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How the Red Wings’ trade deadline day went down?

According to Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner, the injury-plagued Red Wings’ management staff did in fact kick every tire leading up to the trade deadline, and while Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin and the rest of the front office attempted to bolster a team which currently boasts five players who started the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins going into tonight’s game against Los Angeles, the Wings did their best to to add more to their lineup:

According to a source close to the team, this is how it played out for the Wings on deadline day 2012. There were two primary targets for the Red Wings on Feb. 27: Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad, now with Nashville; and Columbus’ Sami Pahlsson, now with Vancouver. 

The entire league was aware that the Wings wanted to add a gritty, big-bodied forward who was an above-average face-off man. Gaustad fit that description, but the day before the deadline, the Sabres informed the Wings that they had already been offered a first-round draft pick for Gaustad. Detroit had traded their first-round pick a week earlier to the Lightning for defenseman Kyle Quincey. The Wings asked the Sabres to contact them if things changed but knew the call would never come—Gaustad was gone.

Once deadline day hit, the phones were busy in Holland’s office, but the Detroit brass didn’t like what they were hearing. Every team was asking for the moon in return for a rent-a-player or a marginal talent who wasn’t worth the asking price.

Several of Detroit’s top prospects were off the table, and the Wings were more inclined to part with only draft picks in any deals. They certainly weren’t willing to give up high-scoring prospect Teemu Pulkkinen, who every team apparently wanted to acquire.

As the day dragged on, some in the Detroit camp became frustrated, even disgusted, by what teams were demanding. The phone would ring, Holland would relay the offer to the assembled hierarchy and virtually every head in the room began shaking no.

Pahlsson was still a possibility, and the Wings thought they had a legitimate shot until the Blue Jackets informed them they had been offered two fourth-round picks and young defenseman for the veteran center. Once Pahlsson came off their board—the Wings felt they didn’t have the picks to get him—a day filled with hope became uneventful and disappointing for Detroit.

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Comments

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Hopefully this provides a little context to those that over-reacted on deadline day, and threw Holland under the bus.

It takes two.

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 03/09/12 at 01:57 PM ET

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The Wings asked the Sabres to contact them if things changed

Way to be pro-active.

Posted by Garth on 03/09/12 at 02:05 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Nice article, George, good find.  As fans we may be very quick to criticize management’s apparent inactivity on trades in a highly critical manner.  Read the Chief’s rant at A2Y about trade deadline this year as an example.  But frankly, we have little to no perspective on the quality of the deals being offered.

The Red Wings’ prospect cupboard is seldom bare, there were a couple of years of shaky blueline depth which is much deeper now, and other teams recognize the bounty of talent we are harvesting.  As much as we enjoy the winning at all costs mentality the team has, as fans, the cost for success this season should not sacrifice future stability or depth for short term gains. 

As much as I love the Chief’s perspective I think he, like many Red Wings fans, were too hasty to criticize the apparent inactivity by Holland et al.  I honestly feel Quincey was one of the best deadline moves this season, if not the best considering what we really sacrificed for a known talent, and while the Commodore move seems a weak one, I feel the logic was very sound.  Besides, while my brain can barely play checkers with the Asian gamblers/drunks at my local Chinatown coffee shop, Ken Holland is a Go grandmaster thinking strategy ten moves in advance.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 03/09/12 at 02:08 PM ET

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Posted by Garth on 03/09/12 at 12:05 PM ET

What did you want them to do? They made their interest known, but had a limit as to what they would part with

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 03/09/12 at 02:26 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

As much as I love the Chief’s perspective I think he, like many Red Wings fans, were too hasty to criticize the apparent inactivity by Holland et al.

I hear ya Voox and I understand the sentiment.

But we’ve been singing Tick Tock’s praises for years, and I mean bellowing them.  He’s the best in the business. I believe that.  And because I believe that I’m convinced he should have done more to improve the offense. 

Teemu Pulkkinen? Really? Teemu Pulkkinen’s the guy we held on to rather than make a deal?  I look forward to cutting and pasting his name as I did there, twice, for years to come because I’m sure he’s going to be the man we build around for our next several Cups.

