The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/06/14 at 02:36 PM ET
WXYZ's "7 Sports Cave's" Brad Galli, Matt Sheppard and Dave Birkett spoke about the issue at the 7-minute mark of their hour-long weekly show, and the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo also addressed the issue I have yet to be able to speak with Ken Holland about up here at the summer development camp. The Red Wings whiffed in the free agency market, and it has the town--the state, and Red Wings fans all over the world--jittery:
The Red Wings have had one of the things other NHL organizations have generally lacked – stability. Yet, it’s like it has been turned around on them.
For many Red Wings’ fans, their general manager is clueless and their coach a tyrant nobody wants to play for, because of the free agent failure this summer.
There has to be a trade coming, right? The Red Wings have been looking for a right-handed shooting defenseman since Brian Rafalski retired.
This isn’t like a rebuilding team that can leave cap money on the table in good conscious. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are premier players. The Red Wings are paying Jimmy Howard like he is a top goalie.
Jonathan Ericsson and Johan Franzen are other well-paid veterans. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar are excellent young players. It seems like the Red Wings have hit the jackpot with Anthony Mantha, the 6-foot-5 junior scoring machine, who will make his professional debut this season.
Yet, it’s impossible to look at how the free agent signing period has gone for the Red Wings and not wonder why they were so thoroughly shutout.
A red flag has gone up throughout Hockeytown. And it’s not the type flying on the hoods of so many cars during the Red Wings’ salad days.
Caputo continues, and free agency just ain't what it used to be. Dan Boyle went to New York for less than the Wings offered to play with a Stanley Cup Finalist containing Martin St. Louis, Matt Niskanen went with Barry Trotz and Alex Ovechkin, Christan Ehrhoff chased Crosby, Ovechkin and a pair of fellow Germans to Pittsburgh, the Wings weren't willing to let Tom Gilbert weigh their offer vs. the Canadiens' offer, and the team wasn't willing to give Anton Stralman 5 years. If you don't jump in with both feet after the first guy you can offer a deal to, or you can't sell them on the "lifestlyle" advantages, they go elsewhere, and it's happened incredibly regularly save Rafalski, Hossa and Hasek's additions.
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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.