Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings afternoon news: you have to do what you can do to improve your team

Note: The title of this entry translated to, "One must do what one can do in order to improve his team," but nobody liked it.

I'm still attempting to recover from two days and 28 hours' worth of draft-related work, so I slept right through Paul's text message regarding the Sabres buying out Christian Ehrhoff to avoid cap recapture penalties way down the line (the Buffalo News's John Vogl reports that the news took Ehrhoff's camp by surprise; I'm not so sure that 38-year-old Ed Jovanovski getting bought out was such a surprise for the Windsor native).

Here's what I know: half the Gordie-Howe-damn-league is chasing 38-year-old Dan Boyle and 27-year-old Matt Niskanen, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo informed us that Niskanen got married in his home state of Minnesota on Saturday (the Wild are apparently going to sign everyone, or at least that's how their situation's being presented).

The Wings have apparently pushed very hard to wine and dine Boyle and Niskanen's respective representatives, but the odds are stacked against the Wings here--2 players, 12-15 teams interested--so I am perfectly happy to find that the soon-to-be-32-year-old Ehrhoff, who has eight 30+-point seasons to his credit, is available.

As far as I'm concerned, if the odds are 3-out-of-12 versus 2-out-of-12, any siutation which aids the Red Wings ability to employ their primary means of reinforcing their roste, a.k.a. free agency,  the Wings' cause is good,

Even though Ehrhoff is a left-shooter, the market is incredibly thin, and the demand is incredibly high.

With a day left in the-wining-and-dining period, as far as I'm concerned, Ken Holland and company need to book a flight to Orr Hockey Group agent Rick Curran's office with a nice plate of pickles, cheese and wurst (a fine German appetizer), ready to sell Ehrhoff on the possibility of playing in Detroit--especially if Ehrhoff can be convinced to take a discounted and/or market value contract (see: $5-ish million; USA Today's Mike Brehm reports that the Sabres will pay Ehrhoff $850,000 a year for the next FOURTEEN years) because he'll be counting the Sabres' buy-out money for years to come.

Tell him that Southeastern Michigan is in fact a nice place to live, and a place where oodles of Wings alums choose to spend their post-hockey careers. Sell him on Mike Babcock's system and the team's need to fill that top-four defenseman's slot with someone who has a track record of producing points.

Inform him that the Wings know he isn't perfect, but that the Wings won't expect him to come in and be a savior, and instead, that he'll be part of the retooling Big Red Machine. Sell him on the same line that Niskanen and Boyle have probably been given, that the Red Wings' ownership treats its players fantastically well, that the locker room atmosphere is hard-working but supportive, and tell him that the Wings' players, coaches and management are dedicated to ensuring that their transitory period between a veteran-laden team to "the kids" (who remain the team's fall-back option should they strike out in the free agent marketplace) won't involve taking steps back in terms of making far deeper playoff pushes on a yearly basis.

Hell, him know that the Dakota Inn Rathskeller in Detroit and the Heidelberg in Ann Arbor serve German food that tastes just like real German food, tell Ehrhoff that Metro Detroit has a thriving German-American population if that kind of thing matters to him.

TSN's Bob McKenzie Tweeted a Fancystats note as to the reason why Ehrhoff's a safe pick, too:

Is Ehrhoff the perfect candidate? Hell no, but there isn't a perfect candidate at this point, and with the salary cap's $69 million ceiling squeezing everyone, including the Wings ($14.72 million of Capgeek-estimated space to re-sign RFA's Danny DeKeyser, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan, to attempt to add a defenseman and to possibly hold open some space should Daniel Alfredsson's back feel better in September), should the team take a shot at landing a 6'2," 196-pound defenseman who finished at -27 last season?

The Sports Forecaster describes Ehrhoff as follows...

Assets:  Owns good hockey sense, elite skating ability (highlighted by excellent acceleration) and the talent to log big minutes. Loves to move the puck and knows when to join the attack. Can quarterback a power play and also be used in defensive situations.

Flaws:  Plays a chippier game than earlier in his career, but can still struggle against bigger NHL forwards. He can also make bad decisions under pressure from time to time, which will lead to weak zone coverage and bad penalties. His shot isn't always on target.

Career Potential:  Big-minute offensive defenseman.

