Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

A Look At The Detroit Red Wings

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Detroit Red Wings:

The Detroit Red Wings have not gone into a full rebuild while building a new rink.

Their goal is to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in their first season at Little Caesars Arena while laying the foundation for future Cup contention, after missing the playoffs for the first time since 1989-90 in their final season at Joe Louis Arena....

Here is what the Red Wings look like today:...

On the cusp

Tyler Bertuzzi, F: Expect Bertuzzi to bring grit and skill to the fourth line after winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as most valuable player of the Calder Cup Playoffs last season. The 22-year-old, selected in the second round (No. 58) of the 2013 NHL Draft, had 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 19 games during Grand Rapids' run to the American Hockey League championship. He had three shots on goal in seven games with the Red Wings in November. … Evgeny Svechnikov, F: The 20-year-old likely will start the season in the AHL but could get some NHL time this season. The 19th pick of the 2015 draft, Svechnikov had 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 74 games for Grand Rapids last season, his first as a professional. He also played his first two NHL games in April. … Filip Hronek, D: The 19-year-old, a second-round pick (No. 53) in the 2016 draft, is headed to Grand Rapids for his first full pro season. He had 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists) in 59 games for Saginaw of the Ontario Hockey League last season and looked good in 10 regular-season and two playoff games for Grand Rapids. Skilled and competitive, he needs to fill out (6-foot, 163 pounds) and gain experience.

What they still need

Superstars. The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998 and 2002 with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, forwards Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman, and more. They won the Cup again in 2008 and came within a win of repeating in 2009 largely because they still had Lidstrom and had unearthed forwards Pavel Datsyuk (No. 171, 1998) and Henrik Zetterberg (No. 210, 1999) late in the draft. Now Zetterberg is the only one left, and he turns 37 on Oct. 9. The 25-season playoff streak was incredible but came at a cost: no top-10 picks for a quarter-century. Can Athanasiou, Larkin or Mantha reach that level? Or prospects like center Michael Rasmussen, the No. 9 pick of the 2017 draft, the Red Wings' first top-10 pick since forward Martin Lapointe in 1991? They need difference-makers to contend for the Cup again.

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

 1 2 >       Next »

Avatar

What do they need? 

A new GM. Full stop. That new guy will then need some patience waiting for some of Kenny’s untradeable contracts to expire. But our GM still thinks we’re a couple of tweaks away. Add Dale, add Witkowski, some guys bounce back, other guys get 2% better…BACK IN DA MIX!!!

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 10:05 AM ET

Avatar

Theres such a fine line between bubble teams anymore, all you need is to get 2% better.

Just hope no one else gets better.

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/17/17 at 10:21 AM ET

Avatar

Theres such a fine line between bubble teams anymore, all you need is to get 2% better.

Just hope no one else gets better.

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/17/17 at 10:21 AM ET

We finished 39 points behind the Conference leader.
We finished 32 points behind the Cup Champion.
We finished 24 points behind the division leader.
We finished 16 points behind the final wild card spot (ie a playoff tune-up for the real contenders)
We finished with the 6th WORST point total in the NHL.

All of this achieved after going a remarkable (and unsustainable) 9-0 in shootouts.

Now cue Kenny and friends talking about better seasons from Larkin, Sheahan, Abby, Mrazek, etc…Sounds exciting.

While that may happen, I also wouldn’t count on Zetterberg to play 82 out of 82 games and put up 68 points in the process. I wouldn’t count on Howard posting another 2.10 and .927. We have not replaced Vanek’s remarkable 38 points in 48 games with a crazy 15%+ shooting percentage. Yeah these are taboo topics. But getting 2% better and hoping 7 or 8 guys magically bounce back is what our GM is selling to the fanbase.

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 10:44 AM ET

Avatar

While that may happen, I also wouldn’t count on Zetterberg to play 82 out of 82 games and put up 68 points in the process.  I wouldn’t count on Howard posting another 2.10 and .927.

Cool story.

hoping 7 or 8 guys magically bounce back is what our GM is selling to the fanbase.

It’s funny that you think these players aren’t capable of bouncing back outside of the use of magic. God knows that there’s never, ever been a player in the NHL who had a bad season and then came back with a better one unless said player was a practitioner of the the dark arts who made several sacrifices to the Lord of the Underworld, right?

So, all old, your biggest issue is simply the fact that Ken Holland isn’t a wizard capable of casting a spell that will right the Red Wings ship?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/17/17 at 11:07 AM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/17/17 at 11:07 AM ET

CDMD, I understand your frustration, but with FS it’s just not worth it. FS will never see any need to handle things better or differently. The best solution for your own sanity is to just ignore.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 07/17/17 at 11:23 AM ET

Avatar

It’s funny that you think these players aren’t capable of bouncing back outside of the use of magic. God knows that there’s never, ever been a player in the NHL who had a bad season and then came back with a better one unless said player was a practitioner of the the dark arts who made several sacrifices to the Lord of the Underworld, right?

