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The Malik Report

No Justin Schultz for the Red Wings, but most Wings UFA targets will test the market

Updated 3x at 10:35 PM: Crap. According to the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan, the Wings will have to go all out for Ryan Suter, Jay Garrison and, if he makes it to the market, Matt Carle, especially now that the Flames have locked up Dennis Wideman, because…

Red Wings officially out of of the D Justin Schultz sweepstakes
Losing out on Schultz a minor blow - only makes UFA chase beginning Sunday that much more important
Sure looks like Schultz will be heading west..Western Canada that is…Vancouver?
Or Edmonton? The kid would fit right in with that young group.

MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:

Red Wings informed today that they are not on Justin Schultz’s list of desired destinations, Ken Holland tells M-Live.

Update: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness also confirms:

Wings officially out of bidding for defenseman Justin Schultz.

Schultz, who turns 22 on July 6 and played three seasons at Wisconsin, was drafted by Anaheim in 2008, 43rd overall, but couldn’t reach a deal with the Ducks, who had until Sunday before he could begin talks on a contract with any other team.

Money wasn’t an issue in the negotiations since the maximum entry-level contract for a 22-year-old is two years for $925,000 per season with a standard 10-percent signing bonus, it’ll be if he’ll be guaranteed a spot on the roster.

Schultz is a two-time Hobey Baker finalist and WCHA defensive player of the year. He totaled 40 goals and 73 assists in 121 games over three seasons with the Badgers.

Schultz (6-2, 185 pounds) is a highly skilled offensive defenseman that analysts say has good hockey sense. He’s a good skater, has the ability to move the puck and has a tremendous shot.

I’m sorry about my absence today, folks. I’m feeling very, very ill and need to get better by Sunday so I’m trying to just rest. Sorry :(

Update #2: From Khan:

he Detroit Red Wings are no longer in the running for highly coveted collegiate free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz. Schultz’s agent, Don Meehan, gave Red Wings general manager Ken Holland the news on Wednesday.

“He (Meehan) informed me today we are not one of the teams on his list he wants to sign with,’’ Holland said.

Almost every team in the NHL was pursuing the highly skilled right-handed shooting defenseman from Wisconsin. The Red Wings made their pitch earlier this week. They were prepared assure him of a roster spot at the start of the season, which is what any team that pursues him must do.

“He became officially free on Monday,’’ Holland said. “We expressed to his agents we have interest in signing him. Don Meehan expressed to me that he would go through the process.’‘

Holland added, “I don’t know if we were ever in it.’‘

Update #3: Holland reiterated his points of emphasis to Pleiness:

“I don’t know if we were ever in it,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview Wednesday. “He became officially free on Monday. We expressed to his agents we have interest in signing him. Don Meehan expressed to me that he would go through the process.

“(Meehan) informed me today we are not one of the teams on his list he wants to sign with,” Holland ended.

Again, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the Wings were “ever in it.” The team’s been incredibly aggressive in attempting to improve itself, swapping out Jeff Blashill, pursuing Damien Brunner and now going after Schultz with all the guarantees he desired. This is how the Wings “sell themselves” to free agents—by acting, not talking themselves up.

Update #3.5: There is some good news regarding the Wings’ other targets, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

[S]tar captain Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils is represented by Meehan and Arnott of Newport Sports. Parise spent most of Monday chatting with his agents, and more conversations need to take place this week as he remains undecided about his future, with free agency opening July 1.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told me Tuesday that he would continue with his best efforts to retain Parise. Lamoriello has had a running dialogue with the folks at Newport. At this point, all remains possible: an 11th-hour deal to re-sign with the Devils; hitting the July 1 market and then circling back to the Devils to re-sign; or going to July 1 and finding a new NHL home. Meehan said no decision has been made yet.
Shane Doan has never tested the free-agent market, playing his entire NHL career with one franchise.

But with the ownership situation still unsettled in Phoenix, the Coyotes can’t re-sign their longtime captain. So when Sunday comes and the UFA market opens, Doan surely will get attention from other NHL teams.

“Shane has some concerns about signing a term contract with us given the uncertainty of our ownership situation,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney told ESPN.com via email. “In addition, he is not overly excited about signing a one-year contract. I am confident we will ultimately sign Shane to a new contract. However, it may not happen prior to July 1.”
D Ryan Suter and his agent, Neil Sheehy, met again Monday to discuss their plans. Nothing has changed; he remains bound for free agency while keeping the Nashville Predators very much in the mix.

