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The Malik Report

If salary dumps and high-cost trades are all that’s out there, the Wings should stand pat

Hey gang, sorry for the shitty timing booger-wise. Bacteria and viruses seem to love snuggling up with my nostrils during back-to-backs. I'm still battling a fever and chills but I will drag my ass to work tomorrow.

I've been out of the loop but feel that it's necessary to weigh in on a few topics:

1. First and foremost, here's hoping that Henrik Zetterberg does come back for Thursday's game, and that Quincey's ready to go, too. The Wings are embracing the grind against the Avs tonight--and I'm fine with Franzen wanting to be playmaker if he's going to rack up as many primary assists on goals as he has of late--but Brendan Smith rather desperately needs a game off to take a mental break, and given the giveaways committed by Jakub Kindl over the last couple of games, he could take a seat to rest and recharge on Thursday as well (Thursday would be an excellent time to give DeKeyser a game even if Quincey's out as Colaiacovo looks rock-solid tonight).

2. I know that tonight's game has all the aesthetic value of mud, but with the Blue Jackets of all teams hot on the Wings' tails, tonight, Thursday in Phoenix, Friday against the Avs again and Sunday's matinee against St. Louis, the Wings are going to have to embrace whatever style is necessary to win games. This team needs to pull away from the playoff pack again, and that means winning at all costs, even if it's playing as hideously as the Avs play on a nightly basis.

3. I'm sure that the knives are out and you've been readying to march on the Joe with pitchforks and torches, hoping to drive Ken Holland to the pillory regarding Jay Bouwmeester going to the Blues...

But given that it was an out-and-out salary dump, and given that the Wings need to re-sign Jimmy Howard and Damien Brunner, make their decisions on Valtteri Filppula, Danny Cleary, Drew Miller and Ian White, based upon the team's need to accommodate the eventual return of Darren Helm and the must-make full-time promotions of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson (cue Cory Emmerton and/or Patrick Eaves possibly losing their jobs to said players), given the team's need to keep the rest of its cap space open to re-sign restricted free agents Kindl, Smith, Nyquist and Andersson, and given that the team will likely watch the cap compliance buy-out market (and probably cut ties with Mikael Samuelsson and Colaiacovo) to see whether they can truly address their need for a top-pair defenseman and a top-six goal-scorer...

There is no way in *#$%@& hell that I would have ever taken on Bouwmeester's $6.68 million salary due in a cap-going-down season without sending salary Calgary's way, and it is incredibly apparent that the Flames simply "dumped" Bouwmeester's salary on the Blues. Ken Holland was SMART to avoid making that move.

4. I'm not happy about Robyn Regehr heading to LA for a pair of picks, but one never knows whether the Wings were consulted about that deal, and Regehr's glacial foot speed makes him a #3/4 defenseman, and the Wings have seven or eight of those players already.

5. I want the Red Wings' management (it was telling that Mark Howe, Ryan Martin, Jim Nill and Holland were all spotted watching the game in the press box--the Wings' management is going to bunker down over the next two seasons) to make good on Holland's promise to look for a non-rental top pair defenseman or goal-scorer as much as you do, but the Wings' management has to consider the team's salary cap situation and the maturation of its prospects going forward, and using that five-dimensional thinking, going after Bouwmeester would have absolutely *#$%@& the team over in all aspects going forward.

The Wings need to give Niklas Kronwall a partner and need to add some offense in case they decide to cut ties with Filppula and/or in case Pavel Datsyuk feels that the pull of being closer to his wife and daughter outweighs his desire to see his #13 raised to the rafters if he plays with the Wings into Igor Larionov 40-plus territory.

If the Wings can't find those players and can't add them in a means that doesn't strip them of top prospects and/or screw their cap situation with no lube going forward, they should stand pat and accept that this rebuilding/transitional year's personnel needs can't be addressed through trades, and will have to wait until the summer to be resolved in a more meaningful and long-term manner.

You can't *#$%@& your future over (pardon the language, but being a probation officer's son tends to bleed through when I'm dippy, dopey and feel miserable) to placate the fan base if you're an NHL team's management staff, and surrendering assets for bit pieces or grabbing and holding onto cap millstones like Bouwmeester are the kinds of trades that the Wings simply cannot afford to make.

6. I'm both sick and bad luck writing during a game--the Avs scored an absolute horseshit goal with Cody McLeod shoving Smith into the crease, and now it's 3-1, not 3-0--but I'll be back tomorrow regardless of how awful I feel because the trade deadline is clearly already here and missing more than 30 hours of news in this 99-day demolition derby of a season is too much to "catch up" with.

