Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day mishmash: on Sheahan, DeKeyser, the Winer Classic presser and the bumpy ride ahead

Updated 5x at 4:16 PM: Jared Coreau's heading to Detroit to join the Wings and Jake Paterson's heading to Grand Rapids to join the Griffins: Amongst this morning/early afternoon's Red Wings-related news:

The Wings had recalled Riley Sheahan on an "emergency" basis as the team feared that Henrik Zetterberg (groin) might not be able to play during Sunday's 1-0 loss to St. Louis, so the press release the Wings sent out to their email list on Monday offered no surprise:

RED WINGS REASSIGN RILEY SHEAHAN TO GRAND RAPIDS

Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today announced that forward Riley Sheahan has been reassigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. Sheahan appeared in yesterday’s contest vs. St. Louis, logging 6:47 in ice time.  The game marked Sheahan’s second NHL contest and first this season.

Sheahan is currently in his first full season with Grand Rapids.  The 6-2, 212-lb. center has collected 35 points (16-19-35) and 31 PIM in 67 games this season.  He is currently tied for third on the Griffins with six power-play goals and ranks second with two shorthanded tallies.

 

 

As mentioned in the overnight report, MLive's Brendan Savage penned a superb article about Sheahan whose time stamp was pushed forward to 7 AM EDT, and while Wings coach Mike Babcock deemed Sheahan to not quite be ready for prime time after a middling performance....

"He was OK, but he's going to get a trip to the minors (today)," Babcock said. "He's going to be a player for us, but he's got to get quicker and he's got to have more pace to his game. When you're ready and you come here, you show you're ready. When you're not quite, then you're going to get caught."

Sheahan assisted that his struggles to deal with much less ice time than he receives in Grand Rapids--he played 6:47 and registered a shot, a takeaway and a lost faceoff--were "on him," if you will...

"You can't have any excuses," said Sheahan, 21. "You're playing in the NHL. That's where you want to be. If you can't get up for all your shifts, I don't think you should be here. Right now, I'm just focusing on every shift, trying to do something out there and trying to use my body to my advantage. Things like that is all I'm focused on. You've just got to be so much more solid with the puck, just battling every time you have the puck. Every possession is important. Just focus on ... trying to win every battle."

And he said this about the incident which will stick with him for the rest of his career:

Sheahan hopes to rehabilitate his image, which took a considerable hit in October, when he was arrested for drunken driving in Grand Rapids. He had a blood-alcohol count of .30 – nearly four times the legal limit – after being pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

In December, he pleaded guilty to the "super drunk" offense of driving with a blood-alcohol count of .17 or higher. He was fined $1,325, agreed to complete 49 hours on a work crew, attend a victim impact class and serve 12 months or probation.

"It's all behind me now," Sheahan said. "I'm just trying to go forward and keep going and change the viewpoints of what people have of me. Playing good hockey is a good way to do that."

Savage posted a video interview with Sheahan as well:

 

 

New Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser fared better during his home-ice debut, registering 2 shots, a blocked attempt, a takeaway, a blocked shot and a -1 in 15:32 of ice time, and while he was overpowered by Chris Porter on the Blues' only goal,
Wings coach Mike Babcock told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff that he was satisfied with DeKeyser's performance (and again, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa suggested, it's quite evident that DeKeyser's much closer to 180 pounds than the 200-210 pounds of listed weight on his "hockey card," if you will):

“When you can skate like that . . . he made a few errant passes, but I think that was more nerves than anything else,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of DeKeyser, a Western Michigan product who was born in Detroit. “He can spin and go back in and pass it up the middle. I know our good players like D who can go get the puck and get it going, versus playing the zone coverage. I like watching him.”

DeKeyser enjoyed himself and displayed little to no nervousness regarding playing at the Joe for the first time:

“It was definitely fun,” DeKeyser said. “I wish we could have gotten a win (Sunday), but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

With each shift, he’s feeling more and more at home in the big leagues.

“The more I get out there the more comfortable I get,” DeKeyser said. “I’m just going to take it one game at a time and just try to get as comfortable as I can.

DeKeyser admitted it’s been “a little bit” of a whirlwind since he signed with the Wings two weeks ago. “But it was nothing I wasn’t expecting,” he said. “I did the best I can to just be prepared and I’ve got some stuff to work on, so I’ll just keep working every day and try to be the best I can.” He’s found the pace of the NHL game is the biggest adjustment to make.

“It’s a quicker game, so it’s important to move your feet out there and get some speed going,” DeKeyser said. “You can’t be caught flat-footed. If you’re caught flat-footed, you’re going to get beat. I just try to have tight gaps in the neutral zone and get back to pucks as best I can. That’s my game, that’s what I try to do.”

 

 

Looking back at the Winter Classic presser and the hubbub surrounding it, MLive's Savage looks at "what they are saying" about the events to come and the jerseys (this is just me, but I'd like the Winter Classic jerseys better if they ditched the "vintage cream" and went with plain old white):

Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings captain: "I think when we come back after the summer there will probably be a lot of hype about it again, and you build up everything around. I just remember how I felt when they announced it (last year). When I went to the Big House and went on the field for the press conference there, it was real exciting. It will be a great game, and it will be a division game now as well. So it's a big game with a lot of people and it will be a lot of fun."

