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Red Wings locker room clean-out day post 1: Franzen staying, Babcock probable, Wings ‘look within’

Updated 26x at 5:20 PM: The Red Wings embark upon their offseason "game plan" in earnest today. After the team took its annual picture at Joe Louis Arena, the players cleaned out their lockers and the coach and GM spoke with the media.

The event has to be surreal: for the players, this is usually the last time that they'll lace up skates until August (unless, like Tomas Tatar and probably Gustav Nyquist, they're taking part in the World Championships), and it's the last time that some players will ever wear a Wings uniform, but the players dress in the locker room and head out to risers sitting at the center of an empty rink, and they take what is essentially a class picture.

Afterwards, the players peel off their full uniforms, skates and gloves, with some of their gear being stuffed into bags for use during the offseason and some of their gear and definitely their playoff jerseys being dumped into bins to be sold at Hockeytown Authentics' end-of-season gear sale. Then they face an onslaught of media questions...

From a media corps that arrives at an empty rink, but is warned that viewing the on-ice photo from the stands or ice is strictly prohibited. So the print and TV scribes end up lining up outside the locker room in the dank corridor below the rink, and then this happens, and "it's on"--get as many players' quips as you can, because they're not obligated to talk to you after today, and live in a bit of fear knowing that you might miss the "juiciest" scrum in order to hear what Babcock or Holland has to say:

Per 97.1 FM's Jeff Riger, cue the Luongo jokes:

Howard "it all started at 1 in the afternoon " the flu.

..

Howard  said he did not have a concussion.

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Howard said he had the flu " the kind that keeps you in the bathroom for a long time"

The Wings weighed in...

"We're not happy with this here, but under the circumstances, I thought we did the best we could." - Alfie #RedWings

...

"I love the game, it's the best job you can have...I'll sit down with my wife and we'll go from there. - Alfie on next year #RedWings

As did the Detroit News's John Niyo...

Jimmy Howard just went into lengthy explanation of flu that hit him before Gm 4. Said he spent most of game in the toilet area. Next day too

...

Howard not going to World Championships. Wife is 8 mos pregnant with their second child. Another boy. "I'm starting my own team."

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

Howard says it was for sure the flu he had that sidelined him Game 4 and 5. No concussion.

The storm before the calm:

More from Riger...

Alfredsson has no gut feeling if he'll be back right now, will take some time to figure it out

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Alfredsson described his play this season as "ok"

The Wings...

Pav says he doesn't know if he'll have surgery yet. He'll have an MRI and testing later this week then they'll make a decision. #RedWings

...

"We need to be better...next year we need to not make it 24 playoffs, we need to win the Cup." - Pavel Datsyuk

Hello, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...

#redwings Howard confirms he had flu. No concussion.

The Free Press's Anthony Fenech...

It's locker clean-out day at Joe Louis Arena and I can tell because most of the Red Wings' lockers are cleaned out

Technically speaking, most of the players have stick, skate, glove and helmet "deals" with equipment manufacturers as Detroit is an "A Market" in terms of endorsements, so some players get paid to wear gear and some players get a set of golf clubs or some other more minor compensation, but the gear technically belongs to the team, and the Wings are very aggressive in terms of ensuring that Hockeytown Authentics' end-of-season equipment sale (the season ticket-holders get first dibs on the gear) is well-stocked.

This can yield some amusement when the Swedish Wings take part in Niklas Kronwall's charity game, because some players (like goalies) get new lines of equipment to try out, but other guys forget to bring a couple of extra sticks, skates, gloves or jerseys with them, so they end up skating in stuff they pull out of their closets.

Zetterberg will probably shave again, yes, he said.

Cue Riger...

Zetterberg believes it seems better now for the future than it has in the past after being eliminated

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Zetterberg doesn't thing there's a lot of big pieces out there as far as free agents or trades

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Zetterberg wouldn't really comment on Babcock being in the last year of his deal

WXYZ's Brad Galli...

Henrik Zetterberg says the Red Wings are not a team satisfied with making the playoffs. Feels better this year than the last few.

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Zetterberg had a foot issue related to his back's nerve damage

And within 35 minutes of the locker room being opened, here's the coach, per Galli...

Mike Babcock believes the Red Wings can build from within to improve the back end.

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Babcock said Howard didn't have his best year. "You gotta earn a right to play."

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Babcock said they will make changes on defense "for sure."

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Babcock said he is not worried about his job. Doubts he'll talk contract, though. Says he can get another job if he wanted  - but likes here

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Babcock said if this was his first gig than he might be worried about it but it's not, he's good.  He knows he can get a job

Fenech...

Mike Babcock said conditioning for oft-injured players this offseason is going to be "absolutely critical.

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Babcock, paraphrased: The kids found out the playoffs are a whole different level.

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Babcock said a new deal this offseason isn't a priority at all: "I'm real comfortable."

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He said he doesn't anticipate contract talks in the offseason.

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Unemployment does not scare Babcock: "I can get a job, I'm not worried about that."

Riger...

Babcock said he's not certain if they should  go outside for players when they have so much talent here now.

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Babcock when asked what the defense needs "right hand shots"

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Babcock said it's no priority whatsoever to get a new deal this summer.  He's very comfortable here

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Babcock says he hasn't thought about going elsewhere.  He said he might go year to year.  He likes it here.

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Babcock doubts he'll even talk about a contract extension this summer.

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Babcock said if this was his first gig than he might be worried about it but it's not, he's good.  He knows he can get a job

(he's not going anywhere)

A video from Pleiness (take note of the fact that Babcock believes Franzen qualifies as an injured player who needs to have a "big offseason")...

 

A Tweet from Pleiness...

Babcock says he's not worried about an extension. He's comfortable here and will work year to year if needed.


Pavel Datsyuk, checking his phone...

“@DetroitRedWings: "We need to be better...next year we need to not make it 24 playoffs, we need to win the Cup." - Pavel Datsyuk”

The Free Press's Helene St. James...

Mike Babcock says not worried about negotiating for extension, will either remain coach of Red Wings or be assistant at U of M/ Berenson

Dun dun dun, per Riger...

Holland "a lot of what we"ll try to do is going to be internal"

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Holland says he wants Babcock back behind the bench, he wants to sit down with him.  He thinks they work good together

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Holland still believes it's still "crazy talk" to amnesty Frabzen

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Holland "I don't have any plans to buy Mule out"

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Holland "we need more Mules" guys that can score 20 plus goals

Galli...

