The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/27/12 at 02:12 PM ET
Updated 4x at 1:03 PM: Of Red Wings trade deadline-related note this morning: From the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:
#redwings moved practice to 2 p.m. today so it will conclude right about same time as trade deadline.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan...
If fans expect the Wings to do something BIG today….well, you’ll be disappointed. Minor, if anything.
And USA Today’s Kevin Allen:
Red Wings are NOT acquiring Paul Gaustad.
Update: Per Nicholas J. Cotsonika:
One report says Red Wings will not acquire Gaustad. Another says talks are heating up. Obviously they want him but only at the right price.
And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
conflicting reports out there on whether Wings can/will acquire Paul Gaustad…they do like him and he would be fine fit..rental too
#RedWings talks heat up with #Sabres for pending UFA center Paul Gaustad bit.ly/zONs3d
The Detroit Red Wings’ one weakness heading toward the playoffs may be a lack of size, and it is an area that they are poised to address by trading for Paul Gaustad of the Buffalo Sabres. Sporting News has learned that talks between Detroit and Buffalo have heated up, but a deal has not yet been finalized.
The 30-year-old Gaustad is in the final season of a four-year, $9.2 million contract, and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Gaustad has seven goals and 10 assists in 56 games this season, with 70 penalty minutes. He likely would fit in as the fourth-line center in Detroit, behind Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Darren Helm.
Gaustad would immediately become the Red Wings’ leader in penalty minutes, ahead of the 64 racked up by defenseman Kyle Quincey, who was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche last week. Detroit’s full-season leader in penalty minutes is Justin Abdelkader, with 54.
Penalty minutes alone are not to be desired, of course, but they come along with the type of physical game that Gaustad plays. The center has been credited with 98 hits this season, and with 40 blocked shots has shown a willingness to give up his body, which is perfect for the role he would be asked to play with the Red Wings.
Another thing that makes Gaustad a good fit in Detroit is a 56.8 percent success rate on faceoffs, which is actually down from the 59.8 percent mark he posted last season. With a puck-possession strategy even for their grind lines, the Red Wings require centers who can win draws, and Gaustad fits the bill.
And, via RedWingsCentral’s Sarah Lindenau:
still think Mike Knuble to the #redwings could happen if he’s cheap. That strikes me as a Holland move for depth.
Update #4: Per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Asked #RedWings General manager Ken Holland if anything else coming. Answer “Not sure.” Wings are looking for forward, but prices high
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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.