The Malik Report
We’ve been talking about the Red Wings’ signing prospects, gauging the team’s prospect pool and assessing potential draft picks over the past few days, but MLive’‘s Ansar Khan (via RedWingsFeed) brings our focus back to the most important dates on the Wings’ calendar for a long time in the team’s organizational powwow on June 2nd-5th.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland made sure to tell Khan that the team won’t be making any “lateral” moves this summer:
“Nobody is feeling good about our five-game playoff run,’’ general manager Ken Holland said. “We got to figure out ways to change our team.’‘
Many ideas will be discussed this weekend, when the Red Wings brass gathers in Detroit for the organization’s annual pro scouting meetings.
“We’ll evaluate our own players, what we think we need to do to get better,’’ Holland said. “We’ll go through the list of potential free agents on July 1. We’ll compare our team to the other 14 teams in the Western Conference. We’ll start to come up with a game plan, so I can get knowledge from the group on what everybody is thinking.’‘
Red Wings GM Ken Holland consistently brings new ideas to general managers’ meetings, and while the Wings’ amateur scouts take in the draft combine in Toronto, Holland will visit with the NHL’s GM’s in New York today.
Holland successfully lobbied his peers to change the tiebreaker for playoff seeding from any win to regulation or overtime wins, he’s discussed the concept of adding 3-on-3 play to overtime to help avoid shootouts, and today, the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Holland will discuss the concept of carrying over penalties from one game to the next during the playoffs:
It’s an interesting concept. It would, for example, have meant that the Red Wings would have started Game 2 of their first-round series with Nashville with Predators captain Shea Weber serving a two-minute roughing penalty for slamming Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass as Game 1 ended. In fact, they would have had a two-man power play, as Martin Erat was called for holding at 19:37.
The Red Wings kicked off their work week with a bit of a bang by signing potential 20-goal-scorer Teemu Pulkkinen to a 3-year, entry-level contract, and while most of the Wings’ brass is at the NHL’s draft combine, we know that they’re going to ink perhaps their most NHL-ready prospect (despite the fact that he’ll remain with his Swedish team, Brynas IF) in Calle Jarnkrok and perhaps their most skilled stickhandler in Tomas Jurco to entry-level deals over the next few days.
The Wings surrendered quite the pick by their standards—the 19th pick—to acquire Kyle Quincey, but the Detroit News’s Jim Nill told the Free Press’s George Sipple that he believes the Wings can snag a decent player when they draft around 50th (depending on those pesky compensatory picks, and whether the Devils will surrender their pick to the league as part of the penalty they have to pay for signing Ilya Kovalchuk)...
Updated 4x at 6:46 PM: According to the Red Wings’ Twitter account, the team has signed the first of three prospects they plan on signing this week to an entry-level contract:
The Red Wings have signed Teemu Pulkkinen to a three-year entry level contract. He was a 4th round pick (111th overall) in the 2010 Draft.
The Wings will also sign Tomas Jurco and Calle Jarnkrok to entry-level deals in short order.
The Free Press’s Helene St. James is confirming the signing, and we’ll hear more about Pulkkinen’s deal soon.
Update: Here’s DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose confirming the signing:
On Monday, Crain’s Detroit Business’s Bill Shea penned an article about the adverse effects of a lockout upon any attempts by the Red Wings’ ownership to secure public subsidies for Joe Louis Arena’s follow-on facility, but the article’s blocked by a paywall, so MLive’s Brendan Savage provides the gist of Shea’s article (via RedWingsFeed) in publicly-accessible form this morning:
Updated 3x with some Hudler speculation at 8:36 AM: Before the Red Wings’ brass sits down for next week’s organizational meetings, the team’s amateur scouts are spending this week in Toronto, attending the NHL’s Draft combine, and they’re probably doing so while wincing: the Wings acquired Kyle Quincey in exchange for the team’s first-round draft pick, which, at the time of Quincey’s arrival, was still in the mid-20’s, but the Wings’ late-season slide means that the Tampa Bay Lightning will be utilizing the 19th overall pick at Detroit’s expense.
