Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Disgruntled Red Wings prospect Adam Almquist says he’s considering returning to Sweden to avoid AHL

Well I figured that ninety minutes of translating Swedish (for the entry regarding Mattias Janmark signing a one-year deal with the Frolunda Indians) would be enough for one day, but I guess that's not the case.

Expressen's Mattias Ek penned a story which summarizes the Swedish version of a subscriber-only website's report. The report from Jonkopings Posten may explain why the Red Wings' coach and GM haven't spoken the words "Adam Almquist" while speaking about the team's defensive prospects, despite the 5'11," 178-pounds-with-his-equipment-on mini-mite's 53-point season with the Griffins.

Here's Ek's report-summarizing take on Almquist's "jitters," answering at least the part of the volumes of silence spoken by the Wings' management about a player who will have to clear waivers if he is demoted to the AHL this upcoming season (and what follows is roughly translated):

Detroit defenseman open to play for SHL team

The slick-playing defenseman Adam Almquist has played two good seasons for Detroit's farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, without earning a spot in the NHL.

Now he wants to do more, and he isn't ruling out a comeback with HV71.

"HV is always an option," says Almquist to Jonkoping-Posten.

Adam Almquist,23, has won an SHL title with HV71 four years ago, and he was the best scorer among their defensemen in the playoffs, with 11 points, including a goal.

For the past two seasons, he's played for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, which is Detroit's developmental team.

He's only played two games in the NHL, and when he  got his chance this season, he scored a goal in the second of his two NHL games.

Almquist was among the best offensive defensemen in the AHL. He was 3rd in scoring thanks to registering 53 points (4 goals and 49 assists) in 73 games.

The contract may be up

Now, his contract with Detroit will expire, and he makes no secret that he wants to stay away from the minor leagues.

Almquist is a restricted free agent this summer, and the Wings can retain his rights by tendering him a qualifying offer, even if he and his agent don't accept it. They can let him walk by not giving him a qualifying offer, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.

"Everyone wants to play in the NHL. I've played two seasons in the AHL now, and my goal's to not play there again. It's not a bad league at all, but I feel that I need to move ahead and take new steps," says Almquist to JP.

It's unclear where he will end up, but the former team HV71 has a back-up spot available.

"HV is always an option. But that being said, I don't know where I'll play next season. We'll see," says Adam Almquist.

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Comments

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RWBill's avatar

Yeah, dude does not appear to be in the Wings’ top 4 Griffins Dmen being considered or lined up for the big team.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/03/14 at 11:45 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Nice Kenny.  Nice.

First Tatar openly talking about KHL last offseason.  Then the alleged Jarnkrok thing because he wanted to play in the NHL.  And now Almqvist.

Either Kenny needs to make some decisions on guys like Kindl, Smith, and Lashoff pronto, or you have to wonder if say a Marchenko wouldn’t possibly join him in bolting, and suddenly your org’s defensive prospect depth is no more.  This is not a vacuum—these things are going to continue if Holland continues to discourage younger players by continually placing roadblocks in their way, and especially when they see duds like Kindl and Smith in the lineup every night stinking the joint up.  It was telling that Marchenko, Oullett, Sproul, and Almqvist could all step in cold and look at LEAST as good as Kindl and Smith (and Quincey who has even less excuse, as he’s been in the NHL now a long time), if not sometimes better.

IMO Almqvist has a point:  2 years in the AHL is not unsubstantial, Almqvist really does look like he doesn’t have much of anything more to gain in the AHL, and DET needs to understand that their practice of keeping guys in the minors for an extra year or two beyond what they maybe need is not going to fly much anymore with so many other options out there for them.

It’s probably time for DET to revamp how they handle these prospects.  Guys aren’t going to wait.  They were extremely fortunate guys like Tatar and Nyquist endured the jerking around they took recently, both could have easily said “Screw this” and bolted back overseas or even demanded a trade.  DET doesn’t have the upper hand in leverage in this anymore, and the attitude of “Well if they don’t want to be in DET, screw them” is not going to build you a team worth anything.

Smith and Kindl are absolute proof positive though that just because you baby guys along doesn’t mean they’re ever going to amount to anything, so why not give someone else a shot?

Posted by Primis on 06/03/14 at 11:50 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Enjoy Sweden Almquist!!  Character counts in Detroit’s system so you can try the KHL also.

What a dumbass comment. Wow!!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 11:52 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Brendan Smith is much better than Kindl at this point in time and he’s way better than Almquist.  He doesn’t belong particularly close to this conversation.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/14 at 11:57 AM ET

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Enjoy Sweden Almquist!!  Character counts in Detroit’s system so you can try the KHL also.

