The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/07/13 at 02:01 PM ET
Updated 3x at 3:28 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related stories:
- While Pavel Datsyuk battles Magnus Paajarvi in TSN's Play of the Year semifinals, the Free Press's bracketed list of Michigan's most-despised opposing teams' athletes has boiled down to Claude Lemieux vs. Patrick Roy. That's such a nexus of arrogance, hubris, temper-tantrum-throwing self-important pomposity combined with such an utter denial of culpability when things go wrong that even Gary Bettman might say, "Wow, that's where ass and hole meet."
- 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 #3: More Tweets (it's a motor vehicle kind of day):
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