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Custance: Judging the Abdelkader deal will inevitably hinge upon Abdelkader’s performance

Among ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider column's topics:

So, the Justin Abdelkader contract seems to have riled a few people up. I noted on Twitter the gap between the value of a winger with size who can score held by general managers and those in the analytics community, and set off a bit of debate. Not just on Twitter, either. Immediately, the e-mails and texts started popping up on my phone.

One executive pointed out that the Red Wings have significant raises coming for good, young players like Riley Sheahan, Danny DeKeyser, Petr Mrazek and Teemu Pulkkinen. He didn’t like the term, calling it a “huge premium” and wondered what the rush was considering the 2016 UFA class is still not established.

A defender of the deal pointed out that people are getting too caught up in the seven-year term, that nobody expects these deals to provide value at the end. Going that long is about driving down the average annual value, and getting value in the shorter term, capitalizing on contributions out of the players in the first few years of the deal and then figuring out what to do with the contract down the road. By front-loading the deal, it’s possible Abdelkader is worth something closer to his actual salary in the second-half of the deal, and a team that isn’t a cap team or is trying to get to the floor will find value in it.

The value in it for the Red Wings is they know what they’re getting in Abdelkader both on and off the ice compared to an unknown they might have pursued in free agency. If he’s the top-six player they believe he is, the contract is reasonable. If he’s not, the criticism will only get louder.

Custance continues, and I thought an, "A deal of this magnitude depends completely upon the player's performance" analysis of said deal was rather obvious.

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Pulkkinen fined for diving

Cue the WTF?

RED WINGS' PULKKINEN FINED $2,000 FOR DIVING/EMBELLISHMENT

NEW YORK (Nov. 13, 2015) – Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.

NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale outlined below:

Citation #    Player Fine(s)    * Head Coach Fine(s)
    1    Warning    N/A
    2    $2,000    N/A
    3    $3,000    N/A
    4    $4,000    $2,000
    5    $5,000    $3,000
    6    $5,000    $4,000
    7    $5,000    $5,000
    8    $5,000    $5,000

* For Head Coach, each FINE issued to a player on his Club counts toward
total.

Citations are issued by the National Hockey League Hockey Operations Department, which tracks all games, logs all penalties for diving or embellishment and flags all plays not called on the ice that in its opinion were deserving of such a penalty. A Citation is issued once Hockey Operations, through its internal deliberations, is convinced that a player warrants sanction.

Pulkkinen was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 116 at Vancouver on Oct. 24. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 12:36 of the first period during NHL Game No. 211 against Dallas on Nov. 8.

Update: Here's the incident:

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Red Wings-Sharks morning skate Tweets: Howard starts, Datsyuk returns

Updated 4x at 11:52 AM: The Red Wings host the San Jose Sharks this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM; tonight is Military Appreciation Night at the Joe). The 8-6-and-1 Wings hope prey upon the 7-8-and-0 Sharks as San Jose's lost 8 of their past 11 games, and Pavel Datsyuk's return to the lineup should bolster Detroit's cause.

According to the Free Press's George Sipple, Brad Richards skated alone before the morning skate began...

Richards #wings http://vine.co/v/iBK2tmaLI9q

And it appears that Jimmy Howard will start this evening, per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Sharks set-up

The Detroit Red Wings kick off a stretch of 6 games played over the course of 9 nights against the San Jose Sharks on Friday evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM), and this would be a good time for the Wings to bite down upon the Sharks.

The Sharks have gone 3-and-8 over their past 11 games, and are beginning a 6-game road trip having lost 2 straight and 3 of 4, including Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Islanders, Patrick Marleau trade rumors are swirling as the Sharks falter, and the team's without Logan Couture, who's recovering from a broken leg.

All of that sounds like a recipe for an easy win, and as you and I both know by now, the Red Wings and "easy win" have yet to meet.

Just as importantly, as the Mercury News's Curtis Pashelka notes, the Sharks believe that they'll be able to steady themselves on the road...