What a dumbass comment. Wow!!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 12:52 PM ET

What character? Character like, it is OK for the organization to F with my career, character?

 

Posted by George0211 on 06/03/14 at 12:03 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

What character? Character like, it is OK for the organization to F with my career, character?

He has only been in the AHL 2 years and has skills AND I really was hoping at some point he could be a great PP guy.  Maybe he will get more experience in Sweden but I think he should be patient.  Maybe he realizes there are a few more D ahead of him or pushing past him in GR?

Just a dumb comment unless he wants to get traded?  Will see what Holland thinks, I guess.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 12:15 PM ET

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Just a dumb comment unless he wants to get traded?  Will see what Holland thinks, I guess.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 01:15 PM ET

I don’t find it to be a dumb comment at all. He realizes he is not behind the likes on Lidstrom and Stuart and Rafalski on the NHL roster. He realizes he is behind the likes of Kindle, Lashoff, Smith, as someone has already pointed out.

 

Posted by George0211 on 06/03/14 at 12:21 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Just a dumb comment unless he wants to get traded?

Or… he made the comment because he’s seriously considering going back to Sweden, not just using it as leverage.  Would you prefer he just got up and left and told us later he wasn’t coming back?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/03/14 at 12:22 PM ET

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Posted by Primis on 06/03/14 at 12:50 PM ET

Wouldn’t it be a great precedent to set, allowing unproven prospects bully the GM into promoting them to the NHL?

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 12:26 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Enjoy Sweden Almquist!!  Character counts in Detroit’s system so you can try the KHL also.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 12:52 PM ET


These are not malcontents complaining right after their draft year because they’re not jumping straight to the NHL.  These are guys putting in some time in the AHL, looking at the depth chart ahead of them and seeing some pretty bad guys there that the GM still seems to favor, and knowing the GM has a history of keeping guys in minors Just Because he thinks that’s what you do with every single prospect regardless of their caliber or play… and realizing they may end up losing another year or two they may not get back.

Almqvist is 23 years old.  He played 3 seasons of SEL, and now 2 full AHL seasons, helped them win a Calder Cup, was an AHL All-Star, and another season in the AHL would likely not do much for him.  It’s not like hes still only 20 or something.  I don’t blame him for pondering other options.  If Kenny wants him, he better find a way to keep him.  And given the current state of DETs blueline, I would say of Kenny doesn’t try to keep him on board he’s making another huge blunder, because Almqvist has potential to fix some of their issues.  He’s a freaking puck possession d-man with good sense that can skate and move the puck, and figures out a way for shots from the point to actually get through.

Brendan Smith is much better than Kindl at this point in time and he’s way better than Almquist.  He doesn’t belong particularly close to this conversation.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/14 at 12:57 PM ET

At this point, I genuinely see no future in DET for Smith.  Was trying to be patient, but now even weeks and weeks away from watching him play and being mad at him, I really don’t see the point in continuing with him.  You just apparently can’t fix his frequent mental errors (bad/dumb penalties at bad/dumb times included).

I’d be quite happy to continue my Red Wings fandom without any more of the Brendan Smith Experience.  And I know about some of the advanced stats that show Smith’s value but his CONS seem to outweigh those still.  And I like some about Kindl and have been patient, but again… I don’t know that he’s worth holding these other guys back for anymore.

It’d suck to have Smith and Kindl continue stinking things up, lose Almqvist, and then lose Marchenko too and suddenly you have to pray Oullett and Sproul specifically become big-time players or else you’re in big, big trouble in a lague where even mediocre d-men stay locked in.

Posted by Primis on 06/03/14 at 12:27 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I don’t find it to be a dumb comment at all.

I think he is lower on the D depth chart than a few GR D men.  Dumb as in, don’t use the media to complain about your problems.  Deal with Wings directly then make your choice.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 12:27 PM ET

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Isn’t it possible he could be a Rafalski-type player? Isn’t it worth at least giving him a shot on the third pair this year (backup plan being Oullet and a trade deadline deal, if absolutely necessary)? How long have we needed a puck mover back there? How long have we needed a point man on the second PP?