That has to be the case because Kenny didn’t deal him.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/09/12 at 02:34 PM ET

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Did Babs give 2 much for Quincy? I like the guy but really a first round pick. Time will tell! Hope for the Red Wings sake it works out fine

Posted by Barb Miller from Windsor on 03/09/12 at 02:37 PM ET

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What did you want them to do?

Try to negotiate?  Make an offer?

Something?

Posted by Garth on 03/09/12 at 02:51 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I’m with VooX here. I got a lot of grief for a blog post I wrote awhile back declaring my faith in Ken Holland. I still think we fans are often too quick to criticize with insufficient knowledge of what is going on behind the scenes. I get that, because even a tiny losing streak makes me start to shake and sweat. But the reason EVERY team in the NHL brings its “A” game against the Wings is the Wings’ unbelievable run of success. And that is due, in large part, to Holland and his crew. Find me one NHL coach or analyst who doesn’t think Ken Holland is the most brilliant GM in the NHL. Bet you can’t.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/09/12 at 02:58 PM ET

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Try to negotiate?  Make an offer?

Something?

Garth, did you read the article? They did just that.

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 03/09/12 at 03:10 PM ET

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Teemu Pulkkinen? Really? Teemu Pulkkinen’s the guy we held on to rather than make a deal? 

Maybe you should put that comment somewhere so in a few years we can, you know, revisit it’s sagacity. wink

In other words, Pulkkinen is good.  Really, really good.  As a 21 and 22 year old this one guy put up 25 goals and 53 assists in 95 games overseas in an adult league.  As a 19 and 20 year old Teemu has put up 34 goals and 57 assists in 108 games overseasons in an adult league.

The first guy was Zetterberg in the SEL.  Teemu’s in the Finnish league.

Pulkkinen is three years away, max, from playing in Detroit.

And based on what was being asked for by all the crappy GMs in the NHL, it’s not like any deal was just going to be Pulkkinen.  It was Pulkkinen plus quite a bit.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/09/12 at 03:15 PM ET

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Garth, did you read the article?

Yeah, in fact I did.

It says that Holland asked the Sabres to contact him and it says that Detroit decided they couldn’t beat Vancouver’s offer on Pahlsson. 

I guess, to you, those are offers and/or negotiation?

Posted by Garth on 03/09/12 at 03:33 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Personally I am glad Holland didn’t sell the farm as other teams did for short term gain and long term pain! 

We will see how the playoffs go but I think Holland will try to get some UFA players, again depending on the price.

Weber being an RFA is off the charts as cost would be 1st Rd picks, players, and $$$.

I know injuries suck right now but the Wings are getting a good look at what they have in AHL playing at the NHL level, Smith , Joey and for sure Nyquist.  Just hang on to Home Ice and I will be happy.  Forgot , Fix that Brutal PP!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/09/12 at 03:36 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The information given to us here is really just going to strengthen a person’s already-held belief.

Did the Wings not do enough at the deadline to get somebody else?  Well then this shows that they gave up too soon after not trying hard enough or checking back often enough.

Were the Wings handcuffed by too-high prices or not having the assets people were looking for? Well then this shows that’s also true from your perspective.

I disagreed with Garth two weeks ago and I still do. I don’t think this information changes anything.

I wouldn’t have wanted Kenny to pull the Teemu Pulkkinen for for Gaustad or Pahlsson trigger. The kid’s going to be awesome and I don’t want to hand that to Buffalo or Columbus for a guy who may or may not have put us over the top.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/09/12 at 03:59 PM ET

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I guess, to you, those are offers and/or negotiation?

Do you think the fact Holland contacted them led them believe he was not interested in a trade?

Posted by Red Winger from Work on 03/09/12 at 04:07 PM ET

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I guess, to you, those are offers and/or negotiation?

Well, what else do you call it when one GM calls another GM and asks what the price for a certain player is, finds out, and then decides not to meet it?

Buffalo got offered a #1 for Gaustad.  A) The Wings had already traded their #1 and B) It would be stupid to trade a #1 for Gaustad.

So, what, unless Holland harangues Regier for an hour on the phone trying to get the guy to come under an offer he’s already received he’s not negotiating enough for you?

Come on.  Get real.

