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Holland In Wait Mode On Roster And Cap Decisions

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Until he has a better handle on the status of the injured players — likely later this week — general manager Ken Holland isn't making any decisions.

"I'm waiting to get a feel for how long some of these people are out," Holland said. "Maybe injuries sort some of these problems out, short term. I've had the odd conversation with other general managers, but we don't really know where we're at. I'm waiting till I know more specifics."

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Yeah, why do something proactive now and get something -anything- in return, when you can wait till you’re completely under the gun later and get nothing?

Posted by Garth on 09/23/13 at 03:42 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You can’t waive an injured player and it’s very hard to trade one.

What exactly is the proactive solution to two of the guys most people thought you’d be getting rid of are injured and you can’t get rid of them right now?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/23/13 at 03:47 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Methinks Uncle Mike is up in the rafters with his favorite hunting rifle…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 09/23/13 at 03:48 PM ET

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As if he would have done something by now even if everyone was healthy.  Holland was going to wait until the last possible moment to make a roster decision regardless of what happened.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 09/23/13 at 03:53 PM ET

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Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/23/13 at 03:47 PM ET

Sorry, I guess it’s my bad for making a comment based on the words that came directly from Holland’s mouth.

My apologies, sir.

Posted by Garth on 09/23/13 at 04:11 PM ET

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Methinks Uncle Mike is up in the rafters with his favorite hunting rifle…

In order to f*ch over his own team?

Posted by Garth on 09/23/13 at 04:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Garth on 09/23/13 at 04:11 PM ET

haha what?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/23/13 at 04:21 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I think this potentially helps the team. If these guys are too hurt to waive, put them on LTIR. Then our cap goes up, roster goes down and we’ve accomplished the same thing as waiving them except we haven’t even lost them yet. This could be extremely beneficial if there are more injuries in the meantime and if there aren’t, they can be waived right after they are deemed healthy. Obviously it’s temporary, but isn’t it really just delaying the inevitable, all while giving us a little temporary injury insurance?

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/23/13 at 04:29 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The reason KH is in “wait and see mode” involves the fact that—as you’ve probably noticed by now—the pre-season trade marketplace is not exactly scintillating, nor are teams that are analyzing their own pools of talent interested in indulging the Wings and other teams’ salary-dumping trades (and yes, that’s what the trades will be, salary dumps as opposed to “hockey trades”). For now, sitting tight isn’t a bad idea, especially given that the Wings have three more preseason games’ worth of bumps and bruises to worry about.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/23/13 at 04:43 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Jesus,

We haven’t played a meaningful game yet , Eaves,Gustafson,Samuelsson,Tooto are all dinged up and not tradeable, or in Sammy’s case a salary that no one will take!

Holland is holding crap cards and some are demanding he take that crap and somehow spin it into a top 6 D’man or serviceable 2nd line forward who is 6’4” and scores 30 goals.

I do believe Rafalski & Shanahan have both retired, so lets say we let Holland do his Job?????

 

 

Posted by Down River Dan on 09/23/13 at 05:01 PM ET

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It seems to me like Helene is insinuating that given different circumstances Holland would have done something by now, and I just don’t see that as being the case.  It seems to me, the past few years Holland waits for every possible avenue to run its course until he absolutely has no other choice than to make a decision.  I haven’t decide if that’s good or bad though.  Yes, it gives him options and has helped keep the Wings competitive and in the playoffs, but I don’t know if that decision making style has really done anything to make the Wings a substantially better team at any point the past few years.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 09/23/13 at 05:08 PM ET

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What exactly is the proactive solution to two of the guys most people thought you’d be getting rid of are injured and you can’t get rid of them right now?

The thing people don’t understand, JJ among them, is that there are a number of competing issues where being ‘proactive’ regarding one works against solving the other.

Detroit could have ‘solved’ their cap and roster space issues by not signing Alfredsson or Weiss or Cleary, among other things.  However, Alfreddson and Weiss and Cleary make the team better… which is another issue Holland has to deal with.

On the scale of ‘problems’, I rather think having too many NHL forwards is one of the better ones to get stuck with, so having to decide which of the 2-3 worst forwards of the team to dump so the team can have room for Alfredsson, Weiss and Cleary isn’t exactly what I would describe as an awful situation to be in.

Especially when the ‘answer’ is what it’s always been: dump guys like Tootoo and Emmerton and Eaves who provide next to nothing and have very limited value.  Done and done.

Mostly this is just one of those issues for those people who like to do so to take the opportunity to rip Holland.  In reality it’s almost a complete non-issue, but since it’s a situation that appears complicated to some, they must think it’s evidence of a real screw up or something.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/23/13 at 05:19 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

so lets say we let Holland do his Job?????