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Prospect news: Holmstrom registers goal and assist; Kadeikin back in 13th forward’s role

Of prospect-related note:

In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin played all of 1:36 in SKA St Petersburg's 5-3 win over Vityaz;

In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 12:48 in TPS Turku's 5-1 win over HPK;

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom had a goal and an assist and won 66% of his faceoffs in Skelleftea AIK's 3-2 OT win over Orebo. You can watch his 2-0 goal here;

And in the QMJHL, Adam Marsh finished at -2 in the Saint John Sea Dogs' 5-0 loss to Moncton.

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Evening news: On Abdelkader, Richards and Datsyuk’s return

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness penned an article about Justin Abdelkader's extension:

“I know the person, I know his passion and I know his commitment,” [Ken] Holland said Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. “I’m with him every day. If you’re outside the organization you might have some hesitation but I know what he’s all about. So I think at the end of the day if it’s too long, you worry about it six years from now. The most important thing was to get him signed up.

“I know I’ve talked to some people in the industry that think it’s a fabulous deal for us,” Holland added. “I think it’s a fabulous deal because we’ve found a way to keep him signed and we couldn’t afford to lose him.”

The deal with Abdelkader, who would have been an unrestricted after this season, has an annual salary cap hit of $4.25 million.

“I wanted to make it clear in negotiations that I wanted to stay here and be here long term,” said Abdelkader, who’s in the final year of a four-year deal with a salary-cap his of $1.8 million. “I’m gonna keep fully committing myself to this team, this organization on and off the ice, and do what I can to be a leader.”

2. MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Brad Richards about his recovery from a back issue:

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WXYZ posts video of Ken Holland discussing the Abdelkader contract

Via RedWingsFeed, WXYZ posted a 4:55 video of Red Wings GM Ken Holland speaking with the media about the Justin Abdelakder contract:

Update: WXYZ posted an evening report on Abdelkader as well:

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Bob McKenzie On The Justin Abdelkader Extension

via Hope_Smoke tweets,

McKenzie on TSN Radio "the reaction on twitter have not been kind to Abdelkador & Det"

McKenzie "the Wings like Abdelkador and, while he's probably a 3rd liner, he can play up in their lineup and didn't want to lose him"

McKenzie "there is a bit of an overpayment but you always do for UFA & they didn't want to lose him."

Mckenzie "Wings may not like final few years of deal but looking more at next 4 years & they didn't want to lose him"

Mckenzie "Abdelkador would get same on open market"

Mckenzie "the Wings are paying a premium to make sure Abdelkador doesn't walk out the door and leave a hole in their lineup"

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Ties To The Military

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

It's one of the most famous events in world history, the day that Western allies invaded northern France, landing on the beach in Normandy.

D-Day happened on June 6, 1944, and Justin Abdelkader's great-uncle, Garrett Bass, was among the troops that landed there that day.

Abdelkader said he once did a school project on Bass for a ninth-grade class.

"I got to interview him.," Abdelkader said. "I want to say he shook hands with General (George) Patton at one point when they moved forward to Normandy on the beach. Obviously it was a touchy subject so he didn't like talking about all the details but just pretty special. It was neat I got to bring his uniform and everything in."

Most people have seen the iconic photos taken that day when the troops arrived on the beach.

"It's truly amazing, one of the biggest events in the last 100 years, for the whole world," Abdelkader said. "For him to be a part of it, for him to go and fight for the freedom of our country and allies, it's pretty special."

Brad Richards' grandfather also fought in World War II.

continued

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Post-practice articles: Datsyuk to return Friday; Abdelkader discusses contract extension

Updated 6x at 3:20 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

Practice was chock full of news regarding Pavel Datsyuk, Brad Richards, Kyle Quincey and a little dust-up between Teemu Pulkkinen and Brendan Smith. The Free Press's Helene St. James covers all the bases in her practice report:

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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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