Times two from LeBrun:

I would not have predicted months ago that Matt Carle would be headed to free agency, but that’s indeed going to be the case.

A source told ESPN.com Wednesday that the Flyers know the pending UFA blueliner will head to market Sunday while very much keeping his current team in the mix.

Notice a trend here? That’s what Ryan Suter has decided to do, and likely Jason Garrison as well.

The Flyers remain very much interested in retaining Carle’s services, so all is not lost. But it appears fairly certain that Carle, a terrific puck mover and offensive blueliner, will at least take a peek out there come Sunday.

LeBrun says that the Caps may try to trade Alex Semin’s right,s too:

A source told ESPN.com the Caps would be willing to do the same with pending UFA winger Alexander Semin if a team wanted to sign him before Sunday.

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SYF's avatar

Strike two off the list of UFA defensemen.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/28/12 at 12:01 AM ET

SYF's avatar

If it’s EDM, they’ll have two Schultz’s on that team and they’re both defensemen.

Good luck on that career trajectory, Jeff.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/28/12 at 12:11 AM ET


Meh. Way to many people are getting into a frenzy over someone who has yet to step on an NHL rink.  Nothing is a guarantee and I’d much rather have Suter, or Carle then someone who has ZERO NHL experience.  We have that already. I’m not saying the kid isn’t going to be good. He may be just that. But its like a Ville Leino or a Fabian Brunstrom or a Jonas Gustvason. You don’t know until they get there. Its an experiment that I’m glad Detroit is not in. I don’t want another project. I want a damn experienced d-man.

Posted by T on 06/28/12 at 12:19 AM ET


Good luck on that career trajectory, Jeff.


Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 12:23 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

2 down.

So what’s the deal, or no deal, with Abdelkader?

Posted by RWBill on 06/28/12 at 12:30 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Good luck on that career trajectory, Jeff.


Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:23 PM ET

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/28/12 at 12:31 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please read update regarding Suter, Carle, Garrison, Parise.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/28/12 at 12:49 AM ET


Sorry, didn’t pay attention to this entry coming (I thought he was in bed for the rest of the night). I’ll pull a part of what I just posted last entry from TSN (that George linked above already), and hand me the Pepto-Bismol:

“...the Flames signed him to a five-year, $26.25-million contract, which sounds like a lot but, given Wideman’s credentials, the lack of depth on the free agent market and that he was just paid $4.5-million for the 2011-2012 season, there isn’t really anything surprising about his new financial stratosphere.”

Posted by Bugsy on 06/28/12 at 12:52 AM ET


Posted by Bugsy on 06/27/12 at 10:52 PM ET

I think the one thing this off-season that won’t be a problem is the availability of money.

Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 12:58 AM ET


If Schultz signs with Edm: I’m buying a lottery ticket as that will be the 2nd thing I predicted (along with Jeff Blashill going to the Grif’s) well ahead of the time it looked possible…and good things come in 3’s right?

but seriously, no one knows what is going to happen come July 1st. The Wings still have some attractive selling features to an UFA:

-big market—but has privacy
-quality surrounding talent (Z and Pav) that have a reputation as hard workers
-recent history of success
-money/cap space/openings
-Winter Classic experience in front of 110k+
-team owned, new renovated plane (no waiting on charter’s going through airport security)
-a solid management team that treats players well (to a point where Stuart could miss practices to be with his family)
-history of working with older players instead of dumping them for younger cheaper talent
-a solid head coach
-Mike Ilitch (and the sense that the owner wants to win at any cost and is heavily invested in the community/team’s success)
-a top 30 city to raise a family (Ann Arbor may be a little far though), but there are other very nice places to live…just ask Lidstrom about buying his house that’s up for sale

-plus a rumored new stadium on the way (and mall—which means grassy surrounding area like the National Mall in D.C. to a Canadian—if you listen to Babcock despite the no comment you get)...

-I would even mention border city (but that doesn’t matter with the 3 biggest UFA’s)...

-working with Team USA’s goalie (for the foreseeable future)...

what’s am I missing?

Posted by dca from in Mich on 06/28/12 at 03:58 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

The fact that Schultz wouldn’t want to play for the Wings over, say, Edmonton (?!?!?!) blows my mind.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 06/28/12 at 04:18 AM ET



The Oilers will be a very good team shortly…just think of the 1st overall draft picks they got recently. They have some of the game’s best talent under 21 yrs old:

Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Lander, Paajavi, Klefbom (too young for the NHL), and now Nail Yakupov.