Ken Holland said most building will be from within, but will explore trade market. #redwings

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Holland credits Franzen's hot streak for fueling playoff push. "I like Mule," he said.

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Ken Holland on Johan Franzen: "I don't have any plans to buy Mule out." #RedWings #NHL

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Holland says Red Wings need five/six 20-goal scorers. "Mule can score 20 goals. We need more Mule's."

Fenech...

Ken Holland said he told the team earlier that a lot of what they're going to do in the offseason is going to be internal.

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Holland said he plans to talk to Babcock in the next couple of months.

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Holland wants Babcock back, he's one of the best coaches in the league, he said, they work good together, he said.

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Holland: "Part of our growth as a team has to be internal." That's the way the league is now, he said.

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Holland, on Johan Franzen: "I like Mule. He's a big body and when he gets on a roll he can carry a team."

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Holland: "I don't have any plans to buy Mule out."

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Franzen can score 20 goals, Holland said. "We need more Mules."

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"Anthony Mantha," Ken Holland said.

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Holland with praise for Danny DeKeyser and specifically, Brendan Smith: "He played really good hockey."

Pleiness...

Wings GM Ken Holland: I want him back. Speaking of coach Mike Babcock.

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Wings GM Ken Holland on Franzen. He's just a streaky scorer.

The Wings...

"First full season was definitely a learning experience; just gotta get ready for next year & hopefully we go a lot further next year." -DK

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"Big summers for our guys is critical; lots of players did an unbelievable job as young guys but found out playoffs are another level" -Babs

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"You can't always finish at the top, but you can get things going in the right direction." - Mike Babcock

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"We think we can be a way better team...We'll end up making some changes on the back end, for sure." - Mike Babcock

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Both Mike Babcock and Ken Holland talked about their desire to have a right-handed shot on the blue line next season. #RedWings

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"Is there a (FA) player or trade or two that makes us better? That we'll explore, but a lot has to be the people we bring back." - Holland

St. James...

Red Wings Ken Holland: "I don't have any plans to buy out Johan Franzen"

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Red Wings Ken Holland said he'll talk extension with Mike Babcock over the summer.

Fox 2's Jennifer Hammond...

Holland says he doesn't have any plans of buying the mule out.

Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus...

Ken Holland (with emphasis): We need more 20-goal scorers. Unless you have that one 40-goal superstar, need multiple 20-goal men. #RedWings

Update #0.5: Groan, per Riger:

Holland "I don't know if we don't make the playoffs if we don't make the deal for David Legwand"

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Holland "we'll make a trade but the trade has to make sense". Doesn't want to trade 3 young guys 4 a player and then have those 3 be great

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Holland said they would do a blockbuster deal, but how any are there anymore?

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Holland says he's hasn't changed his philosophy of letting prospects get overripe

indecision per Galli...

Holland says he is willing to trade some kids, but won't do it just to do it. Said an advantage: "we have a lot of kids."

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Ken Holland: "Will we make a trade? Yeah. A blockbuster? Maybe." Said blockbusters are rare now, but he'll try. #RedWings

And Fenech...

Holland said they'll need answers by mid-June and NHL draft in Philadelphia.

And the Wings...

"We'd make a trade, but the trade's gotta make sense...would we do a blockbuster? Yeah, but it's gotta make sense." - Ken Holland

Update #0.75: From Riger...

Holland "if Anthony Mantha is ready and beats somebody out, he'll play in the National Hockey League"

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Holland saying that Nyquist should have been here from the beginning.  Nobody else though

Galli...

Ken Holland: "The one guy who should have been up here at the start was Gus Nyquist."

The Wings...

"If Anthony Mantha is ready and he beats somebody out, he'll play in the National Hockey League." - Ken Holland

St. James...

Red Wings Ken Holland says Anthony Mantha will be on team next year if he beats someone out for job, not entitled to spot.

And Fenech...

Holland: "If Anthony Mantha is ready to play in the National Hockey League and beat someone out, he'll play in the National Hockey League."

Pleiness reveals this:

Kindl. Tatar. Nyquist. Abdelkader playing at World Championships.

Update #1: Even more from Fenech...

Holland is assuming he's going to sit down with ownership in the offseason and talk contract. He's got a year left.

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Stephen Weiss had another small surgery last week, Holland said. He needs to have a big summer, he continued.

Riger...

Holland assumes he'll meet with management about a contract extension this summer.

St. James...

Stephen Weiss had surgery last week to release scar tissue. Red Wings waiting to see what kind of summer he can have .

Galli...

Holland thought Stephen Weiss would be healthy six weeks ago.

And the Wings...

We thought Stephen Weiss was gonna be our second line center...it was a disappointing year." - Ken Holland

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"Before anything positive can happen, we need Weiss to get healthy...he's not healthy right now." - Ken Holland

Upddate #2: I guess this settles this, per St. James...

Ken Holland says it's likely Red Wings will use compliance buyout on Jordin Tootoo if no trade possible

And Galli...

There was interest in Jordin Tootoo before deadline. Holland said he doesn't want to be in AHL. Buyout is an option.

And now MLive's Ansar Khan:

Holland hinted he might use his last compliance buyout on Jordin Tootoo. Definitely won't buy out Franzen.

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Pavel Datsyuk said he'll have MRI on knee before deciding whether to undergo surgery.

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Jimmy Howard said he began feeling I'll with flu at 1 PM day of Game 4. He laughed off rumors of concussion. Said it was just the flu.

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Babcock, who has 1 year left On deal, said he doesn't anticipate talking extension this summer. Said he'd be willing to go year to year.

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Kindl, Tatar, Abdelkader, Nyquist will play in World Championship. DeKeyser will decide tomorrow. Howard, Zetterberg, Kronwall not playing

Also boom, per Fenech:

Right now, Holland said, he won't let other teams talk to Jeff Blashill: "I think he's a NHL coach in the making."

Oh hi, Ted Kulfan!

Holland indicates Tootoo may be bought out...sounds like Anthony Mantha will at leAst get a shot to make team if he can beat someone out

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Holland will work to extend both Babcock and blashill beyond next season

 

WDIV also posted a clip of Ken Holland speaking about Babcock's contract:

Awww...

Update #3: Fox Sports Detroit posted locker room clean-out comments from Smith...

And Holland:

Update #4: Via RedWingsFeed, per TSN:

With the Detroit Red Wings done for the season, veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson will be taking his time to decide whether he'll keep playing in the National Hockey League next fall.

"I love the game, it's the best job you can have," he explained Tuesday as the players left Joe Louis Arena for the summer. "I'll sit down with my wife and we'll go from there."

