The Malik Report
Red Wings mid-day news: bidding farewell to Pare, UFA talk, HHOF reminders and Alfredsson in Swedish
by George Malik on 07/08/13 at 11:21 AM ET
Updated 2x at 3:07 PM: Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related stories:
I guess all one can do is congratulate Francis Pare, a long-serving member of the Grand Rapids Griffins but someone who the Wings simply didn't have room for, as he's found gainful employment overseas:
Even the roughest of translations of TPS Turku's website's press release reveals that Red Wings Finnish scout Ari Vouri just happens to be Turku's general manager, so there's a Wings connection there, and TPS also signed Ducks forward Dan Sexton.
According to RedWingsCamps, Pare signed a 2-year deal:
The Griffins did re-sign Triston Grant and Brennan Evans today, and it is entirely possible, if not probable, that Evans may find himself signed to a two-way deal to serve as a call-up defenseman.
Regarding the Red Wings' summer development camp roster, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau cleared up yet another roster snafu...
In "alumni" news of a different kind, Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg's linemate with EV Zug of the Swiss National A League, one Linus Omark, told Aftonbladet that he's looking for NHL employment and will not, as has been rumored, sign with Brynas IF, and if his plans for securing an NHL job fall through, he'll head to the KHL;
Let's get this out of the way: despite what certain instigators might believe, the Red Wings have NOT signed Daniel Cleary--they would like to re-sign him if the team can clear a spot off their 50-man roster and clear cap space as the team's priorities for now involve re-signing restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Brendan Smith...But there's no guarantee that Cleary will hang around for another month or two while the Wings attempt to do so.
Just as importantly, the Red Wings have not "chosen Cleary over Brunner"--every indication suggests that Brunner's agent, Neil Sheehy, simply told the Wings that his client would "pursue other opportunities," so the Wings probably never got the opportunity to make any more offers after being essentially told, "Don't bother."
As such Cleary and Brunner made the Globe and Mail's David Shoalts' list of the best free agent forwards remaining on the open market...
1. Dan Cleary. He is on the sidelines thanks to the Detroit Red Wings grabbing Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss on Friday but is a well-respected role player who always plays well in the playoffs. Cleary, 34, had 10 points in 14 playoff games for the Red Wings and would be a fit for a Stanley Cup contender looking for some grit and leadership.
2. Damien Brunner. He, too, is a former Red Wing but after making waves as a 27-year-old rookie, Brunner is looking for more money and a bigger role elsewhere. He should find it, as Brunner proved in the playoffs he is ready for a spot among someone's top six forwards.
And as such, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's "By the Numbers" review of Brunner's 2013 season with the Wings feels like a statistically-framed farewell:
12: The number of goals he scored in his first NHL season. Was among five Red Wings' players to score 10 or more goals. The others were Pavel Datsyuk (15), Johan Franzen (14), Henrik Zetterberg (12) and Justin Abdelkader (10).
123: Was second on the team in total shots on goal during the regular season, averaging 2.8 SOG per game. He had just one game (Mar. 16 vs. VAN) where he didn't register a single shot.
2: Not known as much of a shot-blocker, he collected just two all season: against Chicago's Johnny Oduya on Mar. 3, and against Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn in the season-finale.
Sticking with the free agency theme, but in a "who the Wings added" as opposed to "who walked" vein, the Score's Dave Lozo believes that the Wings' ability to land Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, even given Valtteri Filppula's departure, Brunner's probable departure and Cleary's possible departure, equals "free agency winner" status for Detroit:
Detroit Red Wings – I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the Red Wings would miss the playoffs last season. But it turns out they are still pretty good and now they are coming to the East, which means 140 points isn’t out of the question now that they’ve added Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss to the lineup.
That gives Detroit a top-six of Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Alfredsson and Franzen-Weiss-Nyquist with Helm-Abdelkader and either Cleary or Samuelsson as the third line. Yeah, that blue line is scarier than a snake that bites you on the butt while you’re sitting on the toilet, but the Red Wings look really good heading into the season. And with solid veterans in the locker room, they can make sure they prevent Alfredsson from losing focus and quitting when things get tough.
When the cap rises to about $70 million next season, Kenny Holland will have about $20 million in salary coming off the books. Alfredsson at one year for $5.5 million vs. Damien Brunner for three years and $10 million is everyone’s issue here, but the Red Wings have young players coming through the system, making Alfredsson the right play.
Yes, toilet snakes are real.
Lozo made sure to give Alfredsson a jab while praising the Senators' moves, however:
Ottawa Senators – The day started off great, as 40-year-old Daniel Alfredsson decided to leave Ottawa for Detroit. I know that sentimentality washed over the city of Ottawa like a Swedish rainbow of bittersweet Isterband, but it wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened. I know it’s a great punch line, but really, he picked up the puck after losing Game 4 in Ottawa, said postgame the team wasn’t good enough, then went out and laid an egg in Game 5. Your 2013 Mark Messier Leadership Award winner!
Uh, does everybody know that the award is a bit of a sham yet? The Mark Messier Leadership Award as Determined by Mark Messier Regarding the Most Mark Messier-Like Leader Messier Messier Messier. What's it's criteria? What defines Messier-like leadership? Apparently, it's whatever Messier feels is important.
Continuing to move from smaller-scope articles to wider-perspective ones, MLive's Brendan Savage reminds us that Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan are incredibly likely to receive calls from the Hockey Hall of Fame tomorrow....
The Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 will be announced Tuesday and two former Detroit Red Wings are among the top candidates for election.
