Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Attitude problems: Mrazek’s and the team’s

It appears to be a case of bad asset management meeting a bad attitude, and it's as simple as that.

MLive's Ansar Khan let us know bluntly that Petr Mrazek hasn't endeared himself to management due to his attitude, saying the following...

Part of the reason Mrazek's luster has faded has been deportment issues that can be traced to contentious off-season contract negotiations (they settled on a two-year, $8 million deal; Mrazek will be a restricted free agent in 2018), maybe earlier.

Mrazek was not happy the Red Wings were unable to trade Howard in the off-season and let the club know in less-than-tactful terms.

Mrazek has always had a swagger and air of confidence, which appealed to the Red Wings. But sometimes he's too cocky for his own good, some in the organization believe. He became increasingly difficult to coach last season, they said.

Jeff Blashill's decision to start rookie Jared Coreau in the outdoor game in Toronto spoke to the attitude adjustment the team was seeking from Mrazek.

The decision to expose Mrazek was a slap in the face to the young goalie. But the saga isn't complete.

The Windsor Star's Bob Duff had a terse conversation with Ken Holland regarding the Red Wings' expansion draft decision-making process (as did the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness), before confirming Khan's assertions that Petr Mrazek's attitude and work ethic are of concern to the Wings...

“I have no comment,” Holland said. “All the players except one will be back on our team.”

Others of significance left exposed for the expansion draft included forwards Riley Sheahan, Drew Miller, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, and Tomas Nosek, defensemen Niklas Kronwall, Xavier Ouellet, Jonathan Ericsson and Ryan Sproul and goaltender Jared Coreau.

The expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights get to select one of them during the expansion draft, and Holland did acknowledge that unlike some other NHL teams, he won’t be making any backroom deals with Las Vegas GM George McPhee in order to ensure a player or players are passed over by the Golden Knights.

“We had a tough year,” Holland said of missing the playoffs in 2016-17. “We’re trying to build our team. I’m not spending any future assets to hang onto players.”

There certainly is a chance that should Holland see someone on the unprotected list that is of interest to him, he could work out a package to get the Golden Knights to draft that player and then flip him to the Wings.

“I talked to George McPhee a number of times this week,” Holland admitted. “I do plan on talking to him through the freeze period. I do know he’s working with a number of teams. I talked to most of the managers in the NHL leading into (Saturday’s protected list submissions).”

And the Free Press's Helene St. James put things a little more politely...

Mrazek had a career-worst season with a 3.04 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 50 games. Then he went to the World Championship and was so mediocre (2.47 goals-against average, .881 save percentage) the Czechs didn’t even use him when they faced elimination in the quarterfinal. Mrazek makes many great saves but also lets in a stoppable goal regularly, which isn’t a winning formula.

However, Howard is 33, has two years left at a $5.3-million cap hit, and can’t seem to stay healthy (in fairness, the knee injury he suffered in December was because he got run over). Mrazek is 25, and has a year left at $4 million. He also has lost the starting job two years running.

...

General manager Ken Holland was not available for comment. It is clear, however, that the decision to expose Mrazek rather than Howard indicates a significant change in how the Wings view Mrazek a year after anointing him as No. 1.

While the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan speculated as to Mrazek's likely destinations if he is picked:

Mrazek could tempt the Golden Knights, who could team Mrazek with the anticipated selection of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who was left unprotected by Pittsburgh.

But more likely, the Golden Knights would simply flip Mrazek to a team that reaches out to them, asks Vegas to select Mrazek, and works out a trade with the Golden Knights for Mrazek.

Teams such as Vancouver, Arizona, Philadelphia, Colorado and St. Louis might be in the market for a goaltender who can split the workload – or be a quality backup.

Teams can negotiate trades with Vegas until Wednesday at 8 a.m. in an effort to keep the Golden Knights from selecting certain unprotected players.

But Holland said last week he is not interested in making those side deals with Vegas.

Holland, though, is open to the possibility of asking Vegas to select an unprotected player (likely a puck-moving defenseman) and working out a trade afterward.

If not Mrazek, judging from speculation around the Golden Knights, Sheahan or Ouellet appear to be the two most popular picks by the expansion team.

