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Beware strangers bearing trade rumor gifts

Pardon the lack of filter (yes, I have a filter, it's just not very good) at almost 4 AM, but it's late and this is something I realized didn't belong in the overnight report:

Now I'm resigned to the fact that the next three days will involve chasing down coverage of not only the Red Wings as they head to the Centre of the Hockey Universe, but also several days' worth of "Coach Boner" scuttlebutt from the Toronto media in "print," "on video" and on Toronto's all-hockey-all-the-time sports talk radio stations.

I'm at the point where I believe that Air Canada Centre's PA announcer should just put a spotlight on Mike Babcock Friday and declare him to be, "The next coach of your TorontoMapleLEAFS!" (and yes, Torontonians, that's how you sound. You pronounce your team's name as if it was a a single word with the last syllable emphasized. You also pronounce "Taco Bell" as a single word) and get it *#$%@& over with.

In the interim, however, I'm downright suspicious of the increasing frequency of these ever-so-convenient rumors about the Red Wings' hot-and-heavy interest in Tyler Myers and/or Brian Campbell and/or (now) Jeff Petry, playing the role of Mike Green.

This shit has me suspicious, believing that there's some sort of counter-offensive going on to muddy the waters, so when TSN's Bob McKenzie spoke at length regarding Myers, repeating Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's, "It was for Mantha and the Wings said no, but..." while speaking with NBC Sports' Liam McHugh, and addressing Babcock's contract--per Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford--I'd heard it before:

Chris Nichols took note of McKenzie's comments:

"They have significant interest, but the price is high. Now, they wanted him last year, and the Buffalo Sabres wanted Anthony Mantha - top prospect in the Detroit organization. A non-starter. They wanted Nyquist. Non-starter.

"So now the Red Wings are looking again at Tyler Myers and they want to get a handle. They think he'd make a big difference on their blueline and help to make them that contending team. But the question then becomes, are they prepared to give up a really top-end prospect like Dylan Larkin - first round pick who's playing at the University of Michigan. Or does Kenny Holland have to find out what are these Red Wings again, to go back to the other point. Do we give up our young kids for a defenseman in his mid-20s, or do we pull our horns back in.

"And I think that's the exercise they're going through now, as they take a real hard look, in terms of their pro scouting, at Tyler Myers' game and where it's at."

As for Babcock:

1. Still has a valid contract. It's not "expired." He's not signed beyond June 30th of 2015.

2. As such, Babcock cannot simply be wined and dined or wooed with monetary offers by any other team than the Red Wings, unless the Red Wings allow it. Anyone interested has to go to the team's ownership, and former Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie admitted that the Leafs asked about speaking to Babcock in 2009, and the Wings' ownership said "no."

3. The Red Wings CANNOT "trade Babcock's rights" for a draft pick or monetary compensation. Ken Holland wants to establish rules of executive compensation, but those rules do not exist as of yet.

Back to the Myers talk. CBS Sports' Chris Peters explained why the Sabres might want to move Myers, who's 24 and has 5 years remaining at a cap hit of $5.5 million, at their asking price..

What makes him a trade option for the rebuilding Sabres is the return they can get and the cushion they've built with top young defensive prospects Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov and Jake McCabe that all possess top-four potential. Myers is already that, though, while the others are only projected as such. If the return is satisfactory, and the Sabres would probably have to be blown away to move Myers, it's not completely crazy to consider pulling the trigger.

The Red Wings as a potential trade partner have a lot to consider themselves. The organization has been cultivating a lot of strong young players that are already beginning to make an impact on the NHL roster. Breaking up the group that they've been building from within to bring in Myers would be risky.

The real question at this point is how close are the Red Wings to being a competitive team? It's early in the season and there's a lot to be learned about this roster, but swinging a deal for Myers in a year where they probably aren't terribly close to being a contender only increases that risk and may not ultimately get them a lot closer.

Detroit definitely needs help on the blue line, but they'll have to be extremely careful about what it will cost them.

The Red WIngs also play within the Sabres' division, so Sabres GM Tim Murray would probably want a premium over, say, Anaheim's asking price, to trade an asset to a team the Sabres are going to see four or five times a season and possibly in the playoffs in the years to come.

