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Quickie Red Wings trade deadline quips: No Gaustad?

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

Update #2: via NHL.com’s Brian Hedger: Here’s what Sportsnet’s Jesse Spector has to say:

#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.

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Update #3: Via RedWingsFeed, Pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon notes that the Wings might have some interest in Sami Pahlsson;

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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Comments

IwoCPO's avatar

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan…

  If fans expect the Wings to do something BIG today….well, you’ll be disappointed. Minor, if anything.

Good news. Two straight losses to the same team in the playoffs. No power play.  No consistent scoring from your top two lines.  Sounds like a remedy to “stand pat.”  JFC.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 02/27/12 at 02:18 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

well if san jose makes the move to get what we SHOULD have gone out and grabbed….............yep, ill be pissing vinegar all week! TICK TOCK get it done. We need it to win the cup. Get it done you are already freeing up cap space next year as winning the cup = Lidstrom and Homer leaving on a high note. Now you got your space back, grab Suter and move forward.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 02/27/12 at 02:25 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I think I’m going to disappear for the next few hours and check back later. No TV either. Fuch it. I just want some good news.. About this team.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 02/27/12 at 02:25 PM ET

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Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 02/27/12 at 11:18 AM ET

This.

Posted by Garth on 02/27/12 at 02:26 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 02/27/12 at 11:18 AM ET

The Wings are second in the West in scoring.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see them add. But I don’t want a rental. Almost always a waste of resources and very rarely pans out the way you expect. A guy that’s a UFA is okay, but it should be a guy that, given a solid stretch performance, the Wings would have interest and good prospects to re-sign.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/27/12 at 02:28 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Holland better not just stand pat. They are good, but they are missing a key player. Yeah, Dats is out, but they have looked lost the past few games. Please add someone. Please!

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 02/27/12 at 02:29 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see them add. But I don’t want a rental. Almost always a waste of resources and very rarely pans out the way you expect. A guy that’s a UFA is okay, but it should be a guy that, given a solid stretch performance, the Wings would have interest and good prospects to re-sign.

What Nathan said. If Gaustad’s a rental, he’s not worth more than a 5th round pick. If he indicates he’d love to get out of Buffalo and play for a winner, then give them Ferraro and a fourth. But no more than that.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/27/12 at 02:33 PM ET

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Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/27/12 at 11:28 AM ET

I don’t expect that Holland is even considering going after someone that he wouldn’t at least consider re-signing.

Posted by Garth on 02/27/12 at 02:39 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/27/12 at 11:28 AM ET


Until Datsyuk goes down…  Now Jiri Hudler has been forced to carry the load….

And judging our overall performance, you’re giving all the credit of the bottom 6 guys to the top 6 as well.  We have a high scoring bottom 6 that really boost our overall numbers

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/27/12 at 02:40 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

NOT to mention the HIGHEST scoring D-corp in the league.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/27/12 at 02:41 PM ET

11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

i hope that we trade our 2nd and 3rd round picks in this years draft; i could care less if it is for a rental.  what, we keep those picks and not send them for a rental and then lose in the second or third round of the playoffs because we cannot be sj?  (sarcasm follows) well at least we have that 2nd and 3rd rounder that we may see on det’s 4th line in 5 years.  emmerton is a 2nd rounder from 2006 (i think) how big of a role does he have this year.  had we traded him in the past could he have been easily replaced at his current role, YEP.  not many people thought the wings would be this good this year; take advantage of this and fill a few more holes.

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 02/27/12 at 02:56 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

So depth is a weakness now?

So many Wings’ fans expectations are out of whack. They think certain guys are something that they aren’t. You want to ask more of Hudler or Filppula. Bottom line… they have a lot of NHL games under their belts. They are what they are. Both guys are having strong years if you look at them objectively and quit expecting every draft pick to be another Dats or Z.

To be clear, for Filppula in particular, that is not a knock. Filppula is one of the better all-around centers in the entire game. Yes, I believe that. The only problem with Filppula is that Wings fans project unreasonable expectations of Zetterberg-like development onto him. If you forget that, and just look at his game, he’s truly one of the most reliable two-way players in the game. Not an all-star by any means, but he’s earning his paycheck completely.

Hudler has 20 GOALS in 62 games thus far. His previous best was 23 in a full 82. The only thing causing Hudler to “underachieve” is your unrealistic expectations for him. Prior to this year he’d played over 300 NHL games. He’s shown he can shoot the puck, but his skating and focus occasionally squander it all. 20 goals from Hudler is pretty reasonable if you again, look at comparably paid players and forget things he has no control over, like Datsyuk and Z being late-round gems.