Wendel Clark, former Maple Leafs/Red Wings player:  "It's great to see the old Norris Division kind of getting back together with the Leafs and the Red Wings back in the same division. The rivalry was always great. Friday in Detroit, Saturday in Toronto. It was always an exciting time and it's great to be part of that again."

Again, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tom Anselmi heavily, heavily hinted that the game will kick off the 2013-2014 season schedule between Detroit and Toronto....

• Tom Anselmi, Maple Leafs president: "The two clubs have faced each other 644 times. The Leafs have won 276 and the Wings 275. This is the perfect rubber match. Our fans are thrilled about realignment. The Winter Classic will, in fact, kick off the realignment. It will be a division game and we're thrilled about that."

...

• Tom Wilson, president/CEO of Olympia Entertainment:  "This is going to be a celebration of hockey. If you're a hockey fan of any age, it's going to be a memorable experience. It's truly going to be an amazing couple of weeks. It may be cold outside but it's going to be a hot time in Hockeytown for two weeks."

• Joe Kocur, former Red Wings tough guy. Having two alumni games "just goes to show you great both organizations are. Once a Leaf, always a Leaf. Once a Wing, always a Wing. You could probably do three or four games and not have a problem filling the lineups."

That's not a bad idea at all, and if you're interested, DetroitHockey.net's Clark Rasmussen penned a "Detailed Look" at the Wings and Leafs' jerseys for Sportslogos.net...

 

 

Looking back at yesterday's loss, ESPN tosses off a stat that makes me cringe in its "Morning Jam"...

Blues 1, Red Wings 0
* Chris Porter: 2nd goal this season (both have been game-winning goals)
* Porter: 3 points last 3 games (2 points 1st 15 games this season)
* Blues: 4th straight win following 3-game losing streak
* Red Wings: 2-4-0 in last 6 games overall

Not good not good.

 

 

Looking forward, NHL.com's Dan Rosen believes that 12 players and coaches will play huge roles in determining whether their teams make the playoffs and/or make significant impacts come playoff time, and he's included an obvious choice as the Red Wings' representative:

3. Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings: If the Red Wings are going to make the playoffs for a record 22nd straight season, it's on Babcock to find the right combinations down the stretch to get the most out of his aging and battered team.

Babcock recently reunited forwards Pavel Datsyuk with Henrik Zetterberg, a move that has seemed to energize both while giving added responsibility to Johan Franzen, who moved to center the second line.

Babcock has to figure out how much faith to put in rookie defenseman Danny Dekeyser, who has impressed in two games since signing a two-year contract late last month. If Dekeyser can help the blue line, Babcock has to let him mature in a playoff race, never an easy thing to do for a coach.

(Yes, Rosen spells it "Dekeyser" and not "DeKeyser," but it's better than Mike "Doc" Emrick's "DEL Keyser," which will clearly be Taco Bell's "next big thing"...)

 

And finally, as noted by Paul, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson was incredibly busy penning three Hockey World columns on Sunday evening, and he offered one snippet of Red Wings-related note...

- Most scouts think Danny DeKeyser, who played strongly in his first NHL game for the Detroit Red Wings Friday against the Colorado Avalanche and was out there a fair bit against St. Louis Sunday, figures to be a third pairing NHL defenceman. Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said he was going to be a “good player for a long time,” but he doesn’t have the high-end game Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz displayed when he was a free agent coming out of college. He’s good, though.

But I'm going to have to roll my eyes regarding this suggestion regarding Ryan Miller's almost inevitable departure from Buffalo...

Who needs a goalie? Maybe St. Louis. Calgary does if Miikka Kiprusoff retires, but with Miller’s no-trade clause — he can list eight teams he won’t play for — he’s not waiving it to go there, is he? The Detroit Red Wings will need a goalie if they don’t want to pay UFA Jimmy Howard $5 million to $5.5 million a year. The Edmonton Oilers? Hey, anything’s possible, although they have hitched their wagon to Devan Dubnyk, but only for a two-year contract at $3.5 million a season.

Just no. Howard wants to stay in Detroit, Ken Holland's repeatedly stated that the Wings want to keep Howard, and Howard's both three years younger than Miller and is expected to sign for at least $750,000 less than Miller's current $6.25 million salary...

And you may take this for what you will given that Matheson's been at the forefront of the, "Valtteri Filppula won't stay in Detroit because he wants $5+ million and the Wings won't give it to him" movement:

Will Gagner be gone? The Edmonton Oilers have a thorny issue with centre Sam Gagner this summer. His contract is up, but in one more year he will be an unrestricted free agent at age 25, with seven years of NHL experience. Do the Oilers sign him for four or five years, eating well into his unrestricted free-agent status or do they trade him?

Gagner’s marketability has never been higher. The Detroit Red Wings will need a centre if they don’t re-sign UFA Val Filppula, so will the Washington Capitals if Mike Ribeiro leaves. Same story in Columbus, with Blue Jackets’ Derick Brassard gone to the New York Rangers for Marian Gaborik. How about the Nashville Predators or the Winnipeg Jets? And in Anaheim if veteran Ducks forward Saku Koivu retires?

