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The Malik Report

Red Wings late-morning mishmash: trade talk, a Datsyuk-Verlander exchange and praise for Jensen

The Red Wings will take to the ice for a quick practice before boarding an afternoon flight to Phoenix for the team's two-game trip out West to play the Coyotes on Thursday and Colorado on Friday, but before they do so, here's a smattering of Wings-related news.

On the Red Wings trade front

However...

And this is a "captain obvious" statement from the Sporting News's Jesse Spector:

“Is Gustav Nyquist a legit top-six NHL forward or would the Red Wings be better served shopping him as a piece in a bigger trade?” — Nathan Mallett

It’s hard to say for sure, because Nyquist has only played 28 games in the NHL so far, but over the past two seasons in the AHL, he has 118 points in 114 games and was an elite offensive talent at the University of Maine. The fact that he has thus far been unable to find real success in the NHL, even with a heavy dosage of offensive zone starts, mostly against middling opposing lines, is troubling, but again: 28 games.

In his games this season, Nyquist has not played even 30 minutes at 5-on-5 with a single linemate. That’s not enough time to develop any kind of chemistry. The only way it would make sense for the Red Wings to trade Nyquist would be as part of a package for a true star — preferably on defense — but that player probably will not become available before 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Otherwise, Detroit’s best option is to keep bringing Nyquist along at his own pace, with the hope that he will produce as he has at every other level. As a restricted free agent this summer, it is hard to imagine he will get much of a raise over the $875,000 cap hit he currently carries.

If the Red Wings give him a decent shot and find that he still is not growing into the player they expected, there will still be trade value for a young forward with a reasonable contract. But patience is the best course of action.

Patience is most certainly the best course of action for soeone who is in fact a savvy playmaker and quite possibly a 50-to-60-point player three or four years from now. He is what Valtteri Filppula was supposed to be, except with more grit, stick-to-it-ive-ness and heart.

Also of Red Wings-related note: Via Fox Sports Detroit, how did my Twitter feed miss this?

Via RedWingsFeed, I'm kind of upset that Brendan Savage read so much into Datsyuk's joke:

In case you missed it, Verlander became the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball history last week, when the Tigers signed him to a contract extension that will pay him $180 million over the next seven seasons.

Mike Ilitch owns both the Tigers and Red Wings and it won't be long until signing Datsyuk becomes one of the Red Wings' top priorities.

Datsyuk, 34, spent the lockout playing in his native Russia.

During training camp, Datsyuk told MLive.com that it was his dream to eventually return to Russia and play fulltime in his country.

"It's my kind of dream to come back and enjoy it with Russian fans because they pull for me in the beginning,'' he said. "You never know how career go.

"Home (Russia) always good. It's long time don't play in Russia (since 2004-05). Lots of Russian friends. Always welcome home; it's nice, positive. You never know next time to play in front of Russian fans.''

Give me a f***ing break, frankly.

And RedWingsCentral's Matthew Wuest profiled the very nice young man and superb-skating defenseman named Nick Jensen, whose Saint Cloud State University Huskies will take part in the NCAA's Frozen Four on April 11th, when SCSU will tangle with Quinnipiac in Pittsburgh at 8 PM EDT on ESPN2:

His continued strong play, especially late in the year, is cause for optimism, especially when you factor in that the organization has several other outstanding defensive prospects: Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman and Alexei Marchenko.

“Every game I’ve seen him, he was the hardest competitive guy (on the ice) and he’s got the heart of a lion,” said Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer. “He’s in people’s faces, he’s taking people’s space away thanks to his skating, and he makes great outlet passes. He’s had a great year and we’re really happy with his development.”

Jensen, a 6-foot-1, 193-pound junior, has four goals and 27 assists for 31 points in 41 games, tops among St. Cloud State’s blueliners, while recording a plus-22 rating and 73 shots. He’s come a long way since being drafted in the fifth round (150th overall) in 2009 from the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers. At the time, the Red Wings considered him a brilliant skater with raw offensive potential and weren’t sure how his all-around game would develop.

Fischer wouldn’t comment on whether Jensen would be signed to forego his senior season at St. Cloud State, but he’s turning 23 in September and has matured physically to the point where he could likely step into an American Hockey League lineup.

