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No Jack Adams for Mike Babcock, but Red Wings’ coach, GM make intriguing remarks

Mike Babcock didn't take home the Jack Adams Award in Las Vegas...

Nor did Danny DeKeyser take home the Calder Trophy...

But Babcock's Red Carpet comments were intriguing...

And he certainly threw a left hook into the "Daniel Alfredsson returning" conversation while speaking with NHL.com's Dan Rosen:

"[Alfredsson] had a tough time last year staying healthy, so it's real hard to commit to a guy when he doesn't know for sure," Babcock said from the red carpet for the 2014 NHL Awards. "We'd love to have him. We'd love for him to get healthy, but at this point things haven't turned in the right direction for him. We'll see what happens."

Babcock said the goal is to have him in training camp, but he's not sure if he will come in under contract, if he comes in at all. He said the Red Wings do not think Alfredsson requires any surgery.

"He's going to continue to go and then we'll work something out," Babcock said. "He's not going anywhere else. He's coming to Detroit if he's coming. He's not under contract with us yet, but we know where he lives. He's gotta get fixed before we do anything."

Alfredsson finished tied for the team lead last season with 49 points, but he struggled with injuries stemming from his back problems. He did not play in Games 3 and 4 of the Red Wings' five-game first-round series loss to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.




If that isn't "interesting" enough, while I was writing this, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff asked Ken Holland 5 questions (via RedWingsFeed), and here are two of them--you'll have to read the rest of Duff's article for the other wrinkles (and there's much, much more):

How tough would it be to move some of the young talent that emerged on the Detroit roster last season?

“We are exploring trades. The difficult decision that we’ve got is that we’ve got lots of young players that we think are going to be real good NHL players. We saw a glimpse of it last year. Any time I have conversations (with other GMs) usually those are the names that come up. And we like those kids, so they would be difficult to move, but at the same time, if you want to get something, you’ve got to give something. We’ll explore and we continue to talk internally about our own players, and any conversations I have with managers about their players, I bring it back to the group of 4-5-6 people that I respect in our organization and trust their opinion. We’ll decide whether there’s a fit to do something or whether we just stay with the kids.

“I’ve said along, when I look at our team, the fallback position is our kids – whether it’s in goal, on defence, or whether it’s up front. Our scouts have done a great job in identifying our young players. I think (Grand Rapids AHL coach) Jeff Blashill has done a great job in developing those young players once they’ve turned pro.

“It appears that we’ve got some real good kids. There’s (forward) Anthony Mantha (the club’s top pick in the 2013 draft) on the way up. We’ll turn him pro and see what he can do next year. When you factor in Petr Mrazek in goal and Thomas McCollum who has made strides and is developing into the prospect we hoped he would be – a little slower than we thought, but he’s become a real solid AHL goaltender. He’s 24 years of age. Some players bloom a little later.

“On defence there’s (Mattias) Backman, (Alexey) Marchenko, (Xavier) Ouellet, (Ryan) Sproul. Up front you’ve got Mantha and Teemu Pulkinnen, there’s Landon Ferraro and the ones we already saw last year. Then were turning pro a guy like (Barrie Colts forward Andreas) Athanasiou. We’ve got the 15th pick in the draft, so we’re going to add another good prospect to our talent pool.”

How does free agency enter into the picture?

“We’re now able to reach out and talk to potential unrestricted free agents as part of the new CBA to kind of tell them about our program and where they fit in. We’ll certainly have a list of people that we’ve got an interest in and plan to reach out to.

“Jeff Blashill thinks a couple of our young defensemen aren’t far away. Are we best served by bringing someone in? Part of that will be determined by what’s out there. If I can find a D who wants to do a year or two . . . we’re moving slowly. I don’t want to lock into something that in two years I’m trying to figure my way out of. Our fallback position is our kids. It’s a good position to be in. If we can get some veterans that fit our term and money, fine. If not, are we better served by going with the kids? If we go out and sign one or two people, we’re basically done.”



Update: FYI...

And TSN's Darren Dreger suggested via video that Jarome Iginla wants to remain in Boston, and is negotiating a 1 or 2-year deal with the team (with deferred bonuses), but the Red Wings might talk to Iginla...And Alfredsson apparently isn't 100% sure whether he's going to return, and "he's willing to be flexible" while working "on his own timeline, like Teemu Selanne."

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Babcock on Alfie

“We’d love to have him. We’d love for him to get healthy, but at this point things haven’t turned in the right direction for him. We’ll see what happens.”

