The Malik Report
Updated at 4:13 AM: If Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement was a punch to the heart, a staggering loss that’s left Red Wings fans literally grieving the departure of a legendary player and person, the Wings’ decision to trade Brad Stuart’s rights to the San Jose Sharks for a conditional 7th-round pick and a player the Wings probably won’t re-sign in would-be Griffin Andrew Murray was a punch to the gut, reminding those of us who were still wrapping ourselves in warm, fuzzy memories about Lidstrom that the Detroit Red Wings will experience more painful departures this summer…
And that the losses of Lidstrom, Stuart, the probable retirement of Tomas Holmstrom and Jiri Hudler’s likely bolting for more free agent bucks leave the Red Wings with some massive holes in their roster and place an inordinate amount of pressure upon Ken Holland and the Wings’ front office to ensure that said departures don’t leave the Wings anything less than ready to continue to compete with the Western Conference’s elite teams by engaging in a free agent-signing overhaul.
Updated 3x: Yes, even though Brendan Smith will slot into the lineup, the Wings will obviously go after 2 UFA d-men now: Well now, per the Red Wings’ Twitter account, the Wings have traded Brad Stuart’s rights to the San Jose Sharks for a conditional draft pick and the rights to Andrew Murray, a depth forward who may or may not be signed as a call-up:
TRANSACTION: The rights to defenseman Brad Stuart have been traded to San Jose for a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
TRADE: The rights to defenseman Brad Stuart have been traded to San Jose for Andrew Murray and a conditional pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Both Brad Stuart and Andrew Murray are scheduled to become UFA’s on July 1.
Murray is a 30-year-old center and unrestricted free agent-to-be who earned $575,000 on a 2-way deal with the Sharks this past season, playing in 39 NHL games (and registering 1 goal and 3 assists) for the Sharks and 2 goals and an assist in 10 games for the Worchester Sharks. The Sports Forecaster describes the 6’2,” 210-pound center as follows:
When one looks at Capgeek.com’s handy-dandy Red Wings salary chart, he or she can easily see that the Wings have three unrestricted free agents of note* to ponder re-signing in Jiri Hudler (out the door—more on this later), Brad Stuart (likely gone) and Tomas Holmstrom (probably pushed out by younger players, and no, Ty Conklin does not count as an “unrestricted free agent of note”) and three restricted free agents to re-sign in Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey.
The Wings plan to retain the services of each and every one of their restricted free agents, but the imminent collision of wild and wacky free agent asking prices under a temporary $70.3 million salary cap, and an almost inevitable reduction thereof under the next CBA, makes determining Helm, Abdelkader and Quincey’s “market values” somewhat difficult.
On what remains a somewhat quiet Saturday in terms of Red Wings news…
The biggest story of this afternoon’s news cycle involves the Wings’ most likely Zach Parise back-up plan in one Alex Semin. Via a heads-up from Sports.ru, Semin spoke to Sport-Express (the article lists no author some reason), and if you’re a fan of the streaky scorer, especially given his chemistry with Pavel Datsyuk during the World Championships, there’s good news of a sort.
The following translation’s a bit rough, but has been ran through both Google and Promt:
If you didn’t happen to see it yesterday afternoon, Winging it in Motown offered the initial pricing info regarding the Red Wings’ Winter Classic Alumni game at Comerica Park, as well as the main event at Michigan Stadium, and if you don’t feel like heading on over to the Wings’ website which provides images of the “pricing,” they’re available after the jump cut (you can access bigger images by clicking on the 500 pixel-wide ones, and many thanks to Steve for the heads-up):
I certainly can’t confirm this, but, via RedWingsFeed, Winging it in Motown reader Jaclyn_ posited a probable slate of Winter Classic ticket prices, as released to Wings season ticket-holders this week:
I’ve never posted here before, but I read this site all the time. I became a wings season ticket holder this year and I received information on the winter classic tickets today. I thought I would share some of the stuff, so everyone knew what to expect when they become available to the public. Tickets for the winter classic itself start at $89.00 then continue 129.00, 149.00, 189.00, 219.00, 249.00, and 279.00. Not including taxes or fees. You also have to buy one ticket to the great lakes invitational per winter classic ticket you buy, in order to complete your package. Those prices are 18.00, 28.00, and 38.00. The season ticket holder book says that overflow tickets will be made available to the public later this summer. And that the alumni showdown tickets will not be made available to anyone until later this summer. Just thought id share the info I could on classic.