Defenseman Chris Chelios and forward Brendan Shanahan, who both helped the Red Wings win multiple Stanley Cups, are headliners on this year's ballot. Chelios is in his first year of eligibility while Shanahan is in his second year after surprisingly being passed over for induction a year ago.
A maximum of four players can get elected each year. Shanahan fell short a year ago, when former Red Wings center Adam Oates was elected along with Pavel Bure, Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin.
And Savage continues by offering both players' superb resumes to lend credence to their Hall of Fame cases...
And finally, via RedWingsFeed, Daniel Alfredsson spoke with Aftonbladet's Linus Norberg regarding his decision to sign with the Wings and the reaction to his departure from Ottawa. What follows is roughly translated:
"I knew there would be a messy reaction"--Alfredsson to Sportbladet regarding his sensitive decision to change teams
Some returned their season tickets. Others cried.
Daniel Alfredsson's decision to leave Ottawa after 17 seasons stirred up emotions in the Canadian capital.
Days after his decision to join Detroit, the star now talks to Sportbladet about the sensitive decision.
"I knew there would be a messy reaction," he says.
After 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, and 13 of them serving as the team's captain, and having registered over 1,100 points for the NHL team, shocking news that he was leaving the Canadian capital came out on Friday.
He chose to finish his career with the Swedish team in Detroit.
Still, the reactions to his difficult decision--which had fans in Ottawa crying and returning their season tickets--have not subsided.
"There are still really many mixed feelings," says Alfredsson to Sportbladet. "I knew there would be messy reactions [to my decision]. But it's a decision I thought through very carefully and reexamined many times. I don't regret it," he continues.
The 40-year-old Alfredsson had played for Ottawa throughout his playing time in North America. But his successful NHL career will end with a rival team in Detroit.
"I know what I've done for the city, for the team and for the fans. And what they've done for me. They've been incredibly important to my family, but how Ottawa fans will view me 20 years from now, who can say," says "Alfiie," who had six teams to choose from when his contract with Ottawa expired and he became a free agent.
But in the end, he decided between Boston and Detroit.
"I really like Boston. But the reason why I chose Detroit is because I received very favoriable impressions from them. And they have many left-handed centers. As I'm right-handed I think I fit better there. I'll probably get more shots and more scoring opportunities next season."
While Alfredsson's gearing up for his 18th NHL season, he's already begun to think about the Sochi Olympics next year. He wants to be part of the Tre Kronor's team.
"Of course, I'd love to play for the Olympic team."
Are the chances of it happening good?
"It's not a given by any means. The first step is to get in shape and be ready for Detroit's training camp in September. I haven't talked with Par Marts (the team coah), but if I'm playing well, and the body is cooperating, I can probably earn a spot."
Even with Jakob Silfverberg leaving Ottawa, how do you see the Senators trending?
"I think that was a great trade. Ottawa got Bobby Ryan, and he could be really great if he continues to develop. He'll have a more important role now. While it's sad that Silfverberg left, he'll also become a really great player."
Update: Via RedWingsFeed, this feels kind of...Well, bummerific...
And Pro Hockey Talk's Jason Brough has declared the Wings to be a free agency "winner":
Winner: Detroit Red Wings
Yes, there are questions about Daniel Alfredsson (isn’t he kind of old?) and Stephen Weiss (didn’t he have, like, one goal last year?), but the fact these two guys picked Detroit showed the Red Wings are still a destination franchise. In explaining his tough decision to leave Ottawa, Alfredsson said he liked the style Mike Babcock coaches, how stars Pavel Datysuk and Henrik Zetterberg perform “extremely well” when the games count, and the way the organization is committed to winning. “Everyone knows Detroit’s goals are always to be at the top of the game and to win championships,” he said. “I’m really excited to get this opportunity at this stage of my career to go for a Stanley Cup and fulfill a longtime dream.”
Update #2: From the Griffins, part 1:
According to TSN, the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2013 induction class announcement will take place at 3 PM EDT tomorrow, and will air on TSN2, and the Free Press's Helene St. James weighed in on her picks while speaking with Mike Modano about Chris Chelios...
“He’s a win-at-all-costs kind of guy,” Modano said today. “Quite the competitor. Always the hardest guy to play against. Nasty, had a temper, but had the talent, too.”
Chelios’ legend in hockey will grow this week, as he’s a shoo-in as a first-time ballot for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The announcement for the Hall’s class of 2013 will come Tuesday afternoon, and the Detroit Red Wings should have two former players inducted, unless Brendan Shanahan is overlooked for what would be a second straight year of travesty. With Chelios, there can be no doubt he’s in the first time, not when a guy is a top-10 all-time defenseman in the game, and the best-ever American to play his position.
“He was just a guy who did everything well,” Modano said. “Playing with him internationally, he was always great. He really wanted to win all the time. His presence and his attitude, he enjoyed whatever he was doing. He could always back up his ego.”
Chelios and Shanahan should make up half the maximum of four players elected annually to join hockey’s luminaries enshrined in Toronto. The other players on this year’s ballots are: Dave Andreychuk, Rob Blake, Rod Brind’Amour, Guy Carbonneau, Theoren Fleury, Bill Guerin, Phil Housley, Curtis Joseph, Paul Kariya, John LeClair, Eric Lindros, Kevin Lowe, Sergei Makarov, Markus Naslund, Scott Niedermayer, Gary Roberts, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk.
My guess for who goes in: Chelios, Shanahan and Niedermayer, for sure, and maybe Makarov. The Hall has, in recent years, become wary of criticism it overlooks players who gained fame elsewhere than the NHL.
And if you're interested, Sportsnet's Ian Mendes weighed in on his favorite memories of Daniel Alfredsson's time as a Senator.
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