The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/26/13 at 05:15 AM ET
Just as the Free Press's Helene St. James' excellent profile of Joakim Andersson nearly got lost in the shuffle of the Wings and Hawks' Game 4 stories, St. James got one helluva scoop prior to the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the form of an interview with Wings GM Ken Holland, regarding his decision to stand pat with the team's current roster at the trade deadline.
Holland also addressed the issue to some extent in an interview with Hockey Night in Canada's Cassie Campbell, also addressing Pavel Datsyuk's situation and stating that he did indeed meet with Pavel Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin (albeit briefly), in Chicago on Saturday night...And addressing Jimmy Howard's contract extension...
But St. James both drops some, "The Wings were interested in" trade deadline-in-retrospect bombshells and asks Holland why he chose to put his faith on a roster that is "rebuilding on the fly":
“I make decisions based on all the information available to me, whether it’s the trade deadline, whether it’s free agency,” Holland said. “When we were at the trade deadline, I explored three or four different players. One of the assets that everybody wanted was our first-round pick. We traded a first-round pick last year for Kyle Quincey, and it turned out to be the 18th pick in the draft.
“This year, we did nothing. Some of the teams around us ended up trading away some unrestricted free agents. We made a decision that we were prepared to hang onto our unrestricted free agents and our young guys. I had teams calling for them, teams that were trying to go for it. Ultimately, I look at it that we hung onto our assets.”
St. James continues while revealing that the Wings had some interest in Jason Pominville, Jay Bouwmeester, Jaromir Jagr (quite the juicy tidbit regarding Jagr, too) and Rick Nash, and she explores last summer's defensive targets, and states that the Wings were asked about the availability of a certain player who couldn't score goals with his stick earlier this season, but has blossomed into a trusted Piano Man...
Before preceding her conclusion with the following:
It has been an interesting 12 months for the Red Wings. It has been a span during which they seemed to head for a cliff only to pull up at the last minute and reverse course. Third-line center Joakim Andersson has ameliorated the absence of Darren Helm. Danny DeKeyser briefly improved the defense in a significant way, and will do so again. The Wings had a good feeling they’d be be the ones adding DeKeyser, an unrestricted free agent who was coveted by everyone after finishing his Western Michigan career in March. Maybe if DeKeyser had seen a Detroit defense that included Suter, DeKeyser would have doubted he’d get much playing time. Instead he saw potential for top-four minutes and his arrival was part of the reason no changes were made at the trade deadline.
“We’re trying to rebuild on the fly,” Holland said. “We’re trying to continue to be a playoff team. We have young guys like Joakim Andersson and Gus Nyquist and Dan DeKeyser and Brendan Smith — they look like they’re going to play in NHL, and for a while. We want to bring in our young guys. It’s the only way you’re going to be competitive in today’s cap world. Otherwise you’re going to have to miss the playoffs for five years and get high picks, and we don’t want to do that.”
Again, the rest of her article is superb and worth your time.
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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.