Another Red Wings defense prospect, Ben Marshall of the heavily favoured Minnesota Golden Gophers, saw his season come to an end last week short of the Frozen Four with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Yale Bulldogs. Fischer said Marshall had a great second half after starting the year bouncing between defense and forward due to the Gophers’ incredible depth. The 5-foot-9, 183-pound sophomore has received significant power-play time since then and had eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 40 games along with a plus-eight rating and 73 shots.

“Ben really found a way to establish himself — he runs the power play, he’s making great plays, he’s a top-four defenseman every night,” Fischer said prior to the loss to Yale. “He’s finding ways to get acclimated to the college level and how to produce.”

Marshall will return to Minnesota for his junior season and the Red Wings will be looking for him to increase his production even more.

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Comments

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I have no idea why Richard Nedomlel never gets a mention, he’s exactly what the Wings are missing, a guy with size and a mean streak who can handle the puck.

Posted by bababooey on 04/03/13 at 11:33 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nedomlel *and* Mike McKee. Big. Mean. Skate well for their size.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/03/13 at 11:37 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I have no idea why Richard Nedomlel never gets a mention

maybe because last season he was -35?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 11:40 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Nedomlel *and* Mike McKee. Big. Mean. Skate well for their size.
Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/03/13 at 11:37 AM ET

McKee’s the kid I’m anxious to see. Players like this is who the Wings are gonna desperately need in the east

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/03/13 at 11:44 AM ET

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Having one of them on the roster may be a necessity within the next couple years. I’m really looking forward to seeing Mitch Callahan as well.

Posted by teldar on 04/03/13 at 11:45 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Pavel has to have a comedy writer under contract. No one can be that consistently funny. smile

As for Nyquist’s lack of production, here’s how he’s been used in the past 13 moths…

2013/03/20 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
2013/03/18 Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
2013/03/12 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
2013/02/17 Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
2013/02/15 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
2013/01/23 Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
2013/01/22 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
2012/09/14 Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
2012/03/18 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
2012/03/15 Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
2012/03/12 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
2012/03/11 Assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
2012/03/08 Recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)

He’s spent almost as much time on I-96 between Detroit and GR as he has on the ice with the Wings. As Spector says…

If the Red Wings give him a decent shot and find that he still is not growing into the player they expected, there will still be trade value for a young forward with a reasonable contract. But patience is the best course of action.

But until he gets that “decent shot,” I’d hate to see the Wings trade him away, especially after the effort he put in on Monday.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/03/13 at 11:48 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Per Red Wings Central regarding Mike McKee

SCOUT COMMENTS
“He’s a guy who’s got an immediate presence on the ice. He was far and away the toughest kid in that league and probably, in this draft class, he’s got to be right up there … Big man, skates well for his size, real good straight-ahead speed, hard shot. He has some tools offensively, but at the end of the day … he’s probably going to be a stay-at-home type.” — Red Wings scout David Kolb (June 2012).


STRENGTHS
Absolutely massive and — what might come as a surprise — moves surprisingly well on his skates for his size … Good straight-ahead speed … Boasts a heavy shot … Loves to be involved physically and uses his body to make a difference in the corners and in front … Happily drops the gloves to defend a teammate, as his penalty-minute and fighting-major totals indicate.


WEAKNESSES
Shifted from forward to defense when he was 15, so still has a great deal of learning to do at his new position … Needs to improve his defensive positioning and his reads … Doesn’t have much offensive upside, despite good skating and hard shot … Needs be disciplined and pick his spots.


PROJECTION
The Red Wings don’t often select one of the biggest, toughest, meanest guys available in the NHL draft, but that changed in 2012. Whether the rest of McKee’s game will develop to get him to the NHL remains to be seen, but the Red Wings — who have until 2016 to sign him to a contract — will monitor his progress starting at Western Michigan in 2012-13.

Me likey

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/03/13 at 11:49 AM ET

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maybe because last season he was -35?

His team was atrocious, he was one of the lone bright spots and was actually an alternate captain.  I like both McKee and Nedomlel that should kee the crease clean for Howard.

Posted by bababooey on 04/03/13 at 11:52 AM ET

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He is what Valtteri Filppula was supposed to be, except with more grit, stick-to-it-ive-ness and heart.