Babcock is diplomatically telling Alfredsson that he should not return, if you ask me.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/24/14 at 09:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

If you ask me (and nobody did), what I’m hearing is: If Alfredsson takes until after July 1st to decide, the Wings will spend most of their $$, but they’ll hold a spot in training camp open for Alfredsson.

Better to a 49-point-scorer than Daniel Cleary.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/24/14 at 09:26 PM ET

Redwingman17's avatar

Hi George,

I saw that Rob Blake will be in the HOF. My opinion is he’s borderline.
Any thoughts on this? He had some great seasons and was a very good player but not great.

Thank you,

Kevin Minne’

Posted by Redwingman17 from Denver/ LA on 06/24/14 at 09:48 PM ET

Burr87's avatar

And again, no mention of Adam Almquist. Why the Hell did you draft him and put time and resources in him if you’re not giving him a chance? Ridiculous. Also missing was any mention of Mitch Callahan. Bab’s quotes about Alfie are most likely a negotiating ploy to bring down his salary. They want him back just at a better price.

Posted by Burr87 on 06/24/14 at 10:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Almquist is probably going to play for Severstal Cherepovets in the KHL this upcoming season.

Given that he is both no longer waiver-exempt and that the Wings are concerned about his strength, it’s a back-door way to give Almquist another year of pro development without losing his rights—and he’s going to make a LOT of money playing in a clutch-and-grab-happy KHL. I’m not thrilled about it but it’s better than simply letting him go.

Regarding Blake? He did win a Cup and I think one could argue that his status as one of the NHL’s more dominant defensemen in the late 90’s and early 00’s got him in, but I was definitely surprised that there was no Lindros and no Makarov especially.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/24/14 at 10:13 PM ET


If you ask me (and nobody did), what I’m hearing is: If Alfredsson takes until after July 1st to decide, the Wings will spend most of their $$, but they’ll hold a spot in training camp open for Alfredsson.

Better to a 49-point-scorer than Daniel Cleary.

The choice isn’t between Cleary and Alfie. We’d do better without either.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/24/14 at 10:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

LOL at Wysh getting shown up on Twitter by Ken freaking Campbell of all people.  When Ken Campbell is tearing your argument to shreds you KNOW you have a pretty weak stance…

Posted by Primis on 06/24/14 at 10:39 PM ET


Whyshinski is right. Nyquist finishing 2nd on anyone’s ballot is stupid. He doesn’t deserve to be anywhere in this voting.
Zetterberg was more valuable to the Red Wings than Nyquist. Datsyuk was more valuable. Nyquist isn’t even the team’s most valuable player, let alone someone who should be considered for MVP because of a 20 game streak.

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/24/14 at 11:05 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

I’m surprised Babs came in second. I thought the voters had him lower on their list. Good for him.  He did a great job with what he had to ice last year. It was nice seeing him adapt to the youth movement.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 06/24/14 at 11:07 PM ET


Why the Hell did you draft him and put time and resources in him if you’re not giving him a chance?

He would be far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far from the first guy to be drafted, play in the AHL and not make the leap to the NHL.

It’s so weird how people get fixated on complete nobodies that they have probably never even seen play.  Nobody considers him to be Detroit’s top defensive prospect so why would they bother re-signing him so that he can take up one of their alotted contracts just to play in the AHL?

Posted by Captain Bob on 06/24/14 at 11:05 PM ET

Know what would be cool?  If you watched a game this season.  Maybe one in the second half of the season, in which there you would see that there is absolutely, positively no question who Detroit’s most valuable player was.

Posted by Garth on 06/24/14 at 11:14 PM ET


It still seems holland seems to be telegraphing a trade, I think they have a few deals they’re working on.  Unlike other years where he basically told fans he would do nothing this year he seems to really be talking up the trade market.  I can’t stand holland but I have a feeling he may actually be active this summer.

Posted by bababooey on 06/25/14 at 12:02 AM ET


I think you’re right, bababooey, he’s been mentioning trades a lot and not in the nebulous ‘kicking the tires’ way he normally does.

Posted by Garth on 06/25/14 at 07:32 AM ET


It would be a DREAM if we got Niskanen. Then traded for strahlman or something. Bolster our defence and we got a shot. (I don’t think we’re immediately cup contenders) but we’ve got a shot. a lot better one with Big E, dek, and kronwall paring with either of those two.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 06/25/14 at 09:50 AM ET


Then traded for strahlman

You do not need to trade for Stralman, he is UFA. But the Rangers are planning to resign him.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/25/14 at 12:47 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.