I guess the worst part about this situation is: we’re deficient on the blue line, yet we’ve got 4 or 5 prospects who all look like legit NHLers. I don’t like the situation where we start letting that number dwindle without getting value back. Almqvist looks like he truly has some talent, small as he might be. I hate the idea of letting him walk for nothing.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/03/14 at 12:30 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

I think he is lower on the D depth chart than a few GR D men.  Dumb as in, don’t use the media to complain about your problems.  Deal with Wings directly then make your choice.
Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 01:27 PM ET

So it’s not dumb if he’s the top man on the D depth chart?

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/03/14 at 12:31 PM ET

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I think he is lower on the D depth chart than a few GR D men.  Dumb as in, don’t use the media to complain about your problems.  Deal with Wings directly then make your choice.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/03/14 at 01:27 PM ET

That I agree with. Keep your complaints in house

Posted by George0211 on 06/03/14 at 12:31 PM ET

awould's avatar

Deal with Wings directly then make your choice.

I’m sure he has dealt w/ the Wings directly. The team is out there making comments and statements about their prospects all the time. The media is constantly printing speculations.

I don’t have an issue with this guy pointing out the obvious and stating his intentions. It’s not like he’s bad mouthing the organization or spreading rumors. He’s stating the fact that he feels he has put in his time and is prepared to move on if they’re not going to move him along in the organization. It appears Holland & Co. either don’t feel he’s put in his time or don’t believe he’s got a place in the organization - it seems a little unclear to me. This is a risk in the ‘over-ripening’ method of player development. It’s also why Holland needs to be open to trading some of his precious prospects from time to time, to keep the logjam at a manageable load.

Posted by awould on 06/03/14 at 12:39 PM ET

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Which one of these comments are dumb?  Which one of these comments makes him “disgruntled”? 

I don’t see anything unreasonable at all.  In fact, they are all absolutely correct assessments of his situation and respectible answers to queries from the media.

What I find unreasonable is fans and particularly bloggers (in the form of inflammatory headlines solely to ignite unreasonable responses and generate additional clicks) who question a person’s character when these accusations don’t accurately portray what was said in the first place, and should be looked upon even more skeptically since the statements were made in another language.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/03/14 at 12:39 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

It doesnt bother me if Holland and Co dont believe that Almquist has a future in the NHL.  I dont agree, but they have seen him play far more than I have.  What will bother me is if they lose another asset without getting any value back for him.

And saying that Smith is better than Almquist is hard to do with such a small sample size from Almquist.  Smith has the size, but in limited viewing, Almquist seems to have much better vision and isnt anywhere near the gambler Smith is.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/03/14 at 12:48 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

I think part of the problem is the consequences of the collective bargaining agreement. Teams are married to contracts once signed. The only way out is to trade the player, and that requires a willing trade partner. You can’t cut players, but can waive/reassign them, which carries a cap hit. So players really can’t beat out the guy in front of them until that guy dies, retires, contract expires, or gets traded; the player has to wait, due to cap reasons, even though he may have earned the spot.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 06/03/14 at 12:48 PM ET

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What I find unreasonable is everything George ever says ever in everything he has ever posted ever forever ever in history for all of ever.  Ever.

Fixed that for you.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 12:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

What will bother me is if they lose another asset without getting any value back for him.

This is pretty much the main thing I care about when I read this article. Keep him or not, but don’t let him go for nothing. Next thing, we’ll be trading a 1st rounder for Almquist in 2018.

Posted by awould on 06/03/14 at 01:00 PM ET

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I see nothing wrong with his comments and I also see nothing wrong with both sides moving on.  Almquist just can’t play a physical game in the man’s league they call the NHL.  If the Wings had a few hard ass d-men and needed to be more mobile I woud think that would be better suited for him, but they don’t.  I don’t know how many small, soft d-men this team can have.

Posted by bababooey on 06/03/14 at 01:02 PM ET

RW19's avatar

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. This is a guy wanting to maximize his earning potential. Would we all not do the same?

Almquist made 65K last year in the AHL according to capgeek. Maybe there was some bonus money but lets be realistic - why would the guy want to return to the AHL or the Wings if he’s 8-9-10-11 or even 12th on the depth chart?

The KHL or Sweden will pay him a lot more. Where its kind of baffling to me is Holland’s inability to move a guy like this. None of the NHL bottom feeders were willing to pony up a 5th, 6th or 7th rounder for this guy at the trade deadline? We’ll never know if Holland tried to deal him, but at the end of the day, to me its starting to look like they just wanted him as an AHLer all along and now that there is no room for him there, they don’t care where he goes.

He boosted the Griffins PP for a few years, they won a championship, now its time to move on.

It’s a business after all eh?