Zetterberg is the only guy that I look at and see underachievement. He’s normally a PPG player, and now he’s probably going to finish around 60 or 65 points. He’s had a great six season run, the guy deserves the benefit of the doubt for having a down statistical year, especially when he’s still going to be second or third in team scoring, and be a valuable goal line to goal line.

I’m not trying to sound like an apologist for the team. The team has had an odd but very successful and productive season thus far. Stop projecting your unreasonable expectations onto them. Most guys are having good, solid seasons, earning their paychecks, and as such, the team is clearly a legitimate Cup contender. How can that disappoint anyone?!?

If Ken Holland reacted to a three game stretch of mediocre hockey the way you are in this comments section, he would not be the best GM in professional sports—he’d probably be the worst.

The injury to Datsyuk is tough, but there is a reason they decided to have it taken care of now. When a guy like that gets hurt and you freak out about it and think you have to somehow “replace” his contributions, that’s where you make irrational decisions that end up screwing up team chemistry, screwing up your long-term cap structure, or costing you picks and prospects that will be producing at a high level in the NHL in a matter of a season or two. Simply because you cannot replace a player like Datsyuk, so it is foolish to even try.

Again, I would love to see them add, and Gaustad fits the bill of a guy that could very well be re-signed at a reasonable number and fill a solid role for this team long-term.

/rant

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/27/12 at 03:09 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Stop projecting your unreasonable expectations onto them.

No.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 02/27/12 at 03:11 PM ET

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If Ken Holland reacted to a three game stretch of mediocre hockey the way you are in this comments section

First off, this isn’t s mediocre stretch, it’s a bad stretch.  Pretend that one line playing well made the Colorado game close, it was a bad game.

And what about the pesky 32-game stretch of mediocre hockey on the road?  Is that not noteworthy?

And I agree with you about Hudler.  He’s playing well for a 3rd liner playing out of his depth on the 2nd line, but how much nicer would it be to have six actual top-six forwards?

And you’re right, most of the players are having good, solid seasons but is that what you want?  Most guys having pretty good seasons?  Does that spell Stanley Cup to you?  Compare that to the years they won the Cup and then made it to the finals.

Both of those years they had a 40+ goal scorer and at least one 30+ goal scorer.  They currently have two projected 20+ goal scorers (who are their two current 20-goal scorers) and zero potential 30 or HAHAHAHAHA 40 goal scorers…  Add those to the middle of the road PP and PK and the playoffs are worrying if Mr Holland simply stands pat.

Posted by Garth on 02/27/12 at 03:24 PM ET

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Get ready for groundhog day. I’m tired of watching Holland sit on his hands while this aging core doesn’t get any real help. He waits til the deadline then shrugs and says “too expensive”. So what? This aging core probably only has this yr and MAYBE next to win it. Contending teams have strengthened their rosters and so should Holland with a deal like Shero pulled off last year: Stud forward Neal and serviceable D - Niskanen got their 4th best D Goligowski. Other GMs have acquired top assets or high first rounders while Hollands done zero. Now is the time!!!

Posted by T K from Royal Oak on 02/27/12 at 03:28 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Thanks for explaining it Garth, I wasn’t looking forward to all that typing, I’ve already posted my rant on the top 6 for the day.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/27/12 at 03:33 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

More importantly, my rant on the Cleary, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Franzen click of making it look real hard but not really getting anything done.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/27/12 at 03:34 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Commodore to Stevie Y. Wtf?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 02/27/12 at 03:41 PM ET

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Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/27/12 at 12:41 PM ET

Gotta be clearing a roster spot.

Posted by Garth on 02/27/12 at 03:46 PM ET

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Why can nobody on this team win a freaking faceoff except Pav?
Nice drafting Ferraro instead of Ryan OReilly Holland

Posted by T K from R.O. MI on 02/27/12 at 03:54 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

If Ken Holland reacted to a three game stretch of mediocre hockey the way you are in this comments section, he would not be the best GM in professional sports—he’d probably be the worst.

No one can accuse me of reacting to a three game stretch.  I said it months ago.  This is a fine regular season team that seems like it needs some more juice at the top of their lineup in order to match up with the teams they will likely need to beat in the Western Conference playoffs. 

As it stands right now, yes, I think they still have a chance to deep into the playoffs, but there are several teams in their way whose top six forwards are much more dynamic and probably just flat out better than what the Wings currently have at the top of the lineup.  Although many of us like a lot about what he brings to the team, I simply can’t imagine Todd Bertuzzi getting top line minutes on just about any of the other heavyweight teams in the west.