On Friday, a certain MIke Babcock told the press on Friday (thank you, Red Wings TV), regarding the concept of having the 3-left-shooter, 3-right-shooter combination that he could employ during the Olympics: "We've got seven left-hand D, like, I love it, but how are you gonna get it? How do you get it? It's great to have this fantasy, I'm gonna...Like Kenny Holland would tell you, there's no tree, I've been all over him, but there's no tree to grab 'em off of, so we'll get what we get."

Just as importantly, MLive's Ansar Khan noted the following (via Paul's Wings-interested-in-Ehrhoff blog post)...

The Red Wings inquired about Ehrhoff at this year's trade deadline, but the Buffalo Sabres hung onto him. Now teams don't need to part with any assets to acquire Ehrhoff after the Sabres reportedly used a compliance buyout on him.

The Red Wings' top priority is a top-four defenseman. They would prefer a right-handed shooter, but options are limited.

Ehrhoff shoots left but has many of the qualities the Red Wings desire: He's a tremendous skater who moves the puck well and likes to join the rush. He can quarterback the power play. He can log a lot of minutes and play in all situations. And he has decent size (6-2, 196), though he's not particularly physical.

...

The Red Wings would prefer to acquire a free agent due to the high cost of making a trade for a top-tier defenseman like the Arizona Coyotes' Keith Yandle or the Sabres' Tyler Myers, if he's even available anymore after this Ehrhoff move.

The Red Wings were among numerous teams that spoke to the representatives of Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle, the top two defensemen in a weak free-agent class. But Niskanen is sure to get a maximum length contract (seven years), possibly for upwards of $6 million a year (more than the Red Wings would like to spend), and Boyle turns 38 on July 12 and also would be costly on a short-term deal.

This morning, the Free Press's Helene St. James noted that the Wings' GM isn't sold on the concept of anybody out there--including Niskanen, never mind Bole, Tom Gilbert, Stephane Robidas or any other defenseman who will be available come July 1st--is a core building-block...

“I don’t think anybody is looking at July 1 as there is a No. 1 center or a No. 1 defenseman available,” Holland said. “Maybe there is one or two that are front-line players, but lots of teams are after those. Most of the players are going to be support players.”

But St. James leaned very, very hard on the suggestion that the Wings absolutely, positively, 100% cannot and will not improve their defense unless they add a right-shooter...

Wings GM Ken Holland said he has “talked to lots of players’ camps.” That includes Boyle, whom the Wings would love to add on a two-year deal, in the $10-million/$11-million ballpark. Niskanen is the marquee unrestricted free agent defenseman, but at 27 and coming off a breakout year, some team likely will offer him seven years and money in the mid-$40 million.

Boyle has more miles on him — he is 38 next month — but he’d be an ideal bridge for the Wings while they wait for prospects such as Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Sproul, Mattias Backman and Alexey Marchenko to ripen. Boyle could help nurture Danny DeKeyser and Brendan Smith, both offensively gifted defensemen who’d benefit from having an experienced partner.

Boyle has played 431 of a possible 458 games over the past six seasons, and he’d undoubtedly boost the power play, where he has scored 66 of his 144 career goals.

The other way to add a defenseman — not necessarily one who shoots right — is trade. Arizona’s Keith Yandle is appealing, but the price would be a prize prospect and a high-end pick, at least. Buffalo wouldn’t give up 6-foot-8, 24-year-old Tyler Myers without a hefty cost, either.

And she was incredibly blunt:

Coach Mike Babcock harped on that No. 1 need — a right-shooting defenseman. He relayed a story during the weekend’s draft at Wells Fargo Center, noting that at a recent seminar, former Wings coach Scotty Bowman, now part of Chicago’s management team, poked a little fun at his younger colleague. “Mike Babcock, he loves those right- and left-handed shots,” Babcock said, quoting Bowman. It was funny, but also true, Babcock said. “It’s so much easier when you have a righty and lefty on every pair.”

Adding three isn’t going to happen, but over the coming week, the Wings will look to acquire one. It’s a need that must be filled if they’re again going to be a threat.

Today, in her appearance on WXYZ's 7 Sports Cave, she suggested that Dan Bolye's the man the team should target...

And this afternoon, she's dismissing the concept of going after Ehrhoff out-of-hand (while mentioning that Jovanovski is on the market, too, and my answer regarding the oft-injured Jovanovski is simple: GO WITH THE KIDS INSTEAD KENNY, NO JOVO NO):

Both Ehrhoff and Jovanovski are also left-handed shots, whereas the Wings desperately, eagerly, are looking to add what would be the only right-handed shot to their back end. The top two guys who match that description who will be available at noon Tuesday when the NHL free agent market bell sounds are Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle.

