The Malik Report
This story covers some familiar ground: MLive's Ansar Khan penned an article discussing Kyle Quincey's desire to remain with the Red Wings, wondering aloud whether the 30-year-old defensive defenseman will return to the team:
"If Kenny (general manager Holland) offers me something I'd love to come back," Quincey said. "We love it here. But if not, just see what happens."
Holland said he'll speak with people in the organization over the next couple of weeks and decide which, if any, of the club's unrestricted free agents (Quincey, Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Brad Richards) will be offered a contract.
The Red Wings have salary-cap concerns – especially if they're not able to move Pavel Datsyuk's $7.5 million cap hit, if he returns to Russia. They also have three defensemen in Grand Rapids (Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul and Nick Jensen) who lose their waiver-exempt status next season and could be lost for nothing if the Red Wings attempted to send any of them to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
"Two years ago I didn't know anything until July 1," Quincey said. "I'm assuming it's probably going to be the same thing."
The Red Wings signed Quincey to a two-year, $8.5 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2014.
Quincey would surely attract interest if he explores the market, which is particularly thin on defense. The Colorado Avalanche might have interest. Quincey lives in Colorado in the off-season.
Khan continues, and if you're interested, WDFN's Matt Sheppard spoke with Sportsnet's Chris Johnston this morning, discussing the NHL playoffs, the Penguins-Capitals game tonight, and the Red Wings' offseason changes:
The Grand Rapids Griffins face a 3-games-to-none deficit against the Lake Erie Monsters as the teams clash in Game 4 this evening (7 PM EDT on The AHL Live/ESPN 96.1 FM), and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with the Griffins' players and coach about climbing out of the hole they've dug for themselves:
Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson may have mentioned the 2014 Los Angeles Kings or the 2013 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a few times the past two days.
Those teams were the latest from a small hockey group who have overcome 3-0 deficits to win a seven-game playoff series.
The Griffins need to embrace them because that's what they face in Game 4 at 7 tonight at Van Andel Arena in the Central Division Finals against Lake Erie.
"Their defense is making us scrape and claw for every piece of ice we get," Griffins coach Todd Nelson said. "But we got to stick with it and make it difficult. Like I said, if we can come out on Tuesday and play similar to what we did (Sunday), I feel comfortable with that.
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill about the necessary changes that the team needs to make during a summer vacation that came far too early for the coaches, management and players.
Blashill told Krupa that he's eschewing rest and relaxation for reassessments and trying to get better, and the pair cover many topics over the course of a lengthy article. R&R?
“That, for me, happens in the summer,” Blashill said, as he worked in his office a few yards down a hallway from the empty Wings dressing room. When you end out and other teams are playing, you should still be working.”
He must help hire three assistants, watch the playoffs, identify possible trade and free-agent acquisitions, conduct exhaustive reviews of each player on his roster, travel to see his former club, Grand Rapids, in the American Hockey League playoffs, and review planning for next season.
Blashill is clear about some central elements of his focus. The changes that can be achieved in the coming months should result in a lineup in which players are more enthused about their specific roles, with the intention that improved performance will follow and result in less shuffling of forward lines and defensive pairs, like the nearly constant, mostly unsuccessful search for improvement that marked the past season.
“I would like to have a much better feel for what our lines are going to be,” he said. “And part of that, and part of what we’ve talked about as a group, is constructing a roster where guys are excited about their roles. Guys that are third-line players are excited to be third-line players. Guys who are fourth-line players are excited to be that.
“And you have the right guys getting the right minutes in the top six.
“This year, we just had probably too many similar players that I don’t think we ever found the best combinations for.”
Blashill and Krupa continue, and the coach addresses the "beefs with ice time" that several players discussed during locker room clean-out day.
I saw Jeff Blashill last night, heading toward the Grand Rapids Griffins' locker room after last night's 2-1 loss, and I gave him a nod as he walked through the media and said, "Hey, guys."
Despite the fact that the bloom is most certainly off the rose regarding open fan hostility toward the Red Wings' coach, none the cameras or sound recorders or cell phones stopped working when Blashill walked by, nor did Blashill appear to have horns, a tail, or donkey ears.
I'm kidding about that stuff, of course, but I understand the frustration with the Red Wings' head coach, and I'm gonna be honest: the best damn thing I've heard or will hear this offseason is the fact that Pat Ferschweiler and Tony Granato won't return to flank Blashill's shoulders behind the Wings' bench, with the Wings looking for more experienced NHL assistant coaches instead.
When you've been around an NHL team, even for a little while, you realize that the coaching staff is very much so a team, and that the assistants have massive responsibilities in terms of running the offense, defense, special teams, and in the summer and fall, working with prospects.
In the, "One thing leads to another" department, Winging It in Motown found a strange little report...
So Jonathan Ericsson spoke with Norrkopings Tidningar, explaining that he wants to start up a business selling bearnaise sauce in the U.S.--because he feels that the stuff we make here isn't very good--but that also leads to an article in which Ericsson spoke with Johny Daagh about his past season:
Updated 3x at 6:32 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's, "Detroit Teams Stink, Hooray for Nyquist" article more or less discusses the title thereof;
2. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland today, and she broached the subject of Pavel Datsyuk's future as Datsyuk plays for Russia at the World Championship:
When he is done at the tournament, Datsyuk plans to return to Detroit to discuss his future with general manager Ken Holland and owners Mike and Marian Ilitch. Datsyuk has said he wants to return to Russia despite having a year left on his contract with the Wings, but won't make his decision final until later this month.
"Based on my conversation with Pav, and with his agent, my expectation is we'll sit down together," Holland told the Free Press on Monday.
3. And the Fourth Period suggests that the Wings' decision to part ways with Jim Bedard "fuel Howard trade speculation"...
Wrapping up today's Red Wings at the World Championship news:
Here are the highlights from said games:
Red Wings at the World Championship: Datsyuk bags assist, Marchenko leads Russia in ice time vs. LAT
In the first of 3 games at the World Championship involving Red Wings players today (Gustav Nyquist and Sweden play the Czechs at 1:15 PM EDT, and Dylan Larkin and Team USA play Finland at the same time, on NBCSN), Pavel Datsyuk had an assist on an Artemi Panarin goal as the Russians celebrated Victory Day with a 4-0 win over Latvia.
Datsyuk, who finally looks comfortable playing with his Russian teammates, had a shot and finished at +1 in 13:36;
Alexey Marchenko, who played on the PK with Slava Voynov and looked damn good doing it, had a shot and finished at +1 in 20:29 of ice time. Marchenko's ice time led the Russian defensemen and the team in general.
Update: Here are the game's highlights:
Of brief Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. Fox Sports Detroit posted a profile of Nyquist the Horse's owner, Paul Reddam:
2. DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose examined Drew Miller's 2015-16 season "By the Numbers"...
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.