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The Malik Report

‘Roughly Translated’: Datsyuk’s agent says his client hasn’t picked a KHL employer yet

Spb.Sovsport.ru spoke with Pavel Datsyuk's agent, Dan Milstein, regarding Datsyuk's situation at present. Here's a rough translation thereof:

Milstein: "Pavel returned home, he's now in Yekaterinburg with his family. After a few days he will decide where to continue his career."

Q. [SKA St. Petersburg GM] Alexander Medvedev made it clear that Datsyuk will come from the NHL to SKA.

Milstein: "I can't comment on these statements because I don't know [Medvedev] personally. Pavel will consult his family about the new teams and decide in the coming days."

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Khan checks in on the Wings’ 2015 picks

Ahead of tonight's draft, MLive's Ansar Khan checked in with Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright about the progress made by the Wings' 2015 draft picks:

Evgeny Svechnikov (LW, 19th): Will start pro career with Grand Rapids this season following back-to-back 32-goal seasons (78 and 79 points, respectively) with Cape Breton (QMJHL). He appeared in two playoff games for the Griffins.

"Happy with his development through the year," Wright said. "I didn't think he had the best World Junior (no points in seven games for Russia). I thought he competed hard. We like the size (6-2, 205), we like the sense, like the way he plays below the goal line. He's got into Grand Rapids in the playoff run at the end of the year, played a couple of games, did fine. He's a big body guy that competes, can really shoot the puck and play in the trenches, so happy with that for sure."

Vili Saarijarvi (D, 73rd): His first and only season with the OHL Flint Firebirds was tumultuous, to say the least. This small (5-10,165) puck-moving defenseman had 12 goals and 43 points, along with a minus-15 rating, in 59 games. He played five games for Toledo (ECHL), picking up a goal and three assists. Saarijarvi was traded Friday to the Mississauga Steelheads.

"He did a lot of growing up this year, obviously playing in Flint with the controversy they had around them all year," Wright said. "I thought he played extremely well at the World Junior team (no goals, four assists in seven games for Finland, which won the gold medal). Excited he got to play in big games and play big minutes, played on their power play in the World Junior. Size is a little bit concerning. He's got to get stronger, he's got to put his time in the weight room, but offensively he's gifted. So excited with that."

Khan continues...

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What’s The Price For Cam Fowler?

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Who wouldn't want Fowler? He's 24, already has played more than 400 NHL games, went straight from being drafted 12th overall in 2010 by Anaheim to playing 76 games for the Ducks in 2010-11. He's a smooth puck mover with two years left on a contract that pays $4 million annually.

He'd significantly improve a Wings defense that's average at best. Fowler isn't a true No. 1 defenseman such as Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith, but Fowler is a good No. 2, and the Wings don't even have that at the moment.

As always, the issue is price. Would it make sense for this year's 16th overall pick and a good prospect? Yes. But what if the price is this year's first-round pick and promising right-winger Anthony Mantha?


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Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi traded from Flint to Mississauga

From the Free Press's Brian Manzullo:

Vili Saarijarvi apparently wanted out of Flint - and the Flint Firebirds obliged.

The Ontario Hockey League team announced it had traded Saarijarvi, a Finnish defenseman, to the Mississauga Steelheads. The Firebirds received forward Everett Clark, a second-round pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, a fifth-round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection and a conditional second-round pick in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection.

Saarijarvi is still under the control of the Detroit Red Wings, who drafted him in the third round of the 2015 NHL draft.

“It is unfortunate that Vili was unwilling to continue here in Flint, especially with our new group in place,” Flint Firebirds general manager George Burnett said in a statement. “Vili’s representation made it very clear that a move was necessary or we risked losing him to the Finnish Elite League. Therefore, we wanted to find the best move possible for our club.”

It's unclear where Saarijarvi will play next season despite the trade. He was promoted to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings' top minor-league team, in late March to get a look in the AHL and is planning to work this summer in off-season conditioning to get back to the Griffins this fall.

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Morning-of-the-draft trade talk

As the first round of the NHL Draft awaits us, and the Red Wings prepare to make the 16th overall pick this evening...

Trade talk is stirring, with the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reporting this regarding Pavel Datsyuk's contract...

While the Red Wings are trying to move goaltender Jimmy Howard, one of the top priorities is to try to get the contract of the retired Pavel Datsyuk off the books. That’s proving to be a big challenge because cap space is a valuable commodity even for those teams close to the $54 million floor. Two candidates to take on the $7.5-million cap hit are the Carolina Hurricanes and the Coyotes, but the they’ll only do so if GM Ken Holland sweetens the pot with a roster player or a high-end prospect plus a pick. If the Wings are realistic in their pursuit of Steven Stamkos then something has to happen.