So, all old, your biggest issue is simply the fact that Ken Holland isn’t a wizard capable of casting a spell that will right the Red Wings ship?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/17/17 at 11:07 AM ET

Of course guys bounce back from sub-par years. My point is, you can’t count on 7 or 8 guys ALL bouncing back, while at the same time just assuming that nobody else regresses from their own pretty remarkable performances.

I also think some people are expecting bounce back seasons from guys who didn’t really struggle. For example, last year Nyquist had 48 points. Guess what his average was in the previous 3 seasons…48 points. Tatar had 46 points…his average in the previous 3 seasons was…wait for it, 46 points. Here are the point totals for Abby during his career…19, 22, 13 (lockout), 28, 44, 42, 21. Why are we expecting him to bounce back to the 42-44 range? It’s clear these were the anomalies (thanks Pav!). Otherwise he’s a 20-25 point player. Which he delivered last year.

I think Sheahan is a guy who is a legit candidate to have a much better year. I think Mantha gets better. I think Larkin gets better. But that’s probably about it.

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 11:31 AM ET

Avatar

Fat savage…. you hit the nail right on the head.

Posted by SevensForTed on 07/17/17 at 11:50 AM ET

Avatar

We finished with the 6th WORST point total in the NHL

So youre saying its all up from here?

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/17/17 at 11:55 AM ET

MikeMac's avatar

From digesting CDMD’s post and all the other discussions/articles we’ve seen, it really feels like this season has to thread the eye of a needle, where the “eye” is making the bottom end of the playoff rankings by everyone firing consistently on all cylinders all season long in a field of teams who have also attempted to improve in the off-season.

As a fan, I’m certainly hoping that can happen, but I’m not sure I’d bet money on it.

We’re in cruise control now, and not much can be changed. At this point, we just get to sit back and see what happens in the first 20 games of the season.

Here’s hoping!

Posted by MikeMac on 07/17/17 at 12:01 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t see why everyone is piling on fatsavage.  He’s pretty much right on all matters here.  I think a lot of you guys are missing whats going on around the division too.  Pittsburgh, Washington, Columbus, they’re all pretty much well situated to snatch up a playoff spot.  The Rangers still have a lot of gas in the tank, Montreal just added Drouin, Toronto is still bursting with young talent that’s moving closer to prime years.  That all leaves maybe the third in the Atlantic and a wildcard spot.  Boston has been getting younger talent in the draft and they’re still set with an elite two-way forward and in goal.  Ottawa is still basically the same team going into this year that they were last year.  Philadelphia has been knocking on a playoff return for years now and they just added a solid piece in Patrick.  The Devils just added Hischier, so they’re going to be a lot better.  Stamkos is going to be back next year, so Tampa isn’t going to be stinking up the room half the year like they did this season.  Meanwhile we’ve added an over the hill d-man in free agency and are hoping for everybody to take two steps forward and nobody to take a step back.  It’s just not realistic.

Posted by BarryKlob on 07/17/17 at 12:11 PM ET

Avatar

The hope is that the team will play as they did in the last quarter of the season. Last 25 games or so we were a decent team and our PP was in the top 10 in the league. I think there is a slimmer of hope we will be contending for a playoff spot. Is this the best path for this franchise (trying to squeeze into the playoffs without resolving the glaring needs to become a real contender) is another question.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 12:13 PM ET

Avatar

I have no expectations of a playoff spot.  I think there are too many teams that are clearly better on paper, in our division alone.  That being said, savage’s negativity drives me insane :O) 

Now, could they make the playoffs?  Certainly.  People had Tampa as the cup finalist from the east, injuries, bad play happen to other teams too.  Florida should have been up there and went backwards… so, if we play well, we could be there at the door knocking on the last spot in the division or wild card.  Now a days in hockey, with systems, and good goal tending the best team doesn’t always win.  Are we going to go 9-0 in shootouts?  (A miracle given our previous shootout history).  No.  Might we win a handful, half, of the 1 goal losses instead this time?  Sure, maybe.  We left a lot of points on the table, not from blowouts or clear losses.  But we were also in a lot of games we had no bussines of being “in”...but that is hockey.  Washington DOMINATED the pens, and lost.  So, with some improvements, we can certainly be “back in da mix” as Savage loves to say.  Is it likely to happen.  No.  I might be actually more hopeful for another top 10 pick more than I’m hoping for the playoffs.  But I do love playoff hockey….so there is that. smile

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 12:22 PM ET

Avatar

This is where I don’t get it… Holland has never said, nor does he believe, nor does he not desire to be, a real contender.  He just wants to compete while doing that.  We keep competing, keep trying to at least make the playoffs (which I don’t think anyone would argue, is probably better for development of our young players than losing), while hoarding our picks and restocking.

