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A Slow Summer For The Red Wings

from Max DeMara of The Detroit Sports Site,

This summer malaise will almost assuredly carry over into fall, seeing as excitement for 2014 is at an all-time low. The most exciting thing the Red Wings did this summer was unveil plans for their new arena district, and that’s still three years off. Holland must hope the team he does put on the ice in October stays healthy and performs immediately, or else things could get ugly fast.

There’s no question such early success would prove that Detroit is still Hockeytown, but that notion is teetering more with every heart the Tigers win, every mind the Lions occupy and every move the Red Wings don’t make. The Pistons have work left to be done, but with the cult of Stan Van Gundy’s personality now in town, they could officially become more intriguing winter viewing than the Red Wings.

It’s August 6, and the Red Wings’ home opener on October 9 against the Boston Bruins is now 64 days away. The question is, do you really care? With everything else positive going on, should you?

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Comments

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No sense of optimism… If only the red wings looked as defeated as that blurb sounds, then we would have had a slightly higher pick and still used it on Dylan Larkin. Sure, Jurco might start in GR with the likes of Mantha, Sproul and others, but rest assured all will make it to the NHL at some point this year. If were lucky, and optimistic, some will stay there and make an impact. The future is promising no matter how much doom and gloom we keep reading about, and yes I care.

Posted by SuckMyDeke on 08/06/14 at 05:43 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s my job to follow the team, but even as shitty as this summer’s been, I am excited for the upcoming season, and having seen some of the new and turning-pro prospects skate this summer, I really do believe that “the kids” can step up if the damn coach and general manager let them. Yes, the team still needs to add a top-pair defenseman, but that’s not going to happen until the trade deadline. I know that Pavel and Hank are healthy, Helm has trained well, Ericsson will be okay with a little physical therapy on his finger, and “the Kid Line” and DeKeyser and Smith learned quite a bit during the Bruins series.

I know this team does have holes, but I also believe that its younger core will step up this year.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/06/14 at 06:08 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I should have mentioned in the previous thread thanks to George Malik for the literary recommendation, Ballad of The Whiskey Robber.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/06/14 at 07:02 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

People have to write something during the summer, it’s not a totally irresponsible notion.

If Pavel is truly healthy and nimble, and Hank can play without any back pain the Wings are immediately better.

A big boost could come from a healthy Weiss, it’s not as if he suddenly forgot how to create assists.

What about Cleary getting off to a quick start, IF he makes the every day roster and does not get healthy-scratched evrry night?  Some people would be pissed at that even if it helped the Wings win games.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/06/14 at 07:11 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

The Tigers are on for me every night but that doesn’t mean as soon as October hits I won’t be watching the Wings. I’m excited for this season, especially after the promise of the kids last year. I hope they take a big step forward just like Pavel and Z did many moons ago.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 08/06/14 at 07:26 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

The Red Wings will surprise this season, in a good way as the younger players continue to deliver.

Posted by bigfrog on 08/06/14 at 10:02 PM ET

TEMO's avatar

I always look forward to a new season!

Posted by TEMO from LANSING, MICHIGAN, U.S.A. on 08/06/14 at 10:08 PM ET

Avatar

Slow?  Not at all, well if you know where to look(which is every where).  First that arena deal is Huge news for Hockey fans in Detroit.  Then you had the near revolt of fans that wanted Holland Fired and Babcock kicked to the curb in favor of Blashill.  I mean there was Hockey talk on the Radio and news programs in mid to late July.  Now as we get closer to it you have the up coming prospect tournament and right now Larkin, Turgeon and Holmstrom are duking it out for their respective U20 teams.

So maybe…disappointing would be a better way to describe it.  But just like with the 2 lockouts and the seasons where they did and didn’t get their man fans will fill up JLA, watch at home and buy the merchandise and hot n’ readys just like before.

And say what you will about the team, if they can keep even 50% more healthy then last season they will make the playoffs again, if not for the sheer fact the east still is not that good, but also for the fact that love him or hate him Holland and his staff have drafted a lot of great kids who are all on the verge of making big impacts this season, and the training camp battles will be sure to draw a lot of attention too.

At this point I think more people have more reasons to want to watch the next season then before.

Posted by 3rdshift on 08/06/14 at 10:47 PM ET

Chet's avatar

don’t overreact. this piece is either lazy bush writing or trolling clickbait. it’s also about 5 weeks late.

no way to know how the wings will do. for a change, i hope they make moves early if they’re sucking, or if management fails to respond, i for one have no problem with them paying the price.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/07/14 at 02:45 AM ET

Chet's avatar

and to clarify further, that means for the decisions already made.

being a mid pack team is awful, but the way they MIGHT be headed toward it is embarrassing.

...or the cup returns to Detroit and we all backpedal.

...or not, and they’ll say “fire holland!”

and most on the blogs will agree.

so. it’s august. this guy’s a shill. take a shill pill.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/07/14 at 02:53 AM ET

Avatar

The offseason has sucked but that only makes me more excited for the season to start.

I’m excited to see

—whether Mantha can force his way into the lineup
—what Weiss can do
—whether one of the young defensemen can steal a job
—Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser taking the next steps in their development and giving us a solid defense corps
—Helm with a head of steam and months of good health behind him
—if Zetterberg can return to his first-half form where he was one of the best players in the league
—if Howard can have a bounce-back season and post numbers in line with his career averages.

If half of that stuff works out for us we’ll be ok.

Posted by captaineclectic on 08/07/14 at 06:05 AM ET

Avatar

So maybe…disappointing would be a better way to describe it.