I was not particularly surprised to also read--not see, because the damn video is geo-blocked outside of Canada--that Sportsnet's Mike Johnston reported the following on Wednesday night, because we're at the Dueling Banjos stage between TSN and Sportsnet:

The Florida Panthers would like to trade defenceman Brian Campbell and the Detroit Red Wings are interested in his services, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.

The Red Wings are hoping to move Jakub Kindl, but Kypreos says the Panthers would likely need one of Detroit’s top prospects on defence like Xavier Ouellet or Nick Jensen, but that’s not happening.

It’s unclear if any other teams are interested in Campbell at this time. He comes with a cap hit of $7,142,875 and is an unrestricted free agent following the 2015-16 season.

Campbell has two assists in three games with the Panthers this season and hasn’t missed a game with the team since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2011 NHL Draft. The Strathroy, Ont., native has 119 points and 38 penalty minutes in 215 games as a Panther with a combined plus/minus rating of minus-38.

Yeah, that's a lot of money for a 35-year-old with that kind of cap hit...

Then the Fourth Period got in on the action...

According to numerous published reports, the Detroit Red Wings have been actively shopping defenseman Jakub Kindl.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland has been trying to acquire a top-two defenseman and could be using Kindl as part of a package.

Kindl, 27, is in the second-year of a four-year, $9.6 million contract. While his salary cap hit is $2.4 million, he is being paid $2.5 million this season and next, and $3 million in the final year of his contract.

Holland has been exploring several options, having inquired about Johnny Boychuk, whom the Boston Bruins traded to the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres young blueliner Tyler Myers and Winnipeg Jets rearguard Zach Bogosian, among others.

In 66 games with the Red Wings last season, Kindl registered two goals and 17 assists for 19 points. He is pointless in two games with Detroit so far this season.

And as I'm thinking, "Okay, the Wings have Mattias Backman, Nick Jensen, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul already almost 'ready to play in the NHL' if they can just plain old dump Kindl on somebody, why the hell does the team have to make a move? Why do they have to get rid of one of those five when it's at least cheaper to find out whether one of them can become a star, which is probably the most realistic outcome--that two or three of the five make the league, and that one becomes a key contributor"...

Well, a lovely gentleman named Garth tried to explain to me why the ONE player the Red Wings have in the organization who is a 6'4," 209-pound behmoth that scored at a goal-a-game clip in the QMJHL last season is TOTALLY WORTH SENDING TO BUFFALO for Myers [edit: please note: George does not have anything against Garth, Garth is just the messenger here. Sorry for shooting at you, Garth /end edit]:

There’s a reason for why the Red Wings are very interested in getting their mitts on Myers. Their organizational cup runneth over with big, fast, skilled forwards that Holland and his scouts have drafted in the past few years. The strong suit in the Detroit organization right now is forward depth. The Wings are lacking in veteran NHL defensemen. Their current D group of Nik Kronwall, Jonathon Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey is respectable, however, it isn’t elite. Xavier Ouellet is going to be an NHL star, however, is polishing his game in Grand Rapids right now. Myers may be the exact agent of change that would add immediate value to the Wings’ D corps and this elevate it to a higher level of formidability.


On Tuesday night in Raleigh, Myers skated 29:25 TOI. On Monday night he skated 25:23 TOI. On Saturday night in Chicago, Myers skated 26:29 TOI and in the season opener he skated 24:21 TOI. He’s an even playe on a team that has allowed 17 goals against in 4 games played. The Sabres have scored 8 goals in 4 games and have an NHL worst goal differential of -9.

OoooOOOoo.

