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Custance: Wings to feel a cap squeeze soon

This qualifies as "Food For Thought," and probably debate. ESPN's Craig Custance penned a a list of "trade outlooks" for each and every one of the NHL's 14 Eastern Conference teams today, and his Insider-only entry includes this take on the Wings' cap issues:

Detroit Red Wings

Cap space: $3,720,378

2016 first-round picks: 1

Should their first-rounder be in play? No. GM Ken Holland has a strong pipeline of young players flowing to Detroit and there’s no reason to slow that down by moving a pick.

Plan of action: The Red Wings are an interesting team because their available cap space today is a little misleading. Kyle Quincey is going to be coming off long-term injured reserve soon and that will eat up a lot of their salary cap space. It’s a convoluted system with no short explanation, but because Detroit began the season with Pavel Datsyuk’s big contract on long-term injured reserve, the Red Wings will find themselves at a cap disadvantage when everyone is healthy. They may be able to delay it depending on the health of Drew Miller or Teemu Pulkkinen, but when everyone is healthy, salary will have to go.

The ideal solution in Detroit would be to find a taker for Jakub Kindl, but he still has one year left on a deal that pays him $2.4 million per season. A more realistic option would likely be another defenseman since the Red Wings have built up depth there.

Once they get their cap situation cleared up, Detroit may want to find ways to add more pop up front, with an offense that is in the bottom half with 2.58 goals per game.

Custance continues, and he discussed the Western Conference's 16 teams' trade outlooks as well...

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Comments

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Yes they are screwed.

Posted by brians neck on 12/23/15 at 09:26 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

All this tells me is that Custance doesn’t understand the team’s depth or what generates offense.

Posted by Hootinani on 12/23/15 at 09:31 PM ET

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All this tells me is that Custance doesn’t understand the team’s depth or what generates offense.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 12/23/15 at 08:31 PM ET

Custance lives in metro-Detroit and probably has as a good a read on what’s going on in Detroit as anyone.

I have no clue what you mean when you say that he doesn’t understand the team’s depth. He mentions the team has a ton of good young prospects and that it’s the team’s depth that will put them in a cap crunch.

And it’s worth noting he never specifically says the Wings are after a forward, just mentions that they “may want to add a bit more pop up front”. That could be a puck moving D.

Posted by dmorley21 on 12/23/15 at 10:08 PM ET

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Isn’t Franzen being on LTIR the solution to the cap issues though?  I don’t disagree that finding a home for Kindl would be best, but not sure how that will ever happen at this point. Hell, Smith is playing pretty well as of late, so not sure where Quincey fits?  Sure don’t think sending Marchenko to GR is the answer, as he as been great. Quincey and Marchenko might even make a formidable shut down pair.  Not sure how XO and Jensen will ever make this team, even though they probably should next year.

Posted by easmus on 12/23/15 at 10:17 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

This is why you don’t do stupid Sh@# like sign Cleary, Andersson and Smith. You pick one of those guys and leave yourself space so you can deal at the deadline from a point of advantage rather than disadvantage. Just think how screwed the team would be if Franzen wasn’t on LTIR.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 12/23/15 at 10:22 PM ET

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This is why you don’t do stupid Sh@# like sign Cleary, Andersson and Smith. You pick one of those guys and leave yourself space so you can deal at the deadline from a point of advantage rather than disadvantage. Just think how screwed the team would be if Franzen wasn’t on LTIR.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 12/23/15 at 09:22 PM ET

Cleary’s salary is so small that it doesn’t count against the cap if he’s in Grand Rapids, which he is.

Posted by dmorley21 on 12/23/15 at 10:53 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

HA HA HA HA HA HA!  Kenny trading to alleviate the Cap crunch.  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 12/23/15 at 11:07 PM ET

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They need to sing an elite player. It is strating to be quite apparent Pav and Z are slowing down. Nike n Tats or Abs, with all respect, are lacking the same level of skill as Pav and Z showed in comparable age. Moreover, I am afraid, 8, 14, 21 have reached their maximum and the salaries they got (especially Abs and Nike) are way too high and do not match the quality they are capable of. The conundrum starts when management realizes they got a lot of second-rate players on which they spent a lot of money, while spared no money for at least one “star signing”. Of course, it is Holland’s fault. But I guess, Holland is safe because whenever it is going to become apparent Red Wings will be out of play offs, he can easily scapegoat Blashill pointing fingers he is the one who is the biggest culprit. Someone should give Ilitches a wakeup call they should check on Ken…

Posted by tutoka from Leelanau Peninsula on 12/24/15 at 12:30 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.