The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/09/14 at 09:03 PM ET
Updated 3x at 9:52 AM: Because I'd rather post a set of articles instead of sitting on them, you'll have to pardon my burnt-out-bluntness. However:
Aside from the whole concept that the Washington Capitals might not want to trade Mike Green to begin with--and it doesn't sound like Capitals coach Barry Trotz is packing Green's bags--never mind the Wings' historical tendendies to not make deals in the summer, the complications that Green's addition would present the Wings cap-wise (if Washington doesn't want a defenseman in return, what do you do with Jakub Kindl and his $2.4 million cap hit when there are Del Zottos available for free?), the possible return (Anthony Mantha or Gustav Nyquist are certainly what a Buffalo would demand for Tyler Myers and a Washington would ask for to be convinced to move a player they don't need to trade--and there is no way in hell that the Wings should trade the most talented prospect I've seen since Brendan Smith and the future captain, respectively)...
Well, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness has waded into the Green situation this evening, and my biggest gripe with the hundreds of comments I've read over the past few days involves the fact that the Wings have an "organic" option in their attempts to find a top-four offensive defenseman, and the Wings don't need to move a Mantha, Nyquist, Jurco, Tatar or anyone else to simply figure out whether their close-to-graduating quartet of Griffins defensemen can at least partially address the situation (until closer to the trade deadline?) for free:
The other solution for the Wings could simply be within the organization with Ryan Sproul and Alexey Marchenko, who are both right-handed shots and could push for a job in training camp.
Both finished their first season with the Griffins and both got to play one game with the Wings.
Sproul had 11 goals and 21 assists in 72 games with the Griffins last season, while Marchenko had three goals and 15 assists in 49 games.
Marchenko, who general manager Ken Holland likened to Brad Stuart, was higher than Sproul in the pecking order last season before season-ending ankle surgery.
Mattias Backman and Xavier Ouellet might be left-shooters, but they're no slouches.
That's what I don't get about all of this talk the Wings somehow desperately need to make a trade for a right-handed defenseman RIGHT NOW or the team's going to skate into a sinkhole or something. It's July, when few trades of any real substance are made, there are a crapton of free agents on defense available (though they're the leftovers), the Capitals don't need to move Mike Green and they don't have to worry about the salary cap until October...
And why the *#$%@& would you not want to go to training camp and see what "the kids" can do, like every other dang team in the league plans on doing, before you decide to divest yourself of assets to force a move that isn't yet in your potential trade partners' plans?
That's why all of this, "Which player is more easily livable withoutable" or, "Damn, I wish we had Calle Jarnkrok" or, "Well, clearly, the Capitals don't need Green now that they have Niskanen, so why wouldn't they trade someone who posted 38 points in 70 games? I mean, they don't need that production any more, do they? Why stack the deck on the blueline when you can have Joakim Andersson, Tomas Jurco and a 1st-round pick in July?" comments.
The Wings have four young defensemen who are ready to "steal jobs" during training camp and the exhibition season (that's the time that other teams might suffer injuries and need a Kindl or a Lashoff to fill a hole);
We may hate the Kyle Quincey re-signing, but at the present moment, he's back;
(The Detroit News's David Gurlanick provided us with the best hockey picture ever)
Between the Ice Cream Truck Driver returning and Jonathan Ericsson returning to health, as well as the fact that Brendan Smith played quite well alongside Niklas Kronwall until he the Bruins targeted Smith and got him off his game, the Wings have some options in terms of their top-four--they can go with Kronwall-Ericsson and Smith-Quincey, Kronwall-Smith and Quincey-Ericsson, and Danny DeKeyser could fit int here, too;
As the Wings are presently built, and assuming that they catch a break in the injury voodoo department, the Wings need to find a serviceable third pair instead of the Disaster Zun Rhine that was Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff.
Whether the Wings use Quincey on the third pair, DeKeyser on the third pair or Smith on the third pair, at this point, the within-the-roster question is whether one or more of Marchenko, Sproul, Backman or Ouellet might join them (or steal somebody's job, oooooo, Quincey and Smith aren't untouchable, oooooo).
If none of the Wings' prospects can at least step up and replace Kindl and/or Lashoff, if the Wings can't generate offense from a blueliner not named Kronwall as the season progresses, and if nothing changes between training camp and November or December, I can completely understand the concept of making a trade based upon needs that weren't adequately addressed "from within." I just don't see any point in somehow forcing the Capitals to move Green or the Sabres to move Myers (read: forcing = massively overpaying) when prices are at their absolute highest just to make a trade.
The Wings ended up with Kyle Quincey as their free agent signing. It kind of sucks. But the Ice Cream Truck Driver had a good second half, Jonathan Ericsson will hopefully be healthy this fall, the Wings have four players who are theoretically "knocking on the door," and the Wings have no real need to do anything less than allow said players to attempt to steal jobs before surrendering assets on Jluly 9th or 10th to smooth over the crappy PR that is swinging and missing on July 1st.
[edit/update: And I haven't even scratched the surface regarding Green's concussions and other injury issues /end edit]
Pleiness frames the possible array of trade-route options available to the Wings, of course...
Green, who’ll turn 29 in October, has just one year left on a deal at just over $6 million and trading him would give the Capitals the flexibility to sign a 13th forward.