Here's what I know but am not supposed to say in this manner:

Petr Mrazek can be a cocky, arrogant jerk. [edit: Let's try this so that there's less concern here--and there's nothing wrong with being a cocky, arrogant jerk. Professional athletes can possess massive egoes, and sometimes that's exactly what they need to succeed. There's a problem here, however...]

Petr Mrazek sometimes thinks his shit doesn't stink, and he reacts to his coaches and teammates with the same, one-sentence answers to bad goals against or bad performances: "I feel good," "I'm fine," "I just move forward," "Sometimes it happens," "It's no big deal," etc.

I'm gathering that he backs those statements up with the same as-if-it-never-happened work ethic during practices with his teammates and goaltending coach (and it should be said that it was no easy decision for the Wings to bid farewell to Jim Bedard after 19 years to promote Jeff Salajko from Grand Rapids).

But you still don't deal with a player with an attitude problem or a player who's pissed management off by giving him a wake-up call that could endanger your asset management, and that's exactly what the Wings have done in making Mrazek available for selection by the Golden Knights for use as a player or a trade chip.

A team that acts in a manner that emphasizes proper asset management doesn't allow bad attitudes, conduct with less than the utmost decorum or disappointment with players' contract negotiation tactics to cloud its judgment as to whether it should protect a 25-year-old goaltender with trade value over a 32-year-old goaltender with less trade value.

It's just gotten so tiresome to continue finding out  that the Red Wings didn't bring back a player or prospect because of a real or perceived slight, regardless of whether it has to do with the player's on-ice performance, and that those who have offended (regardless of whether their missteps were small or large in scope) are most often gotten rid of in a manner that doesn't maximize their potential as assets for the team.

In the end, a player with talent and a player with tradeable potential is an asset, and even if he's a self-important *#$%@& who won't work hard enough (and all indications suggest that Mrazek has an attitude problem and a work ethic problem, and has had these problems since Day 1  as a Red Wings prospect), you don't just "let them go."

That's not the way that a team in a salary cap era should deal with limited assets, but it's become the way that the Red Wings' hockey operations department runs.

That's a problem, a big problem, and it's an attitude problem.

 

P.S. I don't think that Petr Mrazek is a bad human being because he displays many of the qualities of someone with a "bad attitude." I don't believe that the Red Wings should have exposed Mrazek due to any attitude issues.

What I do believe at this point is that we have clear indications that the team is managing attitudes more than players, and that's of great concern.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

WingedRider's avatar

Here’s what I know but am not supposed to say in this manner:

Petr Mrazek can be a cocky, arrogant jerk.


Are you really peddling this smear campaign, this rumored Bull Shit and you of all people should no better.

Take yout 33 yr old, LTIR fan, WITH one “Rebound Season” , better hope Coreau magically becomes an NHL starter or even backup.

Unbelievable

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/18/17 at 11:17 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s not bullshit. He can be a really cocky kid. It’s been that way since the get-go, and it’s part of what makes him a wonderful goaltender when he is at his best. That ego and drive brought him up the ranks incredibly quickly and gave him tremendous initial success.

He can also not internalize a bad performance to the point that he doesn’t believe he’s got to work on anything, and that’s not useful.

It’s up to the Wings to help Mrazek grow up, not to throw him out because he can be what so many professional athletes are—their biggest supporters.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/18/17 at 11:24 PM ET

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This decision reflects badly on the team management and makes them look and sound petty. If they are so unable to deal with an attitude problem, it would be worth them looking for direction from other organizations.

The once mighty Red Wing mystique has disappeared and has been replaced by an arrogance within the organization….an organization that doesn’t know how to deal with a petulant goalie and will give him away for nothing. Arrogance meet stupidity.

Posted by NewfieWing on 06/18/17 at 11:33 PM ET

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Kinda strange that it’s only the kids who have the attitude problems…Mantha, AA, Mrazek. Even our old friend Jarnkrok. Anyone who dares speak their mind, question the decision-making, well, they pay the price. Wish these kids could be more like Cleary and Abby. Your performance on the ice isn’t that important boys. Say the right things and Kenny will take care of you. It’s pathetic. Total media smear campaign while the coward Holland has no comment.