There’s nothing shrill, panicky or reactionary about saying that.  I said it last sping, I said it over the summer, I said it again in October, I reiterated it even during the home win streak, and I’m merely saying it again now on trade deadline day.

Fortunately they do have tremendous depth and, as I’ve often noted, their third and fourth lines stack up really well against most teams most nights.  This helps to offest the deficiencies that exist with their top six forwards. 

Keep the roster the way it is right now, avoid injuries, roll all four lines every night, play tight-checking, gritty, defense-first hockey, improve the penalty killing and get great goaltending and they will, much like Boston last year, at least have a chance to win the cup. 

I’d just like their chances a whole lot better if the top of their lineup just didn’t absolutely disappear at times.  Their top six (even with Datsyuk in the lineup for some of those games) has done absolutely nothing (and at times has simply looked overmatched) in the past two matchups vs Vancouver and was not much of a factor at all a week ago (again with Datsyuk in the lineup) against San Jose. 

Granted they won two of those three games and took the third to overtime, I’m just not sold that Drew Miller and Darren Helm are going to be able to continue come up with the key goals every time as they have in those three games.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 02/27/12 at 03:57 PM ET

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Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 02/27/12 at 12:57 PM ET

Well put.

And yes, there have been a lot of us talking for a while about Detroit needing to upgrade their team from the ones that lost to San Jose.

And if you’re not worried that losing one player has had such an affect on the team’s success then I think you’re the one who’s wrong.

Posted by Garth on 02/27/12 at 04:01 PM ET

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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

Yes.  It’s deadline day.  EVERYONE knows that prices are high, and prices are high for everyone.  Nobody needs to say that.

Posted by Garth on 02/27/12 at 04:04 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Garth, you’re twisting what I said.

Of course the one player they are currently missing is tough. The point is, he is truly irreplaceable. Forget the cap, pretend it is 1998. You can’t replace a player that does what Datsyuk does. You can try like hell, but ultimately you’ll probably just end up with a player or two that cost double what Datsyuk does and can only “replace” 75% of his contributions. Now add in that it is a cap world, and trying to get a Rick Nash is a behemoth task.

If the Wings trade for Nash or another big-time player with a big-time contract, I’ll be excited because I’m a Wings fan. But it doesn’t mean I think it is the answer.

Call it bad or mediocre, you cannot overreact to 3 games. Not in an 82 game schedule, not when you’re already essentially a playoff lock, and not when the NHL playoffs have consistently shown that seeding can be irrelevant if your team comes together at the right time.

As for 30/40 goal scorers, look at the league leaderboards. Stamkos is there already, Malkin is essentially a lock, and Kessel has a good shot at 40. At best, there are four other guys with a realistic chance to score 40. Without a healthy Crosby and Ovechkin, the curve isn’t quite the same.

I care about how many goals my favorite team scores, as a team. And by that measure, the Wings are second-best in the conference. They are 4th in defense too, for good measure.

The bottom line is that many Wings fans are asking for greatness in a league set up to avoid it. Believe me, I would love to see the Wings be the team they were in ‘97. The closest any team has gotten to that post-lockout was the ‘08/‘09 Wings and Pens both. Obviously, the CBA will have a hand in it, but assuming the CBA stays similar, having a team like that once or twice a decade is probably a reasonable expectation.

I do share your concern with the play on the road. But I don’t think there’s a trade that can be made to fix that. Having splits like they do this year shows the talent is there to win a lot of games (see the home winning streak), but that it doesn’t always show up to play (see the under 0.500 road record). I’m not going to run Babcock out of town any time soon, but if you want to make a change, something has to change from a coaching/leadership/mental standpoint, not an on-ice talent standpoint.

WestWing, you’re in the minority from my view. Your opinion is well thought out and reasonable and while I don’t completely agree, of course it always helps to add a good hockey player! So I’m not going to fight you on it.

San Jose is the boogie man right now, but how have our top six played against them this year? Chicago’s top six has lost a lot of luster with Kane struggling to find consistency and some of the post-Cup cap crunch purge finally catching up to them. Vancouver is the only Cup contender in the West where I look at the top six and say, yep, they’ve got us. Our D and grinders have to be the difference.

I’m going back to HockeytownTodd’s old adage—for this team, it is about injuries and officiating. And unfortunately, those things are pretty much out of everyone’s control, even Ken Holland’s godlike hands.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/27/12 at 05:02 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.