Because a top-four defenseman is on the wish-list for nearly every NHL team, watch someone offer Niskanen, 27, seven years and into the $40-million range, more than he is worth after one really good season. Boyle, 38 next month, is of more interest, if he’ll come for a two-year deal. He’s more of an offensive defenseman than a stay-at-home guy, but he’s big and durable and shoots right.

The other avenue to improvement is trade, but whether it’s Buffalo’s Tyler Myers (another righty) or Arizona’s Keith Yandle (who shoots left), it’s going to cost at least either Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Anthony Mantha, plus a draft pick, maybe more.

The Wings need to improve on defense, of that there is no doubt. The challenge for them is how to do so in the best way possible, in a way that won’t lead to the kind of regret Buffalo and Florida displayed today.

I respect St. James' opinions to no end. .She's a fantastic writer and incredibly passionate journalist who works incredibly hard.

On this point, however, I have to vehemently disagree with the thrust of her argument. Bolstering the blueline "in the best way possible," in this summer's market, cannot involve choosing to not sign one of the best players to suddenly become available on the free agent marketplace simply because he's a left-shooting defenseman.

If there is a tree, it's got three solid branches with three good apples and a couple of apples that are kind of small and funky-looking but are at least palatable. One of those apples spins the wrong way, but the alternative isn't pretty...

And the Wings' too-honest GM keeps on telling the media the truth about the trade route--that the "pieces" the Wings are asked to include in possible trades always include the Manthas, Pulkkinens, Sprouls, Ouellets and Marchenkos, 100% of the damn time.

It's the Red Wings management's responsibility to avail itself of each and every possible option to improve the team come July 1st. Christian Ehrhoff "shoots the wrong way," but he is also a viable option, and it would be downright dim for the Red Wings' management to discount pursuing Herr Ehrhoff because he's a lefty.

This is free agency in the "cap world," where the money and term that teams can offer are usually very similar, and the players are the ones doing the choosing. You don't deny one of the best-available players the opportunity of choosing you.

Quickie update: The truth of the matter?

 

 

 

Otherwise...DRW Prospects on Twitter reported the first prospect camp invite via a Retweet...

Hodgson's a 6'2," 204-pound right wing who played for the Erie Otters and Sarnia Sting this past season, posting 9 goals, 9 assists and accumulating 64 penalty minutes over the course of 52 games played, and the former baseball player was suspended for 10 games for charging in January

RedWingsCentral keeps on churning out content...

Hockey's Future's Ken McKenna gave the Wings a no-grade-draft-grade...

Detroit Red Wings: Given the fact that five of the Red Wings seven selections at this draft were used in the fourth through seventh rounds, it is tempting to think that this crop could be a lesser one for the Red Wings. But never underestimate this club's ability to pull a diamond or two out of the rough, quite probably from Sweden.

But the Red Wings did pretty good with their first pick in the draft, taking center Dylan Larkin from the U.S. NTDP squad. The solidly-built forward was a force at times for the NTDP team, but like any young player, Larkin must polish some of the rough edges in his two-way power game.

Center Dominic Turgeon was the Red Wings second round pick. Turgeon is the son of former NHL forward Pierre Turgeon, but appears to lack the high-end skill for which his father was known. But the younger Turgeon is likely to receive a bigger role with the Portland Winterhawks, so he'll have a chance to show his own talents in 2014-15.

And in the Twitter department:

 

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness weighs in:

Even though the Wings would like to land a right-hand defenseman, the left-handed Ehrhoff (6-2, 196) has the offensive abilities they’re looking for. He’s a premier skater, who logs a ton of minutes, can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.

“We’ve got seven left-hand D,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I love it but how do you get (a righty)? It’s great to have this fantasy, like Kenny Holland would tell you, there’s no tree. I’ve been all over him but there’s no tree to grab them off of, so we’ll get what we get.”

...

“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair,” Babcock added. “All you’ve got to do is look at LA, a right and lefty on every pair. It makes it easier to get through the neutral zone. It’s easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute, you have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it ion the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”

The free agent pool for right-handed defensemen is thin and the asking price via a trade – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers or Arizona’s Keith Yandle – is quite steep – Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco.