But quite frankly their defense sucks and their goaltender (Khabibulin) is on his last legs (at age 39). Schultz would have little trouble playing top-4 minutes with them. The Oilers desperately need a power play QB. Getting 1st PP pairing will mean plenty of points with that roster. That can translate to a big contract 2 years from now. It’s a smart move for the next two years. Detroit can’t match that. Neither can they match being close to his family (Stuart type situation).

The Wings have much better depth on their blue-line (and it will get even better in free agency even if they can’t get their prime target). Here Schultz would be fighting to be 4th-7th and there are players here with more NHL experience (not just prospect potential)....so even guaranteeing a roster spot to start the season is a big deal here.

Some people may have forgotten, but Datysuk was 25 before he got an opportunity to move from a 3rd line support player. And he only got that opportunity because Fedorov left that year. Pavs was questioned even more after going scoreless in 12 playoff games that same year leading to an early exit for the Wings.

Don’t give up on Kindl yet…he might not be an offensive franchise d-man—but that doesn’t mean he can’t mold his game similar to Stuart’s type of play. He went from a minus player to a plus player and his hit total went up this year. All while his ice time went up only about 30 seconds from the previous year…Kindl’s is further along in his development than Smith or Schultz…all three of those guys cap hits are about the same next year—so there’s a value judgement too…giving Schultz minutes comes at the expense of the other two 1st rounders. There’s also the whole rookie mistakes issue that gets magnified when you play more minutes against other team’s top lines.

Schultz has the physical tools, but so does Kindl and so does Smith…I would have been happy to see him sign with Detroit, but how well he will adapt to the NHL game is still a debate among NHL scouts.

Posted by dca from in Mich on 06/28/12 at 06:19 AM ET


Get well soon.

Posted by Sebastian Keil from Deutschland on 06/28/12 at 07:06 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I smell another Fabian…

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/28/12 at 09:33 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Red Wings informed today that they are not on Justin Schultz’s list of desired destinations, Ken Holland tells M-Live.

Is it wrong I now hope he’s a spectacular failure in the NHL? Is it poor sportsmanship that I hope he makes Alexander Daigle look like Steve Yzerman?

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 06/28/12 at 10:57 AM ET

Hans Landa's avatar


You’re right that Edmonton will be a very good team shortly, IF they can keep the team together.  Many of those guys will look for big bucks after their EL contracts end, don’t you think?  And Edmonton may not have the cash to keep all of them, as they seek out teams that are annually committed to playoff hockey.

Posted by Hans Landa from Monterey, CA on 06/28/12 at 11:09 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar


Yep.  And I wonder how many times we’ll be saying that over the next few days.  Hope KH can work some magic.


Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/28/12 at 11:44 AM ET

Rondo's avatar

Posted by Hans Landa from Monterey, CA on 06/28/12 at 09:09 AM ET

This is probably pretty accurate. If I had to guess, I feel like once these kids enter their prime EDM is going to have a brief window as a cup contender before all of their youngsters begin commanding serious bucks (assuming they all reach their potential). I smell a Chicago-style meltdown at some point down the line.

Good luck Schultz, ya dum dum

Posted by Rondo on 06/28/12 at 12:31 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Good points on the Edmonton window of opportunity. No way they keep that potentially-star-studded lineup around for too long.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 06/28/12 at 01:08 PM ET


per capgeek it’s going to be very quick…but it just happens to be during the time that Schultz is required to be on EL contract…where his base salary is the same but his performance bonus(es or is it i) won’t be. Playing with/on a team like Edmonton could literally mean a few million more than Van.

As for the military name…down in Fayetteville NC we had a name for those that enlisted and those that were commissioned… the idiots and those that were forced to work with the idiots…living near the pentagon and a few (actually many many) unmarked high rises in Alexandria/Springfield/Arlington you just call them all idiots…and I have yet to hear a name for someone that chooses an assignment based close to their family…most families don’t want to live near strip clubs/pawn shops/bars…so it just doesn’t happen…in the Navy it is more common…but that’s a whole another nickname…

I hope all those EL contracts squeeze players out to UFA as it benefits a team like the Wings that doesn’t pick in the top of the EL draft…that’s the benefit of the cap system that the Wings are just starting to see…

Posted by dca from in Mich on 06/28/12 at 03:01 PM ET


Honestly I’m glad they didn’t land him, would have been a waste of cap space.  While the cap doesn’t seem to mean as much due to crazy increases, still makes you wonder why someone who hasn’t touched a puck in NHL would command 3.8m as some articles have stated.

Posted by neffernin from Phoenix on 06/28/12 at 08:40 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.