If Ken Holland is serious about making a trade for Myers, he’s going to have to move an asset like Mantha back to Buffalo in order to close the deal. Otherwise, Tim Murray can say thanks, but no thanks. Myers has been playing with extreme confidence and appears to have gotten the funk out of his game. He and Josh Gorges are an impressive D pair. Myers is a righty and is getting many opportunities to gallop the distance of the 200 foot rink. He’s been getting chances that he will eventually deposit into enemy nets. For no, he’s playing the way that Nolan wants him to play. Tim Murray doesn’t have to trade Myers. Its not like the Sabres are going to be making a run at the Stanley Cup this season. If Holland wants to take possession of Myers and the four seasons that remain on his 7 year, $38.5 million contract, he’ll have to pay a premium price. Murray isn’t going to trade his top D-man to a division rival in exchange for a bag of Twizzlers, a Gatorade and a 3rd rounder.No. If Holland wants Myers, he’s going to have to agree to part with Mantha.

Whoopdeedoo! Someone who hasn't come anywhere close to his 48-point 2009-2010 season since 2009-2010 is playing with extreme confidence!

Send the ONLY player the Wings have in the organization that may very well have 25-to-35-goal potential to Buffalo! It's not like the Wings have been struggling to find a way to score goals for the past couple years, or haven't had a real "power forward" since that one season that Marian Hossa played for them in 2009! That Pulkkinen kid, Athanasiou and Nosek will TOTALLY make up for this whole, "Well, the one thing the Wings seem to have lacked is a big body who can shoot pucks in the net" thing!

Tim Murray and Ted Nolan are re-building the Sabres by following Dean Lombardi's model for the LA Kings by assembling big, strong, smart, skilled forwards and D. Anthony Mantha fits that bills to a tee. To get him, the Sabres will have to part with a big asset like Myers.

Well see here, Garth, the Red WIngs are trying to avoid tanking like the Los Angeles Kings did, and while the Red Wings may downright require a strong offensive defenseman on the right side to succeed come playoff time, there are Mike Greens, Johnny Boychuks, Marc Staals, Jeff Petrys and even Christian Ehrhoffs entering the final year of their contracts, and if the Wings show some actual patience here, some of those players might butt contract heads with their current employers.

And while I'm not exactly keen on the concept of the Wings going after Petry, a 26-year-old who's going to be 27 in October and someone who has posted all of 59 points over the course of 239 NHL games, at a $3.075 million cap hit, he's a right-shooter, he's 6'3," 200 pounds, and he sure as *#$%@& isn't going to cost the Wings a Mantha or a Larkin.

Keep your hands off my Man...tha!

And as for all of these trade rumors, we've gone from a point where 5-to-10% of deals discussed happened ten years ago to a point where 1-to-2% of deals discussed happen.

All I know is that Jakub Kindl played the least of any Red Wings player during Wednesday's loss, and it sure as hell looked like he's going to be a healthy scratch on Friday, just as Petry's been a healthy scratch for the Oilers' past two games.

The Oilers don't need a defenseman, but Edmonton's a conference and several thousand miles away from Detroit, not down the Detroit river and across a Great Lake like Buffalo.

For that matter, it'd be swell to see the Wings eat Kindl's salary, send him to Grand Rapids and give one or more of "the kids" a chance.

There's just no burning need for the Detroit Red Wings to send Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin or anyone else to Tim Murray's rebuilding Buffalo Sabres for a gigantic defenseman who isn't exactly playing world-beating hockey.

The rest of this shit is just talk, and talk is cheap. Especially when "your team" may or may not be floating trade rumor turkey to distract the media from the whole, "Babcock would be a perfect fit in Toronto!" line ahead of a pair of games against those damn Ample Fleas, I mean Maple Leafs.

And for the record, Brendan Shanahan hated playing for Babcock because Babcock gave veterans like Shanahan zero leash simply because they were Cup champs. It didn't matter to Babcock, it doesn't matter to Babcock, and that aggravated Shanahan enough to get Mr. Self-Promotion intrigued about moving to Montreal or New York to increase his post-career prospects. Money smooths over a lot of old disputes, but let's not play this, "Shanahan played for Babcock, he must LOOOOVE him!" bullshit.

Goodnight.

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Comments

Slumpy's avatar

Haha Cheli is no fan of midget saul goodman commish gary bettman and no surprise he dishes dirt on Shanny since he went to work under him in the front office. Big fan of Shanny as a player but don’t care for his politician like worrying ways.

“All I know is that Jakub Kindl played the least of any Red Wings player during Wednesday’s loss, and it sure as hell looked like he’s going to be a healthy scratch on Friday, just as Petry’s been a healthy scratch for the Oilers’ past two games.”

