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And now we wait? And hope that the Red Wings’ front office knows what it’s doing

Updated 5x at 9:31 PM: My best guess at this point is pretty simple: the Red Wings have an overabundance of forwards now, should Zach Parise go elsewhere, and perhaps they are crossing their fingers that either Nick Kypreos wasn’t blowing smoke or that, should Ryan Suter choose to go elsewhere, they’ve got back-up plans in place. One way or another, I do believe that Ken Holland knows something we don’t, has a trade in the works (no, not for Nash, dear God, Scott Howson wants both arms, both legs, the liver, spleen and heart from teams that are in different conferences, never mind the same division) or is simply overbuilding like nobody’s frickin’ business, knowing that he can exceed the salary cap by 10% during the summer…

After adding Jonas Gustavsson, as expected, Damien Brunner, and throwing two bizarre curveballs our way in Mikael Samuelsson (hey, with Hudler gone and Tomas Holmstrom likely to retire, the Wings had a 35-goal hole, and Samuelsson knocks into that significantly at what is an affordable price by a $70 million cap’s standards) and Jordin Tootoo (for the love of Gordie, may we banish those whistles from the Joe forever).

Now? Given that we’ve been told that neither Parise nor Suter will make their decisions until Monday, despite the Wings’ best efforts to make their decisions “no-brainers” (thanks, Jonas Gustavsson), I’ll turn it over to the Free Press’s Helene St. James...

DET GM Ken Holland on signing of Jordin Tootoo: “We’re stepping out of our comfort zone.”
...
#RedWings done with free agency for today - now sitting back to wait to hear from Ryan Suter & Zach Parise.
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FYI to those panicking: NHL Free Agency isn’t a one-day sale. All summer left for #RedWings to make more moves.
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Continuing to track #RedWings GM Ken Holland’s moves today: He just went to dinner with fellow front office staff in downtown Detroit.

And the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:

Just got off the phone with Wings GM Ken Holland and he says the team is basically in a holding pattern with the rest of their offseason moves until Ryan Suter and Zach Parise decide on where they are going.

With the signings of Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo, Jonas Gustavsson and Damien Brunner, the Wings still have roughly $17 million left to spend. That however doesn’t include the close to $5 million it’s going to cost to re-sign both Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey.

My best guess is that the Wings know that, at best, one of Suter or Parise will sign with them. Then they’ll spend a good chunk of change on either a goal-scoring forward or a puck-moving defenseman, depending on whether they lose out on one or both (I would imagine that Alex Semin or Matt Carle would be plucked off the market fast once Suter and Parise decide), and if the Wings strike out entirely, they’ll use some of those extra line’s worth of forwards to make a trade.

Otherwise?

I have no frickin’ clue, and while we knew that the Wings would have to wait to deal with their biggest problem, their defense, once Suter made it known that he wasn’t going to decide where he would head today, and we knew that the Wings wanted a back-up goalie and a fourth-line forward with some grit, too…

I’m pretty bloody confused, and I’m really hoping that Ken Holland and the Wings’ front office know what they are doing, and have multiple plans of action that will satisfy our sky-high expectations by this time tomorrow.

 

Update: here’s some extra perspective from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, via RedWingsFeed:

The offers were numerous for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on Sunday, so it should surprise no one that they needed at least a day to collect their thoughts.

Parise got offers from the likes of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Carolina and Dallas among other teams, while keeping the dialogue open with New Jersey.

By the end of the day, the Stars and Hurricanes said they were out of the Parise mix, the Kings felt they were long shots, while the Red Wings weren’t very confident. It certainly felt like it was down to the Penguins, Devils, Wild and Flyers. Playing with Sidney Crosby is a big-time allure, but Minnesota also appeals a lot to the Minneapolis native, in my understanding. And you can’t count out New Jersey. The Devils captain told reporters outside Newport Sports’ offices in the Toronto area that he would make a decision Monday.

Suter received offers from the Red Wings, Wild, Flyers, Penguins and Blackhawks among other teams, while Nashville GM David Poile said he was also preparing an offer to try and retain him. Hard to bet against Detroit here, but I’d keep an eye on Minnesota and Nashville as well.

Know this: I doubt any team offered more money than Philadelphia for either player, we’re talking north of $100 million for each. But in the end, money won’t be the only criteria for both players.