Posted by RW19 on 06/03/14 at 01:04 PM ET

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So players really can’t beat out the guy in front of them until that guy dies, retires, contract expires, or gets traded; the player has to wait, due to cap reasons, even though he may have earned the spot.

I also think part of this is the overvaluing of prospects.  If, a year ago, you look at the roster of defensemen that Detroit has coming down the pipes, why do you give Kindl a four year deal?

To extend that, why is it imperative to lock up expendables like Abdelkader, Lashoff and Glendening to relatively long-term contracts?  Without Kindl and Lashoff locked up they could’ve brought up Almquist, or Ouellet (or both, on a rotating basis) to be the “7th” defenseman.  Lashoff played 75 games this year while Almquist and Ouellet combined for six.  What if each of them got 40 games to prove themselves, or if each of them were given ten, and one one proved he belonged in the NHL and played 70 games?

And overvaluing Abdelkader and Glendening could mean that guys like Sheahan and Jurco, or even indirectly Mantha, aren’t able to take a bigger role this year.

Loyalty is a nice thing, but the business of winning is important too.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 01:04 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

What will bother me is if they lose another asset without getting any value back for him.

But, who’s to say they haven’t tried trading him.  Dude is listed at 173 lbs, which certainly isn’t helping him or looking all that appetizing for trades. 

Lot’s of talk about being a Rafalski-type player, but there aren’t a whole lot of Rafalski-types out there.  Rafalski himself was thought to be “small”, but he was still listed at 200 lbs.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/03/14 at 01:13 PM ET

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What will bother me is if they lose another asset without getting any value back for him.

They can tender him an offer to keep his rights whether he plays in Sweden or not. Thus he can traded if he’s not on the roster.

Personally I’d like to seem him on the team, on the PP, and see if he can be the next Rafalski. There’s a cupboard full of D prospects. Let’s see what they can do in the 5/6 spot next season

Posted by AZWinger on 06/03/14 at 01:14 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

At this point, I genuinely see no future in DET for Smith.  Was trying to be patient, but now even weeks and weeks away from watching him play and being mad at him, I really don’t see the point in continuing with him.  You just apparently can’t fix his frequent mental errors (bad/dumb penalties at bad/dumb times included).

This is the kind of patience that led Mike Milbury to trade Zdeno Chara (who had only half as many points as Smith by his 119th regular season NHL game and had 45 more penalty minutes)

Brendan Smith is two years younger than Jakub Kindl and he’s already better than him. The likelihood that any of the kids in Grand Rapids can step into Brendan Smith’s role and do it nearly as well as he does is very very small. The likelihood that they could step into a super-sheltered third pairing and get 2nd-unit PP time without having to kill penalties like Kindl and outperform him are much better.

The likelihood that Kindl is actually going to continue to appreciably improve at age 27 is not great. The likelihood that the 25-year old Brendan Smith will continue to improve over a guy he’s already better than is pretty good.

Brendan Smith is not in the way of prospects developing. Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff are in the way. If/when the Red Wings bring in an outside D-man, Brendan Smith will still not be in the way of a guy who’s likely to actually turn out better than he does.

I get it. Lots of people don’t like Smith because of a lot of reasons, but to interchangeably throw Smith and Kindl out there as though the Wings could or should part with one as easily as the other doesn’t make sense. Smith is better right now and he’s still in a place in his development where his ability to get even better still is very wide.

The thought that Smith actually stinks doesn’t jive with what’s actually gone on.  He’s not as good as I’d like him to be, but I’ll say the same thing about Kronwall. Objectively, Smith is a capable 2nd pairing defenseman who can even hold his own against top competition, which is more than what can be said about Kindl, Lashoff, or any of the kids in Grand Rapids right now.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/14 at 01:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Brendan Smith will still not be in the way of a guy who’s likely to actually turn out better than he does.

Completely donkeyfucked that sentence.

Should read “will still not be in the way of a who isn’t likely to actually turn out better than he does.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/14 at 01:22 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Please wake me up when a real prospect gets upset, ir a prospect is upset will you?

First of all, I can’t believe the amount of whiney tears filling up the forum on an offseason tuesday for a guy that no credible scouting service puts any future stock in.  bababooey’s right…

If the Wings had a few hard ass d-men and needed to be more mobile I woud think that would be better suited for him, but they don’t.  I don’t know how many small, soft d-men this team can have.

WHAM-O Nail on the head. You can’t just hide this guy in our stout top 5.

