The Malik Report
Updated 2x at 12:27 PM, and yes, Bill covered this—sorry about being slow on the uptake: As noted this morning, 26-year-old free agent Damien Brunner told Blick.ch that he may sign with the Wings, and MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that that may just happen:
The Detroit Red Wings appear to have landed talented Swiss forward Damien Brunner. But they won’t know for sure until July 1, when he can sign with any NHL team. Brunner, a highly sought undrafted free agent, told Swiss media that he has agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the Red Wings.
Brunner, 26, isn’t big (5-11, 180), but he’s a fast-skating, highly skilled winger who shoots right-handed. He led the Swiss-A league in scoring with 24 goals and 60 points in 45 games for Zug. He’s a Jiri Hudler-type of player, except with speed.
Brunner has one year remaining on his contract with the Swiss club but told media that he has an out clause. As many as a half-dozen NHL teams, including Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, were interested in the undrafted forward.
The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms the news...
As so many of you wait for the Red Wings to theoretically get into the Draft day trade mix (the Wings do not have a pick in tonight’s 1st round, which will air on NBCSN from 7-9 and then switch to CNBC, but have six picks in rounds 2-7, which take place Saturday at 10 AM, and will be aired on the NHL Network and streamed on NHL.com—unless you live in Canada, where it’s all on TSN), despite Wings GM Ken Holland’s suggestions to the contrary...
Perhaps one Mike Ilitch’s take on when the Wings expect to make hay with their $24 million in cap space, shared in a mostly Tigers-centered conversation with the Free Press’s Evil Drew Sharp, might set the record straight:
He’s excited about the coming NHL free agency July 1 and said the Wings will be ready to make a big impact.
“We’re going to be flying all over the country,” he said.
Things tend to happen a little faster than that, but it’s good to hear that Ilitch is willing to lend the use of his private plane to the Wings’ brass.
The Sharks have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with defenseman Brad Stuart, Sharks GM Doug Wilson exclusively told CSNCalifornia.com. Terms were not disclosed but reports say the deal is worth $3.6 million per year.
Stuart, 32, was acquired by the Sharks from the Red Wings on June 10 for Andrew Murray and a conditional seventh round draft pick in 2014. The pick will be transfered to the Red Wings when the deal becomes official.
“We acquired his rights, and he certainly fits how we want to play and what we’re looking for on our hockey team,” Wilson said on Monday.
Via RedWingsFeed, you and I already know that the players the Red Wings are particularly interested in signing and/or acquiring the signing rights to—like Zach Parise, Alex Semin and Ryan Suter—have either already chosen to explore unrestricted free agency on July 1st, or they’re still entertaining contract offers from current rights-holders insistent upon waiting things out while their players assess their market values before circling back to their 2011-2012 season’s employers on Canada Day.
So it should come as no surprise that, on a Thursday night swirling with thunderstorms in Southeastern Michigan and trade rumors in Pittsburgh, Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s told the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness that the Wings are not likely to make a trade on Friday or Saturday, save perhaps swapping draft picks to move up or down in the draft:
On an evening of rumors, rumors and more rumors which will give way to a Friday and Saturday equally salted with a dump truck’s worth of, “You know, 99% of these don’t pan out, especially given that every major player agent and every general manager is using the electronic media to test the waters while a hundred of ‘em are in the same building” draft trade/free agent speculation pumped out on Twitter (dear hockey gods, if Twitter goes out again, what will people do?)...
The Free Press’s Helene St. James delivers a welcome dose of relative sanity in the form of a road trip story regarding Red Wings execs Kris Draper (special assistant to GM Ken Holland) and Chris Osgood (goaltending coach/goalie mentor/amateur goalie scout):
The NHL Draft takes place tomorrow and Saturday in Pittsburgh (TSN covers the draft in Canada; NBC Sports Network and then CNBC will air the 1st round, which starts at 7 PM EDT on Friday, and the NHL Network and NHL.com will cover rounds 2-7 on Saturday starting at 10 AM), and the Red Wings’ have the 49th overall pick in the second round and then the 20th overall pick in rounds 3-7 (picks 80, 110, 140, 170 and 200), and Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill will make the final calls as the amateur scouts go over their lists over the next 36 hours.
Nill told the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell something surprising: for the first time in a long time, the Wings will alter their blueprint somewhat, having decided that Nicklas Lidstrom’s departure and the playoff successes of bigger teams that play chip-and-chase hockey mean that size and toughness will finally trump the team’s “small but skilled” model it’s stuck to for the past 15 drafts:
Updated 2x at 2:09 PM: As noted in the overnight report, one of the Red Wings’ main free agent targets was taking part in a charity hockey event (though he didn’t take part due to his UFA status) in Minneapolis on Wednesday, and as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Brian Stensaas noted, mum was the word for New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise when he faced inevitable questions about his future:
“I’ve got a lot of people asking what’s going on, and we’ll get things figured out pretty soon hopefully,” Parise said. “I haven’t really given much thought to anything. It’s been pretty nice.”
It likely won’t last. The New Jersey Devils captain can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He made $6 million this season, scored 31 goals and led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final. He can expect to make a boatload more money going forward. But where?
The Devils have exclusive negotiating rights with Parise, but he said last week to reporters in New Jersey that to his knowledge his agents and Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello had no talks during the season. Asked Wednesday if there had been any talks since the Devils’ season ended in a six-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Parise smiled.
“We’ve kept everything pretty quiet, and we’re going to do the same thing for however long it takes,” said Parise, a former Shattuck-St. Mary’s and North Dakota standout who grew up in Bloomington.
Updated 5x with more sked reaction at 12:58 PM: NHL.com just posted every team’s 2012-2013 schedule, and here’s the the Red Wings’ sked.
Home games are in bold print and away games are italicized:
We know that the NHL schedule will be released later this morning, usually sometime between 11 AM and 12 PM EDT, and we know that the Red Wings will open their 2012-2013 schedule, CBA negotiation gods willing, against the Nashville Predators, at Joe Louis Arena. We don’t know whether current and former members of, let’s say the Wings’ opposition, might be cheered or booed (well, we know that Shea Weber’s going to receive a head-smashing welcome). The schedule’s gaps will be filled in shortly, but the roster’s TBD (to be determined) over the next couple of weeks.
In the interim, depending on your tolerance for bad jokes and “hosts” in various states of sobriety, the NHL Awards were either mildly amusing or a complete disaster, and thanks to the travesty that is Nicklas Lidstrom having been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy once (last year) and never having captured it (if I may be so polite, WTF? Seriously?), the Red Wings had exactly one representative not named Ken Holland in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
Pavel Datsyuk came to the NHL Awards, he saw…But he didn’t conquer.
The voting for the top ten, via me, on Twitter:
Selke votes in “points”: Bergeron 1,312 Backes 698 Datsyuk 553 Callahan 326 Kesler 152 Toews 117 Fisher 72 Staal 67 Kopitar 62 Sharp 52.
Wings mentions in awards thus far: Holland got 8 points in GM’s award, Babs got 1 3rd place vote for Adams..Nick 132 points & 5th in Norris.
Nicklas Lidstrom finished 6th in Lady Byng balloting with 247 points, and Datsyuk finished 9th with 137.
Update: Via RedWingsFeed, the one question: Who’s the lady accompanying Datsyuk to the awards in the Detroit News’s AP report? He very quietly got divorced a couple of seasons ago, and that ain’t Elizabeth.
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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.