If it was my choice, I would keep Gagner. He’s a leader without a letter on his jersey, and I think he’d do just as well on the wing, where faceoff wins and losses aren’t hanging over his head. But we also know it’s better to trade a player a year before UFA status than a few months from it.

Matheson's one of my favorite columnists, but he's been trying to invent scenarios in which the Oilers move Gagner and Ales Hemsky for two years now, so I'd suggest that speculation's speculation and nothing more, at least for now.

 

Update: According to the Marquette Mining Journal's Matt Wellens, Red Wings signee and Northern Michigan University goaltender Jared Coreau is heading to Detroit today, and he may or may not stay with the Wings or head to Grand Rapids. The 6'5," 200-pound goalie discussed his situation with Wellens next week, and Wellens added some notes from last week's interview to the mix:

The Final Four: Based on my conversation with Coreau, the final four franchises it came down to were Detroit, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, in that order. Coreau attended camps last summer in both Calgary and Edmonton. His knock against Calgary was the amount of solid young goaltenders already in their system. As for Edmonton, he had this to say:

“A great organization, we just really couldn’t come to terms on some things,” Coreau said.

Coreau said Winnipeg and Detroit were both very similar, but the proximity of the Red Wings AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids to the Jets’ AHL team in St. John’s, Newfoundland, tipped the scales.

“The big thing for me is the opportunity,” Coreau said. “Winnipeg and Detroit, the situations were identical. They both have an NHL starter — Jimmy Howard and Ondrej Pavelec — and they both have a backup goalie in the NHL that will be there for a year and then want to go and start somewhere. In the A, there is both a starter and a backup. Winnipeg for example, they’re two plane rides. It’s still a great organization. That was a big thing. Staying in Michigan is pretty nice too.”

The Blashill factor: NMU head coach Walt Kyle pushed Coreau toward the Wings organization, according to Coreau, and the Griffins’ head coach Jeff Blashill may have been a reason why.

“I’m really excited about (Blashill) being my new coach and Walt said a lot of great things about him,” Coreau said. “They are really high on him in Detroit.”

....

“Blashill used to be a goalie, which really caught my eye,” Coreau said. “I guess when someone lets in a bad goal, he understands. He’s been there. Every goalie has. I’m not asking for sympathy, but he gives his goalies a chance. He’s a winning coach. He’s proven that. He did it when I was in the USHL in Indiana. He went to Western, they were a losing team before and now they’re a top 10 team in the country every year and he only spent one year there.”

According to Wellens, Coreau had some difficulties in terms of withdrawing from his accounting courses at NMU, and he'll attempt to enroll at Grand Valley State University to pursue a marketing degree instead, with a high likelihood of being able to complete his degree within three fall/winter terms.

 

Update #2:

Update #3: Something tells me that Coreau will remain with the Wings, because Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson just Tweeted that he's going to join the Griffins for the remainder of the season:

Update #4: Via RedWingsFeed, the Griffins have shuffled their roster...

The Detroit Red Wings on Monday assigned center Riley Sheahan to the Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned right wing Andrej Nestrasil from the Griffins to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

Sheahan, 21, made his Red Wings season debut on Sunday, logging 6:47 of ice time and one shot on goal in Detroit’s 1-0 loss to St. Louis. The St. Catharines, Ontario, native ranks seventh on the Griffins and is tied for 18th among AHL rookies with 35 points (16-19—35) in 67 games. A first-round pick (21st overall) of Detroit in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Sheahan also ranks among team leaders with six power play goals (T5th), two shorthanded goals (2nd) and four game-winning goals (3rd).

Nestrasil, 22, has skated in 22 games with the Griffins this season, registering six points (3-3—6). The Prague, Czech Republic, native also appeared in 40 games with the Walleye, finishing fourth on the team with 41 points (11-30—41) and leading the club with a plus-17 rating. In 138 professional contests between Grand Rapids and Toledo, Nestrasil shows 80 points (24-56—80) and 54 penalty minutes.

After finishing up a stretch of 10 road games in their last 11 contests (March 16-April 6), the Griffins will open a four-game homestand this week when they host Chicago on Wednesday, Milwaukee on Friday and Peoria on Saturday. All games will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at http://griffinshockey.com

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And in the FYI department:

Update #5: Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Brendan Savage posted an off-day article about Danny DeKeyser's play over the course of his first two games as a Wing, including his home-ice debut:

"It was definitely fun," said DeKeyser, 23. "Wish we could have gotten a win tonight but that's how it goes sometimes. The more I get out there, the more comfortable I get. I'm just going to take it one game at a time and just try to get as comfortable as I can."

It's been a crazy couple of weeks for DeKeyser. He made the decision to sign with Detroit March 29 after turning down offers from at least seven other teams, signed his contract and skated in practice with Red Wings the following day and then sat out games against Colorado and Phoenix before making his NHL debut against the Avalanche Friday night. DeKeyser admitted everything has been a bit of whirlwind.

