How active the Red Wings will be in free agency will likely depend on whether they can trade goaltender Jimmy Howard and the $7.5-million salary cap hit they absorbed when Pavel Datsyuk decided to play in Russia next season.
Datsyuk's absence is going to take some getting used to for everyone.
"It's a big loss for us," DeKeyser said. "It will be a little bit different for sure. It's tough to replace a guy like him. He's been in the league for long so long doing so much for our team, for the Red Wings. He's a superstar. You're not going to replace a guy like that. Everyone is just going to have to do a little bit more."
Update: Here's more from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
Updated 2x at 11:25 PM: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the team's possible draft tendencies, and Holland delivered a not-so-surprising set of remarks:
“Somewhere along the line we’d like to start to draft a few more defensemen,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview Wednesday. “We’ve had lots of forwards who are on the team or coming up and not as many defensemen. If the best player available that’s there is a forward we’ll take him, but somewhere along the line here we have to start to draft some D.”
Detroit has the 16th overall selection in the first round.
“We’re going to take the best player available,” Holland said.
Danny DeKeyser threw out the first pitch before tonight's Tigers-
A bus line notice from the City of Windsor served as a reminder: This Sunday, June 26th, the Bob Probert Ride takes place in Windsor, Ontario, with proceeds benefitting the Cardiac Wellness and Pulmonay Rehab Program at Windsor's Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital. You can find more details at ProbertRide.com.
via a release from the NHL,
The following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:
* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender
* All players who have currently effective and continuing "No Movement" clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).
* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).
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.