Alfredsson, 41, signed with Detroit last summer on a one-year, $5.5 million contract after 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators. The Red Wings made the playoffs for the 23rd straight season with a wild card berth, but were knocked out in five games by the Boston Bruins in Round 1.

Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples also filed a story about Jimmy Howard:

“I knew this was going to be answered, so I’ll give you the full rundown of the day,” Howard said during the Wings’ locker room clean-out day at Joe Louis Arena. “It all started about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, it just progressively got worse. It’s the flu. Training staff and the medical staff tried to give all the medication for myself to go out there and play for the guys, but as I got out there in warmups, everything just got worse and worse. I missed most of the game because I was too busy in the toilet area. It’s tough to go out that way, not play again, because of that. For me, I wanted to be out there for the guys in the worst way. We really tried, it just didn’t work out.”

When asked what kind of flu it was, Howard said, “the flu that keeps in the bathroom for a long time.”

...

When asked about how his season went, Howard admitted that there was room for improvement. The Wings’ leader between the pipes saw a drop in save-percentage (.910) and an increase in goals-against average (2.66) from his two previous seasons, and his 21-19-11 record was his worst since he took over as the official starter for Detroit.

“I thought it was an OK season,” Howard said. “By no means was it a good or great season. I think I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent for the guys, and that’s what I’ll work on over the course of the summer. When the puck drops again here in October, we’ll hit the ground running.”

He also said that he and his fellow veteran Red Wings need to find a way to improve before the 2014-15 season, though he wouldn’t speculate on what roster changes may be coming.

“That’s a question I can’t answer. That’s something Kenny and management to go over, and do what they feel is the best for the team and the organization. For us players, guys that have been here for a while, we have to find a way to get better.”

Update #5: Non-pooping talk from Howard, via CBS Detroit's Ashley Dunkak and RedWingsFeed:

“It was an okay season,” Howard said. “By no means was it a good or great season. I think I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent for the guys, and that’s what I’m going to work on over the course of the summer.”

Howard recorded a .910 save percentage, down from each of the past two seasons. He also recorded a 2.66 goals against average, a significant bump from either of the previous two seasons, when he averaged 2.13 and 2.12.

“I can be a lot better across the board, just with consistency alone and going out there and helping guys get wins,” Howard said. “It was just one of those years, statistically wise it wasn’t very good. I think I can be a lot better. I’ve proven in the past I can be a lot better, and that’s the way I want to be moving forward.”

Update #6: Fox Sports Detroit posted Henrik Zetterberg's comments...

Michigan Hockey's Stefan Kubus spoke with Daniel Alfredsson...

A lot of factors that play in, mentally, physically, family,” Alfredsson said. “I still love the game. It’s one of the best jobs you can have, there’s no question about that. At the same time, you’ve got to end it some time, I’m sure talking with my wife, we’ll come to a decision together and go from there.”

Alfredsson added that he will meet with Red Wings GM Ken Holland this week to initially discuss No. 11′s future. A big factor that often influences such grizzled veterans is whether the body and mind were ready to deal with the rigor of off-season training, something that Alfredsson said he knows is the ultimate key to success.

“When it comes to the point where you know you have to put in the work in the summer or you won’t have any fun in the winter, and if my work in the summer feels too much of a load with the time commitment and everything, then you know it’s time.”

And this won’t be the first time that Alfredsson has had to deal with this decision.

“That’s one of the things I’ve dealt with the last few years; do I have it in me to put that work in and not just do it because I want to do it, but it’s got to really feel like something you’re excited to do again. That’s a tough one.”

The Free Press's Helene St. James posited her locker room clean-out-day article...

"A big summer for our guys," head coach Mike Babcock said, "is absolutely critical. We had so many injuries this year, and if you've been an injured player for a long period of time ... your conditioning is absolutely critical. We had lots of players that, I felt, did an unbelievable job as young guys, but they found out, when the playoffs come, it's a whole other level. We played a Boston team with good, structured depth, and they were better than us. And so we're going to have to be better throughout our lineup to have success, but I think a lot of that growth can be from within."

Zetterberg returned to play the last two games of the playoffs, nine weeks after undergoing back surgery. He spoke again of disappointment, but also promise.

"If you look at our roster, we have a good team," he said. "Add on a few pieces. A few guys will leave. Have a good summer, work hard and get back at it."

Datsyuk said he will undergo tests later this week to determine whether he needs surgery on his left knee. Zetterberg said he had some weakness in one of his feet that was tied into his herniated disk.

General manager Ken Holland spoke for a good half-hour, addressing topics from the future of Babcock to the future of some of the team's prospects. Holland said Mrazek will be considered as a backup for Jimmy Howard next season and that Anthony Mantha, the 6-foot-3 50-goal scorer whom the Wings picked in the first round a year ago, will get a shot at making the Wings next season — but he'll have to beat someone out for a job.

Regarding Babcock, he has a year left on his contract, and Holland said he plans to talk about an extension later this summer. Babcock said it was "no priority whatsoever" to get a new deal.

"I'm real comfortable with the owner and with the manager,” he said. “That's not a concern for me one bit. When you're at the stage I'm at, I'm real comfortable with whatever they want. I want them to be happy, and if they're not happy, then I'm not happy. I have no problem — I can go year to year."

Update #7: The Wings' website posted clips of Danny DeKeyser...

Pavel Datsyuk...

And Tomas Tatar (sans WDIV's b-roll footage) speaking with the media:

Daniel Alfredsson also spoke with the media...

 

Update #8: Here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's first clean-out-day article:

“The regular season was a big challenge for us with all the injuries we had, lots of guys coming in and out of the lineup,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We’ve got a chance to see some of the younger guys do really well. I think there’s a very exciting future. Guys that had to grow up maybe sooner than they had to, and without he young guys we couldn’t have made it to the playoffs.”

...

“(They) give us a lot (of optimism),” Kronwall said. “Not only did they come in and play great but they also got a taste of the playoffs, what a different game it is, how tight it is,” Kronwall said. “It’s not a lot of space. Somehow you have to find a way to fight through it. It was a good learning curve.

The Wings lost in five games to the Boston Bruins.

“These guys know what to expect a little bit more,” Kronwall added. “Hopefully all of us in here need a big summer of training and be ready to go when the season starts. The message was pretty clear, have a great summer of training and be ready to go. We need a good start. It was tough when you’re not in a good spot with 15-20 games to go, when you have to fight for every inch out there, it’s a little different than what we’ve had in the past.”

