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Duff offers an intriguing take on the Red Wings’ youth movement…proceeding with caution

The Windsor Star's Bob Duff has taken note of Red Wings fans' fury about the fact that Tomas Tatar isn't playing alongside Pavel Datsyuk, that Gustav Nyquist is plying his trade in Grand Rapids and that the Wings haven't taken some of their prized prospects and converted them into veteran additions, and he penned a must-read response framed within a recap of the Wings' 2-1 victory over the Avs earlier this evening:

Sure, they could go for it right now, recall Nyquist, trade a first-round pick and top prospect Calle Jarnkrok to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, but that would that truly be prudent?

In a few years’ time, when Datsyuk is gone and Zetterberg is in decline, the Wings envision Nyquist and Jarnkrok as their new dynamic duo, just as the aforementioned twosome stepped in for Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov. The plan is to allow Nyquist to enjoy a dominant AHL season and let him start fresh in an 82-game season as one of the club’s top six forwards.

“He got called up and got sent down (earlier this season),” Detroit director of player development Jiri Fischer explained. “It’s not easy for a young player to stay 100 per cent unaffected by being called up and being sent down all the time.”

As for Swedish sensation Jarnkrok, like Zetterberg and Datsyuk, they are allowing him to grow as a person and a player in his homeland before introducing him to the North American game.

“He’s done everything really that needs to be done on his part to make it to the NHL,” Fischer said. “He’s coming along really well. He can really play, he loves the puck. He’s got a ton of personality on the ice and he wants to be a great player.”

There are other prospects on the way including goalie Petr Mrazek, defenceman Matias Backman and forwards Riley Sheahan and Martin Frk who figure to keep the Wings afloat for years to come.

Not that they are exactly sinking this season. With Tuesday’s triumph, the team is 4-1-1 in its last six and has played stellar hockey. The Wings believe their long-term future is bright and based upon their track record don’t you have to give them the benefit of the doubt?

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The Windsor Star’s Bob Duff has taken note of Red Wings fans’ fury about the fact that Tomas Tatar isn’t playing alongside Pavel Datsyuk

...and very, very condescendingly says absolutely not a damn thing of substance.

Calling up Jarnkrok, Nyquist, Mrazek and Sheahan has NOTHING to do with putting Tatar or Andersson or Eaves (or, frankly, Tootoo, Miller or Emmerton) on the second line because Justin Abdelkader has absolutely no business being on the second line (want some evidence?  Look at all the opportunities that Datsyuk and Cleary set up Abdelkader on and then look at how many he converted into goals.  I took notes, it was zero.).

Tatar and Andersson are already playing in Detroit.  This isn’t about calling anyone up, it’s about using who is already on the roster and using them properly.

Improving every night. Developing consistency in the midst of what for them is a transition season.

If that’s what Abdelkader is doing then I apologize because I didn’t know he broke both of his arms and legs in the off-season and has had to re-learn how to skate and play hockey, because that’s the only way that his play can be considered ‘improving’ or ‘developing consistency’.

I wonder how many teams in the league have someone playing on a top six line who have one point this season.  You know, just out of curiosity.  I wonder how many teams have top-six forwards who are being outscored by every single player on the bottom six.

Posted by Garth on 03/05/13 at 11:57 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

He side-steps it. But Duff offers an alternate angle, and given that he’s the “hockey-ist” of the Diggers, and doesn’t spare criticism, I thought he’d be worth reading.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/05/13 at 11:59 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Ryan Sproul and Mattias Backman.

Mark it, 19.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/06/13 at 12:45 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Sure, they could go for it right now, recall Nyquist, trade a first-round pick and top prospect Calle Jarnkrok to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, but that would that truly be prudent?


No one on earth is suggesting that the Wings trade a first-round pick and Jarnkrok for Iginla. This is literally the first time I’ve heard that suggestion.

People are just wondering why—when we have a guy who is leading the AHL in scoring and a guy on our team right now who is outplaying most of the veterans—why Justin F*cking Abdelkader is playing with Pavel Datsyuk.

It’s really not that crazy of a question to ask, and the fact that the team and the press is getting so agitated about it suggests a crisis of faith on their end, quite frankly, not the fans.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/06/13 at 08:15 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

With Tuesday’s triumph, the team is 4-1-1 in its last six and has played stellar hockey

This tells me this asshat watched exactly zero minutes of last nights game.
Other than Jimmy, what was stellar last night? Even Franzen’s much improved effort left something to be desired.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/06/13 at 09:54 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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