The Wings, along with numerous other teams, met with the agents for right-handed defensemen Dan Boyle (New York Islanders) and Matt Niskanen (Pittsburgh) Thursday in Philadelphia.

Niskanen, 27, is most likely looking for a lengthy deal, probably a maximum seven years and possibly upwards of $6 million a season to sign. The Wings would be OK with the length, but they’re not going to break the bank to get him. They may not want to pay him much more annually than what Niklas Kronwall ($4.75 million) is making. Boyle, who’ll turn 38 next month, and could be had for a two-deal at around $5.5 million a season.

Detroit, which wants its young right-handed defensemen to start the season in Grand Rapids, also could settle on Anton Stralman (Rangers), Stephane Robidas (Anaheim) or Tom Gilbert (Florida).

Update #2:

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Comments

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But Niskanen is sure to get a maximum length contract (seven years), possibly for upwards of $6 million a year

I find it kind of funny that they don’t want to spend $6M a year on a ugh who is just entering his prime and, on paper, is literally exactly what they’re looking for, but they apparent are hoping they can pay $5.5M to a San Jose castoff who will be almost as far away as a still-active hockey player can be from his prime.

Posted by Garth on 06/29/14 at 07:04 PM ET

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I guess when you misspell “guy” an iPad will autocorrect it to “ugh”.

Posted by Garth on 06/29/14 at 07:05 PM ET

IMOrthodox13's avatar

If this is true: “the left-handed Ehrhoff (6-2, 196) has the offensive abilities they’re looking for. He’s a premier skater, who logs a ton of minutes, can move the puck and likes to join the rush. He can also quarterback the power play.” then I’d like to see the Wings get him and bring up Marchenko so we have at least one righty. Or leverage Smith in a trade and replace him with Sproul. He looked great on the powerplay when the Wings gave him a look - just be sure to pair him with a strong defensive defenseman until this highly-skilled, offensive righty can be trusted more on the defensive end.

Posted by IMOrthodox13 on 06/29/14 at 08:27 PM ET

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then I’d like to see the Wings get him and bring up Marchenko so we have at least one righty.

Amen, amen I say to you.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/29/14 at 08:42 PM ET

awould's avatar

I just feel like the Wings have a lot of options and this is a good summer to exploit them. If they hold off, then next summer will be good too, but they’ll lose one more year on the Datsyuk/Zetterberg clock.

Posted by awould on 06/29/14 at 08:44 PM ET

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I would prefer a good left handed dman vs bad right handed dman. I mean this whole craziness about right handed players is overrated imo. I want a player who can quarterback a PP and get his shot through.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/29/14 at 08:51 PM ET

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I find it kind of funny that they don’t want to spend $6M a year on a ugh who is just entering his prime and, on paper, is literally exactly what they’re looking for, but they apparent are hoping they can pay $5.5M to a San Jose castoff who will be almost as far away as a still-active hockey player can be from his prime.

Agree with that, but I think Niskanen will cost at least $7 mil per year for 7 years and Erhoff could probably be had at $5 mil per year for 4 years.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/29/14 at 08:53 PM ET

Chip4Pips's avatar

Signing Ehrhoff, moving Kindl, and promoting the right-handed Marchenko sounds like a plan to me!!! When the time eventually comes, package Smith in a deal and promote Sproul. We’re dealing from a position of strength with the back-end prospects and KH should be able to leverage this, as we don’t have room for five of them and DK/Kindl/Smith/Lashoff…. Decisions will eventually have to be made.

Posted by Chip4Pips on 06/29/14 at 09:01 PM ET

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Posted by VPalmer on 06/29/14 at 08:53 PM ET

With the cap being $2M lower than expected there aren’t likely to be many teams lining up to give $7M to anyone.

Also, I’m pretty sure if anyone could command that, it’s Ehrhoff.

Posted by Garth on 06/29/14 at 09:03 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I might be ok with Ehrhoff.  He’s not going to shake up the world, but he’s also not a billion years old offensive dmen whose defensive game has always been pretty bad anyways (Boyle), and he’s not a 2nd pairing d-man whose about to get overpaid and overplayed (Niskanen).  Ehrhoff is a legit vet, but isn’t well past his prime as far as anyone knows yet like Boyle clearly is.