Update #9: MLive's Ansar Khan's first clean-out-day article focuses on Franzen and Tootoo:

“Toots doesn’t want to be in the American League. We don’t want him to be in the American Hockey League,” Holland said. “I think at the end of the day, there was a little bit of interest in Toots prior to the trade deadline.”

Tootoo was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins in mid-November after clearing waivers. He played 51 games for the Griffins, picking up six goals and 12 assists.

“Toots has done everything we could have asked of him in the AHL,” Holland said. “He hasn’t complained. He’s been a good foot solider. I don’t know if we’re going to buy him out, but I don’t think it’s fair to Toots and from the business standpoint, we don’t want Toots in the American Hockey League. So I got to figure out a way to get Jordin Tootoo back to the National Hockey League.”

Holland dismissed the possibility of using the buyout on Johan Franzen.

Update #10: Whistles past graveyard:

Update #11: Two more videos from the Wings. Jimmy Howard...

And Niklas Kronwall:

Update #12: Babs on his future, per Pleiness:

“No priority whatsoever,” Babcock said Tuesday during the Wings’ locker cleanout at Joe Louis Arena when asked if getting an extension was a priority. “I’m real comfortable with the owner and the manager. That’s not a concern for me one bit. When you’re at the stage of my career that I am, I’m real comfortable with whatever they want,” Babcock continued. “I want them to be happy. If they’re not happy then I’m not happy. I have no problem. I can go year to year.”

Babcock this season moved into first place on the all-time Wings list amongst coaching, passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams. Asked if he thought he would talk contract extension over the summer Babcock said, “I doubt it.

“I just told you I’m comfortable,” he continued. “If I was uncomfortable, if this was my gig I’d want an extension, it’s not, I’m good.”

There had been rumors circulating awhile back that Babcock could eventually take over for Red Berenson as the head coach at the University of Michigan.

“I never even thought about it,” Babcock said when asked if he had a few more years in him to coach in Detroit. “My daughter’s going into her grade 12 year. I’m either going to be the coach of the Red Wings or the assistant coach, I haven’t had a talk with Red Berenson yet, either that or I’ll be Red’s assistant coach for a year.

“For sure I’m staying in Detroit,” Babcock added. “I haven’t thought about going anywhere else. I’m real comfortable. I know Scotty Bowman went year to year sometime here and I’m real comfortable with that. I can get a job. I’m not worried about that. The owner has been better than great to me. They do things right. They treat people right. The GM is a driven guy who can’t stand losing and I like to be around ultracompetitive people.”

Update #13: The Free Press's St. James posted a video of Henrik Zetterberg speaking with the media, as did the Red Wings...

Here's more Brendan Smith...

And here's Babcock's end-of-season lecture:

LISTEN AND STUDY.

Update #14: FSD also posted clips of Datsyuk, Alfredsson and Kronwall.

Update #15: More Holland from CBS Detroit's Dunkak:

Johan Franzen signed an 11-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, and despite a disappointing season from the man players call “Mule,” general manager Ken Holland has no intention of buying out the 34-year-old forward.

“I know he didn’t score down the stretch, didn’t score in the playoffs,” Holland said Tuesday. “We had a lot of guys that didn’t score in the playoffs. I looked around the league, and I kind of hear this talk about players in other teams a year ago. Those players, this year, are scoring. It’s a hard league. It’s a hard league every year to score come playoff time. Mule’s a big body.Coming out of the Olympic break, he was on a hot streak, and I think he – that hot streak is part of the reason we were able to play our way into the Boston series.”

Indeed, Franzen did look solid between Feb. 26 and March 27, chalking up 11 points in a five-game span. Franzen had two assists at Montreal Feb. 26, scored three goals the next day at Ottawa, turned in one goal and one assist March 4 against New Jersey and recorded two goals and two assists – again against New Jersey – March 7.

In essence, Holland holds the opinion that Franzen can give the Red Wings what most other players cannot – 20 to 25 goals per season – and the players who can give more are not necessarily readily available.

“I think there’s this perception that July 1 free agents, there’s this hockey store, there’s this fantasy hockey league that I’m running, playing in, and that we can go get superstars,” Holland said. “Those days are over. That was a bit of the league prior to 2005. Those days are over. This is a league now where you’ve got to draft, you’ve got to develop, we’ve got to make people better. You can have some cap space, but I’m not going to spend money just for the sake of spending money so that six months later people can say, ‘Well, the decisions we made in July were no good. How can they get rid of that guy?’

“I like Mule,” Holland continued. “He’s a big body. When he gets on a roll, he can carry a team. He’s a streaky scorer. We’ve had other streaky scorers. We’ve had some streaky scorers here that are in the Hall of Fame that I’ve gone to Toronto for a Hall of Fame ceremony. This is a hard league.”

Update #16: Amongst the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's notes:

One of the biggest issues general manager Ken Holland will have to tackle this summer may not be about playing personnel but behind the bench. With one year left on his contract, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would be the biggest free agent in the summer of the 2015. It sounds like Holland is going to do everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I want to to talk to Mike in the next couple of months," Holland said. "I want him back behind the bench. I respect the job he does, the work ethic, the job he did this year putting young players into the lineup and sticking with them. If you put down a list of the best coaches in the NHL, he's on the short list. I want him back. We work well together."

Jeff Blashill, a former Babcock assistant who is the head coach in Grand Rapids, also has one year left on his contract. Blashill coached the Griffins to the American League championship last season. Holland won’t let other NHL teams talk to Blashill at this point.

...

Forward Stephen Weiss, the key free-agent acquisition last summer, said he played hurt over his sports hernia at the beginning of the season.

"I don't how much I would change things other than being a little smarter in the summer and maybe being a little smarter at the start of the season and not playing through these types of things as much as I did," Weiss said. "I wanted to do things the right way, but maybe if I took some time at the start of the season, maybe it would have done me better than being a hero a little bit. I got myself into some trouble that could have been avoided if I was smarter."

Update #17: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's second clean-out-day article:

“You need to do lots of recharging and make sure you’re in shape coming in,” Pavel Datsyuk said. “Your goal is not to make playoffs 23 years in a row; you make the playoffs to win Cup.”

The Red Wings battled to extend their playoff streak to 23 seasons but were eliminated in five games by the Boston Bruins in the first round.

“Of course it’s nice to keep the streak going but this is an organization and club that thrives for titles and wins,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “So it’s just not good enough.”

The Red Wings have been ousted in the opening round in two of the past three years and haven’t advanced to the conference finals since 2009.