For some reason this takes me back to Darren Helm’s very public negotiations. I need re-assurance about my role. I’m tired of being moved around. I’m not signing anything until I understand my future role. Blah blah blah. Nobody in the media dared label Helm as sounding a little too focussed on himself. His ice-time. His stats. His role. He sounded like a spoiled brat. But Kenny used to babysit his wife’s kindergarten teacher so all was forgiven. He was rewarded with a big payday.

Then Mrazek is frustrated and leaves practice early. Oh and was forced into arbitration by the team (Kenny’s choice, not Petr’s). What a jerk. Let’s teach him a lesson. Wonder what Mantha and AA are thinking right now?

Posted by fatsavage on 06/18/17 at 11:35 PM ET

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Nailed it george. You can’t have a self doubting goalie. He needs to be willing to improve but cocky is not a terrible trait. Gotta be able to let a sh!tty goal go.  Howard has a more difficult time doing that.

Posted by SlimChance on 06/19/17 at 12:03 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

What I really want is a quote from someone in Wings Management. Doesn’t exist!

When has Howard admitted in an interview that he sucked on a bad goal. Never

Khan, et all are quoting no one as usual.  Getting paid for writing BS

Peter is 25 and is a Hell of a lot better than Howard was at 25. 

Stats verify that that Howard had one rebound yr and his stats before that are not as good as Petrs.

Holland is a horrible motivator, as is Blashill obviously.

Not playing him in the out door game was childish.

They quick;y forgot how Mrazek saved their asses when Howard kept going LTIR or just played poorly.

Yes, some of the best sports athletes have huge egos.  That is part of their success.

If I was Mrazek, I would give Holland and his group the Roy middle finger.

If he had a good year last year (which would be a huge task with the GM and Coach he has) it would have been a huge feat.

I don’t hate Coreau, Howard or any Wings player I can think of.  Holland keeps his own, not based on skills, potential or anything that could have stalled this free fall. He can’t even assess his players as he gives over pays most and gives out stupid long term contracts

Prospects play within a different set of rules, hope they fight back as some of them were and will be the best Wings

No hints of Bad Petr anywhere, anywhere in his career,  before the NHL, even Blashill has praised him all along.  One year later Petr goes from the anointed #1 Goalie to bad attitude?? More BS from Holland.

Bad attitudes don’t happen that fast, I know, I have managed many employees and attitudes sent then out the door.

The BIG BIG problem is Holland, the new NHL has passed him by, Kids are better prepared for the NHL, he will fail with all his dinosaur ideas.

I still think a quote come directly from the source, all others are opinions.

Those opinions in this case will make it impossible for Petr to be a Wing AND that pisses me off.

I will have to keep following his career which I have done for years hopefully with another NHL team.

50 plus years and I have had enough of “Management eating their own”

Bowman’s and the Hawks protected Jurco and they have a deep organization.  Another bad attitude with the Wings.  Sorry Bowman’s are actually skilled at assessing players.

Hopefully Mrs I will step in as Baby I is non hockey.

We haven’t seen the worst Wings yet!!

Did I mention I was pissed.  This Management team is closing in on the WORST I have seen in more than 50 years.  I may have had enough.  I read your opinions as actual quotes from a reliable source.  If that is wrong, I apologize, if not ...You are wrong , IMO

My spelling and grammar, sucks!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/19/17 at 12:21 AM ET

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It’s apparent that if you don’t accept a team discount or want to wait until a player retires to get any ice time you get labeled a malcontent.  No wonder why any quality free agents won’t even consider playing here. Holland needs to go, if for nothing else than he can’t objectively manage the personnel it’s become a clique, if you’re Swedish or have ties to the Cup teams or kiss ass you have a job for life.  I guess this also applies to the media

Posted by bababooey on 06/19/17 at 12:31 AM ET

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It’s apparent that if you don’t accept a team discount or want to wait until a player retires to get any ice time you get labeled a malcontent.  No wonder why any quality free agents won’t even consider playing here. Holland needs to go, if for nothing else than he can’t objectively manage the personnel it’s become a clique, if you’re Swedish or have ties to the Cup teams or kiss ass you have a job for life.  I guess this also applies to the media

Posted by bababooey on 06/19/17 at 01:31 AM ET

What bothers me is how this arrogant GM just dismisses the media with no comment. Would love to see someone in the media take up the crusade. First thing tomorrow morning…Hey Ken. Our readers really would like to understand your expansion strategy?And if he blows you off then hit him the next day and next day. Show up at the amateur draft and lead with that question. Hey Kenny, so many around the league are intrigued with Howard versus Mrazek. Why did you do this? Did you notify Petr in advance? ARe you worried about how Mrazek might react if he’s not selected and shows up to camp?

