The Malik Report
Excellent news from Grand Rapids: Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill has re-signed perhaps the best assistant coach in the AHL, inking Jim Paek to a one-year contract extension:
The longest-tenured coach in Grand Rapids Griffins history, Jim Paek will return for his eighth season as the team’s assistant coach after signing a one-year contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. He’ll work alongside new Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill.
Paek, 45, helped guide Grand Rapids to its best regular season in franchise history in 2005-06, capturing the AHL’s regular championship with a team-record 55 wins, and to additional playoff berths in 2006-07 and 2008-09. He even took a turn as the team’s bench boss for one game in 2008-09, a 4-0 home victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 10, 2009.
After winning two Stanley Cups as a defenseman with Pittsburgh in 1990-91 and 1991-92, Paek earned the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s prize for the third time in 2008 after coaching the Red Wings’ “black aces” during the parent club’s title run. Paek has continued assisting Detroit during the playoffs while also maintaining roles during the Red Wings’ summer development camps and fall prospect tournaments and training camps.
I wasn’t feeling particularly well on Tuesday afternoon, so I decided to take a little nap. I’ve got a new phone, so I woke up to David Beckham’s ringtone, a.k.a. my text message indicator, and Paul let me know that he’d gotten the news that the Nashville Predators had matched Shea Weber’s offer sheet.
I shrugged my shoulders and rolled over, because, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James suggested on Twitter, those of you who’ve been venting your frustrations about what has been a ,a href=“http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tmr/comments/red_wings_mid-day_news_reviewing_the_teams_action_plan/”>challenging summer for Red Wings GM Ken Holland just got a little tougher:
Given the readers’ reactions to the last couple of posts, this isn’t going to go over particularly well, but especially in light of the Shane Doan grand tour taking a more serious tone, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers a necessary review of the Red Wings’ action plan given the front office’s inability to land Ryan Suter or Zach Parise (for family reasons), Shea Weber (didn’t want to sign with a Central Division Rival) or Rick Nash, noting that Ken Holland & Company will proceed cautiously but aggressively as they exhaustively investigate every opportunity to improve their team:
If the Red Wings don’t land Doan, they might make a pitch for free-agent right wing Alexander Semin on a short-term deal (one or two years). Teams are hesitant to ink the talented forward to a long-term pact, since his commitment is often question.
Khan believes that Bobby Ryan’s asking price makes it highly unlikely that the Wings will attempt to trade to acquire a goal-scorer with other options (including Petr Sykora) available for only the price of their contracts. Otherwise…
The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday signed veteran defenseman Brennan Evans to a one-year contract.
Evans, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Peoria Rivermen, recording 21 points (5-16—21) in 142 games. Over his nine-year pro career, Evans has also played for the Lowell Lock Monsters, Binghamton Senators, Worcester Sharks, Iowa Chops and Toronto Marlies. In 636 career AHL games, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of New Battleford, Saskatchewan, has recorded 100 points (14-86—100) and 1,349 penalty minutes.
Evans’ only NHL action came in the 2004 playoffs, when he skated in two games with the Calgary Flames during their series against the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to turning pro, Evans spent five seasons in the WHL, recording 41 points (12-29—41) in 257 games and capturing a Memorial Cup with Kootenay in 2001-02.
This morning, the Free Press’s Helene St. James is confirming a story from the general manager’s mouth: as MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness reported, the Red Wings did indeed attempt to make a very strong push to acquire Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but GM Scott Howson demurred, not wanting to see his franchise’s poster boy play for the Blue Jackets’ self-styled arch-rival.
Ken Holland did indeed make his pitch, but what was probably a better return than the one the New York Rangers sent to central Ohio went over like a practical joke at a funeral:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland was bound to say something more than he offered the Free Press’s Helene St. James regarding what was all but certainly a better offer for Rick Nash than what the New York Rangers ended up giving Columbus, which declined doing business with Detroit…
#RedWings GM Ken Holland: “I talked to Scott Howson a number of times, we did make an offer for Rick Nash.”— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) July 23, 2012
And he did just that while speaking to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, albeit while keeping what I can best describe as that strangely dichotomous party line going—cue the “happy with our team” versus the team will move aggressively to improve itself spiel. First, Pleiness confirms that the Wings offered the Blue Jackets More than the Rangers did….
Updated 3x at 7:48 PM: Even during the last full week of July, I hate toe engage in any sort of speculation, Arthur Staple’s reports that current New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is filing a grievance with the NHLPA, asking them to negate his trade to the Islanders per his no-trade clause as a member of the Anaheim Ducks, most certainly has Ken Holland’s ears perked up.
I had an, “I can’t believe I was dumb enough to wait until now to spit it out” moment earlier this morning (okay, so it’s the middle of the night for most of you. It’s the end of the day for me): after reading some of your takes on MLive’s Ansar Khan’s report that Ken Holland’s hoping that Shane Doan’s “Tour of Potential but Unlikely Employers” will make a stop in Detroit, as well as your takes on the Wings’ desire to avoid having to pay what is probably a sticker-shockingly high asking price to acquire one Alex Semin…
I headed over to Capgeek.com and found a very simple answer as to why the Red Wings don’t want to find their hands tied financially going forward, even if exercising fiscal restraint means that the team might lose out on Doan, Semin and any free agent leftovers who may or may not believe the theory that Detroit is no longer the “place to play”:
Via RedWingsFeed, MLive’s Ansar Khan offers some welcome relief to what has otherwise been a bit of a frustrating week and weekend for Red Wings fans, stating that Red Wings GM Ken Holland wants Shane Doan to come to Detroit as the unrestricted free agent forward continues his “grand tour” of possible suitors’ rinks and visits with their respective front office personnel:
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Sunday that he hopes to meet face-to-face with Shane Doan, as the club continues its pursuit of the free-agent forward.
Doan met with the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers over weekend, after attending NHL labor talks in New York on Friday.
His agent, Terry Bross, did not respond to messages Sunday. But Bross told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Doan likely will meet with a couple of more teams, including the Penguins.
Doan, 35, is in the process of determining whether to re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes or go elsewhere. Bross has said Doan would prefer to remain in Phoenix, where he has played since 1996, but that the team’s unsettled ownership situation has cast some doubt of his future. Doan wants some assurance that the franchise won’t relocate following the 2012-13 season. The Red Wings are seeking a top-six forward and Doan is their main target.
Annoyed, frustrated, irked by players declining invites to play here, and more than a little bit scared. That sentence pretty much sums up how the vast majority of Red Wings fans feel at the midpoint of a summer in which Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin, Mike Babcock and even Mike Ilitch have made pitches to and for Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Rick Nash, Shea Weber and possibly as many as a dozen free agents and/or trade targets who’ve gone elsewhere or remained with their current rights-holders.
We assumed that the Wings would leverage their “program” and what appears to be a disappearing competitive advantage in terms of the lure of playing for the Detroit Red Wings into a summer nearly equal to the 2001 coup of Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille signings for a team with almost an equal amount of money to spend on bringing prime talent to Detroit…
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.