How easily you forget how great Val was.  Pathetic.  Nyquist can only dream about being Val as a rookie.  Babs called him the best player he ever sent to the AHL, and low and behold, 10 days later, he was in the NHL for good.  Val was a terrific third-line center from that moment on.  He was a great playoff performer (often doubling his production over the regular season) before last season, consistently upping his game at both ends of the ice.  He had huge heart and grit.

So he’s had a bad season.  You’d defend Cleary or Bert or any number of other Wings for playing hurt.  How dare you say Nyquist is what Val was supposed to be.  If the Wings can get Fil out of Nyquist for 7 seasons, they will consider Nyquist as being a very good NHLer, something he hasn’t proven at all.  “Take a job and hang onto it,” Babs likes to say.  Fil did that.  There’s a reason he’s going to get 5 million for 5 years this summer.  Think before you write something so idiotic.  What has Nyquist proven?  I like the kid too, but he’s no Fil at 23.

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/03/13 at 12:06 PM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

Very excited about big mean McKee. Wings definitely need some more toughness around their own net. Not a guy like John Scott who only fights, but one or two very physical defensive d-men would surely help. Maybe it’s just me but I think our offensive d-men have been trying to get too fancy in their own zone. Get the puck out quick and get mean when you clear the front of your own net.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 04/03/13 at 12:07 PM ET

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Yandle price is steep. Two impact forwards, including someone who can be No.1 centre. Not getting traded unless offer PHO can’t refuse.

All right, so Filppula, White and Miller for Yandle.  Get ‘er done, Kenny!

Posted by Garth on 04/03/13 at 12:10 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Filppula was amazing in 08, solid in 09 and largely invisible since then.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/03/13 at 12:13 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/03/13 at 12:06 PM ET

Ummm… you must be confusing Flip’s playoff stats with Kozlov’s. Who, by the way, was a playoff machine
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=64511

 

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/03/13 at 12:16 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Pavel has to have a comedy writer under contract. No one can be that consistently funny.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/03/13 at 11:48 AM ET

Was he just being funny? Or was he saying something more? gulp

Seems like a “joke” could be a good way for someone on the Wings to get it out there that the Ilitches have neglected the Wings in favor of the Tigers. Many around here have raised that issue so I’m not surprised to hear it from a player.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/03/13 at 12:21 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Was he just being funny? Or was he saying something more? 
Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 04/03/13 at 12:21 PM ET

My money’s on him being funny. Dude’s got a great sense of humor

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/03/13 at 12:27 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Was he just being funny? Or was he saying something more?

Seems like a “joke” could be a good way for someone on the Wings to get it out there that the Ilitches have neglected the Wings in favor of the Tigers. Many around here have raised that issue so I’m not surprised to hear it from a player.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 04/03/13 at 12:21 PM ET

The Wings – with the backing of Illitch – went all in on Parise & Suter. They were prepared to give out two huge contracts that would have pushed the Wings up against the cap for the longterm future. So, there’s really no way to say the Illitches have “neglected” the Wings.

As for Pavel, the ultimate professional athlete and human being, to suggest that he’d publicly voice displeasure with the Illitches using a social media platform like Twitter is pretty ludicrous. This is Pavel we’re talking about, not some douche canoe like Sean Avery.

And, really, by “many around here”, you mean some rambling Internet commenters (myself included)? We don’t count for jack, and know even less.

Posted by SK77 on 04/03/13 at 12:35 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Yandle isn’t going anywhere. Not for that price.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/03/13 at 12:42 PM ET

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often doubling his production over the regular season

Really?  When did that happen besides never?

In 06/07 he was .23ppg in the regular season and .27ppg in the playoffs.
In 07/08 he was .46ppg in the regular season and .50ppg in the playoffs.
In 08/09 he was .50ppg in the regular season and .70ppg in the playoffs.
In 09/10 he was .63ppg in the regular season and .75ppg in the playoffs.
In 10/11 he was .55ppg in the regular season and .73ppg in the playoffs.
In 11/12 he was .81ppg in the regular season and .40ppg in the playoffs.

To his credit, his ppg went up in the playoffs every year but last year, but I don’t see a single instance of him doubling his regular season production in the playoffs.