*#$%@& Cody McLeod, too (I've hated that prick forever. Chicken shit player). Nearly scoring a goal and dodging Tootoo.

Here's hoping that the Wings are in better shape Wednesday, even if that only means Todd Bertuzzi inching toward a return, Henrik Zeterberg  returning on Thursday or Friday and Kyle Quincey continuing to improve. 

Update: These words are wiser than we think, from MLive's Ansar Khan...

“I’ve had some conversations with some teams about the odd depth player, and I really don’t have an interest,'' Holland said. “I think we’re a deeper team today than we were six weeks ago and I’m hoping we can get lucky over the next (few) weeks with some of these injured people. I’m not going to spend any assets to acquire any depth players. We have lots of depth.''

The Red Wings have nine defensemen, including Kyle Quincey (who could return this week from a fractured cheek bone), Brian Lashoff (who'll be back from Grand Rapids as soon as the 23-man roster limit is lifted on Wednesday) and Danny DeKeyser, who has yet to make his NHL debut.

But, they still want to acquire a top-pair defenseman. They continue to show interest in Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester, who has another year left at $6.68 million. However, the Red Wings aren't going to peddle their first-round pick in a season when they're not certain to make the playoffs. Phoenix's Keith Yandle is another possibility, even though he has three more years left at $5.25 million per season and the Coyotes surely would want high draft picks and/or a good prospect for him.

The Red Wings also could use a goal-scoring winger. Buffalo reportedly is looking to unload Jason Pominville (one year remaining at $5.3 million) and Drew Stafford (two years left at $4 million per season).

“I don’t think we need any more depth up front,'' Holland said. “If we can do a legitimate trade to acquire a player that we think is a legitimate top-nine or top-six forward or a legitimate top-four defenseman, then we’re going to look. There’s no use for me trading a fourth-round pick to bring in someone to sit.''

With few teams out of the playoff picture, trade activity could be limited.

“Is there a player that someone wants to trade that wants to be a top-six or top-nine forward? Not really, when everyone is trying to win. Today, a couple of teams signed players that were going to be unrestricted free agents (including Edmonton's signing of defenseman Ladislav Smid, whom the Red Wings were interested in). I think between now and Wednesday lots of teams are going to sign some of their players.''

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

“I don’t think we need any more depth up front,” Holland said. “We’d like to get healthy up front. If we can do a legitimate trade to acquire a player that we think is a legitimate top nine or top six forward or a legitimate top four defenseman then we’re going to look. I don’t need any depth. There’s no use for me trading a fourth-round pick to bring in here someone to sit. We have lots of depth up front and we have lots of depth on defense so we don’t need depth.

“Is there a player that someone wants to trade that wants to be a top six or top nine forward, not really when everyone is trying to win,” Holland continued. “Today a couple of teams signed players that were going to be unrestricted free agents. I think between now and Wednesday lots of teams are going to sign some of their players. I’m working the phones and if there’s a legitimate top six or top nine forward or a legitimate top four D, behind that I don’t think we have (much interest).”

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday. Holland will miss the Wings’ charter flight to Phoenix just in case a deal for what he’s looking for happens.

“I think we wake up Wednesday and because of history we’ll have 20-30 trades, but lots of deals will be made for depth,” Holland said. “I’ve had some conversations with some teams about the odd depth player and I really don’t have an interest. Again, because of the development of (Jakub) Kindl, (Brian) Lashoff, Brendan Smith, because of the signing of Dan DeKeyser on defense, we’ve got nine guys here and had to trade away Kent Huskins to make room.

“Because of the development of Joakim Andersson, who we really like,” Holland continued. “(Tomas) Tatar and (Gustav) Nyquist have gotten an opportunity. Because Patrick Eaves is healthy. Because we signed Damien Brunner, who can play in the NHL. You look and we don’t need any depth.”

Update: The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek reports the following:

In Bouwmeester, the Blues pick up a minute-munching defenceman with great speed that should get along nicely with coach Ken Hitchcock, since both are Edmonton natives. St. Louis wanted a defenceman who could play the left side and along with Jordan Leopold, acquired last week from the Buffalo Sabres, now boast a formidable top-four that also includes Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk.