Posted by Down River Dan on 09/23/13 at 05:01 PM ET

We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting…..

A rhesus monkey would have had the smarts and gumption to use a compliance buyout on Sammy, Toots or maybe even Mule. That would have freed up some room for Brunner. You know, the team’s leading goal scorer (and third in points) during the playoffs last season? So when Brunner realized his agent was an idiot and he was willing to sign for less, the Wings would have had some room under the cap. I’d take Brunner over Sammy, Toots or maybe even Mule (a -7 in 14 playoff games!) any day.

The object of this game is still to score more goals than your opponent, right?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 09/23/13 at 05:54 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

yes it’s painfully obvious that Ken Holland lacks the intelligence of a rhesus monkey.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/23/13 at 06:00 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Holland is holding crap cards…

Kind of hard to feel sorry for him when he’s the one who shuffled the deck and dealt the cards, knowing the whole time what each of the cards was.

He has less than a week to sort all of this out or Nyquist will be playing in GR until he does. And the solution he comes up with has to be a permanent one (not some temporary relief because of an injury) because once Gus plays two more NHL games he can’t be sent down to GR without going through waivers (which he’d never clear).

So, a player or maybe two have to leave. Every GM in the league knows that and they’re not going to lift a pinkie to help out the so-called “the best GM in hockey.”

Holland screwed the Wings with his bad contract decisions last year and because of his and Babcock’s infatuation with Cleary this year. So let’s see him actually be the “best GM in hockey” and get himself and the Wings out of this mess. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/23/13 at 06:30 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

A rhesus monkey would have had the smarts and gumption to use a compliance buyout on Sammy, Toots or maybe even Mule.

A rhesus monkey might’ve had the smarts to use a compliance buyout on Sammy, but sadly he wouldn’t have had the smarts to know that compliance buyouts can’t be used on injured players or outside of a small window during which… Sammy was injured.  Fortunately for us, Holland is capable of keeping those things in mind which is but one if the things that separates him from the average rhesus monkey or the average whiney fan.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 09/23/13 at 07:15 PM ET

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because of his and Babcock’s infatuation with Cleary this year


Holland and Babcock say that the team is better with Cleary,  They signed him knowing that they would have to send someone else packing.

I value their evaluation of Cleary’s talent and what he brings to the team far more then OlderThanChelios or anyone else here. 

 

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 09/23/13 at 07:39 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I value their evaluation of Cleary’s talent and what he brings to the team far more then OlderThanChelios or anyone else here.

From what we’ve seen in the preseason games we’ve been able to watch, everyone but Holland and Babcock were right about Cleary. Maybe he’s saving it all for the playoffs. Or maybe he really isn’t as good as they think he is. We’ll see.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/23/13 at 08:19 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

Wow!  I can’t believe all the hating on KH.  Anyone remember that summer when he gave Ericsson a 3M contract and we were all up in arms screaming how KH was ridiculous? 

Well we were wrong about that and I suspect we’re falsely jumping to conclusions again.

Give the man some credit!

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 09/23/13 at 11:33 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Something tells me that all of this KH hate had been bottled up since the Cleary signing (I still don’t quite understand that one given the cap situation) and needed to come out. We’ve got some of the most professional Ken Holland critics on the Interwebs here—no offense, folks, you’re just really, really good at what you do—and well…

Welcome to sixth semester general manager critiquing.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/23/13 at 11:47 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Giving Cleary a dirt cheap 1-year deal isn’t screwing up our roster guys, can we just get past that? Sammy would’ve been bought out if healthy, Tootoo can be waived… And if Nyquist has to play a handful of games in GR to start the season, then so be it, but anyone who isn’t completely naive knows that he will play the majority of his games in Detroit this year.

Bottom line: We’re a stronger. deeper team than we were at the end of last year.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 09/24/13 at 01:17 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Given our history of injury, as a team, this makes perfect sense.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 09/24/13 at 01:29 AM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

A rhesus monkey might’ve had the smarts to use a compliance buyout on Sammy, but sadly he wouldn’t have had the smarts to know that compliance buyouts can’t be used on injured players or outside of a small window during which… Sammy was injured.  Fortunately for us, Holland is capable of keeping those things in mind which is but one if the things that separates him from the average rhesus monkey or the average whiney fan.
Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 09/23/13 at 07:15 PM ET

Hence the waiting, waiting and waiting. Of course the compliance buyout period has long past. KH used one on Cola, but didn’t bother to use the other one. Now he has too many players signed for too much money and you KH apologists seem to think he is still the greatest thing since sliced bread. The NHL cap isn’t all that hard and if KH can’t hack the math himself, hire a decent capologist. One that has at least 8th grade algebra under his/her belt.