“As much as 23 years is important to the franchise, we’ve won one round in the last three years in the playoffs,” Babcock said. “Our best years since I’ve been here are ’07, ’08 and ’09. In that time we won 11, 16 and 15 playoff games. We’ve got seven a couple times since and we’ve never been to the final four. So that’s a five-year drought the way I look at it. You can’t always be on top, but you can be going in the right direction so we have to get things moving that way again.”

Update #18: Here's Ken Holland speaking with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery:

Listen and study?

Update #19: Jonas Gustavsson weighed in on his future, per Fox Sports Detroit (FSD posted a Babcock snippet, too):

Update #20: Want to watch 36 minutes of Ken Holland? The Wings' website provides for your needs:

Update #21: The Free Press's Anthony Fenech spoke with Jimmy Howard about his stomach virus and his play:

“By no means was it a good or great season,” he said. “I think I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent for the guys, and that’s what I’m going to work on over the course of the summer.”

Howard’s goals-against average (2.66) went up this season, his save percentage (.910) down. He stressed that more consistency will produce more wins going forward.

“It was just one of those years,” he said. “Statisticallywise, it wasn’t very good. I think I can be a lot better. I’ve proven in the past I can be a lot better, and that’s the way I want to be moving forward.”

Moving forward, the team isn’t sure who will be backing up Howard. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson took the helm for an injured Howard more than once this season, including the playoffs, but has been often injured as well. Gustavsson is now an unrestricted free agent.

“I’m just going to try to go where I feel like I can take the next step,” Gustavsson said. “It could be here, and that would be great, but if nothing happens, then you look at other stuff.”

Update #22: Via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji filed an article about the team's personnel changes to come, the statuses of the team's superstars, with Datsyuk not positive that he'll need knee surgery...

"I need to do MRI and I need to do testing, and we'll see," Datsyuk said. "Not sure yet."

Zetterberg returned from Feb. 21 back surgery to play the final two games of the playoffs against the Boston Bruins.

"Still a little rehab to do, but obviously, I'm feeling pretty good," Zetterberg said. "Those two games I played didn't create any setbacks or anything, but still I'm not really there yet. Obviously, it's going to take some time here to fix that and have a healthy summer to build myself up again."

And Henrik Zetterberg stating that the numbness in his foot will subside:

"We still had some weakness down in my foot that we dealt with a little bit," Zetterberg said. "And that will come back, but it's tough to say when. It could've been a week, two weeks, a month, two months. "We don't really know when that will come back, but it will come back, and other than that, I felt good."

Then there's this:

"Obviously, we're proud of our playoff streak, but not going deeper than we have, it's not fun and we gotta change that," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "We're an organization that are not happy just to make the postseason."

"When you go back, our best years since I've been here are seven, eight and nine (2007-08-09)," Babcock said. "In that time, we won 11, 16 and 15 playoff games, if I'm not mistaken. We've got seven a couple times since, and we've never been to the final four. So that's a five-year drought the way I look at it. You can't always be on top, but you can be going in the right direction. So we have to get things moving that way again."

The Wings were forced to play many young players in pressure situations as a result of the injuries, but that could work to their advantage in the future.

"It was a good learning curve," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "These guys know what to expect a little bit more, and hopefully, all of us in here need a big summer training and be ready to go when the season starts."

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose focused on health...

“First of all, we gotta stay healthy next year,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We obviously saw some good things this year due to our injuries. I think we have some good kids down in Grand Rapids that’s going to be knocking on the door in September. I think right now if you look at the roster we have a good team, obviously we have to add on a few pieces, a few guys will leave and have a good summer, work hard and get back at it.”

....

But as shiny as the future may be for the young guys, the Wings really need their core group – Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss – to return healthy.

“A big summer for our guys is absolutely critical,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We had so many injuries this year. So if you’ve been an injured player for a long period of time, if you’re Darren Helm, Franzen with a concussion, if you’re Z who’s had surgery, or if you’re Pav and you’re getting surgery or you’re not getting surgery, your conditioning is absolutely critical.”

The Kids...

“Part of what’s going on here is a transition to youth,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I’m going to go to Grand Rapids, they’re again in the American League playoffs. Some of the young players that haven’t been here are playing down there, but the first thing we have to decide is how many of these young guys in our organization are ready to play on our team at the start of the season next year. Times have changed in the National Hockey League in free agency. July 1 is a time for adding support players, secondary players. Teams now sign the best players to long-term contracts, they don’t hit the market. I told the team this morning a lot of what we’re going to try and do has to be internal. I think 29 other teams are going to be in the same boat as we are.”

...

“I don’t know if there’s really any big pieces out there available that really fits our team but if there is something I’m pretty sure that we will look at it,” Zetterberg said. “But in the same way I think the core team and the main part of next year’s team are in here now.”

And Alfredsson:

Previously, Alfredsson has said he will take a few weeks to decide his future. “You need time to get away from it,” he said. “I’ll talk to Kenny and Babcock later this week. Both sides want to know what the other side is thinking.”

Update #23: WXYZ focused on Howard's stomach ailment, and the AP's posted the first draft of Larry Lage's story--sans quotes:

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has one year left on his contract.

Babcock insists getting a new deal this offseason is not a priority, adding he would be comfortable signing one-year contracts in the future with the franchise.

He finished his ninth season as Detroit's coach on Saturday at Boston, where the Bruins eliminated the Red Wings in Game 5 of their first-round series. He has won a franchise-record 415 games, a Stanley Cup and a pair of conference championships.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says Babcock is on the "short list" of the NHL's best coaches. Holland says he has not begun talking to Babcock about negotiating a long-term deal. The Red Wings have Holland under contract for one more year with a team option for another year.

If you're interested, FSD's Dana Wakiji and Art Renger offered a 10-minute summary of the team's comments as well.

Update #24: Even more Babcock from CBS Detroit's Dunkak:

“I know Scotty Bowman went year-to-year at one point here,” Babcock said. “I’m comfortable with that. I can get a job. I’m not worried about that. But I like it here. The owner’s great to me. Actually the owner’s better than great to me here. They do things right and they treat people right, and the GM [Ken Holland] is a driven guy who can’t stand losing, and I like to be around ultracompetitive people.”

Update #25: More Holland from WXYZ's Galli:

"Mule has the potential to score 25 (goals). We need more players that can score 25," Holland explained "We need more Mule's."

The Swedish forward is owed $17.5 million over the next six seasons. His annual cap hit is $3.95 million, a number considered by some a reasonable number for a 25-goal scorer.

