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The Malik Report

Red Wings afternoon news: villainy, Grand Marshal Kronwall and an epic article from Roose

Updated 3x at 3:28 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:
 

 

  • In a very different vein, in Twitter-related news, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...

And, via RedWingsFeed, the Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs:

MLive's Tarryl Jackson confirms Kronwall's status:

Detroit Red Wings alternate captain Niklas Kronwall will be the grand marshal for the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 16 at Michigan International Speedway.

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary will serve as the honorary starter for the race, the racetrack announced Friday, June 7.

Kronwall will command of the drivers to start their engines, while Clary will wave the green flag to start the race.


Regarding the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup Final series against the Syracuse Crunch, the New Holland Sentinel's Lee Lamberts penned a series preview of sorts...

Just because teams in the Eastern Division and Western Division of the American Hockey League don’t play each other in the regular season doesn’t mean the Syracuse Crunch and the Grand Rapids Griffins don’t know anything about each other. They have advance scouts, to be sure, but Griffins coach Jeff Blashill suggested he might have an edge on Crunch coach Rob Zettler.

“One of my best friends (Jon Cooper) was the coach of the team that is now in Tampa, so I know the way they play,” Blashill said following his team’s 5-4 win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday that clinched the Western Division title and the Griffins' first trip to the Calder Cup finals. “They play harder than anybody we’ve faced all year. This team (Oklahoma City) forechecks you really hard, but they (the Crunch) will forecheck you just as hard with maybe a little nastier edge. They go to the net hard.”

While the Griffins had to go seven games to beat Oklahoma City, the Crunch were resting after wrapping up their 4-1 series win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Sunday.

The Griffins welcomed Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson back to the team after the Detroit Red Wings were bounced from the NHL playoffs. In four games, Nyquist, who led Grand Rapids with 23 goals and 37 assists in 58 games, had just one goal (on Wednesday) and one assist and was a minus-4 while on the ice. Andersson had a goal and three assists and was a minus-2.

“It means a lot (to be in Grand Rapids),” Nyquist said. “We were excited when we got the news. Now we get an opportunity to do what we did (Wednesday). It’s a special feeling and we still feel like we’re a big part of this team. We played most of the season with these guys. It’s awesome coming down here to win a conference final.”

Those who stayed behind picked up the slack. Tomas Tatar scored a goal Wednesday for his 11th of the playoffs. Jan Mursak, who earlier in the season was called the fastest player on the team by Landon Ferraro, had eight goals and a plus-9 rating, while Tomas Jurco’s game-winning goal was his seventh of the postseason.

Syracuse is 11-1 in the postseason because of players like Ondrej Palat five playoff goals) and Tyler Johnson (nine goals), but Blashill said the Crunch would be a tough foe even if they had lost a few more.

“They’re a great team, that’s why they are in the finals and why many of their players won the Calder Cup last year,” Blashill said. “We’ve shown throughout the playoffs that we’re a real good team, too, and we’re going to go lace ‘em up and see who executes better.”

And the Syracuse Post-Standard's Lindsay Kramer more or less gushed about the Crunch's ability to battle through adversity during their playoff run (and it's kind of...Cheesy).

 

 

Slowly working our way back toward the big club, Sportsnet's Jeff Simmons has penned a list of potential cap complaince buy-outs for both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, and while looking at the Red Wings and other teams' free agent situations, the Hockey News's Lyle "Spector" Richardson offered this take on Valtteri Filppula's future:

Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula should also prove attractive to clubs with cap space seeking scoring depth.

Filppula, 29, can play center or left wing and possesses very good speed and playmaking skills.

Wings GM Ken Holland would re-sign him, but Filppula (coming off a five-year, $15-million deal) reportedly wants more than $5 million per season. Contract talks broke off two months ago and aren't expected to resume unless he lowers his asking price.

Filppula expressed disappointment over the breakdown in negotiations, but acknowledged it’s the nature of the business. The Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs could pursue him on July 5.

Again, it is highly likely that Filppula will earn $5 million or more from a team that's in a "romantic" relationship with his skill set, but the Red Wings aren't going to give him that money. Filppula will get his career-defining contract and rake in $20 or more million...Somewhere else, hopefully after the Wings flip his rights for a draft pick.

 

 

So what does the Red Wings' GM have to say about attempting to retain the services of UFA's-to-be Drew Miller, Daniel Cleary, Filppula and Damien Brunner, and/or ensuring that RFA's-to-be Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson remain part of the team? Well, he doesn't address those issues directly...