"But it was nothing I wasn't expecting," DeKeyser said. "I did the best I can to just be prepared and I got some stuff to work on, so just keep working every day and try to be the best I can.''

Babcock isn't ready to put DeKeyser on one of the power-play units but he did use him to kill penalties.

"He's putting faith in me so I have to come through in the clutch when it matters,'' DeKeyser said.  "It's a quicker game, so it's important to move your feet out there and get some speed going, so you can't be caught flat-footed. If you're caught flat-footed, you're going to get beat. I just tried to have tight gaps in the neutral zone and get back to pucks as best I can. That's my game, that's what I try to do.''

Savage posted a video interview with DeKeyser, too:

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Comments

Tony Perkis's avatar

I don’t mean to sound negative, but playing Chicago in the playoffs will not be a pretty 4 games. If they can manage to end the season in 7th, at least they looked good against Anaheim. But sadly my expectations are low this season. They aren’t competing against the Hawks without another legit d-man.

Keith and Seabrook   orrrrrr Kronwall and…Cola? E? Quincey? White?

Yikes.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 04/08/13 at 11:53 AM ET

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Must win games are Phoenix, Dallas, Nashville x2, & Calgary - all teams behind them in the standings. The LA, Chicago, Vancouver, and SJ games are meh, 1 or 2 points total and they should still slide into the 8th seed.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/08/13 at 12:09 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

The must win games were the ones we’ve shat the bed against the cellar dwellers. Those extra 6-8 points would look pretty fat right now. There’s no room for error now and this team has yet to play anything close to 9 games at a very high level of execution or intensity. We’re good for 2-4 game streaks where we look decent to good.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/08/13 at 12:45 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Big problem on D. There’s no legit #1, with all due respect to Kronwall, who is a legitimate anchor on one of the top pairings, but just can’t be that 27+ minute, all situations, lean on him when the going’s tough, kind of guy.

We’ve got this logjam of guys that are actually playing quite well this year as #3/#4/#5 D, and the bad thing is, it is taking ice time away from all of them. We need Brendan Smith out there getting experience, because he’s the only guy in the pipeline today that could possibly (if unlikely) develop into that true #1 (I think he’s more like another Kronwall). But because we have Quincey, White, Colaiacovo, Kindl, and now DeKeyser filling the same shoes, it means all three of Kindl, DeKeyser, and Smith are going to suffer time for it.

It blows my mind that there wasn’t some team willing to spend a late-round pick on a guy like Ian White or Colaiacovo at the deadline. Get anything in return for those guys and commit to the kids, don’t just say in interviews it’s time to commit to the kids and then actually sit in between.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/08/13 at 02:10 PM ET

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It blows my mind that there wasn’t some team willing to spend a late-round pick on a guy like Ian White or Colaiacovo at the deadline.

I agree on White, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend anything to get Colaiacovo, who is as injury prone as you can get and is still under contract for next year.

But more than that, I simply don’t think White was available.

Get anything in return for those guys and commit to the kids, don’t just say in interviews it’s time to commit to the kids and then actually sit in between.

The problem, of course, is that this “commitment to youth” was absolutely nothing but lipservice.  Not only did Holland decline to ship out any impending UFAs to give the younger players the playing time that is required for them to develop, but he also tried to bring in Jay Bouwmeester and Jaromir Jagr, which would’ve pushed what youngsters who were in the lineup at the time to be sent down to GR.

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 02:28 PM ET

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The problem, of course, is that this “commitment to youth” was absolutely nothing but lipservice.  Not only did Holland decline to ship out any impending UFAs to give the younger players the playing time that is required for them to develop, but he also tried to bring in Jay Bouwmeester and Jaromir Jagr, which would’ve pushed what youngsters who were in the lineup at the time to be sent down to GR.

exactly, which shows that there is no plan, Holland is just flailing away.  It seems that St Holland gets caught flat footed every time and then comes out with his usual excuses.  Most Wings fans are smart enough to understand that this team is not a legitimate Cup contender and most fans would have no problem giving the youngsters playing time to see where they stand in their development, but Holland can’t seem to figure out what he wants to do and insults the fan base in the meantime.  Case in point, does he really think that most fans believe that Samuelsson and Bertuzzi coming back would make them legitimate Cup contenders?

Posted by bababooey on 04/08/13 at 02:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I might suggest that the team’s ultimate decision to not seriously pursue Jagr or give up the asking price deemed necessary to land Bouwmeester—full $6.68 million cap hit included—involved the team’s management coming to a decision that they would trust the remainder of the season to their current roster.

The Wings *did* want to see whether White and Colaiacovo would be able to prove that they’re worthy of NHL employment beyond this season, too, so they’re riding a very delicate balance there…

And quite honestly, jettisoning both would have left the team with 7 defensemen, and the Wings don’t want to have that few warm bodies with a potential playoff run in the offing. As we saw on Friday and Sunday, Colaiacovo’s “didn’t cut it” performance yielded a return to the press box, and given White’s up-and-down performances, it’s entirely possible, if not probable, that one of Lashoff or Smith will draw back into the lineup on Thursday.

