The Malik Report
Updated w/ Datsyuk/Howard talk at 1:10 PM: NHL.com's Brian Hedger told the Twitter world that he engaged in an expansive interview with Red Wings GM Ken Holland last night, and it involves Holland's take on possibly making trades given that the team's enduring what truly is a "rebuilding year." Sometimes you have to start at the end, so here's the end, and I highly suggest that you go back and read the rest of Hedger's article:
"We've got a younger team and we're trying to rebuild it," Holland said. "We have to decide if now's the time … are we a playoff team, and not only that but is now the time to do something or should we continue letting the kids go? We've probably got better depth than we thought we did when the season started, and the [young players] are going to get better. So we're going to continue to evaluate."
If the right deal materializes, look for Holland to pull the trigger. If not, he can be content standing pat.
"Trades, to me, can't be forced," Holland said. "Trades happen because two sides each get something they want. Even if you think you have a need and want to do it, there has to be a fit. Somebody else has to have a need. It's a responsibility to work the phone and see what's available, but part of our deadline moves will be internal. We hope to get some of our injured people back."
Update: Make it a two-parter. Hedger also spoke to Holland about the futures of Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard:
This is not the news regarding a Red Wings defenseman that I was expecting this morning:
From the Red Wings' PR department...
RED WINGS TO HOST SECOND ANNUAL SCHOOL SUPPLY COLLECTION PRESENTED BY PNC BANK ON MONDAY
… Fans who Donate on April 1 can win an Autographed Brunner Puck and Photo …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings will host the second annual School Supply Collection presented by PNC Bank to provide children in low-income households with the necessary supplies to learn and participate in their classrooms. The school supply collection will take place during the team’s home game on Monday, April 1, when the Wings take on the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit and AM 1270).
The Detroit Red Wings will fly back to Detroit around 12:45 PM EDT today, and won't arrive until just before 5 PM, and their most immediate concern involves the health of one Johan Franzen, who suffered a "lower-body injury" during last night's 2-0 loss against San Jose. The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that whatever's ailing Franzen is bad enough that he'll see a physician on Friday night...
Last night, I had my first, "Wow, Valtteri Filppula's playing his way out of town" moment. I genuinely like Filppula, and I don't root against any Red Wings player, regardless of whether I like them or whether I heard the clang when they dropped the Stanley Cup at Cheli's Chili, Brett Lebda, but with the salary cap going down and the Wings having to make so many hard decisions with their roster (Filppula, Danny Cleary, Drew Miller, Damien Brunner, Ian White and Jimmy Howard will be UFA's, and Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Jakub Kindl and Joakim Andersson will be RFA's), especially given that the team needs to make roster room for full-time Griffins graduates Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist.
Paul mentioned that TSN's Darren Dreger told the NHL Network that Jay Bouwmeester might be a "fit" for the Detroit Red Wings, but that the Wings and/or any other team making a post-Iginla trade with the Flames would have to "overpay" in terms of assets, and that the Wings may have to surrender Petr Mrazek (ha!) or Jake Paterson (maybe) to acquire Bouwmeester.
NHL.com's taken its sweet-ass time updating its video server at the wrong time of year, so I found the video of Dreger talking about the Flames' "fire sale"...At 5 AM on Friday. Fast forward to the 1:20 mark if you're a Wings fan:
Dreger and Bob McKenzie also discussed the possibility of the Wings going after Mark Streit (2:00 mark) or Lubomir Visnovsky, as well other players that other teams might be interested in, like the in-demand Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold (I'm more interested in Robyn Regehr, but that's just me), Rangers target and Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, Flames bit players Cory Sarich and Anton Babchuk--and it's worth mentioning that McKenzie doesn't believe that the Flames will move Bouwmeester or Mark Giordano--and McKenzie and Dreger see a "fit" for Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney with the Boston Bruins:
Red Bird III remained parked at San Jose International Airport as the Red Wings' players chose to spend the night in San Jose instead of enduring an all-night flight back to Detroit after their game against the Sharks. After dropping a 2-0 decision to San Jose, whose only highlight involved Pavel Datsyuk dekeing Logan Couture out of his shorts, the Wings may have slept a little less easily in their beds, because a very "winnable" game got away.
The Wings will head back to Joe Louis Arena for Sunday-Monday tilts against the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche, respectively, before hitting the road, and the Wings spent the vast majority of this past seven-day period making statements, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-1 last Friday and 2-1 on Sunday, all before heading to Phoenix and dropping the Coyotes 3-2 on Tuesday.
Even having lost Thursday's game to San Jose, the 17-12-and-5 Wings still sit in 6th place in the Western Conference with 39 points, five points ahead of the 9th-place Predators and 6 ahead of the Dallas-Edmonton-Phoenix-Columbus mash-up.
In theory, the Detroit Red Wings and their fans should be happy as clams this morning. The Wings handed the Ducks back-to-back losses, took out the Coyotes, and, aside from Johan Franzen's "lower-body injury," mostly avoided the injury bug (see: Jakub Kindl taking a knee-on-knee hit and not getting seriously hurt) during their West Coast swing. The Wings took 6 of 8 points on their West Coast trip and did a fine job of separating themselves from the playoff pack.
But the Wings' 2-0 loss against San Jose leaves the Wings' twitchy fan base feeling bummed out as the Wings head home for a pair of games against Chicago (on Sunday) and Colorado (on Monday) before heading right back out West again, mostly because the Wings were shut down by a trap-happy and clutchy-and-grabby (got away with it, too) team, playing East-West hockey against a North-South team....
An FYI for those of you who will be attending Sunday's Easter matinee between the Red Wings and Blackhawks:
According to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels, the Wings will wear #9 jerseys with special commemorative patches to be auctioned off for charity (Gordie Howe Foundation) during warm-ups Sunday.
Sorry, I've been watching the game so this is making the rounds, but here's Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk dangling and dekeing Logan Couture out of his shorts on his birthday:
Thanks to HockeyVideoHD on YouTube for posting.
As we close in upon tonight's game between the Sharks and Red Wings (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM), I'm posting a second game-day update post because it sounds like I'm going to have a very long night (10:30 EDT starts mean 5-6 AM EDT bedtimes) and a very early-by-those-standards morning (Tweets from RedWingsFeed and MLive's Ansar Khan):
Very interestingly, NHL.com's Brian Hedger reports that Wings GM Ken Holland
chose to neither go back to Detroit nor make the cross-country trip to San Jose only to join the Wings on a flight back East on what the beat writers reported would be a Friday morning-to-afternoon trip. Holland went to Chicago instead to take in tomorrow's Hawks-Ducks tilt, and along the way was either back in Detroit or en route to San Jose this evening, and Holland had quite the chit-chat with Hedger:
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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.