The crutch of that, which I think several do get, is it is incredibly unlikely (although admittedly possible), to get the talent you need.  I agree with Holland that tanking doesn’t get it for you either, though it is incredibly more likely that way.  Now… is he right…is “losing your culture/identity” outweigh the better picks more towards the top?  Will a good development process take medium players and turn them into star players potentially?  There are a LOT of factors.  I don’t think it’s doable what he is trying to do personally, but I’m not knowledgeable enough to say concretely his plan is wrong. 

What I would have done, would have been to be bad or slightly bad, in those couple of really strong draft years where it was obvious we were declining, if only to get a couple really strong candidates to build around, then go back to “competing” so to speak. 

Even if this “process” isn’t successful, was it the wrong idea?  My issue really, is that there is a perceived lack of creativity to do some other things.  Maybe there isn’t, maybe they’ve tried and it just didn’t work out.  But perception wise, other than going after unsighed FA’s, to augment our draft picks, we haven’t done much.  Would have taking on Bickell for example to get Teruvainen been “that much worse” than having Helm?  We would have been worse for sure so to speak, and given how that turned out, even more so since Bickell didn’t play much, but to get Teravainen?  I’d like to see more creativity.  That would allow us to compete AND get some additional talent in house… otherwise, hey, he has a plan, has been executing it…and, we’ll see in a few years how well it worked out.  Thus far, it doesn’t look super promising.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 12:30 PM ET

Avatar

My point is, you can’t count on 7 or 8 guys ALL bouncing back, while at the same time just assuming that nobody else regresses from their own pretty remarkable performances.

Why not?

Has anyone who had a bad 15-16 previously had a bad year they didn’t bounce back from?

Why is your default setting “everything will be worse”, instead of “maybe these professional hockey players have some pride and are going to do their best to bounce back”?

I also think some people are expecting bounce back seasons from guys who didn’t really struggle. For example, last year Nyquist had 48 points. Guess what his average was in the previous 3 seasons…48 points. Tatar had 46 points…his average in the previous 3 seasons was…wait for it, 46 points. Here are the point totals for Abby during his career…19, 22, 13 (lockout), 28, 44, 42, 21. Why are we expecting him to bounce back to the 42-44 range? It’s clear these were the anomalies (thanks Pav!). Otherwise he’s a 20-25 point player. Which he delivered last year.

Sorry, was there a point in there?

Are you complaining about Holland or the fans?

Also, who are you arguing with about Abdelkader? I’ve not read anyone who suggested he’s going to bounce back and to 20+/40+ at all.  So WTF are you on about?

I don’t see why everyone is piling on fatsavage.  He’s pretty much right on all matters here.

Sure he is.

Maybe we’ll be lucky and they’ll just cancel the Red Wings season, seeing as there’s no point to even playing, right?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/17/17 at 12:42 PM ET

Avatar

Now… is he right…is “losing your culture/identity” outweigh the better picks more towards the top?

No.  He’s wrong.  Demonstrably.  We’ve watched a decade unfold that has put the exclamation point on how wrong Ken Holland is.  Pittsburgh tanked, got Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and three Cups.  Chicago tanked, got Toews, Kane, and three Cups.  The Kings tanked, got Doughty, and got really, really lucky with Quick turning elites for a bit and Kopitar panning out as an elite 2-way center as a #11 pick.  They got 2 Cups.  Now we’re watching Edmonton and Toronto take big steps forward with McDavid and Matthews.  This is just the reality of the modern NHL, you have to burn it to the ground and stick around there till you get elite franchise players.  That’s how you win championships now.

Posted by BarryKlob on 07/17/17 at 12:44 PM ET

Avatar

Hey CharDee. Maybe it would be helpful if you list the players who had a bad season and who would be expected to bounce back this season?

I’ll start…Sheahan, Larkin, Mrazek, umm, who else? Dekeyser? Your turn. Let’s see this mythical list of bounce back candidates…

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 12:47 PM ET

Avatar

Why not?

For starters a lot of the guys everyone is banking on taking a step forward were already outperforming league shooting percentages last year.  The average hovers around 9 or 10%.  Tatar and AA were both clocking in at 15% last year.  That suggests more a regression to mean than any steps forward.  Mantha was at nearly 13%, that suggests a small regression.  And guys like Nielsen and Larkin were pretty much at league average.  Abby and Nyquist were only a touch under league averages.  Any additional production out of them would likely be only marginal at best.  FS hit the nail on the head, Sheahan is the only one last year with such an unsustainably low shooting percentage that he’s likely to have a real serious rebound.

Sorry, was there a point in there?

Are you complaining about Holland or the fans?

Also, who are you arguing with about Abdelkader? I’ve not read anyone who suggested he’s going to bounce back and to 20+/40+ at all.  So WTF are you on about?

His point was painfully clear.  I don’t know how he could have been any clearer.  Three principle figures that people think will have a “bounce-back” year performed within their career norms.  There’s nothing to bounce-back from, they simply went out and did what they do year in and year out.  There’s no reason to expect they won’t simply go out there and do about the same.