We’ve been waiting for years for KH to get out of this over-cautious, mis-placed loyalty mode. His decision making has gone to pot ever since he chose Franzen over Hossa. He had a nice run, now it’s time for Jim Nill to take over. Oh snap! They let him get away to Dallas.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 09/24/13 at 12:28 PM ET

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The thing people don’t understand, JJ among them, is that there are a number of competing issues where being ‘proactive’ regarding one works against solving the other.

In other words, life is difficult and sometimes your actions contradict each other. Whoa nelly that’s brilliant.

Bottom line: We’re a stronger. deeper team than we were at the end of last year.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 09/24/13 at 01:17 AM ET

YES! Even down the line in The GR. Again, I’m almost looking more forward to following them than the Wings.

Given our history of injury, as a team, this makes perfect sense.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 09/24/13 at 01:29 AM ET

Whatcha mean, perfect sense? Singing injury prone players - that’s the dark cloud to taking on “projects” and “cast-offs” from other teams. But when a player has only 40 games in three previous seasons, that’s a signing that needs to be questioned.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 09/24/13 at 12:29 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Of course the compliance buyout period has long past. KH used one on Cola, but didn’t bother to use the other one.

And there will be another period for that.  What does a compliance buyout in June do that simply putting a guy on waivers in September doesn’t?

The answer is “has value as a commodity”

Both of those actions carry the exact same result: The player is gone and you got nothing for him.  The difference is that a compliance buyout is something that you can actually use.  It has value where a useless player can be traded to a team that still has one and the team getting rid of the dead weight has to pay more for the transaction.

Now he has too many players signed for too much money

And?  It’s September 24th.  Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Anaheim, New Jersey, and Florida all have too many players. Philly and LA have the “signed for too much money” issue as well.

What precisely is the problem here?  They have to get rid of some bottom six weight and now that players are injured they don’t have to do it by the beginning of next week?

What exactly is the problem?  They’re not in trouble and they’re a deeper team with all the pieces they have than they would be without them.  When they eliminate players, so what?  Is there some unwritten rule that you just absolutely HAVE to get value back for a player with very little value? 

The Red Wings kept their decent capologist. Jim Nill wanted to take him to Dallas and Ken Holland made him an assistant GM to keep him around.  You don’t see him pulling out his hair or running off because the Red Wings have to eliminate three players they don’t really need sometime within the next 8 weeks or so.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/24/13 at 12:56 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Tootoo can be waived…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten

Man, I wish folks wouldn’t act like teams can “bury” contracts in the minors any more. Sure, the Wings can waive Tootoo. But if no one picks him up (and that’s what’s most likely to happen in October), all but $100k of his salary still counts against the Wings cap. The same is true for Sammy.

So, when you’re coming up with “solutions” to Ken Holland’s contact mess, get that particular notion out of your head.

And if Nyquist has to play a handful of games in GR to start the season, then so be it, but anyone who isn’t completely naive knows that he will play the majority of his games in Detroit this year.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten

Anyone “who isn’t completely naive” knows Nyquist will reamin in GR, except for a possible one game call-up, until Ken Holland’s contact mess is settled. Any more than one game and Nyquist either stays in Detroit or he’s lost on waivers.

Fantasizing that there are “simple” solutions to Ken Holland’s contact mess may make you feel good about “the best GM in hockey,” but it does not make the mess go away.

What precisely is the problem here?  They have to get rid of some bottom six weight and now that players are injured they don’t have to do it by the beginning of next week?

J.J. you’re way too smart to believe the real solution is that simple. At most, injuries might buy the Wings a week to 10 days. After that, the same roster mess will exist and, in all likelihood, the same lack of interest by other teams in the Wings bottom-six “extras” (like Tootoo and Emmerton) will also still exist.

But, hey, “the best GM in hockey” has anywhere from five days to two weeks to get himself out of this mess (a mess of his own making). So, get to work, Kenny. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/24/13 at 08:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

all but $100k of his salary still counts against the Wings cap. The same is true for Sammy.

Untrue for Tootoo.  the Wings would clear $925K on sending Tootoo through waivers. The $100K thing is only for 35+ deals.

After that, the same roster mess will exist and, in all likelihood, the same lack of interest by other teams in the Wings bottom-six “extras” (like Tootoo and Emmerton) will also still exist.

And it can still be fixed by throwing near-worthless players away for nothing, because the space you clear for waivers is more than $100K on those guys.

