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‘Three Things’: Quality Quincey, the ‘lower limit’ and mock drafts

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. This is...different...

2. The Free Press's Helene St. James suggests that the NHL's salary cap's lower limit is good news for the team:

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Caputo’s three-pronged approach to solving the Datsyuk problem

The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo is pressing very hard for the Red Wings to make three significant roster moves (and I'm not sure where he gets the Mantha theory) in order to recover from Pavel Datsyuk's decision to go back to Russia:

The thought Datsyuk hasn’t soiled his legacy in Detroit is preposterous. He left the Red Wings - and particularly general manager Ken Holland - holding a massive bag of air that officially popped over the weekend. He essentially got the money he was seeking with a long-term deal, conveniently cut out the last season. He will likely have a nice contract in the KHL back in Russia anyway, This after playing two seasons in which it was clear he wasn’t particularly motivated.

Secondly, while Holland had earned plenty of slack given the Red Wings’ success in the past, it’s pretty much been used up. When was the last time the Red Wings’ acquired a genuine impact player from another organization? Brad Stuart?

As such...

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UFA Of Interest - Troy Brouwer

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Why he would interest the Red Wings: He would help compensate for some of the offense lost with Pavel Datsyuk's departure and would provide size and a physical presence for a team that lacks size up front. They could also use another right-handed shooter, especially in their top six.

How he could fit in with the Red Wings: A complementary top-six winger. He would play on the power play and on the penalty kill.

What it might take to get him: Perhaps a four- or five-year deal in the range of $4.5 million a season.

Three key questions: 1. Should the Red Wings pursue a center instead? 2. Did he just catch lightning in a bottle in the playoffs? 3. All things being equal, how much would it help having a right shot in the top six and on the power play?

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A bit of cap talk

As Ken Holland said this past Saturday, "It's all on General Fanager...Or CapFriendly..." The news that the NHL's salary cap increased by an entire $1.6 million, with its upper limit hitting $74 million U.S., still had to yield a sigh of relief for the higher-salaried teams, and as MLive's Ansar Khan notes, the Red Wings are one of those teams:

The Red Wings' current payroll is roughly $59.6 million. They still need to restricted free agents Danny DeKeyser, Petr Mrazek, Alexey Marchenko and Teemu Pulkkinen. Among their unrestricted free agents, they have made offers to Darren Helm and Drew Miller.

They must shed Pavel Datsyuk's $7.5 million cap hit in order to be a major player in free agency on July 1. General manager Ken Holland said on Saturday that he is not "overly optimistic" he'll be able to move the contract (Datsyuk won't actually be getting paid) due to teams asking for top prospects. But Holland is already in Buffalo for this weekend's draft and will continue his attempts to trade the cap hit.

Khan continues, noting that the Wings will receive $3.95 million in cap relief when Johan Franzen's salary hits the LTIR, but if the Wings don't move Datsyuk's salary, they really don't have much space at all with which to play the UFA marketplace.

I don't have a problem with that as I'd like to see the team "play the kids" anyway, but that $14-or-so million in cap space will go pretty quickly given that DeKeyser and Mrazek are likely due salaries in the $3.5-4 million range, and when you add up Pulkkinen, Marchenko and the Wings' five AHL-level free agents, that cap space goes quickly, even assuming that the Wings don't re-sign at least Darren Helm.

Of course that situation can change if the Wings are able to pawn off Jimmy Howard's $5.29 million, but that appears to be increasingly unlikely unless the Wings either eat some of that figure or take a salary back in return.

When you realistically look at the Wings' cap figure with Datsyuk's salary still in the mix, there's not quite as much room to play as one would like, and even with the team able to exceed the cap ceiling by 10% ($7.4 million) during the offseason, the Wings will have to get creative to add to the roster via free agency.

Part of me really thinks that the team might be better off having to lean on "the kids" and Nyquist and Tatar, but that's just me.