Once Parise and Suter make up their mind, it should have the predictable domino effect on the rest of the marketplace. Once Parise goes, Columbus will ramp up trade talks on Rick Nash. The Rangers, Red Wings and Hurricanes are among the possibilities. Parise’s signing will also heat up trade talks for Bobby Ryan in Anaheim.

Once Suter goes, it should move things along on the Matt Carle front. He’s the best UFA blueliner available after Suter. I’m willing to bet Carle easily gets at least $5 million a year whenever he does sign.

Update #2: From Khan:

Wings done for the day. Holland said they’re still in the mix for Suter and Parise.

Update #3: From the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:

#redwings Holland: “We thought we signed some depth today and we got some ingredients that we’re excited about adding.”
...
#redwings Holland: “We made presentations or pitches to the Parise and Suter camps.”
...
#redwings Holland on Tootoo: “He’s physical, he gets under your skin of our players. It’s an ingredient we’ve always talked about.”
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#redwings Holland on Samuelsson: “We know him. We like him. He can skate. He can play the right point on the power play. He’s got a shot.”
...
#redwings Holland on Brunner: “He’s got speed, now we’ll see how he adjusts from the big rink to a small rink and with more physical play.”
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#redwings Holland: “We’re hoping Gustavsson can take his career to another level here.”

Update #4: According to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, Ken Holland says the Wings are waiting for answers from both Parise and Suter...

“Obviously we’re probably not going to do anything more until we know what’s going on with those two big guys,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview late Sunday. “We’re sort of sitting on a cap situation where if they want to come to us we can’t keep adding.”

...
“We thought we signed some depth and we got some ingredients that we’re excited about adding,” Holland said.

The deals leave the Wings with just over $17 million in cap space. However, close to $5 million is earmarked for restricted free agents Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey. The Wings would like to get Abdelkader to sign a four-year deal at just under $2 million a season, but Quincey could be more difficult to sign at the number they want since he made $3.25 million a year ago. They’re hoping to give him at a modest raise.

“In order to have a possibility of being involved in deals for Suter or Parise if we lose some people we lose some people,” said Holland, who confirmed the team did make formal presentations to the representatives for Suter and Parise. “I’m told we’re a consideration for both of them.”

Regarding Samuelsson…

“We wanted to keep (Samuelsson) him three years ago but the salary was beyond where we wanted to go,” Holland said. “Samuelsson can replace Hudler.”
...
“We know him, we like him, he can skate and he’s got some range,” Holland said. “He can play the right point on the power play. He’s got a shot. We’ve had him and he played well for us.”

And Tootoo:

“We wanted to get some physical play into our game,” Holland said. “We think he’ll provide an element of an edge to our team on the bottom six. We played against Nashville, we know him, he’s physical, he gets under your skin of our players. It’s an ingredient we’ve always talked about.”
...
“We were involved in a lot of different things,” Holland said. “Some of the guys signed elsewhere and some of them are still sitting out there. All our people were here, which was good, and we made a decision that he would be a good fit.”


Update #5: I’ll quote more of Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji’s July 1 wrap-up later, but for now…

The Red Wings jumped right into the mix Sunday, the first day NHL free agents could sign contracts. While they made offers to both Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and New Jersey forward Zach Parise, they had plenty of company in that department.

“I’m told they’re not making any decisions today so we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
...
The four signings wound down day one for the Wings in their free agent pursuits. What happens next will also determine what current Wings might not return.

“We’re going to talk to (Tomas Holmstrom) in a couple of weeks,” Holland said. “Obviously we’re probably not going to do anything more until we know what’s going on with those two big guys. We’re sort of sitting on a cap situation where if they want to come to us we can’t keep adding. In order to have a possibility of being involved in deals for Suter or Parise, if we lose some people we lose some people.”

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Comments

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In the quotes last night (or Friday night?) Holland said something along the lines of having 12/13 forwards, but were they the right 12/13 forwards, so I’m betting there’s a bit of an overhaul.

I’m going to say that there’s going to be some movement via trades after the “frenzy” is done.

Filppula or Franzen along with some combo of Eaves and/or Abdelkader and/or Cleary are on their way out.

Bobby Ryan, if they don’t sign Parise?

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:01 PM ET

SYF's avatar

For an intensely private man, Suter, I thought for sure he’d be done with all this speculation on the very first day.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/01/12 at 10:02 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

DET GM Ken Holland on signing of Jordin Tootoo: “We’re stepping out of our comfort zone.”