Is Ehrhoff a legit option on first pairing and w/ that kind of icetime?  I’m not entirely convinced, but he seems to be a better option that the above.  There seem to be wildly varying opinions on his game though, and I’m sorry but if a terrible mess like BUF is buying you out, that worries me.  I don’t want DET to go after him if he’s just going to be a 2nd pairing guy.  Ericsson still has no business on that first pairing.

I still was holding out hope for news from Pitkanen’s camp but… the silence at this point may be a sign he’s not going to be ready for the season.  Which is a shame because you might only need a reasonable 1yr or 2 yr deal to get him and let him show his stuff.  But if he’s not ready, probably none of the 30 teams should be trying to sign him.

Ehrhoff coming w/out having to move assets makes him more attractive I guess than previously.


I don’t like the options though.  You look at others like Meszaros and, yeesh.  The flaws.  Meszaros was considered awful even in BOS where he wasn’t needing to take on tough minutes, and was a bit sheltered.

Orpik really can’t skate, and shouldn’t even be in any conversation for DET.  He’s maybe a 3rd pairing guy now, and to be honest I think he was only ever a 2nd pairing guy at best.  Overrated game.  Imagine sticking Andreas Lilja on your first pairing…


I’m so f***ing sick of hearing the words “right-handed defenseman”.  Who cares?  Wings need good d-men, period.  And while I know some want Sproul/Oulllet, and Marchenko up, I don’t see how that’s any different than playing Kindl, Smith, and Lashoff in terms of experience.

Posted by Primis on 06/29/14 at 09:05 PM ET

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the Wild are apparently going to sign everyone

And I would not be surprised if they do sign both Niskanen and Vanek.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/29/14 at 09:08 PM ET

awould's avatar

We’re dealing from a position of strength with the back-end prospects and KH should be able to leverage this

Exactly right. I think adding any of the UFA will improve our D as it will allow several players to slot a place lower in the order, closer to where they belong.

Posted by awould on 06/29/14 at 09:12 PM ET

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I don’t want DET to go after him if he’s just going to be a 2nd pairing guy

I think all the best UFA dmen this summer are second pair guys. Niskanen might get to first pair status, but I am not sure he is there yet.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/29/14 at 09:13 PM ET

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“We got seven left-hand D. I love (to have a righty), but how do you get it?” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said over the weekend at the NHL entry draft in Philadelphia. “It’s great to have this fantasy; like (general manager) Kenny Holland would tell you, there’s no tree. I’ve been all over him, but there’s no tree to grab them off of, so we’ll get what we get.”

“I just think it’s so much easier when you have a right and lefty on every pair. All you got to do is look at L.A. (Stanley Cup champion Kings), a right and lefty on every pair. Makes it easier to get through the neutral zone, easier off D-zone faceoffs to execute. You have the puck more. You can get it off the wall and shoot it in the offensive zone. To me it just makes sense.”


I do not know, but if this is SOOO important for Babock to run a team, then just give it to him already. If KH is willing to give Niskanen 7 years, then give him whatever he wants already and sign him up. At the end of the day $5.5 mil they are willing to give him and $7 mil is not that HUGE of a difference. Or just overpay for Boyle for 2 year deal.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/29/14 at 09:25 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

USA Today’s Mike Brehm reports that the Sabres will pay Ehrhoff $850,000 a year for the next FOURTEEN years

I need to get a job with Buffalo…


I’m ok with Ehrhoff if he wants to come play for us.  Let’s see what Kenny can do here.  (But keep talking to Gilbert as a necessary “Plan B”!)

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/29/14 at 09:31 PM ET

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every team was projecting 69.5 million in April before the playoffs started. just because capgeek didn’t change its projections doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. if you believe George that the Commissioner screwed over big market teams then you are as lost as he is. people were saying in December that the .90 Canadian dollar was going to hurt the cap projection. teams are lucky it is 69 because of the long playoffs. the escalator would have put it at the high end of the earliest projection. without the long playoff you are looking at 67 without the escalator. parity is good for the game

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/29/14 at 09:37 PM ET

Aphaea's avatar

There seem to be wildly varying opinions on his game though, and I’m sorry but if a terrible mess like BUF is buying you out, that worries me.

When Ehrhoff signed with Buffalo they were contending for the Cup, or at least trying to. The situation has changed with Buffalo going into a complete rebuild, and Ehrhoff doesn’t want to stick around for that. If Ehrhoff was traded and retired a year early, Buffalo would be on the hook in the recapture penalty for $10 million in one year, severely handicapping them. Buying him out now makes sense for both parties.