The complication in making the deal, for Flames general manager Jay Feaster, was the $6.68-million (all currency U.S.) owed Bouwmeester on next year’s contract, which disqualified many other possible suitors from bidding for his services. Sources indicated that only the Detroit Red Wings had the cap space and the interest to inquire after Bouwmeester.

So they did try.

Update #2: Here's why the Wings didn't bite, per ESPN's Scott Burnside:

A source told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun that the Blues had tried to get the Flames to eat part of Bouwmeester’s salary -- he has one season left on the books at $6.68 million against the salary cap, slightly less, $6.6 million, in real salary -- but the Flames refused.

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Comments

Vladimir16's avatar

If salary dumps and high-cost trades are all that’s out there, the Wings should stand pat

Bolshevik! Trade Flips not shooting arse and White’s arse for any picks you can get

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/01/13 at 08:47 PM ET

Chip4Pips's avatar

At the very least sell White at these prices; no way is he being brought back next season.

Posted by Chip4Pips on 04/01/13 at 08:53 PM ET

Primis's avatar

All of this ignores a more-important point though.

The Wings absolutely MUST get a first-pairing d-man to play with Kronwall.  That player does not exist within their system currently, and is not going to exist through promotion/development in the next calendar year probably.

Things will not fare better for them until they fix that.  This “stand pat” line is a complete load of crap.  There have been so many games lately to prove that standing pat is not going to be good enough.

Posted by Primis on 04/01/13 at 09:03 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Let’s not forget Smid signed an extension.  The trade “favorites” are starting to dry up for the Wings.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/01/13 at 09:08 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

If the trade options are off the market—and Smid, Visnovsky and Streit are the players the Wings were after—the Wings can’t trade the barn and the horses in it for chopped liver.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/13 at 09:10 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

I’m wondering who this mysterious first pairing defenseman is that everyone is talking about who Holland should have traded for right now?

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 04/01/13 at 09:13 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

This is also why waiting for the summer to sign your dream free agents isn’t a sure bet. So many sign with their teams before they even hit the market. Unless of course their name is Samuelsson and Colawhateverhisnameis

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/01/13 at 09:15 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Am I the only one that doesn’t want Visnovski?  Streitt, I’ll listen to your arguments, he’s a pretty solid player.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/01/13 at 09:18 PM ET

Avatar

I’m wondering who this mysterious first pairing defenseman is that everyone is talking about who Holland should have traded for right now?

Are you saying there are no first pairing defensemen in the league?  Because if you just want a list of them that Holland should “kick the tires” about, I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to compile…

Posted by Garth on 04/01/13 at 09:19 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Am I the only one that doesn’t want Visnovski?  Streitt, I’ll listen to your arguments, he’s a pretty solid player.
   
    Posted by
     
    Figaro
     
    from Los Alamos, NM on 04/01/13 at 10:18 PM ET

Nahhh…I’m with ya

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/01/13 at 09:22 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Posted by Garth on 04/01/13 at 10:19 PM ET

Umm, teams don’t just trade top pairing defensemen for the heck of it.  This isn’t a videogame.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 04/01/13 at 09:22 PM ET

Avatar

Umm, teams don’t just trade top pairing defensemen for the heck of it.

Because that’s what I said.

Posted by Garth on 04/01/13 at 09:26 PM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

Standing pat is a far comment.

I would like to know why Fil is invisible, if he wants out then trade him Apr 3 if not he sure hasn’t earned what the reported contract he wants.

9 D Men and White can be moved now better than nothing, IMO

A big forward with balls might help the top 6.  I don’t see much happening at the deadline for the Wings.

Posted by OnlyWings on 04/01/13 at 09:28 PM ET

Avatar

Standing pat is a far comment.

I would like to know why Fil is invisible, if he wants out then trade him Apr 3 if not he sure hasn’t earned what the reported contract he wants.

9 D Men and White can be moved now better than nothing, IMO

A big forward with balls might help the top 6.  I don’t see much happening at the deadline for the Wings.

I don’t either unfortunately.  White should be gone for what they can get for him.  I’d be happy If they can get decent picks for Filpulla.  My worry is that they won’t move him out of fear, and would rather loose him for nothing in the off season than be a position where they traded him and then slipped out of the playoff race.

Posted by Django on 04/01/13 at 09:35 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Posted by Garth on 04/01/13 at 10:26 PM ET

Well, what specific defenseman are you suggesting Holland acquire then?

