The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/11/14 at 04:45 PM ET
The Red Wings prepare for one of their most pivotal and important games of the season this evening (at Columbus, 7 PM EDT, FSD Plus) minus Joakim Andersson, Daniel Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonas Gustavsson, Darren Helm, Mikael Samuelsson, Stephen Weiss, Henrik Zetterberg,all due to injuries.
The Wings will wrap up a series of 5 games in 8 nights this evening with David Legwand, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and Cory Emmerton as their centers--not exactly a world-beating bunch--having gone 1-1-and-2 over their first four games of the 5-game stretch, and after a two-day break on Wednesday and Thursday, the Wings will play on an every-other-night basis for the balance of March (playing 10 games over the course of 17 days and nights).
With Andersson out for at least two weeks due to a broken foot suffered on Sunday, Datsyuk (knee) not even on the,"He can try to practice" horizon for two or three more weeks, Zetterberg (back) out until any possible playoff run and Cleary and Samuelsson's statuses murky, MLive's Ansar Khan reports that "The Monster" is probably the closest to actually returning, with Helm (concussion?) and Weiss (lingering groin issues after surgery) a ways away...
Gustavsson practiced Tuesday after the morning skate at Nationwide Arena but will not dress for the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, after tweaking his groin in Friday’s 7-4 win over New Jersey.
“It’s a day-to- day thing right now,” Gustavsson said. “It doesn’t feel too bad. It’s supposed to be a minor thing, not the same thing that happened earlier in the season. So take it day by day now and hopefully (return) in the next few days.”
Gustavsson missed the first four games of the season due to a groin pull and nine more games from Dec. 30 to Jan. 20 with the same injury.
Centers Darren Helm (concussion symptoms) and Stephen Weiss (hernia surgery) remained off the ice Tuesday. They’re not expected to return this week, since they haven’t practiced in a week.
The Detroit Red Wings want to re-sign local-area centre David Legwand, even though they’ll have Henrik Zetterberg (back), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Darren Helm (concussion) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) theoretically healthy on July 1. Detroit gave up forward Calle Jarnkrok, one of their top-five prospects, to get Legwand with all their centres down.
The Red Wings have never had any issues regarding stocking up on centers and shifting some of them to the wing, but I do wonder whether the team might consider attempting to trade or even buy out Stepehen Weiss.
As for Jarnkrok, the Predators have duly noted that the Red Wings were absolutely gushy about Jarnkrok prior to his trade--when news surfaced that Jarnkrok, who's registered 3 goals and an asisst over the course of only 2 games played for the Milwaukee Admirals, was indicating to the Wings that he might head back to Sweden to play for his hometown team (Brynas IF Gavle) instead of soldiering on through another AHL season.
RedWingsCentral attempted to analyze the trade from a dispassionate perspective--while readily admitting that the Wings' brass suggested that Janrkrok will be a sure-fire NHL'er, if only eventually:
At age 22, his offensive production — 36 points in 57 games — was less than hoped, even with 19 points in his 16 games before the trade. And at six feet and 188 pounds, he was too easily knocked off the puck. At the same time, Jarnkrok is an outstanding defensive forward who works hard every shift.
I think those stats are very, very, very liberal in terms of his weight (and height).
Before the trade, the Red Wings were hoping a good off-season in the gym might result in Jarnkrok having a breakout AHL year in 2014-15. But with so many centers in the organization — Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zettberberg, Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and now Legwand — the Red Wings, when even remotely healthy, would have been a hard squad for Jarnkrok to crack. Sheahan’s emergence as a solid NHLer only exacerbated the issue.
“Going into September … we just thought it was going to be difficult for him to crack our team,” Holland told Sportsnet.
There were also rumblings Jarnkrok might have been unhappy with spending another season earning $67,500 in the minors, and that Brynas might try to lure him back home with a much more lucrative contract. TSN indicated Jarnkrok was considering a return to Sweden, while John Niyo of the Detroit News said that while no trade request was made, Jarnkrok and his agent were “antsy.”
RedWingscentral continues at extensive length, discussing Jarnkrok and other prospects, noting that the Predators may give Jarnkrok a better chance to make the NHL next fall. The Wings obviously also need to reinforce their center position at the draft...
And I'm still trying to chase this Tweet down to find out whether it's real or fabricated:
Fischer does make personal rounds visiting prospects at this time of year, but the Wings have historically brought up their prospects to watch the Wings' playoff run and not play in them.
The Val-d'Or Foreurs are also in 5th place in the QMJHL's single-conference standings, and Mantha leads the league in scoring with 56 goals, 59 assists and 115 points registered over the course of 55 games played. I believe that the Griffins would be able to sign him to an amateur try-out after the Foreurs' playoff run is over, but until then, the only teams he can play for are the Foreurs and red Wings.
Otherwise, as you probably know by now, the general managers don't plan on making drastic changes to the game after 2 days' worth of meetings in the hockey hotbed of Boca Raton, Florida's Breakers' resort, but Ken Holland did speak to the NHL network after the second day of meetings (via RedWingsFeed)...
"I think my incident was a big eye-opener in terms of the limitations in the resuscitation protocol and what should be implemented in all the arenas, from the local rink to the biggest light there is -- the NHL," said Fischer. "My cardiac arrest wasn't the first one, but it was certainly the first live one [on TV] in hockey, and that attracted a lot of attention. So the whole protocol has changed since then. [Wings doctor] Tony Colucci, who saved my life along with the rest of our medical staff, he was really pushing every meeting that they had with NHL doctors, they talked about the accessibility of an ambulance, they talked about how doctors need to be close, they talked about how a defibrillator needs to be part of the standard equipment for every locker room in every rink, they talked about how the whole protocol of resuscitation should go before somebody gets into the hospital. That's not just for the players but for anybody in the stands.
"Unfortunately, I volunteered for that," Fischer said, chuckling, "but a lot of good things came out of it."
That protocol was evident Monday night in Dallas, with Peverley being attended to in quick fashion, including the use of the nearby defibrillator.
"It was very impressive. I watched it again on TV this morning," said Fischer. "I'm impressed how well the staff did, how well everybody responded. They saved his life."
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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.