The “regular person” prices are usually more expensive than the rates offered to season ticket-holders…And as expensive as these rates are, especially for seats half a frickin’ mile from the action, I thought that they’d be marked up even more than they’re listed as. Keep in mind that ticket prices for the Winter classic itself are determined by the NHL, not the Wings…
Update: Well this is incredibly discouraging. According to an email Josh Howard received from the Grand Rapids Griffins, there will be no public sale of Winter Classic tickets:
Red Wings mid-day news: on Lidstrom’s future, Cleary and Brunnstrom updates and more UFA speculation
Updated 3x with Suter talk at 6:57 PM: This afternoon’s crop of Red Wings news may as well be called, “Variations on the overnight report’s themes,” because I’ll begin this entry with chatter about Nicklas Lidstrom’s future, and then offer some updates about Red Wings players before devolving into inevitable free agent discussion.
First and foremost, the Red Wings, the Swedish national team and Vasteras IK, among other organizations, all want to give Nicklas Lidstrom at least part-time employment in an ambassadorial role, but the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau suggests that Lidstrom will at least take this summer off, and after that, he may choose to simply remain a full-time dad for the first time in his life. Cue the “Ask Adam” feature!
On a very grumpy morning for a mildly aggravated blogger: Regardless of what you, I or Red Wings GM Ken Holland would like to believe as to whether Zach Parise, Ryan Suter or any other player might test the waters of unrestricted free agency, the plain and simple truth of the matter is that it’s the player’s decision. The player’s current rights-holders can do everything in their power to convince said players to stay, but in the case of “marquee” free agents, history tends to suggest that one might as well flip a coin when attempting to predict whether a player wishes to remain where he is, or whether the lure of having a Brinks truck backed up to their porch and being told they never have to worry about being taken care of for the foreseeable future, by multiple suitors, is simply too tempting to resist, even if that means making a decision regarding a long-term commitment to an unknown employer over the course of an hour, or often, fifteen or twenty minutes.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun offers five potential ways for the NHL to “Reduce the Grind” of October-to-June hockey, and while I adore LeBrun, every time a MSM’er brings this suggestion up, I want to find a hammer:
2. Cancel All-Star Weekend. Well you know how I’ve felt about the All-Star Game for a long time. But the three-to-four days that the NHL pauses for this meaningless and boring event could be better used to help spread out the regular-season games. Why waste those days on an event few people care about?
He continues, of course, but this…This just pisses me off so damn much, because while yes, the All-Star Game is a glorified no-hit, exhibition-style game where—gasp!—the players are simply having fun playing with incredibly skilled peers and are trying not to get hurt, but for Monkey’s sake, the players enjoy it, the people who pay overpriced tickets to attend the skills competition and game seem to enjoy it, and, put bluntly, there is no way in frickin’ hell that the NHL is ever, ever going to cancel an event that is its best in-season opportunity to wine and dine its sponsors.
Updated 3x at 4:40 PM: Continuing a theme from the overnight report this morning, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers one more slate of reminisces and recollections of the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup win from a slightly different cast of characters, including then-GM Jimmy Devellano, Fox Sports Detroit analyst Larry Murphy and Wings exec Kris Draper:
“I remember the first (Cup) very (vividly) because it happened at the Joe,” Lidstrom said. “I’m out there with Vladimir Konstantinov; you’re just hoping you can keep the puck in the corner. He falls on it and we’re all just waiting for the buzzer to go. That feeling when that buzzer goes, the crowd went nuts, the players went nuts. The city’s been waiting 40-some years for it. That moment, when you’re winning it all and all the players are hugging your goalie, celebrating, is something special.”
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.