Maybe we’ll be lucky and they’ll just cancel the Red Wings season, seeing as there’s no point to even playing, right?

Pointing out that the roster is deeply flawed and requires certain processes to take place before we can seriously consider contention again isn’t defeatism, it’s realism.  You can’t possibly think the Red Wings are winning the Cup next year.

Posted by BarryKlob on 07/17/17 at 12:56 PM ET

Avatar

is “losing your culture/identity” outweigh the better picks more towards the top?

When you start rewarding mediocre players with insane contracts, you already lost your culture and identity as far as I am concerned. You remember the times when Wiz said the Red Wings are not paying the market prices for free agents? Those were good times KH was approaching players with “you want to play for this franchise, you will get this amount, take it or leave it”. Now he has 8-10 terrible contract on the books. You pay your stars and fill the team with bottom six energy guys, this is the way to do it in today’s NHL, nobody created a better formula. Currently we do not have stars on the team, so do not pay bottom 6 forwards top 6 forwards salaries just because this is what we have. Do not pay a #4 dman first pairing salary just because he is our #1 dman. I understand everything about not getting top 10 picks for 2 decades, but this team has to have one of the lowest payrolls in the league based on talent. In reality we have one of the highest payrolls in the league and that’s how you lose culture and identity imo.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 12:57 PM ET

Avatar

Barry, but see this is where I don’t agree but kind of agree.  Tanking is “more likely” to get you players and hence, a turn around.  Both the Pens and Chicago were bad for years before getting those guys as well.  Everyone points to those teams as the “gold standard ” of why tanking works, but fail to leave out all the teams that have been bad for a long time and haven’t been able to turn it around.  Even Edmonton.  How many number one picks did they have?  Or top 3?  Finally they get McDavid, and oh look, tanking works !  No McDavid, and they are still the team everyone is picking to finally make the playoffs with all that talent and failing miserably. 

Buffalo?  Colorado?  Pheonix?  Carolina?  Islanders?  I’ll even throw Washington in there, albeit they have at least been contenders after tanking, so probably not a good example). 

LA was sort of a hybrid tank, hybrid good team building. 

Tanking doesn’t guarantee being a contender one Iota.  It does guarantee getting higher end talent.  That is all.  What you do with that talent is still a wildcard.  However, I think everyone would agree that the opposite is certainly true, that you CAN"T win without talent, and as of right now, tanking is by far the easiest most proven way of getting it.

So, my thought proposal was this.  Taking out your Matthews’ and Crosby’s and McDavids, is picking 5 or 10 spots higher, while losing your identity and culture worth it?  Can you overcome that 5-10-15 draft spot gap with good culture and good development? 

That being said, I realize you can propose the opposite thought experiment.  Can you seemingly maintain a culture while if not actively trying to lose, but at least not going out of your way to compete so that you get the high picks AND keep your culture?  I’m not so sure that’s possible, but it might be.

Lastly, are we even maintaining a culture?  Does “trying your best” to keep winning matter if you are in fact, not winning?  On top of that, do you NEED to maintain a culture or does just putting the right coach and team in place, especially since you are an original size franchise with history.  If you were bad, lost your culture, got some great players…there is STILL pride in the sweater.  Put a good coach in there and you are good to go.  Toronto is that recipe.  They had ZERO culture after years of mismanagment, but a strong, successful coach, that pushes the issue of pride in the sweater, the history, you can quickly “create” a good culture. 

So, at the end of my “thought experiment” rant…. I say this.  I dont’ believe you can tank and become a contender.  However, I don’t think you can become a contender without tanking.  Nobody has successfully done this really.  San Jose, is really and to some degree Philly, been a highly competitive team without tanking.  San Jose, managed, similar to Detroit, except more recently, moved from Thorton/Marleau to Pavelski/Couture/Burns, without stinking up the joint.  But Holland’s strategy has zero precedence.  So, again, was it a wise idea, I don’t think so, but it wasn’t a horrible idea.  Although Boston is doing a good job of staying afloat as well.

We should have strategically tanked the McDavid/Matthews years because the drafts were so strong.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 12:59 PM ET

Avatar

However, I don’t think you can become a contender without tanking

Correct, not in today’s NHL when young superstars never become UFAs.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 01:04 PM ET

Avatar

His point was painfully clear.  I don’t know how he could have been any clearer.  Three principle figures that people think will have a “bounce-back” year performed within their career norms.  There’s nothing to bounce-back from, they simply went out and did what they do year in and year out.  There’s no reason to expect they won’t simply go out there and do about the same.