A “youth movement” does not entail playing ALL the “kids” ALL the time. It entails giving younger players the opportunity to earn jobs and ice time when they play, regardless of whether they receive immediate promotions (Andersson) or have to work their way up the lineup (Nyquist), and sometimes the coaching staff decides that they need to see whether veterans can still hack it, or perhaps give the a better opportunity to win on a given night.

It’s not a simple “play all the kids” or “play all the veterans” equation, and we have to remember that *by Red Wings standards,* this reluctant embracing of a youth movement is nothing less than a radical change in team philosophy.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/08/13 at 02:45 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

Thanks for adding some sense to this commentary, George.

The Wings lost Lidstrom, Stuart and Rafalski in the last few years; we went after Suter, and we didn’t get him, yet everyone acts like there are #1 D-men available via trades that wouldn’t gut our current team. Keep dreaming.

And trading White, who is admittedly underperforming, for a 7th round pick? Suuuure. We may not have a bonafide #1, but we’ll readily trade away defensive depth for practically nothing? Wake me up when that makes sense.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 04/08/13 at 03:07 PM ET

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A “youth movement” does not entail playing ALL the “kids” ALL the time. It entails giving younger players the opportunity to earn jobs and ice time when they play, regardless of whether they receive immediate promotions (Andersson) or have to work their way up the lineup (Nyquist), and sometimes the coaching staff decides that they need to see whether veterans can still hack it, or perhaps give the a better opportunity to win on a given night.

It’s not a simple “play all the kids” or “play all the veterans” equation, and we have to remember that *by Red Wings standards,* this reluctant embracing of a youth movement is nothing less than a radical change in team philosophy

What more do they have to do in Grand Rapids to earn a shot in Detroit?  I think it is apparent that Tatar, Andersson, Smith and Lashoff have all outplayed the vets that were brought in, and if not for injuries the vets would be playing ahead of the youngsters.  Even when they do come up, they’re mostly relegated to the 3rd and fourth lines while guys like Cleary, Samuelsson etc. take their spots.  At some point they do have to play the kids and go with a youth movement, unless they want to keep signing washed up ex-Red Wing players at the expense of developing prospects at the NHL level and spinning their wheels.  I happen to think that at a certain point guys actually regress if they’re stuck in Grand Rapids for too long, there is only so much developing they can do until they have to take the next step.

Posted by bababooey on 04/08/13 at 03:10 PM ET

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And quite honestly, jettisoning both would have left the team with 7 defensemen

They could’ve traded one of them and still had eight.

A “youth movement” does not entail playing ALL the “kids” ALL the time.

Of course not, but it does entail choosing to play the “kids” instead of only playing them when forced to because of injury.

this reluctant embracing of a youth movement is nothing less than a radical change in team philosophy.

In what way?  They were forced to play kids because the veterans they chose to sign  go injured.  If not for the vets all going down then Andersson, Nyquist and Tatar wouldn’t have ever gotten a chance while Brian Lashoff most likely wouldn’t have been re-signed at this point in the season and certainly wouldn’t have been given a one-way contract.

The youth movement has yet to be embraced in any way.  We’ll see in the off-season which free agents (and how many) are brought in and which prospects are going to get on the roster.

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 03:13 PM ET

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And trading White, who is admittedly underperforming, for a 7th round pick? Suuuure. We may not have a bonafide #1, but we’ll readily trade away defensive depth for practically nothing? Wake me up when that makes sense.

And lose him for nothing when he walks away this summer, wake me when that makes sense.  Other teams cut their dead weight for picks, guys they knew they had no intention of keeping.  The Wings fortunes do not rest on if Ian White is on this roster or not, so why not get something for him?

Posted by bababooey on 04/08/13 at 03:13 PM ET

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And trading White, who is admittedly underperforming, for a 7th round pick? Suuuure. We may not have a bonafide #1, but we’ll readily trade away defensive depth for practically nothing? Wake me up when that makes sense.

As opposed to keeping him around, making him a healthy scratch regularly, not re-signing him in the off-season and getting literally nothing?

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 03:14 PM ET

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I happen to think that at a certain point guys actually regress if they’re stuck in Grand Rapids for too long

Absolutely.  That’s why they were practically forced to give Smith a shot in Detroit.  He was clearly bored and unchallenged in the AHL, and to force him to stay there could well have resulted in him developing bad habits and/or regressing.

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 03:17 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

Keeping White gives us defensive depth now, which, if i recall, is important because we’re still technically in the playoffs. We may lose him in the summer, or we may not. No one knows that for sure.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 04/08/13 at 03:19 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I might suggest that the team’s ultimate decision to not seriously pursue Jagr or give up the asking price deemed necessary to land Bouwmeester—full $6.68 million cap hit included—involved the team’s management coming to a decision that they would trust the remainder of the season to their current roster.

The question becomes about next year.  There *still* is nobody to play alongside Kronwall, there is nobody in the system that can do it next year either, and to be blunt the UFA market for d-men doesn’t look very appealing.  A guy like Bouwmeester is well above the UFA choices (Gonchar, Hainsey, Streit, Whitney, Zidlicky… ).  So they still have to be hoping for a trade that may or may not materialize or something?  I don’t honestly know?  Do they even know?