A pretty fair expectation for a GM is to find out what the prices are for players and then decide whether or not that price is a starting point for negotiations.  Expecting a GM to try and haggle out every possible deal is a bit much.  If the price starts out closer to what they feel the value is, sure, haggle away.  When it starts on the moon, as in a #1 for a guy who is unlikely to be an upgrade over anyone but the bottom 2 forwards on the roster?  Enh.

Waste of time.  You don’t go to a new car lot, walk up to a car with a list of 20 grand and then spend an hour trying to talk the guy down to the 8 grand you’re willing to spend. 

You look at the sticker, sigh sadly, and walk on.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/09/12 at 04:20 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Well….......
I don’t know, my criticism of Holland goes back to the summer.  After watching Datsuyk single-handedly push SJ to 7 games, and almost win, I was certain that a major deal would be in the offing.  Something like Cleary, Filpula, and some prospects for a very high-end winger for Datsuyk.
Yes I know this is heresy, yes I know it is not the Red Wing way, yes such a player may be hard to find.  The criticisms of my view are implicit.  But it doesn’t matter….you want to be the best.  In the old days, you were never surprised that another top player was coming to town (Shanahan, Larionov, Fetisov, Vernon, Hasek, even Hossa counts here).  Yes I know there was no salary cap, and that some of those were FAs, but I just don’t believe they couldn’t afford to be more aggressive.  Everyone assumes that there is another Zetterburg in the pipeline, and this means that the Griffins are very highly valued around the league - there is no need to be so enamoured of them that they are all untouchable.
As for the deadline, how is Pahlsson not worth a 2nd rounder?  I mean, at the deadline you should be looking for more bodies, even if they aren’t coveted players, and you should also be looking to deny rivals (hello Nashville - you don’t want to play these guys).
Look, they have openly said that they left cap-room for this time of year as part of their strategy.  That does mean that this is a failure.
It was reasonable to expect a better year out of Filpula (and I think it has been), but the old model of success relied on home-grown Maltby’s just as much as the big fish on the market.  Put simply, I’m not feeling the top 6.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 04:42 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

i think from now on, management should give a good ole boring blanket statement something like “We are certainly looking into what we need to do to possibly improve our team.” From now on, never tip your hand to your opponents. Just because other teams management may think you need an area fixed doesnt mean your own teams management feels the same. I wouldnt say anything until after trade day comes to pass. Best policy.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/09/12 at 04:59 PM ET

Puck's avatar

Wow! I bet all you folks are kicking serious ass in your fantasy hockey leagues this year with the amazing wealth of hockey general management skill flying around. LOL!

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 03/09/12 at 05:00 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 03/09/12 at 03:00 PM ET

So you watch a dude fall down on a penalty shot and you’re like, “what do I know?”.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 05:13 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

thats called the “gooch madness”  tuxedo smile)

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/09/12 at 05:23 PM ET

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The thing is:

We fans thought the Wings would get a big name to replace the 6M Rafalski contract on July 1.

The Wings got: White for less than $3M (best contract of the UFA season btw), Commodore for a $1M, Brunnstrom and Conner in a CRAZY UFA market instead.

We thought, they’ll make a move at the deadline then to get that top 6 forward that Babcock wants.

The Wings got:  Quincey (a legit top 4 dman and an RFA unlikely to get much more than he is now).  He’s an obvious replacement for Stuart, when he leanves July 1.
And a 2 year Bertuzzi extension

I think now:  The Wings will be players in the UFA market on July 1.  They will target Zach Parise and one of the top UFA dmen (Suter or Wideman) IF #5 retires.  If he doesn’t retire,  I think he takes a little bit of a backseat a la Cheli, and drops his salary to $3-4m.  I think it’s a true coin flip if he returns and the retirement of Homer is going to be a huge factor as well.

Hudler is insurance if the Wings can’t get Parise.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 03/09/12 at 05:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar

So… what happens if Quincey doesn’t resign?

Or has nobody even CONSIDERED that?

Posted by Primis on 03/09/12 at 05:53 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Seems unlikely Primis.  Although perhaps the open market will offer to much to turn down.  I also think Nick coming back is reasonably likely.  But I still agree with Okie…..this is the year to make it happen.  There is a very real possibilty of suck down the road, even if you retain the amazing potential in the pipeline.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 06:06 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So… what happens if Quincey doesn’t resign?