Like just keep hounding him until he provides an answer. Fans deserve it.

Posted by fatsavage on 06/19/17 at 12:45 AM ET

Chet's avatar

I say this publicly instead of privately because it’s a major attitude change for you too, GM. you’ve finally acknowledged in no uncertain terms that wings management is deep down a few rabbit holes (“loyalty,” “culture,” etc) when they lack a baseline understanding of what it takes to win while managing a cap and their assets.

welcome.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 06/19/17 at 02:21 AM ET

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Mrazek hung out to dry by this organization.  Nothing new there.

Posted by 5hole on 06/19/17 at 04:56 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

I disagree with every one of you guys.
Howard was the better goalie by far this year.  And at 33 he still has lots of good years left..

Will Mrazek ever get his mojo back?  Who knows?

A bad attitude can affect the whole team.  “If management will let Mrazek skip practice, whine, etc, why can’t I?”

Holland will not talk about his list /  Mrazek?  What can he say that is not going to upset the player he talks about?  He is going to be asked “What is wrong with Mrazek / Sheahan / Oulette?  And when he answers that he is by definition criticizing / throwing his player under the bus IN PUBLIC.

In years past some contracts were not great.  But Holland was trying to keep Babcock, and Babcock wanted to win now, not rebuild the team.  This forced Holland to do things that he will no longer be forced to do.  I could go all the way back to getting rid of Filpulla for Weiss.  That was for Babcock.

I say Holland is an excellent GM.  His minor league team, with all his draft picks, just won the Calder Cup!

Let Holland play the “team building” game instead of the “hanging on / maintaining” game, and you will see great success.

Posted by w2j2 on 06/19/17 at 05:40 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

When has Howard admitted in an interview that he sucked on a bad goal. Never

Khan, et all are quoting no one as usual.  Getting paid for writing BS

1. Wrong. lol.

2. His poor attitude, while not with a lot of treadwork, is documented. And it is cpnfirmed by GM here so…

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/19/17 at 06:19 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

2. His poor attitude, while not with a lot of treadwork, is documented. And it is cpnfirmed by GM here so…

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/19/17 at 07:19 AM ET

perhaps, but bottom line is that this means Mrazek is not taken in expansion, but will be free for cheap trade plucking since someone just burned his membership card in Detroit. This is asset mgmt?

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/19/17 at 06:24 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I think the available/protected list is being overblown by many of you as a this guy sucks let’s drive him out of town card. Not true. You can only protect 11 players, a lot of players have been exposed. It doesn’t mean they all suck and can be traded. The Knights get 1 player from the roster that’s it. After that it’s time for these professionals who have an internal competitive drive to be the best to refocus and get ready for next season. There is very little chance Mrazek gets selected by GMGM and he will be in a Red Eings sweater again come Sept.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 06/19/17 at 07:19 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/19/17 at 07:24 AM ET

I don’t have a comment on asset mgmt., as it has been and will be covered pretty well. I am in the “Holland has to go” camp, but I don’t then also dedicate each and every one of my comments here to that (not saying you do, MoreShoot, but, ya know)....

“The Red Wings Way” is still in effect. Like it or not, it seems like some players don’t subscribe to it. If you’re not much of a team guy then this is what happens. This is why Mantha & Nyquist were benched from the PP, and why Mantha has a few benchings, and now Mrazek. Some would say this shows inconsistency, and I say it’s just the opposite. Get in line and behave.

Once again, not that I necessarily agree. Just a view from a pretty regular joe.

