The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/21/11 at 12:13 AM ET
Red Wings vice president Jimmy Devellano tends to share his (and, usually, Ken Holland’s) plans for the Wings’ summertime changes at this time of year, and this time around he does so via a conversation with the Sporting News’s Craig Custance. Custance begins his article by noting that Brad McCrimmon chose to leave the Wings’ organization with nothing but the utmost praise for the team’s ownership and commitment to winning…
“Their pursuit of the Stanley Cup never changes,” McCrimmon said. “It’s every year.”
And as such, whether it’s Holland or Devellano, you’re going to hear the same thing: the Wings don’t plan on tanking to “rebuild,” nor do they plan on making major revisions to their roster:
“I think it’s very close,” senior vice president Jimmy Devellano told Sporting News. “It’s pretty hard to knock a team that gets over 100 points or be dissatisfied and we aren’t. It was good year overall. Like always we’re going to try and improve.”
Amongst those potential “tweaks,” one involves hoping for the status quo from the Wings’ captain…
Convince Nicklas Lidstrom to return for one more year: Over and over we’ve heard predictions that Lidstrom is returning, and based on his play this season it’s easy to see why. But it’s not automatic. “I don’t think anyone knows,” one NHL source told Sporting News. “He’s a quiet, low-key, keep to himself-type guy. We’ll know whented on SN he wants us to know.”
Another involves at least bolstering the theory that the Wings want to hire Bob Boughner to replace the departed McCrimmon, and Devellano tells Custance that the team doesn’t anticipate bringing up a host of prospects as the team believes that Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen remain in the prime of their careers, with Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard and even Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler having room upon which to improve…
“From our farm system? No. I’d answer that as no,” Devellano said when asked if there was a batch of young players ready. “When you talk about the Red Wings farm system, you have to cut the Red Wings slack in this respect. We never get a high draft pick. When we were in our glory years, we were trading picks. Not only did we not get early picks, we were trading. Because of that you don’t have a big supply of young players coming. That’s because we’ve done a lot of winning.”
And while Custance posits this “tweak” as a suggestion, you can bet that it’s more than constructive criticism:
Trade Jiri Hudler: Holland has to find a way to get Hudler’s $2.875 million cap hit off the books for next season. With the salary cap expected to creep north of $60 million next season, Holland would have flexibility in free agency if he found a trade partner for Hudler. Hudler had 10 goals in 73 regular-season games and was useless in the playoffs. A few extra million goes a long way for Holland, who can usually find a free agent willing to sign at a reasonable price to try and win in Detroit.
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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.