Does anyone else find this statement frightening?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 07/01/12 at 10:03 PM ET

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I guess I’m indifferent on Samuellson as he is cheaper than hudler. But….jesus. I just hope Bobby Ryan is in the cards or something. I am fine giving up Smith for anyone proven. If Smith were the second coming, he would have been up for the last two seasons.

Suter is a must a this point. Even then, we are still worse than last season.

Having a full day to digest getting Toronto’s goalie, i like the Jonas signing.

Posted by ElCapitan on 07/01/12 at 10:08 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Does anyone else find this statement frightening?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, now in Flori-duh on 07/01/12 at 08:03 PM ET

Only slightly. My hopes are that if we actually keep Tootoo, Uncle Mike can keep him under control. Last thing we need is more bad penalties.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/01/12 at 10:08 PM ET

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That quote on Tootoo i think is another veiled shot at Babcock, or sould i say, the divisions between them regarding personnel and the direction of this team.

Posted by ElCapitan on 07/01/12 at 10:09 PM ET

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I don’t see them moving Filppula. He brings it every night, is a plus player in all three zones, and is probably the best pure skater on the team (if not the fastest). Wings need to add size and toughness, NOT subtract elite playmaking and skating.

I could see Cleary and/or Eaves getting moved, but their injury statuses makes them all but unmoveable. The only guys with trade value we’d be willing to move are probably Abby and maybe Tatar. Drew Miller stays, I think, because he’s cheap, durable, reasonably gritty, and has gotten better every year.

Something is brewing for sure. Even if you count Hudler, Holmstrom, Emmerton and Mursak as gone, we still have 14 forwards under contract. I’m guessing either Nyquist or Brunner earns the top six job with the big club, and the loser goes back to GR. That leaves room for one more forward.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting!

Posted by Scott from Durham, NC on 07/01/12 at 10:11 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I’m high on three of these deals, but really hate the Tootoo deal. The guy has a history of being a dirty player with a (by NHL standards) low skill level. I don’t see how he is a full-time NHL player anywhere, let alone on a team like the Red Wings.

I must be in the minority, but I absolutely love bringing Sammy back. He may be the poster boy for “high and wide,” but he’s basically replacing Hudler’s offense, while adding size and defensive responsibility. People forget (or didn’t notice in the first place) how good of an all-around player he became in Detroit.

We upgraded our backup goalie tremendously (I see no reason “The Monster” can’t spell Jimmah from 20 - 30 games with little-to-no drop off), and we added a near-no-risk skilled forward.

But just… Tootoo. Seriously?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/01/12 at 10:12 PM ET

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Does anyone else find this statement frightening?

While I don’t like the signing, I like the sentiment.  The comfort zone was fine in the 08 and 09 playoffs, but since then the comfort zone has gotten them two playoff series victories in three years.

I’m fine with going outside the comfort zone.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:13 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Can I donate my right kidney full of kidney stone fragments and gravel (that got blasted with sonic shit on Friday) to the cause for Nash?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/01/12 at 10:13 PM ET

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Posted by Scott from Durham, NC on 07/01/12 at 08:11 PM ET

The thing is though, if you want to land a good player, you’ve got to give up something good too.  Nobody’s going to give up a top-six forward for Abdelkader, Cleary and Eaves or Miller (unless…has anyone given Garth Snow a call?), you’ve got to give up something back, and if Holland is already stepping out of his comfort zone…

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:15 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 08:13 PM ET

I don’t agree with you often, but I’m with you on this. I don’t like Tootoo, that much is for sure, but I’m not exactly put off by this signing. It’s rather…intriguing…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/01/12 at 10:16 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

The thing is though, if you want to land a good player, you’ve got to give up something good too.

I’m not so sure the *ucks are stupid enough to give up Ryan for Franzen, Abby, and a pick…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/01/12 at 10:18 PM ET

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Smith ain’t going anywhere. The Wings have to develop their own elite young talent if they want to remain competitive in 3-4 years. There is nothing horribly wrong with this team’s offense that would require trading our best blue-line prospect in the last 10 years.

We’re already a better, stronger, more well-rounded offense for adding Sammy and Tootoo (though it took me a good 30 minutes to swallow both those pick-ups). If we add another top six forward, our offense will rank among the NHL’s elite.