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/19/17 at 07:21 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

why Mantha has a few benchings

AA instead of Mantha*

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/19/17 at 07:22 AM ET

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Honestly, we need new MGT in Detroit. Get used to seeing lots of nasty years ahead of us. Kenny is so mind-fuched at this point he’s still “chasing” the playoffs. He needs to wake up. That’ why he protected Abby and left Shehean. He did not consider actual asset management. He wants to go the playoffs to get bounced in round 1…That’s why he didn’t protect Mrazek, he just doesn’t know how to deal with this stuff. and i agree, someone said earlier that the organization is “arrogant” as well. It’s like you can’t talk bad about the fabled “red wings dynasty” that purely doesn’t exist anymore. Blashill doesn’t know how to coach this team either. We took a chance on him and that was a good thing but we know he just can’t coach. I would give away any pick/prospect for David Poile as GM. Why didn’t we snag Boston’s coach when he was available? every team he coaches has like an average 3 goals a game… I just don’t get management’s vision for this team going forward.. What is their plan? Kenny Fuching Holland still thinks we are a “few pieces” away from cup contention. MY god .... wake up

Posted by Pasha1277 on 06/19/17 at 07:38 AM ET

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George nailed this take IMO. Any way you slice it, from a purely objective, logical, asset management standpoint, this was a poor decision by Holland and co. Ansar wrote the same thing in his article. It appears that this decision was made based on an emotional dislike of Mrazek rather than logic, and that is not how you run a business, which is what an NHL hockey team is.

Just a side note as well, because having lived in several different countries, I find speech and language fascinating…having watched numerous Mrazek interviews, I think he speaks English absolutely fine, but I don’t think the breadth of his English vocabulary is very large. I think he answers with the same, short answers all the time because he doesn’t have the English vocabulary to express himself more in depth. Just one lay person’s opinion.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 06/19/17 at 08:03 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

and it should be said that it was no easy decision for the Wings to bid farewell to Jim Bedard after 19 years to promote Jeff Salajko from Grand Rapids

This is perhaps one of the most subtle, but important things to keep in mind when considering the team looking at this from a global perspective.  The organization values loyalty, but they got rid of a HIGHLY respected coach (considered one of the best) who had been with the organization for nearly two decades, to bring up Petr’s ex coach from GR.  Basically trying to provide Mrazek with the best opportunity to succeed. 

Just think about that a bit before blasting the whole situation and organization, because this is really noteworthy.

Also, this all is a fantastic example of why I thought the lists should have been kept private from the fans and the players.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/19/17 at 08:05 AM ET

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In the meantime, the media calls this decision one of the most puzzling.

James Mirtle ✔ @mirtle
Gotta protect the goalie who’s eight years older and so expensive you couldn’t trade him.

Gotta.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/19/17 at 08:30 AM ET

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What bothers me is how this arrogant GM just dismisses the media with no comment

This is understandable imo. Mrazek could still be a Red Wing at the start of the season, KH cannot say much now.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/19/17 at 08:32 AM ET

Primis's avatar

You know, if Mrazek had played better at some point during the last year and a half, this is all a moot point.

Some of you seem to forget that.

Mrazek is in this situation due to his own failures, ultimately, attitude or not

This is perhaps one of the most subtle, but important things to keep in mind when considering the team looking at this from a global perspective.  The organization values loyalty, but they got rid of a HIGHLY respected coach (considered one of the best) who had been with the organization for nearly two decades, to bring up Petr’s ex coach from GR.  Basically trying to provide Mrazek with the best opportunity to succeed.

Just think about that a bit before blasting the whole situation and organization, because this is really noteworthy.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/19/17 at 09:05 AM ET

Yes, and the OTHER goalie then improved, not Mrazek.  I noted this elsewhere last night.  Everyone else has just glossed over that whole thing because it doesn’t fit their pro-Mrazek, anti-Holland narrative at the moment.

DET did a LOT to put Mrazek in a position to succeed, and he did not, and apparently has has a poor attitude to boot.  If there are ANY potential attitude problems there alongside that… he only has himself to blame and needs to get over himself.  This does not get out without DET letting it.

You guys know Holland can be doing a stinker of a job overall but still be right in cases like this, still be right?  It’s not just all or nothing?

And I still say it’s irrelevant and Vegas isn’t/wasn’t taking either Mrazek or Howard.  There are better, cheaper goalie options than either of them.

Posted by Primis on 06/19/17 at 08:33 AM ET

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Hi Ken. Any comment on Mrazek versus Howard. Our readers want to know.