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 04/01/13 at 09:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Visnovsky got re-signed. Smid got re-signed. Bouwmeester would have cost the Wings their cap space for the summer in addition to probably Mrazek. Regehr’s in LA. Who’s left other than Streit?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/13 at 09:40 PM ET

Avatar

keith yandle

Posted by diesel44 on 04/01/13 at 09:41 PM ET

Avatar

C 29 Stephan Weiss L ($3.5m) / C 32 Henrik Zetterberg L ($6.083m) / RW 27 Damien Brunner R ($2.350m)
LW 30 Curtis Glencross L ($2.55m) / LW 34 Pavel Datsyuk L ($6.700m) / RW 22 Tomas Tatar L ($0.840m)
LW 29 Drew Miller L ($1.2m) / C 26 Darren Helm L ($2.125m) / RW 30 Jordin Tootoo R ($1.900m)
LW 23 Gustav Nyquist L ($.875m) / C 24 Joakim Andersson L ($0.95m) / RW 28 Patrick Eaves R ($1.200m)
LW 21 Riley Sheahan L ($0.900m) / C 26 Justin Abdelkader L (1.8m) / C 24 Cory Emmerton L ($0.533m)

32 Niklas Kronwall L ($4.750m) / 26 Keith Yandle L ($5.25m)
29 Jonathan Ericsson L ($3.250m) / 24 Brendan Smith L ($1.5m)
23 Dan Dekeyser L ($1.350m) / 27 Kyle Quincy L (3.775m)
22 Brian Lashoff L ($0.725m) / 26 Jakub Kindl L ($1.050m)

29 Jimmy Howard ($5.000m)
28 Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)

2014 NHL salary cap => $64,300,000
2014 Detroit Red Wings Salary => $61,656,000, didn’t include bonus cushion

Mursak or Ferraro & kindl, Patterson & 2nd traded to aquire Yandle (salary dump)
Franzen - I dont care include him in Yandle trade if you want
Ian white traded for 2nd round plus 5th (what leopold pylon got)
carlo plus 2nd for glencross
Kent Huskins traded for conditional 7th
5th traded for weiss negotiating rights
filppula lost to free agency
cleary forced into retirement
samuelsson bought out or lost on waivers
RW bertuzzi on ltIR

****OR****

Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Jason Pominville ($5.300m)
Damien Brunner ($2.850m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Tomas Tatar ($0.840m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Gustav Nyquist ($0.788m)
Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m) / Joakim Andersson ($0.605m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)
Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Patrick Eaves ($1.200m)

Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Keith Yandle ($5.25m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m) / Brendan Smith ($0.827m)
Jakub Kindl ($1.050m) / Kyle Quincey ($3.775m)
Adam Almqvist ($0.682m) / Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m)

Jimmy Howard ($5.250m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)

Buyout: Mikael Samuelsson ($0.000m)
Buyout: Carlo Colaiacovo ($0.000m)
———
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $64,437,524; BONUSES: $1,160,000
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $1,022,476

Posted by diesel44 on 04/01/13 at 10:01 PM ET

Avatar

were not yelling at you george, were yelling through you at ken holland

Posted by diesel44 on 04/01/13 at 10:02 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/13 at 10:40 PM ET

Agreed.  Mark Streit is the only defenseman available who would be a marked improvement upon what the Wings already have, and the Islanders might just decide to resign him.  I’m not buying that Yandle is going to be dealt, though I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the Wings.  People said it would happen last year and it never did and I don’t see the Yotes making any big moves until they’re out of limbo.  I think the new deal for Ekman-Larson showed that the Yotes aren’t being forced to dump salary.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 04/01/13 at 10:12 PM ET

Avatar

I thought I had read somewhere a while back KH inquired about Bogosian or Byfuglien?

Posted by murph1jj on 04/01/13 at 10:24 PM ET

Avatar

I am glad bou went to st lose, he is not a first pairing d.  Streit would be ok, or Yandle, I think the price on Yandle would be to high. 

Fil has got to go, white as well, for whatever can be gotten.  Its a sellers market so they do have value.

Posted by akwingsfan on 04/01/13 at 10:32 PM ET

Avatar

Who’s whining about the Wins not getting Jay Bo?  I will whine about Holland not doing anything though at the very least if the prices are so high he should e able to get something for he ufa’s tat are not in the teams plans, right?  Whether he’s a buyer or seller, Holland should be active.  But to most of us this s another excuse to do nothing and then have the Holland apologists out in full force to defend his inactivity.