"I think there's this perception that July 1st free agents, there's this hockey store, this fantasy hockey league that I'm running, playing in and we can go get superstars. Those days are over," Holland said.

Update #26: Michigan Hockey posted a HTML5 gallery from the Wings' locker room clean-out-day, the AP's Larry Lage added the following...

Unrestricted free agents David Legwand, Dan Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Jonas Gustavsson, Kyle Quincey and Todd Bertuzzi may have to continue their careers elsewhere. The 39-year-old Bertuzzi said he definitely does not want to retire if Detroit decides to let him hit the market.

"I'd like to keep playing," he said. "I still feel like I can contribute."

The Red Wings are counting on their two stars, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, to contribute more than they did during injury-shortened seasons. Zetterberg expects to return 100-per cent healthy after having back surgery two months ago. Datsyuk said he will soon find out if he needs to have surgery on his left knee.

"A healthy Pav and Z makes everyone else score more," Babcock said. "Z came back for two games (in the playoffs) and suddenly we have a power play. We didn't have a power play till that. To me those are the guys capable if healthy that can make everyone else around them better."

And Stephen Weiss spoke with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose regarding his hernia issues:

The significant tear and damage done to his core muscles produced a large amount of scar tissue that slowed Weiss’s rehabilitation and eventually ended his season. Last Tuesday, he returned to Philadelphia where doctors surgically removed scar tissue.

“Right now it’s just the rehab process again,” Weiss said. “So we’ll go through that in the next few weeks and obviously be in contact with the doctor and go through that protocol and then he wanted me to get back on the ice in about six weeks and see how it is.”

By then Weiss will be home in Toronto for the summer where he plans to continue his rehab with former NHL star Gary Roberts as he prepares for the start of September’s training camp in Traverse City.

“I’m confident that we did the right things all the way through as much as we knew what was wrong and tried to go about it the right way,” Weiss said. “Just never really recovered properly, so I’m going to work hard this summer like I did last summer. Just be a little smarter.”

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Comments

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Quincey or Kindl…I’d still take my chances with Kindl. Call me crazy.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/29/14 at 01:17 PM ET

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Of course he’s not going to buy Franzen out.  It literally is crazy talk.

Having said that, of course he was never, ever going to come out and say that he was going to buy Franzen out because he would obviously try to trade him before he would buy him out, and admitting that you were thinking of buying him out would absolutely kill any possibility of trading him.

Saying that they won’t buy him out doesn’t necessarily mean “Franzen staying”.

I still think there’s a strong, strong possibility that Franzen is gone.  “We need more mules” doesn’t necessarily mean “we need this Mule”.  If he played as a young player the way he plays now, he likely would never have been given that nickname.  Arguably, with the way that they play, we could call either Nyquist or Tatar “mules”.  Hell, Sheahan too.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 01:19 PM ET

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I agree with the Legwand quote, seemed like we were going nowhere.  However I wouldn’t extend myself to resign him, there is always a possibility of a player making the jump right onto the Red Wings, like Dekeyser which was quite a surprise for a defenseman, Mantha has the body and skill to make the jump, especially at this time with all the kids….  the Wings will not be called “OLD” next year.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 04/29/14 at 01:22 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I think Holland will try to trade Franzen if not buy him out. As mentioned Holland will deny buying Franzen out. It’s obvious Franzen’s skills have diminished especially with the concussions. Because of that, Franzen will continue to avoid the traffic areas where he can score.

Posted by bigfrog on 04/29/14 at 01:38 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Quincey or Kindl…I’d still take my chances with Kindl. Call me crazy.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/29/14 at 01:17 PM ET

Bitch please, you crazy.  LOL

Posted by SK77 on 04/29/14 at 01:50 PM ET

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There was an interest in Tootoo at the deadline, but we kept him in the AHL?

No one will trade for him now (knowing he is a free agent once bought out). Even a 7th round conditional pick is something.

Posted by lancer on 04/29/14 at 01:50 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Todd Bertuzzi leaving the #RedWings’ locker room. He didn’t speak with the media. pic.twitter.com/xnK3ulI3t4

— MiHockey (@MiHockeyNow) April 29, 2014

gonna miss Bert ...

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/29/14 at 01:51 PM ET

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Franzen isn’t going to be bought out. That’s a dumb idea when he’s a bargain for most teams at 3.9 million\yr. Toots will be bought out though and Franzen may be traded, though something tells me they like only paying 3.9 million for 20 goals (30 without injuries).
I also get the feeling that they are sick and tired of the injuries with all of the players. The seem to have made mention of this more than in the past.

Posted by weswolverine on 04/29/14 at 01:55 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

I think with Franzen’s friendly cap-hit and the given market, the Wings will try to deal him. Now what they can get for him is a whole different ball game.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 04/29/14 at 01:57 PM ET

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Bert is a great teammate and huge calming presence for our young guys. I’ve read somewhere that he is good friends with Helm for example. I hope he will be given a position in the organization.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/29/14 at 01:59 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

If you assume Holland will keep Babcock for many years, why not trade Blasshill for Shea Weber?

Posted by w2j2 on 04/29/14 at 02:02 PM ET

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No argument that 25-27 goals for under $4 mil is good value, but we are talking about a 35 years old with the history of concussions whose production has no other way to go, but down. As somebody mentioned already when Franzen is not scoring, he contributes absolutely nothing and because of all the injuries he is hesitant to go to the net as the next hit to the head can end his career.
I am also curious to know if Franzen is a good influence on our young players when they see no effort in half of the games. If we can replace these 27 goals with somebody who works hard and scores 18-20 goals, I think we will be better off. In a vacuum I would prefer Legwand over Franzen at this point at similar salaries, but I hope KH does not resign Legwand if Babcock plays him on a 4th line. As to Franzen, I will certainly try to trade him for anything. The contract is toxic, of course, but this is why KH makes millions of dollars to convince other teams that Franzen is a big body, 25-30 goal scorer and change of scenary can do wonders for him.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/29/14 at 02:07 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Best line from KH: “Nobody here wants to be taking team pictures in April. We certainly have bigger hopes, bigger aspirations.

(of course that’s the kind of line that sets up a, “Okay, swell, Kenny, back it up now” scenario)

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/29/14 at 02:09 PM ET

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Quincey or Kindl…I’d still take my chances with Kindl. Call me crazy.

Kindl will never succeed here imo. I think he needs a team/coach that will require less structure.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/29/14 at 02:11 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Right now, Holland said, he won’t let other teams talk to Jeff Blashill: “I think he’s a NHL coach in the making.”