I’d be happy to see him sign with the Wings. I don’t care that he’s a lefty, he’s a proven commodity. This obsession with right-handed defensemen is reaching ridiculous levels.

Posted by Aphaea on 06/29/14 at 10:24 PM ET

Primis's avatar

every team was projecting 69.5 million in April before the playoffs started. just because capgeek didn’t change its projections doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. if you believe George that the Commissioner screwed over big market teams then you are as lost as he is.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/29/14 at 09:37 PM ET

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=724466

“Sather issued center Brad Richards a compliance buyout last week. Friday, the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association jointly revealed the salary cap for next season will be $69 million.

Sather said he thought the figure would be higher.”

Well, that was awfully easy to prove you wrong.

Posted by Primis on 06/29/14 at 10:41 PM ET

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This is similar to the situation Detroit was in back when Ehrhoff (and Wisniewski) came up and available the first time, in the offseason before Detroit’s first without either Lidstrom or Rafalski.  If anything, Detroit is in a superior position now that they have young defensemen in their system within a year or two of being NHL-ready and stability in the top 4 with Kronwall, Dekeyser and Ericsson.

It was sensible at the time to not overpay for either player, and it remains sensible now to not overpay for either player.  Neither player (and in this case Ehrhoff alone) is a sufficient talent to warrant extensive commitments of either time or cap space.

Yes, he is one of the best, if not the best, available dman on the UFA market this year.  Being the best available does not automatically mean a player should get a huge deal.

In the case of Ehrhoff, anything beyond 4 years and 4ish mil per year is an overpay, and a mistake.  If that’s not enough to get him into Detroit coming off a gigantic payday from the last team that made an incredibly stupid decision in signing him, Detroit shouldn’t volunteer to be the second to do so.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/29/14 at 10:46 PM ET

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I do not know, but if this is SOOO important for Babock to run a team, then just give it to him already. If KH is willing to give Niskanen 7 years, then give him whatever he wants already and sign him up. At the end of the day $5.5 mil they are willing to give him and $7 mil is not that HUGE of a difference.

Yes.

Or just overpay for Boyle for 2 year deal.

No.

Posted by Garth on 06/29/14 at 10:53 PM ET

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Well, that was awfully easy to prove you wrong.

I know, right?  As in, if a GM thought the cap would be 69.5 or 70 mil but it ended up being 69… this would totally prove your position as ineffably correct.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/29/14 at 11:00 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I love you all, I actually do, but you all drive me a little nuts this time of year.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/29/14 at 11:21 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Am I the only one that thinks $7m is a HUGE difference from $5.5m?

Am I the only one that doesn’t think signing Erhoff is so important that we should do, “whatever it takes?”

Of course I’m not the only one… it just seems like it some of the time.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 06/29/14 at 11:24 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

I’m so f***ing sick of hearing the words “right-handed defenseman”.  Who cares?  Wings need good d-men, period.

—- Everyone cares. We do have good D-men, but when both are lefty it’s hard to clear faceoff wins in your own zone(among other things).

Haven’t all of us noticed how difficult it has been for us to clear our zone after a faceoff win? Part of the reason for this is the puck being on the stick of a D-man playing on his off-side, this means he has to shoot the puck against his body and this is just another difficulty for a player who trying to acclimate to the NHL.

Why make things harder than they have to be?

Posted by alwaysaurie on 06/29/14 at 11:38 PM ET

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Hey I’m here to tell you that the Wings are not trading for a left-handed D-man, so get over Erhoff, Babs told you so, get over it.  Something like that will only happen if Detroiot trades off some lefty D-men, and here are the candidates, Kronner, Ericsson, or Dekeyser, you want to trade for a righty?

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 06/30/14 at 12:31 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

You’re channeling a little Chief, here, George, and I like it.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/30/14 at 12:57 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

...and I’ll say it again - Niskanen is overrated.  One year does not a trend make.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/30/14 at 01:01 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Also props to Helene St. James - she is awesome.  Keep it up if you’re reading this!