I can understand for this season.  They seem to be submarining next season too though with this stubborness.  And while Wings fans will suffer this season, I don’t see them sitting through this same thing again next season.  You think it’s bad now, wait until November when it dawns on fans that NOTHING has changed.  People will probably start calling for Illitch to sell the team even.  It’ll be horrific.

I’m very glad the “kids” are getting a chance, it’s overdue.  I just wish management/coaching didn’t seem to almost be setting them up to fail as a scapegoat.

Posted by Primis on 04/08/13 at 03:21 PM ET

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We may lose him in the summer, or we may not.

If they decide to re-sign him then that’s worse than letting him go for nothing because he’s been outplayed by everyone on the roster.

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 03:23 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

It makes plenty of sense to shed white—especially at the rate teams were overpaying—when the GM speaks as if there’s no realistic possibility of winning a cup this year with this team, and we fans are smart enough to see that the Wings would have to get ungodly luck to reach the Finals.  Why continue to cling to depth players and UFAs that you more than likely won’t use and/or resign.  If you’re rebuilding, you get whatever you can for what you can.  It’s time for a change in philosophy and leadership.  Holland has this summer and no longer to prove that he can rebuild a team during the salary cap era. And don’t give me that 2008 stuff—our core was already in place and playing well, leaving Holland with only the job of adding complimentary players.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 03:28 PM ET

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If the Wings make the playoffs, defense depth (8 D-men) makes sense and with De Keyeser we have 9. This off season will bring great changes to many teams - just look at http://www.capgeek.com/?charts_year=2013 to see that teams like Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, Minnesota are going to be shedding salary via compliance buyouts.

We’ve all been spoiled by our defense for many, many years. There are very few Lidstroms/Stuarts/Rafalskis out in the NHL we had all 3.

It’ll be interesting to see what they do next season with De Keyeser. Does he spend time in GR begin the #1 D-man or is he on the roster as 4/5/6? I’m betting the former, Carlo is not bought out and White is not re-signed. Without a trade that leaves us with Kronwall/Erickson/Quincy/Kindl/Carlo/Smith/Lashoff as the 7 on the roster next year.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/08/13 at 03:50 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

DD needs to be in the NHL.  Resigning Cola only prevents room opening up for prospects in both the big league and in the minors.  The thing about log jams is that they have a dominoe effect.  The next wave of defensemen need those top line spots in GR—don’t waste one on DD.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 04:00 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

It makes plenty of sense to shed white—especially at the rate teams were overpaying

That’s BS. No one knows if White was even inquired about; let alone if he was, how do we know that the team inquiring was willing to “overpay”?

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 04/08/13 at 04:06 PM ET

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Resigning Cola

He’ll be under contract next year. He’d have to be bought out to free up his spot.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/08/13 at 04:12 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

BS it is not. To suggest that no team would have given up at least a 5th rounder IF Holland offers is what’s incredible.  I never said anyone would ask for White, by the way—people just assume things.  My point is that for every seller, there’s usually a buyer, especially if that buyer doesn’t have to give up a roster player.  They won’t buy if you don’t let them know you’re selling, however.  We don’t know if Holland really did anything.  That’s the crazy part.  At least he sold Huskins before the deadline for a conditional 7th (Hakan can use that).  White has to be more valuable than Huskins.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 04:19 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

Gotcha AZWinger. I derped.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 04:21 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

I never said anyone would ask for White, by the way—people just assume things.

Actually, if you read what you wrote, your whole point was based on why it made sense to move White, and/or potential UFAs.

Why continue to cling to depth players and UFAs that you more than likely won’t use and/or resign.  If you’re rebuilding, you get whatever you can for what you can.  It’s time for a change in philosophy and leadership.

I call BS because i think this is a flimsy argument. If we get word that something crazy happened, like Holland passed up trading white for a 1st round pick, then this argument makes sense. Until then…

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 04/08/13 at 04:54 PM ET

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If we get word that something crazy happened, like Holland passed up trading white for a 1st round pick, then this argument makes sense.

It only makes sense to trade White for a 1st rounder?

You said something about BS…

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 05:23 PM ET

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White has to be more valuable than Huskins.

Exactly.  If he can trade a guy who was literally a spare part then Holland could’ve gotten something for White.  If Douglas Murray can be traded for two second rounders then Holland could’ve gotten something for White.

I call BS because i think this is a flimsy argument.

What’s flimsy about it?  That’s exactly how rebuilding works.  You shed spare parts and UFAs in order to allow your young players to play so that you can get an idea of how and if they fit in the NHL.

teams like Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, Minnesota are going to be shedding salary via compliance buyouts.

Yes, they probably will be, but who do you think they’re going to buy out?  They’re going to buy out their versions of the guys that we want the Wings to buy out.  Their Colaiacovos and Sammys, their bad contracts, aging veterans who are slowing down and injury prone players who miss 15-20 games at a time.  Minnesota isn’t going to buy out Ryan Suter and Boston isn’t going to buy out Zdeno Chara any more than Detroit is going to buy out Datsyuk or Zetterberg.  They’ll buy out bottom six forwards and #4-7 defensemen who can easily be replaced with cheap young players.