I’m actually really surprised by this.  I thought it was sort of an unwritten rule that most GM’s would let other teams speak to their staff if requested.  Makes you wonder if Babs, Holland, and Blas have a short/long term plans in the works.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/29/14 at 02:12 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

There was an interest in Tootoo at the deadline, but we kept him in the AHL?

No one will trade for him now (knowing he is a free agent once bought out). Even a 7th round conditional pick is something.

Posted by lancer on 04/29/14 at 01:50 PM ET

I get that, but it’s kind of like: “I am interested in buying a three quarter ton pick-up, but I live in a large and congested city so it isn’t really practical.”  I can be interested all I want, but if it doesn’t make sense given the circumstances, it just doesn’t make sense.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/29/14 at 02:14 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Blashill has been extremely valuable to the Wings as their coach in the AHL. 
I would argue that he has played a huge roll in the development of all the young players. 
So what will Holland do with him?

Surely Blashill wants a head coaching position…
Any amount of money Holland offers will be matched by another team looking for a coach….
So I think that over the medium term, Blashill is gone.

So why not try to get something for him?

Posted by w2j2 on 04/29/14 at 02:18 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Holy Crap, GM, since yesterday afternoon you’ve added 24 more stories, each with x16 updates?  I look forward to getting back to work from lunch and reading them.

Franzen isn’t going anywhere. We’re all looking for someone to blame, but the reality is Boston is a better, deeper team than we are right now.  Free agency wise, no one really stands out, except for Vanek. I wouldn’t be opposed to Kenny making a big trade to get a bona-fide number 1 or 2 d-man, including shipping something valuable now to do so.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 04/28/14 at 04:57 PM ET

Yeah there’s a lot of truth there.  People will squeal and cry if one or more of their fave young forwards gets dealt to get an above average return,  not understanding that the other party in the deal needs to get some value too.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 04/29/14 at 02:19 PM ET

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Okay, swell, Kenny, back it up now

George, I want to be excited about this off season, but to be honest, I am scared of what KH will do this summer. After Cleary signing (knowing that puts Nyquist in GR), after Weiss signing (this could be bad luck, but still), after Legwand trade (giving up our best center prospect and Legwands ends up on a 4th line), after rumors KH offered Tatar and Nyquist and a good prospect and a high pick for 36years old Iginla (last year), after all this I actually hope KH does not do much this summer and we just improve within.
I have been KH defender on all different forums for years, but recent signings and trades make me reconsider. And I still think that the big issue is that Babcock and KH do not see eye to eye on how the team should look and play and to me that’s an issue that should somehow be resolved.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/29/14 at 02:22 PM ET

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Why do reporters talk to Holland anyways?  It literally is a cliché factory.  Oh yeah, and this team does not make the playoffs without acquiring Legwand?  Ridiculous, Legwand did nothing to get this team over the hump it was and continues to be the play of the young kids and they would not have had that issue had they kept Nyquist here all season.

Posted by bababooey on 04/29/14 at 02:25 PM ET

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I have been KH defender on all different forums for years, but recent signings and trades make me reconsider. And I still think that the big issue is that Babcock and KH do not see eye to eye on how the team should look and play and to me that’s an issue that should somehow be resolved.

Indeed, Babcock wants trucks and Holland acquires Ferrari’s to go off-roading and haul large loads.

Posted by bababooey on 04/29/14 at 02:27 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Kindl is history.  His potential does not matter.  Babcock will not play him.

Posted by w2j2 on 04/29/14 at 02:30 PM ET

awould's avatar

“Anthony Mantha,” Ken Holland said.

interesting quote.

Franzen should be traded. Buy-out talk was always crazy and made no sense. You only buy-out a player that has no value (Tootoo). It’d be like refusing a trade for a free-agent player you have no intention of re-signing.

I hope he gets traded, not for nothing of course. A couple of highish draft picks would be excellent. I’d rather pay the same for a player that shows up every shift but scores a bit less or pay more for a player who shows up every shift and scores the same. Franzen is a middling guy… his point production is off-set greatly by his lack of effort 70% of the time. His career trajectory is about to take a nosedive. The performances that earned his contract are ancient history.

Posted by awould on 04/29/14 at 02:37 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Quincey or Kindl…I’d still take my chances with Kindl. Call me crazy.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/29/14 at 01:17 PM ET

I’m still all ears on your collection of #4 jerseys.  Educate us.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/29/14 at 03:13 PM ET

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Quincey or Kindl…I’d still take my chances with Kindl. Call me crazy.

I’ll take c) None of the above.

Ridiculous, Legwand did nothing to get this team over the hump

You have no clue what you’re talking about.

His potential does not matter.

Potential only matters if you fulfill it.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 03:15 PM ET

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after Legwand trade (giving up our best center prospect

They didn’t give up their best centre prospect, they gave up a guy who might have left for Europe.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 03:17 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Holland “we need more Mules” guys that can score 20 plus goals

Well, that only helps if those “mules” score one goal about every four game, not three or four goals in one game and then none in the next 15. And those 20 regular-season goals mean nothing if those “mules” score just 12 points in 32 playoff games while compiling a combined -11 rating the way Franzen has over the past four years.

The Wings may very well need more “mules.” What they don’t need is a lazy ass 6’3” 220lb floater who plays like he’s 5’6” and 150lbs.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/29/14 at 03:31 PM ET

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Trading Franzen is a dumb idea because if he is traded and retires before his deal ends Detroit gets dinged for a cap charge on the back end.  Buying out Franzen is a dumb idea beause for what he is charged against the cap he’s not only paid fairly, he’s a bargain.  Detroit wants to reap the rewards of having Franzen retire early (relative to the end of his deal), not get charged more for them.

Blashill is being held back as insurance on Babcock.  If Babcock doesn’t come back Blashill’s the next Wings coach.  If Babcock does come back I am fairly sure they’ll be an early-exit clause in Blashill’s next deal, assuming he re-ups before Babcock does.  I bet he does.

Don’t look at Legwand/Franzen as either or.  The team can keep both and still have loads of cap space to deal with other roster issues.  Sammy, Alfredsson, Cleary and Bert clear up ~10 mil all on their own, and the cap will go up.  Further, Detroit needs actual NHL centers.  Rolling Glendening out there so he can get his ass kicked in the faceoff dot is a killer.