Secondly, he’s not beyatching, he’s 100% right.  He can’t go back to the AHL unless all 30 GMs (including Kenny) feel he doesn’t belong, and if so, well he doesn’t belong, go back home and make your money kid! 

You don’t think Holland will try to trade or has tried to trade him already if he’s 100% sure he’s not making the club?

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 06/03/14 at 01:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Secondly, he’s not beyatching, he’s 100% right.  He can’t go back to the AHL unless all 30 GMs (including Kenny) feel he doesn’t belong, and if so, well he doesn’t belong, go back home and make your money kid!

Yuuup.

If he were worth an asset, Kenny might get one, but if he really wants to play in the NHL, he’ll either sign with the Wings and force them to put him on waivers or he’ll sign a QO with another team that will force the Wings to match (and he likely won’t be given a big enough qualifying offer for the Wings to get draft pick compensation if they choose not to match).

The asset that the Wings are getting in return for Almquist returning to the SHL this summer as an RFA is the future promise that if Almquist actually turns out to be Brian Rafalski, they’ll still have his rights.

Honestly, that’s probably every bit as good as a late-round draft pick and potentially better, since it only actually matters if he’s good.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/14 at 01:48 PM ET

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To extend that, why is it imperative to lock up expendables like Abdelkader, Lashoff and Glendening to relatively long-term contracts?

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 02:04 PM ET

This is the biggest problem I have. I’d rather the team develop its core of very good players and expand on that, wrapping up the important guys and giving short-term work to fringe players. Let the fringe players (e.g., Dan Cleary, many moons ago) get a shot to work their way onto the roster. Every year, there should be like 3 forward slots and maybe 1-2 defense spots (maybe 6th and 7th) open for real competition, if not more, for a team like Detroit that isn’t in a legitimate position to contend immediately. The Wings should not focus on shoring up these types of players as part of their “core” because these are the guys who, if you’re on a run to the playoffs with Cup hopes, you can get for decent prices at the deadline, if you don’t have them on your roster or on your farm.

The Wings do not distinguish between talent/impact core players and supporting/expendable guys. They consider anyone capable of being a core guy.

Look at Chicago. They’ve got Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Sharp as their long-term core. They’ve got Keith and Seabrook in back, then added Hjalmersson. Over the years, they’ve added to that core - guys like Shaw and Saad (and I guess even Bickell) have come in and become part of the real core. Nick Leddy has made himself part of the core. The rest of the parts are moving pieces. I don’t see Chicago making a point of locking up the non-impact guys.

The Wings - they don’t distinguish. “Oh, you’ve got a ‘compete level’ of 10 out of 10 but no real distinguishing talent? How’s a three-year deal sound?”

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/03/14 at 01:49 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 02:04 PM ET

True that may be, but it still comes back to roster flexibility (or in-flexibility). Prospect is over-valued—> given a contract—-> another prospect earns the roster spot on the big club but can’t have it due contracted player he passed is in his way = no roster room = back to the minors (or leaves organization) = big club married to the contract while they await an injury, death, retirement, trade or contract expiration.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 06/03/14 at 01:59 PM ET

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Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/03/14 at 02:59 PM ET

Oh, I totally agree.  Overvaluing the prospects and giving them three and four year deals takes away the flexibility that is needed, especially if they continue to want to “overripen” their prospects.

It especially irks me that they extended Lashoff.  Kindl I can understand.  You sign him and hope he develops more.  I just think he should’ve been signed to a two-year deal instead of four.  But Lashoff?  Who ever thought he was going to be anything more than a 7th defenseman, and who gives a 7th defenseman a three-year contract?!?  Boy, we’ve got to lock up that guy who’s not good enough to crack the roster.  Someone might steal him from us.

They started off doing what they should’ve with Lashoff, they brought him up to Detroit in the final year of his contract.  The problem is, they should’ve waived bye-bye to him at the end of last year and brought Almquist up as the 7th this year.  Then Alquist either earns his contract or you cut ties with him and bring up Ouellet or Marchenko as the 7th next year, and so on.

The seventh d-man should, at best, be a tryout.  There’s no reason to ever extend your seventh defenseman unless he steals a job from one of the six everyday guys.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 02:28 PM ET

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Nice Kenny.  Nice

Just to be clear, is the thing people are whining a out now that Holland has too many possibly successful picks to get them all on an NHL roster in a timely fashion?

That… that would be a new one, I think.  It seems a bit like complaining that a guy is scoring too many goals and taking away production from teammates, but if bashing Holland for every less than ideal event that occurs in the system is a requirement, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Is the paradigm now when Holland trades a prospect he doesn’t think will make the roster any time soon he gets hammered for wasting the prospect, and when he keeps the prospect in house and the prospect gets whiny and bolts (or hints at bolting), he’s going to get the knife on that one too?