Posted by Scott on 07/01/12 at 10:19 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

cleary is going nowhere. don’t be silly

Posted by Rdwings28 on 07/01/12 at 10:21 PM ET

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cleary is going nowhere. don’t be silly

I’m pretty sure at this point he’s one of about three Red Wings without a no-trade, so…

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:23 PM ET

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Like I said, I had to swallow hard and digest for 30 minutes before I saw the potential impact of Tootoo.

Imagine, just for a minute, a line with Helm and Tootoo on it. Helm blazing in and overwhelming a defenseman before he has time to gather the puck, then Tootoo rolling in a second later like a bowling ball.

Throw a guy like a heady guy like Miller on the wing, and that’s a line that will cause problems and create lots of ugly, opportunistic goals.

Posted by Scott on 07/01/12 at 10:24 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Can I donate my right kidney full of kidney stone fragments and gravel (that got blasted with sonic shit on Friday) to the cause for Nash?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/01/12 at 08:13 PM ET

Oh dude that’s awful.  I declined that treatment after I had it once.  It was only marginally successful, with the potential for leaving big enough pieces to cause multiple ureter blockage episodes.

I used to think the Wings would get Nash one day, then he signed the monster contract.  There are some combinations of players and picks I could be comfortable with in bringing him to Detroit.  He’d be a great asset if the price in personnel lost wasn’t too high.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/01/12 at 10:26 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Hudler’s gone and Sammy is an upgrade as a replacement IMO.

I don’t think the Wings would trade Filppula. Babs said some very complimentary things about him after the season ended and, as Scott said, his effort and skill make him too valuable. And no way Smith or Nyquist get traded But I wonder about Mule…

Didn’t know Helm and Tootoo were friends. That makes the Tootoo signing slightly more intriguing, but it will take more than that to make me stop hating it.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 07/01/12 at 10:31 PM ET

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Hopefully this Suter thing comes to pass, because based on today, I’m afraid Holland’s plan B is going to be trading Abby to Philly for Lilja.

Posted by sabby on 07/01/12 at 10:33 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I thinkk a deal with Q and Abby and maybe a couple other bottom 6ers and a prospect.. i think theyd take it. 3 or 4 roster players? Maybe throw in cleary? I think theyd take it

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/12 at 10:40 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Sorry was talkin bout cbus for nash

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/12 at 10:41 PM ET

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Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/12 at 08:40 PM ET

I know a lot of people don’t want to believe it, but I’m pretty sure Quincey is here to stay.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:42 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Hudler’s gone and Sammy is an upgrade as a replacement IMO

Hudler can’t dig in physically, either defending or attacking. Sammy can

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/01/12 at 10:43 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

Hopefully this Suter thing comes to pass, because based on today, I’m afraid Holland’s plan B is going to be trading Abby to Philly for Lilja.

Posted by sabby on 07/01/12 at 08:33 PM ET

This would be great…and not for the hockey factor, because either way, I wouldn’t be bothered by it because Lilja has been playing better.  But I digress….the reason I would love it would be because the reaction amongst Wings fans would be out of this world crazy.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 07/01/12 at 10:43 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

If I hear the train whistle whilst I’m at the Joe I will strangle the fecker. Not j/k

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/01/12 at 10:43 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

cough it up Samuelson why why why???  and TOOTOO????  .... puhlease Kenny what are you doing? ..  we need a couple good D men with Lids and Stewie gone why these two???    ..... but MOST of all   PLLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE please ban the whistle form the Joe or I’ll be watching with the sound turned off all season ..... so disappointed already

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 07/01/12 at 10:46 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I dont think kenny wants to pay him what he wants and kindl is the cheaper option.  Im good either way but as far as trade value hes a minute muncher and could net the biggest returns

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/12 at 10:47 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Nyqvist - Datsyuk - Bertuzzi
Brunner - Z - Franzen
Cleary - Filppula - Sammy
Abdelkader - Helm - Tootoo

I like that.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 07/01/12 at 10:58 PM ET

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I think the Wings brass are adjusting to their gameplan by going all in on Suter and having the extra pieces at forward to make a run at Ryan or Nash.  At this point I would be shocked if Suter went elsewhere.  By the way Quincey is not going anywhere, there is no way Holland trades a first to trade him in the summer.  If I was Kindl or Ian White though i’d be worried aboutmy future here.  Also I am in the minority here but I like both the Tootoo signing and think that Quincey needs a full season with the Wings before I’m ready to cut bait with him.