Posted by BarryKlob on 07/17/17 at 12:56 PM ET

Thanks Barry. I thought my point was expressed pretty clearly. So was pretty surprised at his reply. I appreciate that it made sense to you. I did ask CharDee to provide a list of his bounce back candidates so others might chime in, but no response. Sometimes I wonder if he’s just trying to pick fights with me? Cheers

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 01:06 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

This is where I don’t get it… Holland has never said, nor does he believe, nor does he not desire to be, a real contender.  He just wants to compete while doing that.  We keep competing, keep trying to at least make the playoffs (which I don’t think anyone would argue, is probably better for development of our young players than losing), while hoarding our picks and restocking.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 12:30 PM ET

I agree with you and take it a step further to say that Illitch, his boss, wants to compete not tank, and he signs checks.  HHHT takes Holland and the teams statements way too far, they even put media stories right in there mouth, as if Holland himself repeats things daily.  I’m sorry but I’ve never heard a team say, we’re gonna be terrible this season, so pick up the phone and grab your suckit6 mini pack today! This is an entertainment business, you sell the band, no matter how bad the band is.

On the rebuild, that’s what I wanted, Pavel and Kronner traded 5 years ago, high picks, rebuild the core, but I’m not so sure this bandwagon fanbase really wants it, despite people saying so.  Sure they do now in hindsight, but they wouldn;t have stomached trading Pavel.  We’re going into what the 3rd year of this team being unentertaining along with bad, and listening to this spoiled fan base lay on their back whining crying kicking their legs, my god its like the hour before nap time at a daycare, get me outta here!  Look at the tenor of the teams that sucked to rebuild, the Penquins, the Hawks, the Leafs, etc. etc. they sucked for a long time, so we’re in for a stretch where its gonna take everything thats in me to be part of this whiney fanbase over the next few years.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 07/17/17 at 01:10 PM ET

Avatar

You have a great point Palmer, and truth be told, I don’t get it…not to the extent that Holland went anyhow.  That being said… I don’t see it as much of a problem.  There is more to it than on ice, when it comes to culture, it’s worth ethic, pride, continuance of that culture.  You most certainly don’t pay bottom sixers, you are exactly right, you pay stars, and fill in.  That being said, when you have the stars, those are the guys team look for, it’s in part why Edmonton wasn’t getting over the hump, it’s part of the problem in Buffalo or in Colorado….. also, we don’t HAVE stars to pay currently…. without any knowledge, the only rational explanation I can figure is, they are the continuation of that culture, lacking in talent that they may be…. and by time we have stars to pay… Larkin, Mantha…. some of those contracts will be gone, and some will be less against the cap than they are now.  If you actually look at some of the NTC’s, they have some interesting parameters on them.  Again, not saying I agree, but I can kind of see a process there.  It still seems mismanaged, because you have the Tatar situation now…. but we’ll see. 

The only thing thing those contracts are causing problems about right now, is whether you wanted to do something creative and take on a bad contract for picks or assets….
I’m ok with maintaining the culture…. but we have too much of it.  You have E, you have Kronner, you have Z…. did you really need all of Helm/Glendenning and Abby? 

The other argument is what to do then?  you let them go?  we are worse.  (except Glendenning, that one I have no reason I can possibly think of as to why you extend him when you did). 
So it was either pay DDK or what?  can you imagine this team without DDK?????  Was there a replacement out there?  Maybe. 

I just always feel like people judge things so superficially without even attempting to think of other reasons why somethig was done.  Could we have spent Helm’s money on someone else… Gagner…. sure.  But now you are introducing someone new into the roster, into the room, does it make problems, the situation worse, does this then influence Larkin or Mantha, or have them playign with someone with less chemistry….

It could be better just as likely as it is worse…but sometimes, maybe keeping Helm or Abby or whatever, actually makes the whole better than the sum of it’s parts rather than finding a better “part” so to speak.  That could be complete bullshit, but maybe there is some truth there…. I just don’t think it’s as patently obviously wrong as everyone jumps to.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 01:10 PM ET

Avatar

This whole “losing your culture” narrative seems a bit exaggerated. Who are the current leaders on this team - Zetterberg, Kronwall, Ericsson, Howard? How about the next tier - Abby, Helm, Nielsen, Dekeyser, Nyquist, Tatar, Glendening. I’ve left Green off the list as he should soon be gone.

Is this leadership group so ineffective that they couldn’t guide 5-10 young players through a couple of miserable seasons? Is this group of leaders so useless that our future core would be permanently tainted and full of cancer?

That’s such BS. Even if Kronwall and Ericsson went on LTIR, say Helm was never signed, a couple of others were traded away…are the remaining leaders so inept that the culture over the last 25 years would disintegrate after 2-3 poor seasons? Talk about hyperbole! It’s nice that we treat players with respect, we value family time, we do the mother/father trips, we honor handshake deals, etc…But we stopped being a meritocracy long ago. That’s a big negative. So let’s stop acting like our “culture” is head and shoulders above other organizations. Or that it’s so fragile that in 2-3 years it’s destroyed.