So what again is the problem?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/24/13 at 08:17 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Untrue for Tootoo.  the Wings would clear $925K on sending Tootoo through waivers. The $100K thing is only for 35+ deals.

Well, J.J., you’re right about Tootoo. In checking CapGeek.com (which I should have done earlier), they’d actually clear $1.0M [$1.9M - (525k + $375k)] by dumping Tootoo to the Griffins…

A one-way contract counts against the cap as follows:
cap hit – [ minimum salary + $375,000 ]

On the other hand, waiving Sammy would only clear $100k from their salary cap.

So, the bottom line remains that Holland still has to move someone or he has to send Nyquist to GR in order to be cap-compliant. And once any of the injuried players (Helm or Eaves) return, he has to clear another roster spot.

So what again is the problem?

If, given the situation outlined above, you can’t figure out what the problem is then you’re not as smart as I thought you were.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/25/13 at 12:23 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If, given the situation outlined above, you can’t figure out what the problem is then you’re not as smart as I thought you were.

If you’re seeing the need to get rid of Emmerton, Eaves, and Tootoo as some sort of crisis, I’m thinking the exact same thing about you.

If you’re wrapped all around the axle worrying about Gustav Nyquist spending an entire year in Grand Rapids, then I worry about more than just your intelligence.

I’m dead *#$%@& serious.  Actually lay out the problem other than “The Red Wings have to get rid of people” because we’ve been over that again and again.  Yes, they have to make room on the roster. I understand that on the deepest level possible.

What I don’t understand is why it’s that big of a deal to anybody.  A few teams still have to get rid of people. Big deal. He now has more time to get rid of people than he otherwise would have.  That’s a good thing.  The people he has to get rid of are not big losses to the roster.

Who gives a shit if other GMs aren’t in the mood to do the Wings any favors. Here’s a newsflash: they’re never in the mood to do that because they don’t give half as much of a donkeyshit about the Red Wings’ cap/roster situation as many of you think they do. Oh nooooooo! Random GM Number 7 knows the Wings are in a crunch and now he’s going to hold Holland’s feet to the fire by offering a seventh round pick for Jordin Tootoo instead of a fifth.

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

I don’t know if your mind is playing tricks on you here or what, but the “crisis” the Red Wings are in here is completely made up.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/25/13 at 08:07 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

If you’re seeing the need to get rid of Emmerton, Eaves, and Tootoo as some sort of crisis, I’m thinking the exact same thing about you.

It’s not getting rid of them that’s a “crisis” (your word, not mine). It’s the inability to get rid of them that has me worried. With the cap going down, it appears from the reports that we’ve heard that no other team has shown any interest in those guys.

If you’re wrapped all around the axle worrying about Gustav Nyquist spending an entire year in Grand Rapids, then I worry about more than just your intelligence.

If you’re fine with Gus spending the year in GR because Ken Holland made some bad contract decisions, so be it. I’m not fine with it at all.

...the “crisis” the Red Wings are in here is completely made up.

You’re the only one calling this a “crisis.” I called it a “mess.” And I never said they were headed for “doom.” Please don’t put words in my mouth.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/25/13 at 09:56 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s the inability to get rid of them that has me worried. With the cap going down, it appears from the reports that we’ve heard that no other team has shown any interest in those guys.

The cap going down is done. it’s not going down again.  The inability to get rid of these guys is false. If you waive them and they clear, then you have all the cap savings you need to be compliant. 

Of COURSE teams aren’t showing much interest in other team’s guys. Have you taken a look at the trade wire lately?  Moves aren’t happening. They tend to happen just as the season starts.  Even if they don’t, simply waiving guys and burying what cap hit you can is sufficient enough to solve them.

And this is all dependent upon Helm being healthy relatively soon, which most people don’t think will happen.  Hell, some people don’t think it will EVER happen. 

The Wings aren’t trapped here with too many guys. They have easy outs in the injury department which solves the problem in the short run and they have easy outs on the back end which solves the problem for the remainder of the season.

It’s not a mess at all.

And I’m not putting words in your mouth; I’m derisively mocking the concept that this is that big a deal. It’s not a crisis or even a mess. The Red Wings are better off right now than they’d be if they had followed so many of the dumb ideas that have been written here over the summer.

When they have to be compliant, they’ll be compliant.

If you’re fine with Gus spending the year in GR because Ken Holland made some bad contract decisions, so be it. I’m not fine with it at all.

Obviously I’m not fine with it, considering I think it’s completely stupid to think that it’ll actually happen.

Kind of like how I’m not fine with waiving Tomas Tatar, even though it took a week’s worth of Ken Holland’s reassurance for people to stop worrying that something so stupid would actually happen.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/25/13 at 10:27 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.