Tough crowd.  Apparently the only way for Holland to catch a break is to draft just enough prospects that there’s never an overflow and trade only the prospects who go on to fail.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/03/14 at 02:32 PM ET

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The seventh d-man should, at best, be a tryout.  There’s no reason to ever extend your seventh defenseman unless he steals a job from one of the six everyday guys.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 03:28 PM ET

You don’t develop players that way. You don’t bring up a prospect who has potential and have him sit in the press box.
7th D is a depth position not a try-out.
Red Wings had the ability to over-rippen their prospects because of the names they had on the main roster. They didn’t want to bring up young players and not play them. That is not the case anymore. So might as well bring them up and give them responsibility.

Posted by George0211 on 06/03/14 at 02:33 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 03:28 PM ET

Your original point is clearer to me now, and I completely agree.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 06/03/14 at 02:35 PM ET

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They started off doing what they should’ve with Lashoff, they brought him up to Detroit in the final year of his contract.  The problem is, they should’ve waived bye-bye to him at the end of last year and brought Almquist up as the 7th this year.  Then Alquist either earns his contract or you cut ties with him and bring up Ouellet or Marchenko as the 7th next year, and so on.

The seventh d-man should, at best, be a tryout.  There’s no reason to ever extend your seventh defenseman unless he steals a job from one of the six everyday guys.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 03:28 PM ET

That’s the point I was trying to make earlier. I’d even venture that a 6th or even 5th defenseman shouldn’t really be that fixed in place, nor the bottom four forwards. These three and four-year deals for these marginal players is ridiculous. And I believe that’s precisely what enables them to tout “over-ripening” as the way of business.

With Almqvist, that’s what I was proposing for this year. I didn’t factor in the Lashoff element. It makes it dicey - especially with the team’s difficulty in cutting the cord. They would probably be scared to send him to GR and risk that he doesn’t clear waivers. God forbid they lose one of their prized role players. For that reason, I’m assuming the MO is that Almqvist would have to beat out another guy for his spot….

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/03/14 at 02:40 PM ET

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Just to be clear, is the thing people are whining a out now that Holland has too many possibly successful picks to get them all on an NHL roster in a timely fashion?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/03/14 at 03:32 PM ET

Not bashing him for that reason. Bashing the idea of losing a promising guy for nothing who never got a fair shot because Ken Holland signed too many fringe players to have the flexibility to give this guy a shot.

There’s too much of a love affair with the Abdelkaders, Glendenings and Lashoffs that causes blockages in the pipeline. The argument is that if the Wings quit locking up marginal players for extended deals, they’d allow their prospects to truly compete and win jobs and have a real shot to prove themselves. Almqvist looks like a casualty of their simply never being a spot open for him to play on an extended tryout.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 06/03/14 at 02:45 PM ET

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You don’t bring up a prospect who has potential and have him sit in the press box.

Brian Lashoff played 114 games out of the 149 the Red Wings played over the last two seasons.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 02:47 PM ET

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Just to be clear, is the thing people are whining a out now that Holland has too many possibly successful picks to get them all on an NHL roster in a timely fashion?

Hey, look who was wrong again!

They have guy who, potentially, could be a good NHLer but because of the stupidity of giving Kindl a four-year extension and Lashoff a three-year extension they don’t have room for him.

Even if he becomes nothing more than a mediocre, bottom-pairing defenseman he would be better than either of those two, but they’re under contract and essentially immovable because nobody wants to deal for young defensemen who aren’t good enough to make an NHL roster since every team in the league already has a few of those.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 02:51 PM ET

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Brian Lashoff played 114 games out of the 149 the Red Wings played over the last two seasons.

Posted by Garth on 06/03/14 at 03:47 PM ET

And he is a 7th d-man who got more playing time because of injuries. What’s your point here? He played too much? OK, maybe.
If we are talking about a D prospect with potential, Lashoff is really not in his way as a depth player.
Plus I don’t understand all the hate towards Lashoff. He never tries to be anything he isn’t, something you can’t say about Smith for example.
What I am trying to point to is exactly what everyone yelled about with Tatar at the start of last season. That guys like Bert, Cleary and Sammy got the nod over Tatar and a promising prospect was riding the bench, when he needed to play.

Posted by George0211 on 06/03/14 at 02:54 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.