“Yes of course. This was not an easy decision for us. We went back and forth numerous times. On the one hand, we’re very impressed with Howard’s resurgence after he struggled the previous year. The stats speak for themselves. He played very well for us last year. On the other hand, Mrazek is much younger and despite his struggles last season, he has the potential to be a real important building block for us going forward. That’s what made this so difficult. In the end we had to make a decision. We’re hopeful both goalies remain with us moving forward. Oh and by the way, we’ve spoken to both Jimmy and Petr to explain our rationale and both players understand our decision.”

Done. Simple. That’s all Holland needed to do to quell all the negativity. Instead we get a big “NO COMMENT” followed by a total character assassination. Even if Vegas doesn’t select Mrazek, Kenny has basically burned his bridge and destroyed his trade value in the process. Is there an Asset Management 101 course Kenny could sign up for??

Posted by fatsavage on 06/19/17 at 08:55 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Well well well HHHT is crying and spewing Ken Holland hate over the protection, didn’t see this vitriol coming at all…. said nobody. 

A few Devil’s advocate points

- This isn’t a Blashill/Holland issue alone, he was planted at the World’s for a goalie that doesn’t even play in the NHL

- He was named the starter 3x now, and each time his own play lost him the job.

- The beat writers spilled the beans on what this prima donna was like behind closed doors, and it’s not just HSJ. It this is true, wow, some bad stuff, cancerous type stuff. 

- As far as whether it’s true or not, I think Holland has proven that he doesn’t give a used urinal cake about what HHHT thinks, so to suggest the org is in some deep cover smear campaign to justify this move is absolutely laughable, lots of tin foil left over from weekend BBQs. 

- More than likely, now that the players is on the outs, the beat writers feel comfortable talking about it without repercussions.

- Besides, his attitude on the ice was apparent was anyone really surprised by the picture folks are painting? 

- I know everything thinks Holland just sits at home looking at the birds and dreaming of ways to get Flippula back when his deal is up next season, but I do give him benefit of the doubt that he called teams about their interest level in Mrazek before exposing him. Like Nill’s stars, this team has too much money tied up in the position, it wasn’t a problem he likely ignored. Could’ve, but I don’t think teams were interested.

- Lastly, if this was the franchise back breaker, wouldn’t this be the no brain consensus selection that everyone locally and nationally are talking about? “Detroit leaves Mrazek unprotected making him the obvious choice for LV” I’m not reading that everywhere, people are still talking Oulette and Sproul. 

The above said, I probably still would’ve protected Mrazek just because I don’t think this team will be anything the next two years minimum and would rather keep an asset that might become productive long term, and don’t mind losing if not. I’m not crying over it though. I will be a wings fan until I die, and don’t mind short term pain for long term success, whereas GMs, even Holland, have pressure to win now, especially in a new kingdom. 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 06/19/17 at 09:32 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by fatsavage on 06/19/17 at 09:55 AM ET

No comment was the perfect response, he can’t go player by player, saying some script for each, cause if you mentioned Mrazek v. Howard in that glowing term light, you’d need to do the same with every decision/position like Oulette vs. Jenson Nosek/Helm/Glenny vs… etc.or you disrespect them.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 06/19/17 at 09:35 AM ET

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No comment was the perfect response, he can’t go player by player, saying some script for each, cause if you mentioned Mrazek v. Howard in that glowing term light, you’d need to do the same with every decision/position like Oulette vs. Jenson Nosek/Helm/Glenny vs… etc.or you disrespect them.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 06/19/17 at 10:35 AM ET

He wasn’t asked about the other players. And by saying Mrazek versus Howard was our most difficult decision, it basically quells any questions about the other decisions. No GM is going to spend an hour walking the media through each decision. But a 30-second answer on Mrazek would have been nice. It’s not just locals who are intrigued. National media has mentioned this as a puzzling decision. But I get it. You like Kenny.

Posted by fatsavage on 06/19/17 at 09:40 AM ET

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it doesn’t fit their pro-Mrazek, anti-Holland narrative at the moment.