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 05:34 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

It makes plenty of sense to shed white—especially at the rate teams were overpaying—when the GM speaks as if there’s no realistic possibility of winning a cup this year with this team, and we fans are smart enough to see that the Wings would have to get ungodly luck to reach the Finals.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 04:28 PM ET

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That’s BS. No one knows if White was even inquired about; let alone if he was, how do we know that the team inquiring was willing to “overpay”?

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon on 04/08/13 at 05:06 PM ET

—-

I never said anyone would ask for White, by the way—people just assume things.  My point is that for every seller, there’s usually a buyer, especially if that buyer doesn’t have to give up a roster player.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 05:19 PM ET

—-

Actually, if you read what you wrote, your whole point was based on why it made sense to move White, and/or potential UFAs.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon on 04/08/13 at 05:54 PM ET

So, as you can see, I never said anything about other GM’s asking for/inquiring about White.  I was only saying that we could have moved him and we should have moved him.  And just because teams may or may not have been inquiring about White, that doesn’t mean Holland shouldn’t have been shopping him anyway.  If you can trade Huskins, you can trade White and give Hakan more picks to find our next late round gem with.  It doesn’t make any sense to hold on to White unless we plan to re-sign him.  If Holland lets White go without trading his rights, he will have blown another opportunity to help the team.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 06:20 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

I don’t think any of “the kids” have really out played White or Cola.. Cola has been injured all season and White has been injured off and on as well. I think we got lucky that Smith and Kindl have proven that they can play in the NHL, but I don’t think they have quite shown the maturity and knowledge of the postion that they play to “outplay” any veteran day in and day out. If you remove White or Cola the only veteran D we have is Kroner and E52 and Q… Ericsson was A HUGE question mark before the season started as to weather he could be a top 4, and all of you wanted Quincey off the team before the season started and Smith was the only rookie that was slated to make the team at all. Kindl was on his way out the door one month into the season.

How does trading White or any other Dman help the team right now? You get a low draft pick that may or may not make the team in 5 years? It’s a balance between now and the future, you have to win today and 3 years from now. What if Kindl scores on his own goal in the Stanley Cup final or Smith gets burned trying to go after a hit that wasn’t there and leaves Howard out to dry in the conference finals? That’s what you are faced with when you are managing something, and you certainly don’t make emotional, irrational decisions that will cause you to lose now and years ahead. It really is a process and you have to approach it that way or you don’t get to be the greatest franchise professional sports has ever seen. The Red Wings are the best owned, most well run team in all of pro sports… Christ look at the Islanders or the Blackhawks before that owner died… They were just like the Lions only people weren’t stupid enough to pay to go see games in Chicago!!

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 04/08/13 at 06:22 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

A “youth movement” does not entail playing ALL the “kids” ALL the time. It entails giving younger players the opportunity to earn jobs and ice time when they play, regardless of whether they receive immediate promotions (Andersson) or have to work their way up the lineup (Nyquist), and sometimes the coaching staff decides that they need to see whether veterans can still hack it, or perhaps give the a better opportunity to win on a given night.

It’s not a simple “play all the kids” or “play all the veterans” equation, and we have to remember that *by Red Wings standards,* this reluctant embracing of a youth movement is nothing less than a radical change in team philosophy.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/08/13 at 03:45 PM ET

Thanks for adding some sense to this commentary, George.

The Wings lost Lidstrom, Stuart and Rafalski in the last few years; we went after Suter, and we didn’t get him, yet everyone acts like there are #1 D-men available via trades that wouldn’t gut our current team. Keep dreaming.

And trading White, who is admittedly underperforming, for a 7th round pick? Suuuure. We may not have a bonafide #1, but we’ll readily trade away defensive depth for practically nothing? Wake me up when that makes sense.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon on 04/08/13 at 04:07 PM ET


George makes sense if people are crying for “all” the kids to be given roster spots, but how is that—playing “all the kids” even possible.  Who are “all the kids?”  I’m not sure why you spoke in such extremes.  Do you think that people want all the prospects to be played?  From what I see, people want the team to stop signing mediocre veteran plugs and shed the ones we have.  Bringing one or two prospects up a year is not a “youth movement.”  It’s lip service from a GM that’s trying to buy himself more time until he figures out what he’s doing in this salary cap era.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 06:30 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

I don’t think any of “the kids” have really out played White or Cola.. Cola has been injured all season and White has been injured off and on as well.

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 04/08/13 at 07:22 PM ET

Sure, not all of them have outplayed White and Cola but those two have been injured and healthy-scratched a lot.  That makes their decision to keep them and possibly see what they can do next year somewhat odd.  And to your point about not seeing a prospect for five years after they’ve been drafted, that actually helps more than it hurts your team if you can afford to do it.  Hakan Andersson (remember him?), that guy is good at that scouting thing.  We like to give him picks.  We should give him more!  The thing is, some of those talents that he finds are raw or need lots of time to develop—they’re projects.  We shouldn’t mind waiting for those prospects to develop, especially if they were taken in the 7th round and have a high ceiling.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 06:41 PM ET

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DD needs to be in the NHL.