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Is a ‘Canadian ethos’ what made Howe, Orr and Gretzky special?

Former ESPN analyst Al Morganti, penning a column for the Philly Voice, suggests that hockey has been blessed by a "Canadian ethos" embodied by Gordie Howe, and that the sport may be worse off without Mr. Hockey:

In the wake of Howe’s passing, what all hockey fans have to hope for at this point is that the athletes who compete in the sport at all levels do not lose the Canadian ethos that made the game so special. What we all have to hope for is that the humble, honest traits of Gordie Howe that were so wonderfully passed on to his Hall of Fame American son Mark, are not lost on the wide world of talent now excelling at the sport.

From generation to generation hockey players have upheld a tradition that they are the working class, down-to-earth citizens of professional sports. Despite the fattening wallets in the locker room there has remained some contact to the days when players arrived from Red Deer, Brandon and Val D’Or.

The models were Howe, Orr and Gretzky – bred in the land of Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta. In Philadelphia a generation of children learned about Flin Flon, and in Boston a generation knew of a place called Parry Sound.

They also learned that not all athletes were driven by ego, and that players can blend into the local community. There was almost a demand by peers that a player respect the game, respect their city and respect the players who went before them in the ancestry of the league.

Morganti continues...Do you think that the "Canadian-ness" of hockey defines it, or does hockey's team-first culture transcend nationality?

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Here’s the Red Wings’ 2016-17 regular season schedule

Here's the Red Wings' 2016-17 regular season schedule (home games in italics):

RED WINGS ANNOUNCE 2016-17 SCHEDULE FOR THE FAREWELL SEASON AT THE JOE

… 23 Home Games on Friday, Saturday or Sunday; 10 Home Matchups Against Original Six Teams; Final Regular-Season Game at The Joe Set for April 9 vs. New Jersey Devils …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced their 2016-17 schedule for the team’s “Farewell Season at The Joe.” The year-long celebration will highlight historic games and entertainment acts held at The Joe during the building’s illustrious 38-year history with championship and alumni celebrations, memorable giveaways and special entertainment performances leading up to the final regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday, April 9 against the New Jersey Devils.

The schedule features a fan-friendly home slate of 23 weekend games (six Fridays, nine Saturdays, eight Sundays). Detroit will host all Original Six opponents at least one more time at The Joe and will play a total of 18 games against the Original Six, including five games against the Montreal Canadiens and four games against the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

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St. James on Stamkos, Datsyuk’s cap hit, Howard and expansion

As Today's Slapshot's Chris Nichols Tweeted this...

The Free Press's Helene St. James posted an update regarding the Datsyuk situation from GM Ken Holland:

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Morning news: On a tribute to Gordie, historical notes, Datsyuk, Ken Kal and Kevin Allen

Updated 3x at 10:33 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The NHL Awards will be held tomorrow night in Las Vegas, and the Las Vegas Sun's Robin Leach (yes, that Robin Leach) states that the NHL will hold a tribute to Gordie Howe during the awards, with Mark, Marty and Murray Howe in attendance;

2. TSN's BarDown blog points us toward a post on PuckJunk.com in which Sal Berry highlights Gordie Howe's career in hockey cards, from 1951-52 to 1980;

3. The Free Press has published a new book about Howe:

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Would Andrew Ladd Be A Fit With The Wings?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Why he would interest the Red Wings: They need to replace the offense they lost with Pavel Datsyuk's departure and Ladd has proven to be a consistent scorer. He would provide more size up front on a team with several smaller forwards. He has championship experience, something only two Red Wings under contract (Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall) possess.

How he could fit in with the Red Wings: He would play the left wing on one of the top two lines, with either Zetterberg or Dylan Larkin, who the club might move to center. Ladd would play on the power play and could be used on the penalty kill if needed.

What it might take to get him: Perhaps a five-year deal for around $5 million to $5.5 million a season.

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A bit about Dylan Larkin’s hockey camp

If you're interested...

From WXYZ:

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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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