Dogs & cats living together.

MASS HYSTERIA!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/09/12 at 06:09 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

So… what happens if Quincey doesn’t resign?

You’ll be banned.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 03/09/12 at 06:38 PM ET

YYZerman's avatar

Dogs & cats living together.

MASS HYSTERIA!
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/09/12 at 04:09 PM ET


That just made my day. Good one J J

Posted by YYZerman from Detroit, Michigan on 03/09/12 at 06:43 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

I really wish Holland had acquired Quincey on the deadline day instead of a week before. That alone would probably shut the critics up.

Let’s look at it this way: If you had to give away a first round pick, would you rather have RFA Top 4 caliber D-man Quincey or 4th/maybe 3rd line center Gaustad?

The choice to me here is obvious. Especially when you factor in the injuries the Wings have suffered on D lately.

Also, look at the list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Detroit_Red_Wings_draft_picks

Now look at the names of those players that we’ve traded away in the past 20 years. Recognize any of em aside from Fleischmann? Miss any of em? Me neither.

Bottom line is I’m pretty sure Kenny knows what he’s doing.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 03/09/12 at 06:57 PM ET

VooX's avatar

But we’ve been singing Tick Tock’s praises for years, and I mean bellowing them.  He’s the best in the business. I believe that.  And because I believe that I’m convinced he should have done more to improve the offense.

Teemu Pulkkinen? Really? Teemu Pulkkinen’s the guy we held on to rather than make a deal?  I look forward to cutting and pasting his name as I did there, twice, for years to come because I’m sure he’s going to be the man we build around for our next several Cups.

That has to be the case because Kenny didn’t deal him.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/09/12 at 12:34 PM ET

I remember a time when people online were really outraged at the contract Datsyuk signed.  He was a talented player who choked in the playoffs, so the story went.  Today, nobody is questioning the value of Dangle’s contract.  Nobody.

I may not be a pharmacist, Raspberry, but where there is smoke there is fire.  Pulkkinen has caught the interest of a lot of teams, which is notable in itself.  European scouting is well developed among most teams.  Each team will have a roster of interesting prospects in small arenas and small brothels all over Europe, and yet the Wings can still find virgin talent to smuggle into the Organ-I-zation which catches everyone’s attention on the outside.

Jim Nill and his scouts are smart guys.  I had a chance to watch Jim scout talent at Shanny’s Jig a few summers back.  He came up to watch the game beside me, said hey, and made his cryptic notes in the margins of his lineup card beside various players’ names.  After a bit of note taking he restarted our earlier conversation.  I asked him about how he watches the games and when he scouts talent what he looks for as we both watched the prospects try and impress the executives and scouts.

In a nutshell, Nill values skill, vision, and hockey sense.  Him sharing his way of scouting players was an insight which I will forever be grateful for.  Watching a period of hockey with a brilliant hockey mind is a rare opportunity, and while the “real” journalists were busy picking through the snack table, as a “faux” journalist I guess I’m too naive to understand where the real action is at compared to them.

Content to hoard players with amazing puck intelligence and raw talent, we see how the Wings draft towards those types of players, as we are never candidates for any top-20 talent and have to fill our cupboards from further down the depth charts.

I think Holland has made relatively few errors in his tenure.  Sometimes out of loyalty and sending a league-wide message that the team values those loyal to the team, Holland makes poor choices.  Franzen over Hossa and Chelios over Quincey, I would have done differently.  Cleary would get paid about $1 million or so less than today, and a handful of others I personally disagree with, including various journeyman signings like Lang who were as useless like tits on a nun.

Overall you can’t argue with track records.  Our defence depth a couple of seasons back was Lilja and Lebda, we’ve come miles since then.  White was steal of a contract, who fits in perfectly.  Stuart will be sorely missed, and is great value.  Even Rafalski with his bonehead defensive plays, was such a great passer and puck mover, and an amazing acquisition as the team reeled from the sudden loss of Fischer on the blueline.