I think he needs minutes more at a Pro level, especially to start the year. And frankly GR is tapped from a D perspective - it was a miracle Lash worked out as well as he has. Sproul and Oullet will be in GR next year but they need seasoning.

I don’t think any of “the kids” have really out played White or Cola

Especially Cola. He’s fragile but can be valuable. And I recall everyone calling for Kindl’s head earlier in the season.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/08/13 at 06:44 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

Especially Cola. He’s fragile but can be valuable. And I recall everyone calling for Kindl’s head earlier in the season.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/08/13 at 07:44 PM ET

Heh, people are still calling for Kindl’s head now and calling Smith a bonehead.  Growing pains.  DD sure could stand to put on some weight.  I think training with the Red Wings would benefit him more than the Griffins would.  I could be wrong about that.  As for Cola, I could live with keeping him around but I’m not for this plan to keep the team in the playoff race while rebuilding.  That sounds more like reloading and this team doesn’t have the present or future talent to be anything other than mediocre if we go that route.  I can see us ending up looking like the Calgary Flames unless we get that high end talent in the draft.

Posted by gt500x on 04/08/13 at 07:22 PM ET

christpuncher's avatar

The unfortunate part of all of this is that IF Helm, Bert, Sammy, Cola ect were all healthy (even semi-healthy) this season we wouldn’t even be having these discussions, on the other side of the coin Anderssen, Nyquist, Lash, Tartar wouldn’t have made the team this year and next year and we would all be watching Eaves, Miller, Emerton ect and wondering what “the kids” would look like playing on the big team.

I’m just willing to give our guys more than a couple of weeks to get the team back to being a contender again, I think a couple of years is more reasonable. As always in hockey, hindsight is 20/20.

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 04/08/13 at 07:34 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Temper expectations with DeKeyser everyone.

Lots of Wings system d-men burst on strong, and then either stagnate (Ericsson) or regress (Lebda).  It’s very likely DeKeyser will hit the same bump in the road in the next year and that some Wings fans will turn on him quickly.  Teams will get enough looks at him to figure out how to exploit him.  It’s just the way “D” seem to work.  Just ask Brendan Smith.  Now add in a head coach that likes to jerk young guys around to prove a point and, well… you see why Smith and Kindl have struggled.  I have no idea where DeKeyser will end up, but recent history does not look to be in his favor as long as the rest remains status quo.

White’s biggest problem is his cap hit (nearly $3m).  I know people want depth but…. there’s certainly cheaper depth available (who would prefer Lahsoff over White?  Probably a lot of you right now).  And therein lies the rub:  The Wings are grossly overpaying 3 different d-men (White, Ericsson, Quincey) now who at times all look like they don’t even belong in the Top 6 and should be healthy scratches.  That’s just poor planning and management.

For those saying moving out depth doesn’t make sense…  keeping depth at large cap hits when you’re claiming strapped from making moves by the cap doesn’t make any sense either.  Why pay White so much money to sit int he press box and then say you don’t have cap room to make moves?

Posted by Primis on 04/08/13 at 07:37 PM ET

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How does trading White or any other Dman help the team right now?

How does keeping a guy who was a healthy scratch for seven straight games and only got back into the lineup because of other injuries help the team at all?

The Wings aren’t going to win or lose a playoff series based on whether White plays.

He’s fragile but can be valuable.

No he can’t.  He missed 35 of 39 games and did nothing special in the four games he played.  He’s less valuable to the team than a “black ace” in the playoffs is.  He’s mediocre when he’s 100% healthy, why would he be valuable as the china doll that he is?

There are only two ways that he’s valuable: if he plays a lot of minutes in a lot of games or if he can get a good return in the trade market.

He can do neither.  He’s not valuable.

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 07:42 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The unfortunate part of all of this is that IF Helm, Bert, Sammy, Cola ect were all healthy (even semi-healthy) this season we wouldn’t even be having these discussions

Posted by christpuncher from Detroit, MI on 04/08/13 at 08:34 PM ET

I dunno’.  The defense would have remained what it is now with Cola playing, and it’s not good.  Helm would have helped that a very small bit but… Sammy and Bert wouldn’t have helped either defense or puck possession (wild-wide-shot and blind-pass-turnover machines they are respectively).

Don’t delude yourself into thinking staying healthy would have been a cure-all.

Posted by Primis on 04/08/13 at 07:45 PM ET

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The unfortunate part of all of this is that IF Helm, Bert, Sammy, Cola ect were all healthy (even semi-healthy) this season we wouldn’t even be having these discussions

The fortunate part is that the team wasn’t going to be good if they had Bert, Sammy and Colaiacovo anyway, so the lone bright spot of the season is that we’re getting an actual look at what some of the young guys have in them

As always in hockey, hindsight is 20/20.

Hindsight?

Posted by Garth on 04/08/13 at 07:45 PM ET

Chet's avatar

both PHX and EDM were kind enough to lose tonight, so crisis semi-averted for now.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/08/13 at 11:42 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.