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Pleiness, Ken Holland discuss the ‘over-ripe’ theory

I know KK's readers may be a little annoyed with the onslaught of Red Wings posts this morning (I needed to take yesterday off, sorry), but I think that Ken Holland's interview with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is absolutely essential reading, so I'm going to post it in a separate entry (it's already in the Wings-Canes game-day update post) because Holland delivers a one-paragraph answer as to why the Wings don't promote young players "early":

"Establish yourself as a legitimate premier minor league player and then you prove it at the next level,” the Wings’ general manager said during a phone interview Thursday. “That’s how you get to the American League from juniors, or college or Europe. When you’re an established, top notch player, we sign you to a contract to the next level.”

One of the youngsters, Riley Sheahan, scored the tying goal Wednesday that guaranteed the Wings a spot in the postseason for a 23rd consecutive season.

Another youngster, Gustav Nyquist, leads the team with 28 goals and is tied for second in points with 48. And all that came in 55 games.

Tomas Tatar is sixth on the team in scoring with 19 goals and 18 assists, which are two goals and two points ahead of world-class center Pavel Datsyuk.

Then there’s Luke Glendening, who’s been matched up with some of the league’s elite in the closing moments of games.

“Leading the Grand Rapids Griffins last year was Tatar, Nyquist, Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening so when they got their call they didn’t come up here wondering if they could play they had done it at another level so the next step for them was to go to the NHL,” Holland said. “Now can you do it? I don’t know, but that time in the minors prepares them to be the best that they can be.”

Pleiness continues...

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There is a very large difference in over-ripe (Tatar and Nyquist) and ripe enough to make a significant contribution (Sheahan, Glendening and Jurco).  I hope KH has finally realized that some players don’t need to be over-ripe to help the NHL team win games.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/11/14 at 12:16 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

That’s actually an excellent point, JKM. Wisely said.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/11/14 at 12:44 PM ET

Davis's avatar

I hope KH has finally realized that some players don’t need to be over-ripe to help the NHL team win games.

I’ve seen some iteration of this comment since #5 retired (maybe even before?), and I’m always befuddled by it. Do you think that the DRW front office doesn’t realize this? Because I’d argue the facts support that they do. This season, it was clear that Andersson, Tatar, and Nyquist had proven that they were ready for prime time (grousing about Nyquist’s time in GR to open the season aside). Sheahan, Glendenning, and Jurco were given an opportunity to show that they could “make a significant contribution.” But they weren’t the only ones that were given the chance to crack the line-up. Callahan, Marchenko, Pulkkinen, Ferraro, Almquist, and Oullet were all given a shot with the big club and while most (all?) showed a great deal of promise, it was also clear from any objective observation that they weren’t ready for prime time. Seems like Holland, Babcock et al. give the youngsters every opportunity to crack the line-up, and it thus becomes incumbent upon the player to prove they belong.

If you still don’t think that’s the case, do we need to revisit Danny DeKeyser? When signed, the word from Babcock and Holland was that he’d have a chance, but would likely end up in Grand Rapids after a couple of games with the big club. But he didn’t (until well after the Wings season was over and he recovered from his post-season injury) because he showed he could contribute.

And that doesn’t even get into the salary cap issues associated with having to sign all of these RFAs that have proven they’re high quality talent in the NHL and not merely prospects. They very well may attract offer sheets from other franchises, (possibly) file for arbitration, etc. Bottom line is having Jurco, Sheahan, Tatar, Nyquist, DeKeyser, Smith prove themselves on the big stage AND come up as RFAs in the next two years could make things challenging from an economic standpoint. Thus it’s not only on-ice performance, but hockey economics, and, frankly, the LONG TERM best interests of the franchise.

Ultimately it boils down to what you prefer: 23 years and counting or the Edmonton Oilers. Take your pick.

Posted by Davis on 04/11/14 at 03:31 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.


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