Well, Petry played in Wednesday’s game and sucked -3. I like how he finishes his checks though but he needs to put on some more weight and be smarter in his own end.

Babcock if he only is chasing the money will accept a offer from perhaps Dallas, Nashville or one of Florida teams where they have no state tax. Ontario tax rate about 50% which should be criminal. Alberta is lower so maybe he goes back closer to home someday.

 

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 10/16/14 at 06:40 AM ET

CCMoor5's avatar

George I agree with you 100%......do NOT trade away a terrific future offensive machine….especially given the D prospects in the organization.

Personally I do not get the Kindl bashing when I watch the Big E underwhelm so often, including the start of the year here ..... yet the latter is, “as everyone knows”, a Top 2 D-man now.

But I do worry that Kindl must have a terrible psyche now…..and if things have to come to a head, why not send him to GR?  If no one has wanted him for draft picks how likely is it he is claimed?  So he becomes a horribly expensive Griffin for a while ,.........maybe it will light a fire in him—as with him, I think all can agree it is mental.

Meanwhile let’s see how Lashoff does on Friday night.

Posted by CCMoor5 on 10/16/14 at 06:57 AM ET

Avatar

Personally I do not get the Kindl bashing when I watch the Big E underwhelm so often, including the start of the year here ..... yet the latter is, “as everyone knows”, a Top 2 D-man now.

Posted by CCMoor5 on 10/16/14 at 07:57 AM ET

Thank you, someone else here that can actually look objectively at Kindl and not just blindly bash him.
To be honest, from the last 3 games, this is how I would rank our D’s play.
1. DDK
2. Smith
3. Kronwall
4. Kindl

And no, I am not smoking anything. Kindl actually has not been that bad. And please, let’s look past Babock’s doghouse. We all know he is stubborn and at this point seems to just hate Kindl no matter how he plays.
Big E seems too slow out there and KFQ is ... well.. KFQ.

Posted by George0211 on 10/16/14 at 07:52 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

I would acquire Myers right now for a player that is not on the team. The reason? It would make our team better right now. We have prospects but that’s all they are. They haven’t proven a thing yet in the NHL. The only untouchable in my mind is Mantha. But everyone else can go for a top 4 big dman like Myers.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 10/16/14 at 07:54 AM ET

Avatar

I wouldn’t give up Mantha but I would gladly part with Tatar, and one of Backman or Sproul and Kindl and a few picks to make a serious run at Myers.  The Wi gs have an embarrassment of riches in their blue line in Grand Rapids, they could easily part with one to sweeten the deal.

Posted by bababooey on 10/16/14 at 08:35 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

We have prospects but that’s all they are. They haven’t proven a thing yet in the NHL.

And neither has Myers. He is only 24. I’d rather give our own prospects a shot. Plus, his salary is mucho grande. Just my opinion.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 10/16/14 at 08:38 AM ET

DocF's avatar

People, people, people!  Listen to me!  Myers is another Mike Green type.  No one will be remotely happy with his defensive play.  Also, he has backslid every year since his rookie year.  NO! NO! NO!  He is not worth a sack of practice pucks.

If the Red Wings need to upgrade their defense, then they need to elevate the three most ready guys from Grand Rapids (Oulette, Backman and Sproul) and live with their rookie growing issues.  Cut loose Kindl, Lashoff and Quincy. 

Q has been playing much better so far, but that is still not very good in his own end.  T. Myers is just a bigger, slower and less aggressive version of Quincy and is paid more money.  He is not what Detroit needs at all.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/16/14 at 08:53 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

would gladly part with Tatar, and one of Backman or Sproul and Kindl and a few picks to make a serious run at Myers.

He’s not frickin Weber.  Good Gord.

Posted by duhduhduh on 10/16/14 at 08:57 AM ET

Avatar

Listen to DocF, folks!  Don’t believe all this hype about Myers and how much TOI he’s been putting up. He’s not Top 4 D-man material and hasn’t been for at least 4 years.  If he was, you can bet your bottom dollar that virtually every team under the sun would have been chomping at the bit to trade for him.  Elite teams would not hesitate to take his Cap hit of $5.5M, if he really was as good as they want you to believe. 

