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Afternoon news: An ‘alternate history,’ Larkin ‘sticks around’; on Sawchuk and a Walleye signing

Of Red Wings and Walleye-related note this afternoon:

1. Puck Daddy has been asking bloggers to write "Alternate Histories" for their NHL teams, and Winging It in Motown's J.J. From Kansas wonders what would've happened had the Red Wings signed Marian Hossa instead of Johan Franzen:

Very few people doubted Hossa would be the better player of the two, but the writing was on the wall for the future and Franzen was both the home-grown guy and the more affordable playoff monster. The Red Wings were faced with a flattening cap and the uncomfortable reality that between Henrik Zetterberg, Marian Hossa, and Johan Franzen, the team would only be able to sign two.

The easy refrain from 2017 is that this wouldn’t be a problem if Ken Holland would stop giving out awful contracts, but that wasn’t really the case more than one lockout ago. Probably the worst contract on the Wings’ books back then was Kris Draper making $1.58 million with one year left to go (although Brad Stuart’s deal was one year too long). Remember, this was back when Dan Cleary had knees, so his $2.8 million cap hit was fine for a guy who averaged just under 40 points over the course of that deal.

From that point, Franzen has played only half of the games and given them 218 points. Hossa, meanwhile has given 641 games (87%) and provided 473 points, 73 of which have been in the postseason.

J.J. continues...

2. In the present tense, Bauer posted a video in which Dylan Larkin, Jack Eichel and Alex Galchenyuk have some fun with a "Boom Meter" while testing out the Bauer Supreme 1S stick:

3. In the past tense, The Ukrainian Weekly's Ihor Stelmach penned a profile of Terry Sawchuk:

No goaltender could emulate Sawchuk, and he remains the only goalie in NHL history to record a goals-against average of less than 2.00 in each of his first five seasons. This bears repeating. Sawchuk is the only one. Vezina didn’t accomplish this feat. Durnan didn’t do it. Roy didn’t do it. Neither did Brodeur or Hasek.

Sawchuk recorded 56 shutouts and 195 wins over that period, leading the league in victories in each of those five seasons. During the 1951-1952 playoffs, Sawchuk went 8-0 in leading the Red Wings to the title. He posted four shutouts, a 0.63 GAA and an amazing .977 save percentage. He did not allow a single goal on home ice.

Granted, it is nearly impossible to compare eras, but it is paramount to remember that goalies of Sawchuk’s time were expected to play despite pain. Goalie equipment was modest and clubs did not yet carry back-ups to give the starter a break from injury or a night off.

Stelmach continues...

4. In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye have re-signed Tyler Barnes:

Walleye reel in a big Fish with Barnes returning

(Toledo, OH) – In the 2014-15 season he set a then single season record 74 points in a Walleye uniform, today Tyler Barnes returns to Toledo agreeing to terms with the Walleye for the 2017-18 season.

Barnes played his first professional season in Toledo with 71 games in the 2014-15 season collecting 74 points (34G, 40A) while playing as a plus 20. His 74 points stood as the Walleye single season record until broken this past year by Shane Berschbach. For his efforts that year, Barnes was named ECHL rookie of the Year and landed on the ECHL All-Rookie Team.

The Burnsville, Minnesota native split last season between Rockford of the AHL and Indy and Allen of the ECHL. Barnes scored four times with three assists in 25 games for the IceHogs while he added in 11 goals and 16 assists in 26 games between the Fuel and Americans.

“We saw firsthand three years ago how tremendous a hockey player Tyler can be,” said Head Coach Dan Watson. “He is a tireless worker that is an offensive force on the ice.”

5. And finally, at Joe Louis Arena:

Update: FYI:

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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.