Holland spoke to DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose about his team's future as part of an article in which Roose pens 2013 season regular season and playoff "highlights," as well as quips and quotes, from 30 of the 31 players who dressed for the Wings during the past half-calendar-year (Jan Mursak's excluded for having already signed a deal with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL)--and it sounds like the Wings are committed to seeing their youth movement through, even if it takes another season or two for the "go with the kids" experiment to work itself out:

“When the season started last year, guys like Brian Lashoff, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Brendan Smith, they were all in Grand Rapids,” Holland said. “Tomas Tatar's in Grand Rapids, we signed Danny DeKeyser, there's five or six players that at the start of the '12-'13 season, weren't on our roster, weren't on our radar screen other than depth.”

Now that these players are on the Wings’ radar, they’d prefer to keep them, especially in a league where more and more general managers are holding onto home-grown talent.

“How many teams in the league made significant moves last year? Obviously, Minnesota,” Holland said. “But that's my point. I think at the end of the day this is a league … we gotta draft and develop.”

There’s likely not another general manager in the NHL who has traded away more first-round draft picks than Holland has in his 16 seasons as the club’s architect. But those days of mortgaging the future to land significant pieces at the trade deadline – like Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Mathieu Schneider and Robert Lang – are long gone, Holland said.

“I think I traded seven first-round draft picks trying to win the Cup. And we won the Cup in '98, '02 and '08, along with '97,” Holland said. “You can't run your team like that anymore. You can't.

“We've gone 22 straight years in the playoffs. We haven't picked in the top 14 since 1993. We don't have a guy coming through the system that I'm going to say to you is a superstar that we can plant in the middle of the locker room. We've got to grow them. We've got Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, they've got to come through the system just like Kronwall and Zetterberg and Datsyuk did. There are no quick fixes. Twenty-nine teams want to win just as bad as we do. They're not giving their players away, they're not trading to us for a bag of pucks.”

Roose obviously continues at extended length, and his article is more than worth your time.

 

Update: Um, uh...

Update #2: The Free Press's Brian Manzullo also confirms Kronwall's status:

Michigan International Speedway is about to get Kronwalled.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall was named grand marshal for NASCAR’s Quicken Loans 400 on June 16 at MIS in Brooklyn. Olympic gold medal swimmer Tyler Clary will serve as honorary starter.

“We are thrilled to welcome Niklas Kronwall and Tyler Clary to the MIS festivities,” track president Roger Curtis said in a release. “Niklas is an integral member of the Red Wings and the Detroit community who represents the state with pride. As a member of the US Olympic team, Tyler represented our country with pride and we are pleased he will be here with us to wave the green flag.”

Kronwall helped lead the Red Wings to their 22nd consecutive postseason before being eliminated in the second round by the Chicago Blackhawks last month.

Update #3: More Tweets (it's a motor vehicle kind of day):

Update #3.5:

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Comments

Avatar

I love how Ken Holland keeps telling anyone who’ll listen that Zetterberg and Datsyuk came through the Wings’ “system,” as a way to defend “overripe” drafting and developing in the minors.  Why is he forgetting that they never played a minute in the minors and that their own countries and then Yzerman and Larionov and others developed them?  Does he think people don’t know that “the system” can work when you drop good players directly into the NHL?  Or is it that he hasn’t drafted good enough players since Zetterberg and Datsyuk?

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/07/13 at 03:47 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

In theory, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Kronwall, etc. are helping develop the Wings’ next generation of prospects. And it would not surprise me if Jarnkrok stepped right in.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/07/13 at 04:15 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/07/13 at 03:47 PM ET

How is giving Zetterberg and Datsyuk an opportunity to play with, practice with, travel with, etc. guys like Yzerman, Larionov, Hull, Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Draper, and so on not a valid form of “development”? I don’t think Ken Holland is throwing out a canard when he says these things about drafting, developing, and sticking to the system—it’s the narrow interpretation by most folks that “development” strictly means using your minor league affiliates that infers that, and infers it incorrectly.

As George said, the Wings now have another core of veterans that can further mentor and help develop the kids (to George’s list, I’d even add Franzen, and though their futures with Detroit may be in doubt, Cleary and Filppula).

As an aside, Cleary is a guy that, given his strong playoff effort, I really hope still has the drive to play, and both he and the Wings can find a financial fit they both like, and a role on the team they are both happy with. Because while Z and Pav are great mentors for any of the young guys, having a guy like Cleary around could really be a great thing for someone like Andersson, that will need to be more of a Cleary-esque jack-of-all-trades to stick around for a long time.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/07/13 at 04:31 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Does he think people don’t know that “the system” can work when you drop good players directly into the NHL?  Or is it that he hasn’t drafted good enough players since Zetterberg and Datsyuk?

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/07/13 at 03:47 PM ET

There are a lot of “can’t miss” prospects who have been dropped directly into the NHL without proper “seasoning” or support, that end up at best a reclamation project with another team years down the road after they’ve disappointed their way out of town.