Posted by bababooey on 04/01/13 at 10:39 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

So yet another agonizing summer of waiting to see what Holland does about the team’s holes lie ahead.  How many times have we done this again?  I would rather he start selling—starting with the trade of Flip—and shedding dead weight.  This half-assed rebuilding has the team doing nothing but spinning it’s wheels.

Posted by gt500x on 04/01/13 at 10:57 PM ET

Avatar

Holland should call Doug Wilson to see how it’s done.  San Jose got rid of dead weight and collected draft picks and wouldn’t you know it they’re in the midst of a four game win streak.

Posted by bababooey on 04/01/13 at 11:01 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Speaking of San Jose, Brent Burns would cover BOTH the 3/4 Dman and forward wants. smile 

Actually, I would quite like having him on the team. He’s an experienced Power Play QB with a booming shot. Perhaps getting him away from the fun & sun of California might make him focus and get back to his Wild level.  And he’s has Harry Potter tattooed on his back, so you know he’s a fun guy to have in the locker room. smile

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/01/13 at 11:15 PM ET

Avatar

Although Smid signed, he doesn’t have a no trade or no movement clause.  Could he still be available?  Just cost more since he is no longer a rental.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/02/13 at 12:44 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Vladmir16

Bolshevik! Trade Flips not shooting arse and White’s arse for any picks you can get

I have been saying almost exactly that for a month now. I just want Filppula to be moved for another asset
diesel44

keith yandle

Yup, that’s the exact guy I’ve been saying to trade Filppula for as a package with insert 1 of 4 prospects, and a draft pick.But, I would suggest if you want Yandle and aren’t going to give a #1 in this year’s draft: it’s going to cost Nyquist, Tatar, Jurco, or Jarnkrok as the Coyotes are stacked with young d-men and goalies in their minors (or on their team).

George,
—totally agree on the Bouwmeester deal. I was so scared they would do it and screw over getting back the RFA’s and Howard, Brunner, Miller, and being able to grab a buyout or two. If the Flames ate some of his salary—he’d of probably been a Wing before this deal was even discussed.

—But what strikes me the most of the quotes was the (paraphrased) ‘other teams signing their UFA’s’ line by Holland. Does that mean he has no intention of signing Filppula? and if so why take the remotest of chances of losing him for nothing because his salary demands are too high.

—And finally, if the other teams are selling depth players worse than the depth players that are healthy scratches or easily replaced by the AHL Grif’s: why not move some of those at these prices…

Posted by d ca on 04/02/13 at 01:00 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

The Blues traded for Bouwmeester, who is a well-known “floater”, grossly overpaid at $6.68 million.
Then they lost their goalie Halak to an injury…
IMHO, you can have all the D you want to buy, but if you have no goalie, you are screwed…Remember Manny Legace?
Too bad for the Blues…

Posted by w2j2 on 04/02/13 at 06:33 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

The correct answer here is: Mark Giordano.

The Flames are selling off anyway, and he could probably be had for Quincey and a pick or two.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/02/13 at 07:55 AM ET

gt500x's avatar

—But what strikes me the most of the quotes was the (paraphrased) ‘other teams signing their UFA’s’ line by Holland. Does that mean he has no intention of signing Filppula? and if so why take the remotest of chances of losing him for nothing because his salary demands are too high.

Holland likes to let guys leave on their own terms even if it means the team gets nothing in return.  It’s one of the reasons people around here think the Wings are “better” than the other 29 organizations in the NHL.

Posted by gt500x on 04/02/13 at 08:04 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

The correct answer here is: Mark Giordano.

The Flames are selling off anyway, and he could probably be had for Quincey and a pick or two.

Posted by RedMenace from aboard the Crazy Train on 04/02/13 at 08:55 AM ET

Of course, I go on to read that Feaster says he’s not going to trade Giordano as he’s one of the “building blocks” of the future.

Blech.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 04/02/13 at 08:25 AM ET

Avatar

I have a hard time seeing how Bouwmeester’s contract would’ve seriously harmed Detroit.  We’ll buy out two of Bertuzzi, Sammuelsson, and Colaiacovo anyway, and none of Kindl/Smith/Nyquist have earned huge raises.  It’d mean not overpaying to keep Filppula, of course, but that’s fine.

I like and endorse Holland’s “talent, not depth” approach right now, but the fact is that since we lost Rafalski, Stuart, and Lidstrom we’ve missed out on at least three legitimate top-pair guys to help replace them (Suter, Subban, and now Bouwmeester).  We can’t keep coming up empty.

Something similar applies to our top-six forwards, too.

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/02/13 at 09:24 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.