I don’t know, I’d still say it’s been slow.  Most of what you listed barely counts as “Red Wings news”.

I’m not saying it hasn’t been incredibly, bafflingly disappointing, but it has also been pretty slow.

Posted by Garth on 08/07/14 at 07:39 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

I love the Tigers and Lions, but it’s Red Wings all day, every day for me.  Hell, when planning our wedding my wife wanted an early June wedding and I had to say no, since the Wings could potentially still be playing in the Play-offs in early June (and they did, it was ‘08).  There have been some <insert appropriate word> moves made this summer that I’m not particularly happy about, but drop the damned puck already!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 08/07/14 at 08:26 AM ET

Avatar

  So maybe…disappointing would be a better way to describe it.

I don’t know, I’d still say it’s been slow.  Most of what you listed barely counts as “Red Wings news”.

I’m not saying it hasn’t been incredibly, bafflingly disappointing, but it has also been pretty slow.

Posted by Garth on 08/07/14 at 08:39 AM ET

You know i can see how for some, or many as the original writer seems to be speaking for a fast majority of people, could be lulled by this off season.  It didn’t have a big splash like the Lions with Golden Tate or the Suh drama or the complete scraping of the Pistons management/coaching/players into a true rebuild.  Holland still has not made good on any of that kicking the tire talk, and its going to be 60 something more days before we get to start to find out if the Kids really do get a shot.

But honestly i am ok with that.  Hockey does not work like Football, where you expect most of your draft picks to jump in right a way, if that were the case for the Wings they would be doing worse then 15th overall at the draft, so there is no talk of Larkin changing the team dynamic, no talk of Turgeon being a roll player etc.. .  They didn’t just blow up a team and hire a guy to practically run the team single handed.  And obviously we all know what happened on free agency day.

Personally there is enough between learning about this years draft choices, figuring out where the existing prospects are at in their development and where the can go and debating about who we think will make the team or not to keep me occupied).  This year has a lot of intrigue between Holland and Babs dynamic, Dekeyser and Alfredsson(earlier Tatar before he signed) still needing to be signed.  The great Mantha saga and oif course how the team will fair against their divison and confrence opponents who may or may not have improved.

So maybe it was slow, but its the OFFseason for a reason.  Either way I can not wait for the first game of the season, I’ll be watching or listening in with lots of Wings fans.  Maybe there wont be so many casual fans as hoped for, i can understand that, but thats how Hockey always goes, 1 big off season probably will not change anything come football season or basketball season(although its going to be great with 105.1 taking the pistons games so i don’t have to find a 1270am reception).

Posted by 3rdshift on 08/07/14 at 10:10 AM ET

Avatar

KH had a terrible summer, but if Z and Dats remain healthy, we still have a good team.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/07/14 at 10:40 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

When I think of the time spent watching Wings games during the long and cold winter nights - yes even in central Virginia it’s in the 20’s most winter nights November to March - if I start to think that is too much time I realize the Tiger games last much longer with a lot less action spread out over 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  And there are twice as many of them as hockey games.

So I’m looking forward to the season and if they’re healthy would not be surprised to see them in the top 3 of the Division.  What’s it called??  Still haven’t adjusted.  Atlantic?  Metro-Sexual?  I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/07/14 at 10:57 AM ET

hiero4life's avatar

KH can do this or not do that, it doesn’t change the fact I’ll always come back.  I look forward to watching the team develop, and the drinking the development will cause. 
LGRW

Posted by hiero4life from anywhere i am on 08/07/14 at 11:01 AM ET

Avatar

The only cause for excitement will be the prospects.  But once reality settles in that the Wings won’t play them over their veterans then we have to settle in for a long season.

Posted by bababooey on 08/07/14 at 11:52 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

I really like our team.

grin

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 08/07/14 at 12:13 PM ET

Avatar

The Pistons…could officially become more intriguing winter viewing than the Red Wings

No way.  That’ll never happen.  Not in my life, not in my lifetime.

Posted by BobTheZee on 08/07/14 at 12:21 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Oh Garth, I do adore you, but you’re going to have to trust me when I say that this has not been a “slow” summer from a news-finding perspective. The “little” stories kept rolling in at a “putting in at least 8 hours a day” pace until last week.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/07/14 at 12:29 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

The only cause for excitement will be the prospects.  But once reality settles in that the Wings won’t play them over their veterans then we have to settle in for a long season.

Posted by bababooey on 08/07/14 at 12:52 PM ET

Who will not play that should?

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/07/14 at 02:46 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

top 3 of the Division.  What’s it called??  Still haven’t adjusted.  Atlantic?  Metro-Sexual?  I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

I’m gonna call it the Adams until Bettman comes to my house and tells me to stop.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 08/07/14 at 06:11 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Uh, I’m all in. Drop the puck!

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 08/07/14 at 09:51 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

I’m a Red Wings fan through thick and thin; a die hard if you will. I bitch a lot, but I do it because I DO care. Game On!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 08/08/14 at 07:48 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I’m a Red Wings fan through thick and thin; a die hard if you will. I bitch a lot, but I do it because I DO care. Game On!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 08/08/14 at 08:48 AM ET

Yo!

2012-07-04 04.10.45 pm

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/08/14 at 12:41 PM ET

Primis's avatar

So I’m looking forward to the season and if they’re healthy would not be surprised to see them in the top 3 of the Division.  What’s it called??  Still haven’t adjusted.  Atlantic?  Metro-Sexual?  I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 08/07/14 at 11:57 AM ET

I still call it the Flortheast.

Posted by Primis on 08/08/14 at 09:55 PM ET

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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.