Posted by booyah! on 07/01/12 at 11:01 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

I must be in the minority, but I absolutely love bringing Sammy back. He may be the poster boy for “high and wide,” but he’s basically replacing Hudler’s offense, while adding size and defensive responsibility. People forget (or didn’t notice in the first place) how good of an all-around player he became in Detroit.

In the minority?  Maybe.  But you’re not alone.  As a replacement/upgrade over Hudler, I love this signing.  As I said over on A2Y, Sammy’s bigger, a better skater, stronger defensively, is a right-hand shot who isn’t shy about shooting the puck and is far better suited to being a third liner in the event we still manage to bolster the top six.

The need for a top-pairing D-man and a scorer are still there, but this thing ain’t over yet.  We’ll see what happens.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 07/01/12 at 11:01 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Tootoo? Really? I love, love, love grit. Tootoo is a feckin AHL grit guy. Ugghhhh….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/01/12 at 11:06 PM ET

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Posted by topshelf14 from Hockeytown, USA on 07/01/12 at 08:58 PM ET

If Bert is on the first line this season then I will consider the off-season a failure.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 11:08 PM ET

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I don’t mind the Brunner and Gustavsson deals, and I’m not surprised by the Samuelsson (for some strange reason in the back of my head, I kept saying “Detroit will sign Samuelsson.”)  The one that bothers me is the Tootoo deal and the amount he is getting. 

I think with the signing of three forwards, Detroit was probably told by Parise’s camp that they were out the running, despite what Holland said.

I still think we are in the hunt for Suter, but hard to say if we are the favorites or not.

Parise’s top 3 spots in order 1.Pittsburgh 2.Philadelphia 3.New Jersey
Suter’s top 3 spots 1.Detroit (might be wishful thinking here)  2.Nashville 3. Chicago

As you have noticed I think both players will stay within their own divisions, but not necessarily with the same team.

Posted by Misplaced Wings Fan in Hawks-Blues Country on 07/01/12 at 11:08 PM ET

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If Bert is on the first line this season then I will consider the off-season a failure.

Also, if they don’t add a top-six forward.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 11:09 PM ET

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I think with the signing of three forwards, Detroit was probably told by Parise’s camp that they were out the running, despite what Holland said.

Yeah, they made a signing that they announced earlier this week official then added a third-liner and a fourth-liner as consolation because they were told they didn’t get the best UFA forward on the market.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 11:11 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

If Bert is on the first line this season then I will consider the off-season a failure.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 09:08 PM ET

The scoring was never really the issue with the Wings though, at least during the regular season.  Its been the grit/toughness of the bottom 2 lines that has been lacking.  We have had too many finesse players blended throughout the lineup and not enough grinders.  I think the 3rd and 4th lines will be the hardest to play against in the NHL and still have the ability to score.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 07/01/12 at 11:13 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Back in 2008 our 3rd/4th liners were Drake, Maltby, Downey, McCarty, Samuelsson, Kopecky, and Draper to grind.
In 2012 they were Emmerton, Nyqvist, Mursak, Miller, Conner, Abdelkader, Helm.  Biggest difference come playoff time?  Size, toughness, grit.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 07/01/12 at 11:21 PM ET

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The scoring was never really the issue with the Wings though

a) That’s because we got a lot of production from our third and fourth lines.
b) My point was that Bert is absolutely not a first-line player and he’s not young enough for the Wings to be saying “we’ve giving him a chance like we are with Brunner and Nyquist.  He shouldn’t be on the first or second line, and if Detroit’s top six haven’t improved enough for him to be on the third or fourth line, I won’t be happy.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 11:29 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Does anyone else find this statement frightening?

More than frightening, I have watched this clown on and off the ice since he was 17. Disgusting, person.  Not the normal pain in the butt on the ice and nice guy off!

Still hoping he is part of a trade with Wings having too many forwards and not adding any D!

Sammy is OK, but no trade contract caught my eye. Monster was a safe signing and he will be a good Wing.

My gut tells me Fil/Aby being shopped or maybe that is the Rum/Coke feeling, hmmm?

Blockbuster forecast for Monday?

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/01/12 at 11:31 PM ET

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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.