The team needs to re-up Quincey for around 3 if they can.  They also need to find a hole to stuff Kindl and Lashoff into.  Neither guy is an NHL-level dman.  Ouelett and Marachenko are day 1 upgrades over both, in identical roles.  There is an undeniable need for offense from the blue line, and it’s been bad for a couple years now.  Detroit had 26 goals from the whole group last year while there were three players who had at least 20.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/29/14 at 03:49 PM ET

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Trading Franzen is a dumb idea because if he is traded and retires before his deal ends Detroit gets dinged for a cap charge on the back end.

If Holland et al aren’t happy with Franzen then it would colossally foolish to not deal Franzen out of a fear of the cap recapture.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 03:55 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

gonna miss Bert ...

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/29/14 at 01:51 PM ET

Concur

He’s been a frustrating yet fun player to watch.  From the no-look passes to the other team, the phantom reputation calls he would receive, to the spinoramas to the I’m gonna kill a bitch looks, he will be missed.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 04/29/14 at 03:56 PM ET

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Sammy, Alfredsson, Cleary and Bert clear up ~10 mil all on their own, and the cap will go up.  Further, Detroit needs actual NHL centers.  Rolling Glendening out there so he can get his ass kicked in the faceoff dot is a killer.

1) You can’t honestly think it would be better to Legwand than Alfredsson.
2) When healthy the one thing Detroit doesn’t need is centres.
3) Do you think it isn’t Babcock’s choice to play Glendening?

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 03:57 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

There’s enough Holland for all of your needs…10 minutes on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM and 36 minutes of video. He’s at least consistent, so his comments are worth mentioning.

I thought today was intriguing. Sometimes the players, coach and team make some surprisingly divergent remarks, but this year, it was all the same thing—team didn’t perform well enough, players didn’t perform well enough individually, lots of learning for “the kids,” everybody has to get healthy and work hard during the offseason to return as better players, team has to improve from within if at all possible, one-playoff-round-and-done is completely unacceptable as an every-year standard so next year they plan on going much further and now they’ve got to build the foundation for ensuring that they’re not “taking team pictures at the end of April.” Everybody was on message.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/29/14 at 03:59 PM ET

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Don’t look at Legwand/Franzen as either or.  The team can keep both and still have loads of cap space

Loads of cap space yes, but not enough roster spots.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/29/14 at 04:11 PM ET

perfection's avatar

wow. after sifting though all of this I must say the absolute best part is the line about Holland not allowing NHL teams to talk to Blash. After watching the Griffs all of last year and this year, I think he is an incredibly key ingredient. He will coach in the NHL at some point. The Wings need to hold on to him for every second they can until that point. Hell, it could even work out that he replaces Babs a few years down the line if circumstances work out that way. But even if he doesn’t, his effect on the organization will reverberate for a generation. Nothing like championship runs to show kids what it takes to win. Last year’s run is a huge part of why Glenny, Jurco, and Sheahan showed up like they did. Hopefully a long run this year will help Pulkkinen, Ferraro and all those dmen in a similar way,

Also, while I hate to root against him, I wish Mantha’s team would just lose already so we can watch him play with men. After watching Andreas Athanasiou tear it up the last couple games, I’m even more curious to see Mantha.   

And reading Babs’ comments on a right handed shot, I’d say Marcheno might have a leg up for a roster spot. He’s older and more experienced than Sproul (another righty) and was an AHL all-star until his injury. I do feel bad for Almquist. He’s put together two great seasons and then seemed to badly injure himself in the first game of the playoffs. Did not dress for the second. Seemed like a knee. Have a hard time seeing him break through, especially if we bring someone in from the outside.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/29/14 at 04:34 PM ET

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Also, while I hate to root against him, I wish Mantha’s team would just lose already so we can watch him play with men. After watching Andreas Athanasiou tear it up the last couple games, I’m even more curious to see Mantha.

Tonight is game 7 of their series, so just try to think of it as rooting for Mantha’s continued development rather than rooting against him having success in the Q.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 04:45 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

So which right-handed d-man plays more games with the Wings next year - Marchenko or Sproul?

I, for one, am extremely glad to hear Babcock say he wants to build the blueline from within. They don’t need another contract to a middling player clogging up the system when there are guys who look like they have real ability knocking on the door.

Some trades are needed just to open up roster spots.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/29/14 at 04:49 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

They didn’t give up their best centre prospect, they gave up a guy who might have left for Europe.

At this point, it doesn’t look like that rumor really had much truth to it.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/29/14 at 04:51 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

I, for one, am extremely glad to hear Babcock say he wants to build the blueline from within. They don’t need another contract to a middling player clogging up the system when there are guys who look like they have real ability knocking on the door.

UNLESS a bona fide top pairing d-man is available. It just doesn’t look like that’s going to happen through free agency.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 04/29/14 at 04:52 PM ET

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At this point, it doesn’t look like that rumor really had much truth to it.

What are you basing that on?  In Detroit he was way down the list of prospects so who knew when he was even going to get a chance, whereas in Nashville he was right at the top of their prospect pool.

There’s no way to tell what he would’ve done if Detroit kept him.

Posted by Garth on 04/29/14 at 04:57 PM ET

perfection's avatar

At this point, it doesn’t look like that rumor really had much truth to it.

here’s the thing, we will never know. because if his agent came to Kenny and said Calle plays in the NHL next year or he’s going back to Europe… OR you can trade him to a team that WILL ensure him an NHL spot next year. Well, just because he plays in Nashville next year does not mean he wouldn’t have chosen Europe over the Griffs. I guess if he spends the entire year next year on Nashville’s farm team you could argue he wasn’t going to leave.

and I definitely agree that Legwand helped us make the playoffs by filling a leadership void when we needed it, putting up a solid amount of points when we needed it, and playing whatever role he was asked. He played on the fourth line without a peep and played really hard. I actually thought he was pretty decent in the playoffs. He, Miller, and Glenny were maybe our most consistent line for the last month. I still would rather have him than Weiss (granted at a mil or more cheaper a year), but that’s just not going to happen. It still is amazing to me to continue to read all this talk about Franzen and all this supposed unfulfilled potential and poor effort (yeah, like Babs wouldn’t publicly call out his effort if that was in fact his issue) when Weiss and his LARGER contract are clearly the biggest uncertainty going forward. I’ll take Franzen’s production at his cost all day - streaks and all. Can Weiss even do that much? Will he even be able to play at all?

and speaking of uncertainty… again, all the focus on Franzen. What is Helm’s future? Can he put together a full season? Talk about unfulfilled potential and poor contract value so far

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/29/14 at 05:03 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.