The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/01/14 at 03:09 PM ET
Stories continue to roll in regarding Johan Franzen's wonderful takes on purse-gate after Saturday's Pavel Datsyuk-less practice, and the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan added their voices to trade deadline discussion talk (see also: my take and the overnight report's worth of chatter)...
But I guess this was an inevitable "lede" (i.e. lead story) for the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel's weekend notebook: "Red Wings Among the Sellers at the Trade Deadline? Don’t Buy It"
Don't buy it at all. That's not how the Wings roll, and you can take it from Ken Holland himself, who says that the Wings will neither deal UFA's-to-be nor top prospects for a "quick fix" (as he told MLive's Khan earlier this week):
“It’s like I told the guys the other night,” he said in a phone conversation Thursday. “Last year we were one point from missing the playoffs, and we were also one shot away from making the final four. That’s today’s N.H.L. It’s so close.”
Holland added: “If we can just get to the tournament, we can throw the regular-season records into the garbage. And if we can just make it past that first round, we’ll get Zetterberg back. Suddenly things are different.”
Holland also said he doubted he would be a buyer. Over all, it may be more difficult for teams to trade for players this week because the lowered salary cap has them close to the ceiling, unable to take on more contracts.
With at least some good news on the injury front — the big wing Johan Franzen returned after missing 22 of 23 games with concussion symptoms — Holland is more inclined to go with his current roster in a bid to continue the franchise’s run of playoff appearances.
And Holland said he thought the Sochi experience would prove beneficial rather than detrimental for his team’s younger Olympians, forwards Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist.
“Jimmy Howard had to benefit just from being there,” he said of his goalie, who saw no action with the United States team in Sochi. “Pavel Datsyuk and Jonny Ericsson missed a lot of games this season, so the extra games at the Olympics wouldn’t have hurt them.”
I can't quote Klein and Hackel's entire article, but they note that the Wings' wins in Montreal on Wednesday and Ottawa on Thursday illustrated the fact that the Wings plan to go out swinging:
In just two days, Detroit’s wild-card lead had grown to 3 points over Washington and 5 over Ottawa, Columbus and the Devils.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished — 22 straight seasons,” Holland said. “But we want to make it 23.”
Klein and Hackel continue, discussing the Ryan Miller trade (waiting for those, "Trade Howard for Miller!" chants to start up again...).
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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.