The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/09/13 at 06:44 AM ET
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and the Free Press's Helene St. James have weighed in with their end-of-season player grades, and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose offered an alternate angle on the season-in-review via player, coach and GM's quips regarding player performance. Today, MLive's Ansar Khan offers a slate of player grades, splitting regular season and playoff marks and offering contract numbers as well (cue George's 8,589,354th Capgeek.com's Wings organization chart reference). I'm gonna reference a couple of "ouch" grades and let you read the rest of his take on your own--and then ask you to weigh in.
Valtteri Filppula (D/D): Curiously disappointing season from start to finish. Rarely showed much spark or competitiveness after a career year, which was surprising since he was playing for a contract.
Contract: Unrestricted free agent.
Johan Franzen (C+/D): His statistics (14 goals, 31 points, plus-13) don't reflect how inconsistent he continues to be. He's a non-factor for several games and then suddenly dominates for a stretch.
Contract: Seven years at a cap hit of $3.95 million.
On defense, Khan did indeed zero in on the...Let's call them "interesting" pair...
Kyle Quincey (C+/B): He played better than he did late last season, but still not at the level the club expected when it spent a first-round pick to reacquire him.
Contract: One year at a cap hit of $3.775 million.
Brendan Smith (C+/C): A strong skater who is good at rushing the puck out of the zone. Still has much to learn about playing defense in the NHL, as evidenced by his many mistakes in the playoffs. But he will improve over time.
Contract: Restricted free agent.
And in terms of the coaching staff...
Mike Babcock and staff (B/A-): The team never gained traction during an up and down regular season. But, considering the plethora of injuries and resulting lineup shuffling, coaches did a good job to keep the club in playoff contention before the season-ending four-game winning streak that kept intact the postseason streak. They made the right adjustments during playoffs, when the team overachieved.
Again, Khan continues at length, and his insights are worth reading...
But in terms of this blog and this blogger, I'm curious as to whether you feel "grades" or "observations" are even necessary. I think we've all made up our minds as to the value of the Wings by now, but...
I know that waiting to do grades and/or observations isn't going to help in terms of relevance (or that issue that I try to totally ignore in terms of posting anything that is "page views," because I may do this for a living, but if you're gonna post something just to get a reaction...Well, I make it a rule to not do that. If that's the sole motivation for writing something, as far as I'm concerned, I need to stop writing the entry)...
But in terms of being a fan as well as a blogger, I feel that waiting another day or three to start the process isn't going to hurt in terms of letting those playoff contributions settle into the memory bank and tug at the heartstrings a little less.
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About The Malik Report
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.