By Wings standards, that’s a ridiculously high pick, especially given this year’s supposedly “weak” draft class yielding a high probability of players ranked just outside of the “top ten” drifting down to that 19th spot, but the Wings’ scouts at least hope that by the time the 49th pick (or thereabouts, depending on compensatory shenanigans on the NHL’s part) comes around, they’ll still be able to draft a first-rounder who’s slipped through the cracks, as assistant GM Jim Nill told the Free Press’s George Sipple:
Obvious: if the Red Wings have the luxury of ‘choosing’ between Suter and Parise, they’ll pick Suter
This talk is somewhat dangerous to begin with—assuming that any team will have the opportunity to pick and choose whether to sign one or both of the two marquee free agents that every other team’s fan base believes will sign with them because every team’s beat writers are convinced that, say, Zach Parise would make the perfect Anaheim Duck…
But Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner makes a somewhat obvious suggestion in proffering the theory that, given Nicklas Lidstrom’s age, even if the captain comes back, it would make more sense for the Wings (assuming that any of this talk is sensical to begin with) to invest in a player like Ryan Suter and to settle on a “consolation prize” if they’re lucky enough to have to “choose” between Suter and Parise:
On Sunday, the Free Press’s Helene St. James more or less sketched out the Red Wings brass’s plans after their amateur scouts attend this week’s draft combine in Toronto, with an organizational powwow more or less determining the team’s approaches to re-signing their restricted free agents, decision-making processes regarding unrestricted free agents-to-be Tomas Holmstrom, Brad Stuart and Jiri Hudler, either retaining the services of Joey MacDonald or augmenting the back-up goaltender’s position, and obviously deciding which unrestricted free agents to prioritize going into July 1st.
In terms of the organization’s immediate future plans, they involve signing two players who will remain in Europe in Calle Jarnkrok* and Teemu Pulkkinen and one player who will “turn pro” with the Grand Rapids Griffins in Tomas Jurco, and the Free Press’s George Sipple spoke to Wings assistant GM and draft guru Jim Nill about the upside of Jurco, who’s wrapped up his junior career with strong showings during the regular season, playoffs and Memorial Cup as a member of the Saint John Sea Dogs:
In a week, things get interesting, at least behind closed doors. The Red Wings’ amateur scouts, and at least a good chunk of the team’s brass, will head to Toronto on Monday to take in the six-day meet, greet, and make-em-puke that is the NHL Draft combine, and then it’s back to Detroit for the team’s organizational meetings from June 2nd to 5th. With their draft list’s i’s dotted and t’s slashed, the front office—as in the whole front office—will gather at the Joe and decide whether the team plans on attempting to re-sign Jiri Hudler, whether they’ll invite Tomas Holmstrom back for one more season, or whether they’ll move on, whether they’ll make one more attempt to convince Brad Stuart to stay, whether they plan on going with Joey MacDonald or perhaps a free agent as Jimmy Howard’s back-up, and of course, who the team will target on July 1st, regardless of whether Nicklas Lidstrom chooses to continue playing.
The Free Press’s Helene St. James found that Wings GM Ken Holland made no bones about the gravity of next weekend’s festivities…
Updated with afternoon tidbits at 2:07 PM: The Raleigh News and Observer’s Chip Alexander and Luke DeCock have penned a series of articles recalling the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2002 Stanley Cup run, discussing the team’s cementing of its status as a locally-adopted team, pondering the “curse” of the Prince of Wales trophy, offering status updates as to what the Canes’ alums are doing at present, and, of course, DeCock recalling the Red Wings’ Triple Overtime win in Game 3 from a Carolina perspective:
“I remember talking with Brett Hull a few years later,” said Ron Francis, the Hurricanes’ captain that night. “I didn’t even want to hear about it, but he said. ‘Game 3, if you guys had won ...’ I mean, they felt it too.”
For years, I believed that if the Hurricanes had won Game 3, they wouldn’t necessarily have won the series, but it would have gone seven games, and anything could have happened. As time has passed, though, and I’ve had the chance to speak with more people on the Detroit side of things, I’ve come to the conclusion that the series was in fact hanging in the balance that night.
Perhaps not at the end of regulation, when the Hurricanes were clinging to that one-goal lead, but more and more as overtime piled on top of overtime. With every minute the clock ticked, with every shift and every shot and every save, the Red Wings got a little older, a little creakier, a little less equipped to recover from that kind of effort if they lost.
“I think it would have turned things around,” Red Wings forward Sergei Fedorov would say, long after. “It would have been tougher on us to play the later matches. Those kind of games, when you lose, it’s a tough blow for any team. It could have been a seven-game series. You never know.”
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.