Of course, we’d love wingers for Dangle.  To force Mule to play to his potential or wallow on the third line.  With the salary cap, we have to get used to holes in our ideal roster.  Look at the horrible mess that is the NFL.  Every team has some glaring weakness.  It is spreading around weakness effectively that will lead to strength overall.  Roster engineering for the salary cap world.

Gary Bettman wrote and promoted a stupid salary cap system, which Holland is maximizing as much out of as he can. 

Gary Bettman can read, Ken Holland can read between the lines.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 03/09/12 at 07:00 PM ET

Avatar

Quincey is a RFA. So we’ll be compensated if someone else signs him.

Posted by e_prime from Brooklyn, NY on 03/09/12 at 07:01 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

would you rather have RFA Top 4 caliber D-man Quincey or 4th/maybe 3rd line center Gaustad?

If they weren’t tight wads, they could have had both.  Of course Kenny knows what he’s doing, but is your money on the Wings this year?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 07:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

but is your money on the Wings this year?

If you check the actual betting odds, it seems as though there’s a good chance it is.

You think us getting Sami Pahlsson over Vancouver would have changed those numbers?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/09/12 at 07:15 PM ET

calquake's avatar

but is your money on the Wings this year?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from home of the 1925 Stanley Cup Champs on 03/09/12 at 05:02 PM ET

As much as it is on any other team in the Western Conference.  There is no totally dominant team.  With a healthy Red Wing team throughout the playoffs and some semblance of consistent officiating I’ll take the Red Wings thank you very much.

Posted by calquake on 03/09/12 at 07:19 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

No, I think that gettting a top line winger would have.  Adding some other depth would help, while hurting those that did get them.  They have a great shot.  But I’m with Okie - they owe it to Lidstrom to pull out the stops a little.

I said they were tight-wads, and if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be the Wings.  But when Nick leaves, they may not be the Wings.  Chicken little.  But there is something to this.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 07:22 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

some semblance of consistent officiating

How’s the crack out your way?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 07:27 PM ET

calquake's avatar

some semblance of consistent officiating

How’s the crack out your way?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from home of the 1925 Stanley Cup Champs on 03/09/12 at 05:27 PM ET

Quite good… how’s the LSD out your way?

Posted by calquake on 03/09/12 at 07:31 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

No, I think that gettting a top line winger would have

I don’t disagree with you.  I really REALLY wanted Detroit to pull off a trade for a real scoring impact winger.  Knowing that Paul Gaustad went for a first-round pick and Sami Pahlsson drew two fourth rounders though… I don’t know.

Heck, I’m hearing that the Dallas Stars wanted Cody Hodgson for Steve Ott.  STEVE OTT.  Seeing what the prices came out to, I have no idea what they were asking for Ribeiro (who I would have hated), Ott, Roy, Vanek, Doan, Semin, or any other potential top-six guy.  Heck, seeing what the Rangers offered to Columbus for Nash only to see turned down was a bit of a shock.

Without knowing the asking price, I can’t really say that the Wings missed on deals that I would have been happy with. Andrei Kostitsyn was the best scorer who moved and I’m flat-out glad that Detroit avoided him no matter what the cost would have been.

Sure, I can say I might have thrown Pulkkinen into a deal for a guy, but I don’t know what the (+VALUE) would have had to have been in the proposal that involved Pulkkinen to another team for a potential four-month rental (in some of those cases. 

Based solely on the context of the deals made, my guess is that Kenny made the best choice by not making a deal on deadline day.  Without all of the information, I’ll never know for sure.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/09/12 at 07:34 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Right.  I meant in the off-season, for the top-line winger.

The acid out here was very pure when I was younger.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/09/12 at 07:35 PM ET

Avatar

So… what happens if Quincey doesn’t resign?

Or has nobody even CONSIDERED that?

Well, all Holland has to do is qualify him at (IIRC) his current rate or at most 105% of his current rate and he gets him for at least one year since Q’s an RFA.

If a team offer sheet’s him above that qualification Detroit gets something in the neighborhood of a first and a third.

Which I would take in a heartbeat, by the way.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/09/12 at 07:57 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 03/09/12 at 05:00 PM ET

Quite simply one of your more elegant posts ever, VooX.  Love it.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 03/10/12 at 03:10 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.