Can you imagine a scenario that there are a lot of fans who think Mrazek had to be protected instead of Howard and it had NOTHING to do with how we personally feel about either goalie?
It’s actually interesting that prior to last year I would definitely think that Howard has attitude issues and Mrazek is a great teammate. How many times Howard threw his team under the bus even during the games raising his arms in the air expressing displeasure with the defense in front of him. No goal was ever his fault and one bad goal led to couple of more almost immediately. Last year everything changed 180 degrees. Mrazek looked angry and upset and Howard was cool and collected. Again, I do not think that one season should change the perception of Howard after a 10 year record, last season’s stats look like a total fluke to me. And I personally hated the way Mrazek was acting last season, but still from pure hockey perspective I believe Mrazek should have been protected and the majority of independent analysts seem to agree with that.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/19/17 at 09:52 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by fatsavage on 06/19/17 at 10:40 AM ET

I don’t like Kenny, I’ve said that many times, and am saying it again. The difference between me and you is that I don’t think he’s a bumbling idiot with no hockey acumen at all. He’s an average NHL executive at best, wow ringing endorsement eh? 

So if your oulette reading how tough it was to expose this guy who tossed temper tantrums but didn’t mention me, a guy who shows up works, listens bust his butt off (assuming he feels he does), your not slighted a bit? Come on man, just turn the dial back on the Holland hate a bit, you make valid points here and there, just stick with those.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 06/19/17 at 09:54 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...we have clear indications that the team is managing attitudes more than players, and that’s of great concern.

This was one of your best opinion pieces ever, George. And I’m guessing it wan’t easy to come down as hard as you did on the organ-i-zation. So thank you for letting us in on your inside observations.

The bottom line is, as fatsavage mentioned, this process of “managing attitudes more than players” has to be why guys like Abby, Glendenning and Helm got considerably overpaid in their last contracts. And why Cleary was allowed to hang around two years longer than he should have.

Looking back, I think the influence of Mr. I led Holland & Company to view the Red Wings as a “family” more than as a business. When there was no cap and Mr. I would write a check for whatever Holland wanted, that made the Wings special. But with the cap, that same approach has proven to be a disaster.

As for Mrazek, his arrogance/cockiness could be what made him as good as he is (or was until last year). But his petulance has done him (and the Wings) no good at all. It’ll be interesting to see if not protecting him provides him with the proverbial “wake-up call” or whether it simply adds to the chip that he seems to have on his sholuder.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/19/17 at 11:15 AM ET

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Which prospects have established themselves as NHLers under Blashill?   
Larkin? Took a big step back.   
Mantha? Demoted from Z’s line. Sat out a few games.   
Athanasiou? In Blashill’s doghouse all the time.   
Jurco?   
Pulkkinen?   
Marchenko?   
Mrazek?
Sheahan?
Guys like Nyquist and Tatar are below where they are.     

The writing is on the wall.

Posted by WingDing71 on 06/19/17 at 11:39 AM ET

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As for rewarding loyalty—that’s how you get an irrelevant country club. That’s how you get an old, broken down Clearly taking jobs from kids. Or Bertuzzi sticking around 2 years too long. Or the contracts to Ericsson, Abdelkader, Howard, Helm, Dekeyser and Glendening.   
REWARD PERFORMANCE.   
Nothing else.

Posted by WingDing71 on 06/19/17 at 11:41 AM ET

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When there was no cap and Mr. I would write a check for whatever Holland wanted, that made the Wings special.

I do not agree with this. 97-98 cups were won because of great drafting and trades. The core of Yzerman, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Kozlov, Holmstrom, Konstantinov, etc was drafted. Shahahan was traded for Primau who was drafted and for Coffey. And for the 2008 cup we had Dats and Z. Unfortunately you cannot find superstars late in the draft anymore, no more secrets.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/19/17 at 02:13 PM ET

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You know, if Mrazek had played better at some point during the last year and a half, this is all a moot point.

Ding ding ding!

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/20/17 at 09:31 AM ET

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As for rewarding loyalty—that’s how you get an irrelevant country club.

Who’s rewarding loyalty? They’re rewarding the better goalie. Period.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/20/17 at 09:36 AM ET

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You know, if Mrazek had played better at some point during the last year and a half, this is all a moot point.

Ding ding ding!

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/20/17 at 10:31 AM ET

Many goalies struggled early in their careers. Price is a good example. And no, Mrazek is not Price, but with Howard we have years of average goaltending and now after 1 good year, he is a better goalie all of a sudden.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/20/17 at 10:17 AM 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.

 

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