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 01:19 PM ET

Avatar

On the rebuild, that’s what I wanted, Pavel and Kronner traded 5 years ago, high picks, rebuild the core, but I’m not so sure this bandwagon fanbase really wants it, despite people saying so

You either do what you suggested or you go all in and get more stars to support Z and Dats in their prime. What you don’t do is signing mediocre supporting cast and waste Dats and Z prime years.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 01:19 PM ET

Avatar

Three principle figures that people think will have a “bounce-back” year performed within their career norms.  There’s nothing to bounce-back from, they simply went out and did what they do year in and year out.

I also agree with that. Actually Abby and Helm can get worse with age soon.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 01:21 PM ET

Avatar

So it was either pay DDK or what?  can you imagine this team without DDK?????  Was there a replacement out there? 

I understand he logic here and DK is really mascarading as a #1 dman here and it certainly not his fault, but for how many teams will he be a first pairing dman? Hence, how many teams would have paid him $5 mil per year? I am just not sure there was so much competition for his services. And by the way I do not think DK’s contract is our worst, not even close. Who KH was competing with signing Abby to a 7 year deal? I can imagine some teams would have thrown $4 mil per for him, but 7 years?! Are you kidding? So, you sign Abby for 5 years at $3.5 mil and if wants to test free market, let him do it and ask him to come back with the deal he is getting to match it. I mean there has to be some loyalty from the players too, not just so one sided towards the players.
Was there such a great risk to lose Glendening if you do not pay him $1.8 mil for 5 years one year before his contact was up?
With Helm at least there were rumors 5-6 teams were interested in him, but there is no way he gave us a home discount. If anything KH probably gave him a little more than other teams wanted to pay.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 01:29 PM ET

Avatar

Everyone points to those teams as the “gold standard ” of why tanking works, but fail to leave out all the teams that have been bad for a long time and haven’t been able to turn it around.

Is there an alternative model, though?  What are these teams that hovered around the bubble for a few years and then went on to win a Cup?  The closest you’re going to find is Boston, and even then they won that first one with Seguin on their roster (not that he was much of a factor).

Even Edmonton.  How many number one picks did they have?  Or top 3?  Finally they get McDavid, and oh look, tanking works !  No McDavid, and they are still the team everyone is picking to finally make the playoffs with all that talent and failing miserably.

Some first overall picks bust.  Some draft years are bad.  Edmonton went into their full bore tank in a time when there just weren’t bona-fide franchise players at the top of the draft.  It’s not like it was the culture of Edmonton that these players failed to flourish in.  Taylor Hall failed to turn New Jersey into a threat.  RNH is still tooling around in Edmonton.  Yakupov busted in St. Louis just like he did in Emonton.  These are hardly the first #1 overall picks to turn out lackluster, and they won’t be the last either.

Buffalo?  Colorado?  Pheonix?  Carolina?  Islanders?  I’ll even throw Washington in there, albeit they have at least been contenders after tanking, so probably not a good example).

Buffalo didn’t get an instant turnaround but the jury is still out on them.  Ditto Phoenix.  Keep in mind both teams have lost out on big prizes in recent drafts.  Colorado landed MacKinnon first overall but has struggled to fill the defensive slots with high level talent.  Carolina is sort of the opposite, their defensive bench is deep but their forwards have largely been inconsistent.  Keep in mind Carolina drafted defense high and Colorado drafted forwards high.  The Islanders pushed themselves into the position of dark horse contenders here and there.

Tanking doesn’t guarantee being a contender one Iota.

Nothing guarantees anything.  But the existing model is if you want to win you need to tank and load up on all-stars by tanking.  That’s what the successful teams did.  Show me an alternative model that has won multiple Cups in the cap era and we can talk.

is picking 5 or 10 spots higher, while losing your identity and culture worth it?  Can you overcome that 5-10-15 draft spot gap with good culture and good development?

Vs. the alternative of. . . St. Louis and Philadelphia?  Where you tool around the bubble for a decade, maybe hit gold with a middle of the round pick (Tarasenko), but never truly emerge as a threat to win the Cup?

I dont’ believe you can tank and become a contender.

The record of Cup champions from 2009 to present directly contradicts you.

Posted by BarryKlob on 07/17/17 at 01:31 PM ET

Avatar

Bounce back isn’t the word I’d use…. and Barry, you do realize that “average” is just that…there are players on the low side and high side of that, right.  smile  So some time players have averages that are higher than the NHl norm smile 

That being said…. I think a large part of the “need” for a bounce back isn’t so much regression as it is missing pieces.  If Larkin can effectively C a line, that is one step.  I think Nielsen played better down the stretch as well.  (chemistry is obviously a huge thing).  So, having good C’s and likewise, an improvement on the backend.  If Daley and Jensen help keep the puck moving forward more often than it was, than I think many players are candidates for “improved” from last year seasons. 

We have a boatload of players upfront that need players to key off of.  I don’t think Abby’s 20-20 seasons are unreproducible.  I think he won’t produce them without playing with a good player.  Good players need players like Abby as well.  If Larkin and Nielsen can step up their games, I think you’ll see many of our wingers have improved seasons.  If they don’t, then I completely agree it will be a repeat of last year.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 01:33 PM ET

Avatar

Good point BK.  I e made ot before.  If KH is a hood GM theres no risk in tanking.  If hes not, then theres tons of risk.