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/30/14 at 01:09 AM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

I keep hearing this line about how every potential trade partner absolutely demands the likes of Tatar, Nyquist and Mantha, but when I look at the trades that are actually being made by other teams, much lesser young guys are being moved, even for big names. Look at the Kesler deal. Bonino is a nice young player, but he isn’t Nyquist or Tatar, and Sbisa is nothing special. The picks certainly aren’t going to be high ones, coming from a good team like Anaheim. James Neal was moved for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. And while I understand that the market price for defensemen is steeper, I just can’t believe that it’s THAT steep. I mean, most big names moved in trades over the years have been moved for a package of decent young depth guys with limited ceilings, plus picks. I’m going off the top of my head here, but I rarely feel like I ever see a prospect or young gun with as much upside as Mantha, Nyquist or Tatar moved, even for a big name. The trade market just isn’t as good for big names as it was in the 90s or 80s. But then, when I remember back at the price Holland paid for Legwand relative to the other moves made at the deadline, it strikes me as being significantly higher than any other move made that day. Somehow I think Holland really doesn’t know how to negotiate a deal, like the concept of counteroffering is foreign to him or something. It’s like whenever he calls up a GM, they highball him with: “Nyquist, Mantha and Ouellet” and then he thinks to himself “Whew. That’s steep.” and says he has to think about it, taking it at face value, rather than countering with: “You know what? Look at the market these days. Here are comparables A, B & C. So how about Abdelkader, Athanasiou and Jensen?”, waiting for them to counter and ultimately meet him in the middle, at, say, a package of Sheahan, Athanasiou and Backman, or whatever.

Obviously you and I will never know what happens in these negotiations so I may be wrong, but something about Holland’s A) reticence to make trades at all, B) continued overpayment on the trades he actually does make, and C) statements regarding price that are inflated over what the market seems to be showing right now all make me think that he may not know how to negotiate with other GMs.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 06/30/14 at 01:14 AM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Am I the only one that thinks $7m is a HUGE difference from $5.5m?

Especially if it’s over 7 years rather than 2.

That said, I’m not a massive fan of the idea of bringing in Boyle.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 06/30/14 at 01:16 AM ET

Avatar

I love you all, I actually do, but you all drive me a little nuts this time of year.

Like it’s a long commute or something.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/30/14 at 06:43 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I keep hearing this line about how every potential trade partner absolutely demands the likes of Tatar, Nyquist and Mantha, but when I look at the trades that are actually being made by other teams, much lesser young guys are being moved, even for big names. Look at the Kesler deal. Bonino is a nice young player, but he isn’t Nyquist or Tatar, and Sbisa is nothing special. The picks certainly aren’t going to be high ones, coming from a good team like Anaheim. James Neal was moved for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

Posted by jaromirblogger on 06/30/14 at 01:14 AM ET

They’re demanding those players, but trying to convince DET they’re overrating them, in some cases.

However… in those trades you mention, it’s 1 GM pretty much fleecing the other.  Remember that the Flames (for Bouwmeester) were making high demands of not just DET but reportedly other teams too, then settled on a package from STL that made no sense.  Why?  Because their GM was Jay Feaster, who no longer has a job and became a kind of new Mike Milbury.

Never underestimate just plain bad GMing taking place.

Posted by Primis on 06/30/14 at 09:14 AM ET

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One year does not a trend make.

And I’ll say it again, three years of continual increased production actually is a trend.

Especially if it’s over 7 years rather than 2.

I would argue the opposite.  Five years from now the difference between $5.5M and $7M is going to be way smaller than it is now.

Posted by Garth on 06/30/14 at 11:04 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

teams are lucky it is 69 because of the long playoffs. the escalator would have put it at the high end of the earliest projection. without the long playoff you are looking at 67 without the escalator. parity is good for the game

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/29/14 at 09:37 PM ET

What long playoffs?

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 06/30/14 at 01:03 PM ET

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What long playoffs?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2014/05/28/nhls-2014-postseason-will-set-record-for-most-games-played-since-lockout/

“There have so far been 84 games played, including 75 through the first two rounds. No other postseason since the 2004-05 lockout has featured that many games in the first two rounds. The 2010 playoffs come closest with 74 games, and no other had more than 71. Add to that lead the games played in the ongoing Conference Finals, and the postseason is already guaranteed to set a post-lockout record – even if the Stanley Cup Finals end after four games.”

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/30/14 at 01:24 PM ET

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2014 ended up with 93 games played, more than the 90 in 2002.  Don’t know how far back that record actually stretches.  Goes back at least 20 years and probably longer, considering parity is what extends these playoffs and there was rather less parity the farther back you go.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/30/14 at 01:30 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.