(At this point, Ken Holland looks smarter if he doesn't move the cap hit unless he makes a move in free agency, which is frickin' backwards)

And the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson theorizing a trade scenario:

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On the Klima twins under their father’s tutelage (which is a good thing)

From ESPN's Tal Pinchevsky:

Even Petr Klima sometimes has trouble believing it has been more than three decades since he tiptoed out of a hotel in Nussdorf, West Germany, that housed the Czechoslovakian national team. It was on that night in 1985 that he met a pair of Detroit Red Wings employees in a darkened parking lot and defected to start a new life in the NHL.

That act of international espionage preceded 13 NHL seasons with the Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins that saw equal parts triumph and disappointment, punctuated by a Stanley Cup championship in 1990.

"Wow, I'm getting old," Klima said with a laugh.

All of it -- good and bad -- seems more relevant than ever as his 19-year-old twin sons, Kelly and Kevin, are looking to embark on their own pro hockey careers. Petr Klima just hopes they can avoid the mistakes he made.

"You've got to be strong," Klima said. "If you have goals in your life, sometimes the goals are taking longer than you expected. Sometimes you're on the top right away. Sometimes you're not. You have to be patient, you have to work hard. You have to stay on course and see what happens."


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Evening quickies: McKenzie on Datsyuk and George makes a guess about an available player

As I am recovering from the great Wal-Mart Incursion of June 2016, here are a few tidbits to help you get by:

1. TSN's Bob McKenzie had this to say about the Red Wings and Pavel Datsyuk's cap hit:

MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed that scenario and also stated that the Wings are unlikely to move Jimmy Howard at this point...

2. I'm not saying that there's a fit here, but I'm saying...Farmington Hills boy, played in Windsor...

3. The Free Press's Helene St. James offers a gallery of 10 free agents that may interest the Wings as well.

Update: FYI:

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On Helm, Mrazek And DeKeyser

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who traveled to Buffalo on Tuesday afternoon, plans to meet with Newport Sports, which represents the team’s two biggest restricted free agents: goaltender Petr Mrazek and defenseman Danny DeKeyser....

Holland has talked to unrestricted free agent forward Darren Helm, but Helm wants to talk to other teams once the free-agency window opens Saturday. Teams can bid on UFAs starting July 1 at noon.

Mrazek and DeKeyser both are going to command annual salaries in the range of $4.5-$5 million. Frederik Andersen just got five years and $25 million from Toronto. He’s 26 and has played 125 NHL games, with a 2.33 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Mrazek, 24, has played 94 career games, with a 2.29 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.


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Ken Holland Talking To Other General Managers

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"I've talked to a lot of teams; I really started talking last week," Holland said. "Whatever trades are going to be consummated, around the league, I expect them for the most part to be Friday-Saturday. I've had conversations with lots of managers, I'm not sure what will come of it, but I'm talking to a lot of people."

If the Red Wings make a trade, it's likely to be for a top-pair defenseman, their biggest need.

They could use offensive help up front, too, especially after Datsyuk's departure. But there are better free-agent options at forward on July 1, starting with Steven Stamkos, if he doesn't re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The free-agent market on defense is thin (top names include Jason Demers, Brian Campbell, Dan Hamhuis and Luke Schenn). That is why several names are being tossed around in the rumor mill, including Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), Cam Fowler (Anaheim), Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg), Zach Bogosian (Buffalo), Matt Dumba or Jonas Brodin (Minnesota) and even P.K. Subban (Montreal).

"Everybody is looking for a top-three defenseman," Holland said. "If one is available the price is going to be steep."


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Morning news: On the draft, ‘Traverse City Events,’ advanced stats and ECHL news

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the imminent NHL Draft in Buffalo:

The young talent pool is up for grabs Friday and Saturday during the NHL draft. The Wings select 16th when the first round is held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

“There’s a good crop available, and we’re excited about where we pick,” general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.

With good reason: The most recent time the Wings had near this high of a pick, it yielded Dylan Larkin at 15th overall in 2014. He made the team a year later and led the Wings with 23 goals this past season.

This year, there is a strong possibility the Wings opt for a defenseman — the good ones really have to come from within these days, as they rarely hit the open market.

“At some point in time, we need to draft some defensemen, but if our scouts deem the best available player when we pick is a forward, we’ll pick a forward,” Holland said.

St. James continues...

[edit: MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright about the draft as well:

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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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