Vancouver to me is the team most like DRW and they got smart this past summer and took some risks and got proactive.

They dont have a shot by most counts.  Why KH thi k we do bloes my mind.

He should be marketing exciting young talent instead of, we made playoffs 25 years.

Posted by ThatGuy on 07/17/17 at 01:40 PM ET

Avatar

I agree with you and take it a step further to say that Illitch, his boss, wants to compete not tank, and he signs checks.

I’m sorry but I’ve never heard a team say, we’re gonna be terrible this season

They also don’t say, we WANT the team to be terrible this season. that’s got to be the worst message a franchise can send to it’s players (and fans). the exception is Arizona/Glendale. I still wonder how that team is, a) still there and b) got through a period of not having an owner.

I really don’t get how people do not seem to want to take into account the business side of sports. Owners want to make money. GMs want to keep their job so they work hard to make money for their owners. making money doesn’t mean missing the playoffs. bad teams are bad for business…..unless it’s baseball which off sets losing by playing 2,000,000 games per season. 

Why would Illitch or any owner want a GM who says, we need to tank for 3-5 years rather than go to the playoffs for 3-5 years.

Holland Hate Hyperbole Town

Thanks. I always wondered what HHHT meant.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/17/17 at 01:41 PM ET

Avatar

You are wrong Barry about your last statement there…but we’ll agree to disagree but you cherry picked my comments and left out the ones wehre I completely agree with you.

My exact statements were you can’t tank to become a contender but you can’t become one without it…. which points out that tanking isn’t going to magically be better than where w are right now.

But precedence is there, asyou mention, and I did as well… that nobody has been successful doing what we are trying to do.  Doesn’t mean we won’t be the first, but it’s pretty damn cocky to think we will on Holland’s part.

Yes, Savage, I do believe that but I also agree we went crazy overkill on trying to protect it.  You very often like to make points that make it obvious you do believe hockey players confidence is so fragile… because “losing a tie to the veteran” apparently just utterly destroy’s young players and leaves them wanting to go paly elsewhere if they are even still able to play hockey after such a tragedy!

Palmer, I’m on board.  I don’t agree in the sense that I think Helm and Abby would have most certainly got that much dough on the market, although that doesn’t mean we should have given it to them.  I also agree, loyalty is supposed to go both ways…. go see what you are worth and we’ll match.  If they then said, well if we go, we are going to leave, well, are those guys you want anyhow?

Where I agree is Abby for 7 years is nuts, but clearly, he’s got an A, they wanted him around for a while, whatever.  Helm… it really isn’t that long.  Glendenning there is ZERO rational for, that one was a nail in the cofffin for me for Holland.  DDK as well, because, unless I’m remembering incorrectly, he wasn’t a UFA yet…. so you could have been stronger with him.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 01:43 PM ET

Avatar

Correct, not in today’s NHL when young superstars never become UFAs.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 01:04 PM ET

assuming superstars only come with picks #1, #2.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/17/17 at 01:43 PM ET

Avatar

Vancouver is taking an interesting route (finally mind you).... they signed low risk, upside type guys (albeit a few of them still for more than I would think they were worth, but who knows).... we could have been doing that, at least to SOME extent, to leave some wiggle room, and change a bit of the dynamic which clearly wasn’t working the last few years.  Even if you didn’t abandon ship.

A good GM has nothing to do with culture, really… its mroe about the coach, the system, the character palyers you have the work ethic, etc.  Getting that back, yes, it’s very hard… because until you start to have a good team, those guys aren’t coming…  but you aren’t having a good team without those guys. 
So, there is NOTHING wrong with keeping some, we just, in my opinion, are keeping too many.  smile

Even then… I still maintain those contracts really have zero effect on how bad the product on the ice is right now… so why we bitch about them as much as we do… I don’t know.  If Holland hasn’t signed them, not sure how much better we are.  Sure, we can speculate somehow how signing Gagner, and others instead… would have been different, but we have no idea.  We’d ahve more cap room, that’s it.  Would I have preferred that route, yes, for sure, to a degree…. but I can’t say we’d be in any different position.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 01:47 PM ET

Avatar

My only really condemming thing on Holland, as I’ve said… is the lack of creativity.  Even that, I don’t know how much he tried.  But at the end of the day, it’s a results business and trying doesn’t count for much.  That plus the lack of success with first round picks until recent years… so maybe Nill leaving finally allowed us to change that…but internally, we haven’t brought in any external brain power for some time.  Its not easy finding those gems…but we still haven’t foudn any and that is reason numero uno why we are where we are.  Im not talking the last 3 or 4 draft years, but the ones before those.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 07/17/17 at 01:51 PM ET

Avatar

I just always feel like people judge things so superficially without even attempting to think of other reasons why somethig was done.  Could we have spent Helm’s money on someone else… Gagner…. sure.  But now you are introducing someone new into the roster, into the room, does it make problems, the situation worse, does this then influence Larkin or Mantha, or have them playign with someone with less chemistry….