Posted by SK77 on 06/07/13 at 04:32 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

George, do you remember the article talking about how rarely picks outside of the top 5 (10?) are ready to step right into the NHL? I don’t think it was a Wings-centric/Detroit article, and if I find it, I’ll post it myself. Baseball is the closest thing among the major sports in farm system/draft, and I know in baseball, they have a more extensive farm system and almost never put their draftees on the main squad the first year (I know, apples and oranges). I think it’s a reasonable argument to not aim for overripe as much like in the past, but it wasn’t long ago we were talking about the growing pains of Brendan Smith before our eyes with the turnovers. I don’t doubt more young players on the roster could be mentored/learn from the vets, but my concern would be more cover-the-eyes-and-peek moments/games like Brendan Smith’s if the Wings go too far in the other direction (and would also be worth comparing to what other winning teams (NOT Edmonton) do with their high picks/young talent.

Posted by Bugsy on 06/07/13 at 04:41 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

some kid finished his post while I was typing. He confirmed what I was thinking.

Posted by Bugsy on 06/07/13 at 04:42 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I guess the Larionov family still has their Detroit ties after all? Anyone want to caption that first Larionov/Datsyuk photo?

Posted by Bugsy on 06/07/13 at 04:47 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Igor is based here as a hockey agent and he recently built a house here. I know that Alyonka works for the Brooklyn Nets but Diana still bounces around, and Igor II plays for the Detroit Honeybaked team.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/07/13 at 04:58 PM ET

Avatar

How is giving Zetterberg and Datsyuk an opportunity to play with, practice with, travel with, etc. guys like Yzerman, Larionov, Hull, Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Draper, and so on not a valid form of “development”?

While it is development it certainly isn’t development ‘within the system’.  It’s like you dad throwing you into the water and telling you to swim or drown and then telling everyone what a great swimming teacher he is.

Posted by Garth on 06/07/13 at 05:41 PM ET

alukacs's avatar

@ Garth… Of course you can nitpick Holland’s comments…. However, 10 years ago, the NHL had a different agreement with the European Leagues. You could leave you picks there to develop and didn’t lose their rights. That has changed, so the Wings are bringing them over to develop here and sign entry-level contracts. I think that is the main difference… So it’s not about bragging how good of a swimming teacher you are. It’s about throwing them in the right pool.

Posted by alukacs on 06/07/13 at 07:04 PM ET

Avatar

Not sure taking credit for others’ work is nitpicking. point is wings havent drafted or developed a single star player since z. rules have changed which proves the point that wings vaunted dev system hasnt done much as those 2 ripened overseas

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/07/13 at 09:13 PM ET

calquake's avatar

point is wings havent drafted or developed a single star player since z.

Gee… I wonder why that might be… maybe drafting where they did had something to do with it.  Please name me another team that drafted in the position Detroit did and has developed “star” players.

Posted by calquake on 06/07/13 at 10:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The other thing I thought about while reflecting on my favorite troll’s comments…

It is much more rare these days to see kids “jump in” if they aren’t top-10 picks. More and more teams are all but enforcing a, “You’re gonna play some games in the AHL before you reach ‘the show’” internship program, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Realistically speaking, Datsyuk came into the league at a time when the Wings needed him. We have to remember that the Wings could have chosen to bring Zetterberg over for 2001-2002, but they decided to let him spend an extra year with Timra IK instead of playing for what was then the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks—and let’s not forget that the flux in terms of AHL affiliates was involved there…

But aside from Yzerman and Fedorov, the vast majority of the players who were under 30 when they contributed to the 4 Cups all spent time in Adirondack, Cincinnati or Grand Rapids before joining the Wings, and the majority of the Wings’ roster, with perhaps the exception of Franzen (because the Wings needed a checking line forward with size) spent time in Grand Rapids as well.

It doesn’t seem to have hurt them.

If anybody jumps the organizational learning curve ladder it will be Jarnkrok. If the Wings want to work him onto the 3rd or 4th line, he’s more than ready to play at the NHL level. He’s just so slight—still—that the team may choose to give him some seasoning.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/07/13 at 10:33 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

The other thing I thought about while reflecting on my favorite troll’s comments…

You have favorites??!?

Posted by Bugsy on 06/08/13 at 12:39 AM ET

Bugsy's avatar

This wasn’t the exact article I was trying to recall reading about re: progression to the NHL, but it may be helpful regardless

http://www.behindthenet.ca/projecting_to_nhl.php

Posted by Bugsy on 06/08/13 at 12:53 AM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Vote for Datsyuk TSN Play of the Year .... http://poy.tsn.ca/

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 06/08/13 at 09:49 AM 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.