But aside from Detroit or Anaheim, has anyone tried to trade for him?  If he is such a stud, why didn’t he get any interest earlier in the year during the draft or when teams who were looking to pick up free agents were so active?  Look at what top d-men are getting paid now.  Myers Cap hit of $5.5M is certainly not exorbitant when evaluating really good D-men, but nobody even pursued Myers.  Google the top defense-men in the NHL and look at all the players on all of the different lists that come up with ratings by writers and other people near the game. You won’t find Tyler Myers on their various lists.  He’s not that good!

Posted by Heresy from Aiken, SC on 10/16/14 at 09:27 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Forget Myers. Forget Campbell. Forget Petry. And Goerge explained very succinctly why (my emphasis added)...

Okay, the Wings have Mattias Backman, Nick Jensen, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul already almost ‘ready to play in the NHL’ if they can just plain old dump Kindl on somebody, why the hell does the team have to make a move? Why do they have to get rid of one of those five when it’s at least cheaper to find out whether one of them can become a star, which is probably the most realistic outcome.

And the idea of handing over Anthony Fricking Mantha before he ever plays a game in the NHL is just nonsense talk, especially if he would go to a divisional rival. I mean, seriously, who here wants to see that kid firing pucks past Jimmy Howard six times a year for the next half dozen years.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/16/14 at 09:56 AM ET

Avatar

Okay, the Wings have Mattias Backman, Nick Jensen, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul already almost ‘ready to play in the NHL’ if they can just plain old dump Kindl on somebody, why the hell does the team have to make a move? Why do they have to get rid of one of those five when it’s at least cheaper to find out whether one of them can become a star, which is probably the most realistic outcome.

Because there is no way that all of those prospects see time in Detroit, something has to give and the Wings should at least cash in on one of those prospects as opposed to losing them for nothing.  Smart roster management. 

would gladly part with Tatar, and one of Backman or Sproul and Kindl and a few picks to make a serious run at Myers.

He’s not frickin Weber.  Good Gord.

He’s also not Kyle Quincey who some idiot GM gave up a first round pick for.  If you think that is a package that would even tempt Nashville for Weber, you need to take off your “hey hey hockeytown”  glasses.  In order to acquire talent sometimes you have to give up talent which is why Ken Holland doesn’t trade anymore.  He can no longer expect that some desperate team who over extended themselves and need to cut payroll are just going to unload players at the deadline for pennies on the dollar.  Nowadays, with parity, you have to give up something to get.

Posted by bababooey on 10/16/14 at 11:20 AM ET

Avatar

If you think that is a package that would even tempt Nashville for Weber, you need to take off your “hey hey hockeytown”  glasses.

And if you think that Myers is worth that package then may as well throw Mantha and Datsyuk into the mix because you’ve lost touch with reality.

Posted by Garth on 10/16/14 at 12:29 PM ET

Avatar

No no no. On Meyers. I’m sensing a Sammy issue here. He’s only played one full season - his first. And, his second was injury free. After that he’s lost significant time the past three seasons (55 out of 82, 39 of 48, 62 of 82). I wouldn’t even consider Tatar as a headliner for Meyers. As pointed out his play has fallen off every year in his career - given that he’s been playing in Buffalo - a team that has digressed parallel to Meyers. Does playing in that environment have a correlation to Meyer’s play? Maybe - but is it worth even a player of Tatar’s skill…no, not in my mind. I’m with the people who are saying no, at that value.

I also have to agree with

To be honest, from the last 3 games, this is how I would rank our D’s play.
1. DDK
2. Smith
3. Kronwall
4. Kindl

Just think of how good the Wings will be when Kronwall moves up to 1 on that list.

I don’t know what to say about Petry other than he plays on the Oilers - a team all too eager to rush players to the NHL. Do they think each one is actually named Gretzky? He seems to be in a cloud of chaos at the moment. What a talented team with no direction, errr, no goaltending. How depressing.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/16/14 at 01:00 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.