It could be better just as likely as it is worse…but sometimes, maybe keeping Helm or Abby or whatever, actually makes the whole better than the sum of it’s parts rather than finding a better “part” so to speak.  That could be complete bullshit, but maybe there is some truth there…. I just don’t think it’s as patently obviously wrong as everyone jumps to.

Amen. GMing is more complicated than just tanking or not tanking. Signing players has all kinds of consequences. letting go of players may seem right to the fans but may have devastating effects on the players. Cleary is a good example of a guy who his teammates loved. Even Tats said, Cleary kept everyone light by being funny. who would you want to work with, an ahole or a guy who makes good jokes?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/17/17 at 01:52 PM ET

Avatar

I really don’t get how people do not seem to want to take into account the business side of sports. Owners want to make money. GMs want to keep their job so they work hard to make money for their owners. making money doesn’t mean missing the playoffs. bad teams are bad for business…..unless it’s baseball which off sets losing by playing 2,000,000 games per season.

Why would Illitch or any owner want a GM who says, we need to tank for 3-5 years rather than go to the playoffs for 3-5 years.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/17/17 at 01:41 PM ET

Imagine you own the Red Wings. It’s the spring of 2012. Lidstrom just retired. Your window to win Cups (and make huge playoff money) is over. Your core is getting older. Your pipeline is full of depth players, but no stars.

A competent GM walks into your office and gives you 2 options…

Option 1:
I’m going to keep the streak alive. That means Pav and Zee and Kronwall and company never get traded. I’m going to spend to the max on mid-tier UFAs to help them. That means some of our kids will have to ripen longer. Oh well. This strategy keeps the streak alive, but I have to be honest dear owner, we’re never really going to contend for a Cup. Most years you’ll get 2 or 3 home dates. Maybe we get lucky and win a round once in awhile to get an extra 2 or 3 games.

Option 2:
Let me rebuild this the right way. I’m tearing it down now that Lidstrom retired. Zero chance to make the playoffs in 2013, or 2014, or 2015. Three miserable years. If it’s any consolation I won’t be spending to the cap. I won’t need to. So you miss some playoff revenue but you’ll save on payroll. That’s kind of a wash right Illitch? But by 2016 we’re hopeful that these young kids we draft will join some of our other young talent and form a new core. We can expect that group to make the playoffs in 2016 and start generating playoff revenue again. It may take a couple of years, but soon that young team may emerge as Cup contenders again. Maybe by 2018 or 2019 or 2020 we can go on deep runs with 10 or 12 home playoff games. This will be impossible in Option 1.

So if you want to make money, isn’t Option 2 more appealing? A few years of pain (and lower payroll) to set yourself up for the next 5-10 years when you can actually bank some legit money. Like you spend $75-80M on payroll and you squeeze out 2 playoff games as you get demolished in 4 or 5 games. I highly doubt that generates lucrative returns.

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 02:21 PM ET

Avatar

lack of success with first round picks until recent years…

There are multiple examples of #1 dman coming from second round selections (at least 4 I can remember are Keith, Josi, Weber, Subban). If to look further I am sure we can find a lot more examples of top 4 dmen taken in the second/third rounds. We are not finding those players. Is it just bad luck or we have to change something?

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 02:26 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Option 1:
I’m going to keep the streak alive. That means Pav and Zee and Kronwall and company never get traded. I’m going to spend to the max on mid-tier UFAs to help them. That means some of our kids will have to ripen longer. Oh well. This strategy keeps the streak alive, but I have to be honest dear owner, we’re never really going to contend for a Cup. Most years you’ll get 2 or 3 home dates. Maybe we get lucky and win a round once in awhile to get an extra 2 or 3 games.

Strawman alert! Strawman alert! We’re running out of straw!!!!!!!!

Posted by ilovehomers on 07/17/17 at 02:34 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by fatsavage on 07/17/17 at 02:21 PM ET

I normally agree with your point of view, but just to be a Devil’s advocate here, I think different owners will give you a different answer to your question. First, I think many owners will ask where is the guarantee for success if we miss the playoffs for 3 straight years and GM cannot say there is any guarantee there. Some owners I think would go with “squeezing to the playoffs at all cost option”. If you are on the wrong side of 80, maybe a playoff streak is more important than ability to contend in 5 years.
As to Chris Ilitch, does anybody even know what he is thinking? Maybe he does not care about hockey and gives KH 100% authority how to operate the team. Maybe he wants to make the playoffs in the first year of a new arena. Maybe he indeed wants to become a real contender and willing to go through a pain of rebuilding. I do not think anybody knows.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/17/17 at 02:36 PM ET

 1 2 >       Next »

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.

 

Recommended Sportsbook
MyBookie.ag