The asking price for a right-handed defenseman – Buffalo’s Tyler Myers, Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, or Toronto’s Cody Franson – through trade is quite steep. It would most likely include Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco or even highly-touted prospect Anthony Mantha.
As well as the players the team needs to re-sign...
Fitting Green under the cap won’t be an issue since the Wings are $9.5 million under the $69 million salary cap for the upcoming season, some of which will need to go to restricted free agents Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser.
And this cringe-worthy issue:
Detroit may also need room to fit Daniel Alfredsson and Daniel Cleary, who was promised a possible extension after signing a one-year deal on the first day of training camp last season.
Pleiness continues and talks about the Wings' attempts to land Dan Boyle (who'd apparently wanted to join the Rangers and play with his buddy Martin St. Louis before free agency began), Anton Stralman (who'd been partially recruited to join Tampa Bay, which gave him the longest-term deal, by Ryan Callahan) or Matt Niskanen (the Capitals paid him the most money and I'm convinced that his agent, Neil Sheehy, may in fact be evil given that he was Ryan Suter's agent; we won't talk about the whole, "Tom Gilbert wanted a counter-offer but the Wings told him to move on and make his decision, maaaaaannnnn..." scenario).
Otherwise...Via Paul, SI's Allan Muir "ranked" NHL teams by the depth of their center position, and he views the Wings as having a bit of an x-factor in the player the team couldn't get rid of even if it tried to, as well as the player that Mike Babcock was right in saying required a "big summer" to restore his conditioning:
14. Detroit Red Wings
Pavel Datsyuk-Stephen Weiss-Riley Sheahan-Darren Helm
When healthy, Datsyuk is as sublime as ever, a game-changing talent unlike any other in the league. Helm's had health problems, and he skated in just 42 games last season. He can impact a game with his speed but, like Datsyuk, he has to stay in the lineup to make the magic happen. Sheahan was a revelation, bringing offense and solid possession numbers (56.4% Corsi) when everyone expected him to be a defensive-minded banger. Can he match or top that? And can Weiss bring anything … anything at all? There are too many questions to rate them higher, but no group has more upside if everything comes together.
If you weren't aware of the situation, the Boston Bruins kicked off their summer development camp today, and three players who took part in the Wings' camp are attending Boston's camp--Cole Bardreau, Kyle Baun and Alex Globke, who are all NCAA-playing forwards. They can't take part in any fall tournaments, so this is the time for them to shop themselves around.
Of all three--Bardreau is a 5'10," 184-pound winger who's going into his senior year at Cornell, Baun's a 6'2," 204-pound winger who's going into his junior year at Colgate, and Globke's a 6'2," 194-pound center (and Waterford, MI native) who's going into his sophomore season at Lake Superior State University--Globke was the most intriguing player in terms of his goal-scoring ability and raw potential, while Baun was an intriguing space-maker for more talented players. Bardreau was solid enough, but he was more or less "present."
And finally, I will be heading home on Thursday, and Paul will be manning the blog at that time. I'm pretty exhausted so I'm not sure if I'll posit an overnight report.
Update: The 9&10 News's Jeff Johnson penned an article about Globke:
Lake Superior State hockey has a tradition of turning out pros and Forward Alex Globke hopes to someday be a part of that lineage.
The soon to be sophomore took a big step forward this past weekend when he spent five days at the Red Wings Development Camp at Centre Ice in Traverse City.
The Red Wings are almost overstocked at the forward position and then drafted six more last month. So Globke competed with some of the best Red Wings prospects last weekend.
"It's definitely a battle," Globke said. "You know guys like Mantha, and Larkin. You've got first-rounders, you've got a lot of free-agents. You've got guys that have played college and done really well in college so the competition is all there, a lot of great players. Everybody here is a first or second line guy so every time you're out there you're playing against great players so I'm happy with what I did and I'm thankful for the opportunity."
Update #2: The Free Press's Helene St. James looks at the Boston Bruins' free agent performance today (?????):
They signed no unrestricted free agents, including their own. Most notably, they weren’t able to retain star scorer Jarome Iginla, the big winger who contributed 30 goals and 61 points in 2013-14, plus another five goals in the playoffs. Other departures were role player Shawn Thornton, defenseman Andrej Meszaros and goaltender Chad Johnson.
It was bad news for the Bruins when the 2014-15 salary cap rose to only $69 million (many expected it to be $70 million or maybe a touch higher), because that further hampered GM Peter Chiarelli from extending Iginla. As it stands, the Bruins need the cap room they do have to re-sign their restricted free agents, including Reilly Smith (brother of Detroit’s Brendan Smith) and former Spartan and Livonia native Torey Krug, who had a stellar rookie season right through the playoffs.
Losing Iginla does dent the Bruins — he was tied for the lead in goals during the regular season, and led Boston in the playoffs. He also provided leadership, brought over from his years captaining the Calgary Flames.
That said, the Bruins are still formidable. There’s still David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron (winner of two of the past three Selke trophies) and Milan Lucic to contend with up front, along with Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson. Former Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara still towers over an excellent defense, and Tuukka Rask is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.
Update #3: As MLive's Brendan Savage notes, the Wings' Cup-winning odds remain unchanged (according to Las Vegas) despite their free agency strike-out.
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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.