Oh, and just for the record, at 23 Filppula has .23ppg (06/07) and at 23 Nyquist is currently averaging .30ppg, so I guess whether Nyquist at 23 is as good as Filppula at 23 is not so open and shut.

I’m not damning Filppula or praising Nyquist, I’m just saying…

Posted by Garth on 04/03/13 at 12:44 PM ET

SYF's avatar

His continued strong play, especially late in the year, is cause for optimism, especially when you factor in that the organization has several other outstanding defensive prospects: Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Mattias Backman and Alexei Marchenko.

Ben.Marshall.com.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 04/03/13 at 12:55 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Shifted from forward to defense when he was 15,

great, another one of those.  how’d that work out with Ericsson?

with all our depth on defense, and needing a power forward who can play big minutes…IT’S *#$%@& TIME TO PUT ERICSSON BACK UP FRONT.

I get the distinct feeling that the Wings coaches and Holland have no balls.  they’re so afraid to fail that they don’t take chances.  hard to succeed if you don’t take chances.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 12:59 PM ET

Avatar

Filppula, White and Miller for Yandle

So where are the two impact players?

Posted by AZWinger on 04/03/13 at 12:59 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Filppula, White and Miller for Yandle

So where are the two impact players?

and the #1 center.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 01:11 PM ET

SYF's avatar

great, another one of those.  how’d that work out with Ericsson?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 12:59 PM ET

Vladdie was a centerman before he converted over to defense as well.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 04/03/13 at 01:15 PM ET

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So I received a facebook update from the detroit redwings.  Trade update:Phx is asking to much for Yandle, cross him off the list.  Rumors are that Ken Holland is trying to sign Tomas Kopecky..  Really?

Posted by murph1jj on 04/03/13 at 01:23 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Vladdie was a centerman before he converted over to defense as well.

and?  it’s not like McKee is in the same universe as Konstantinov.

it’s like saying “Stephen Hawking was able to be the world’s most brilliant physicist from a wheelchair, so why can’t anyone?”

 

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 01:28 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

So I received a facebook update from the detroit redwings.  Trade update:Phx is asking to much for Yandle, cross him off the list.  Rumors are that Ken Holland is trying to sign Tomas Kopecky..  Really?

13G 10A playing for the PANTHERS

he has more goals this season than ANY RED WING and would be 4th in points for the Wings.

that either says Kopecky is playing well, or shows us how absolutely frigging horrid the Wings are playing.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 01:30 PM ET

Avatar

Paul,
I don’t know whether it would be good or bad, just seems like KH spends a lot of time going back after the ones he let go.  Not the same as Sammie, I know, but just not a good feeling.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/03/13 at 01:35 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

that I can agree with.  I mean, I hear talk of Fleischmann, too.

maybe that’s why Holland is so leery of dealing prospects…because we just end up trading to get them back eventually…

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 01:37 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Paul,
I don’t know whether it would be good or bad, just seems like KH spends a lot of time going back after the ones he let go.  Not the same as Sammie, I know, but just not a good feeling.
   
    Posted by
     
    murph1jj
     
      on 04/03/13 at 01:35 PM ET

Yep, take a look at all the trades Doug Brown was in.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 04/03/13 at 01:50 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Rumors are that Ken Holland is trying to sign Tomas Kopecky..

Looks like Vladimir16’s hilarious description of Holland’s infatuation with “the dead celebrities tour” really is true. Hell, let’s see if we can get Villie Leino, Matt Ellis and Brett Lebda back. After all, Tick Tock the Broken Clock already knows their familes.  tongue rolleye

As for Pavel possibly taking a shot at Mr. I with his comment about Verlander’s contract, Captain, I don’t think he has that in him. It would be totally out of character for him to do something like that.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/03/13 at 01:57 PM ET

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13G 10A playing for the PANTHERS

Yeah, but imagine how many more points he’d get if he were allowed to play with Justin Abdelkader!

Posted by Garth on 04/03/13 at 04:06 PM ET

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Filppula, White and Miller for Yandle
So where are the two impact players?
and the #1 center.

They were the punchline.

Posted by Garth on 04/03/13 at 04:14 PM 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.