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The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day news: no practice today, trades unlikely, and a Mr. Hockey tribute

Updated 2x at 4:39 PM: Obviously...

Given how hard the Red Wings have been practicing of late, I'm happy to have read this quip from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

Mental fatigue was showing big time in the Wings' loss to Chicago and win over Colorado. The team needs to regroup a bit before embarking upon another 3-games-in-4-nights slate this upcoming week/end and back-to-backs in Phoenix on Thursday and Colorado on Friday (and it wouldn't hurt Brendan Smith or Jakub Kindl to get a night off during one of those two games, either).

As I'm sure most of you are peeved about the Wings' decision to not take on Jay Bouwmeester's $6.68 million salary, Jaromir Jagr's massive ego or any of the other players that the Wings don't seem to be interested in acquiring, you won't like reading the Windsor Star's Dave Waddell's attempt to discern Ken Holland's likely moves over the next 24-plus hours, which involve...Standing pat and also standing pat:

Sure Holland will tease by dangling that old bromide if the right deal comes along we’d make a move, but it’s highly unlikely such a deal is going to materialize. More likely Holland telegraphed his intentions with his assertion he’s fine with where his team is at. It could be a smoke screen to provide cover for talks, but in reality it also is the wisest course of action for this season.

Short of a massive multi-player trade, the type that just doesn’t happen anymore in a capped-controlled NHL, Holland isn’t going to be able to effect enough change to make an impact.

Frankly, the Wings have too many third and fourth-line talents to attract the interest of a trading partner. The alternative route would require dipping too deeply into their reserves of prospects and draft picks.  As bitter as it may taste to an organization used to being a perennial Stanley Cup contender, this is a season to see exactly what depth the organization has.

Realistically, the Wings were always going to be a bit of a muddled mess in this year of transition.

With less than a month left in the regular season, Detroit has overachieved to this point. The Wings have lost more man-games to injuries than any team in the league and they appear set to only widen their lead in that category. It’s only going to get worse with Henrik Zetterberg suffering a groin injury in the Easter Day debacle against Chicago and Mikael Samuelsson continuing his lost season by getting injured again in his first game back after a broken finger.

There looks to be little hope of getting Todd Bertuzzi back anytime soon and Darren Helm’s timetable to return from a sore back also remains questionable. The return of defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo, who returned April, and Kyle Quincey, by mid-April, should help the Wings stay in the scrap to make the playoffs, but that’s not the future Holland should be focused on.

This team simply has too many significant holes for Holland to fix with a couple of trades. Any attempt to plug the gaps left by the unsuccessful signings of Samuelsson, Colaiacovo and Jonas Gustavsson at a time when players are most costly, risks causing the long-lasting damage that the Wings have been trying to avoid for the past two decades.

Even if Detroit had acquired the likes of Jarome Ignila and Brenden Morrow, as Pittsburgh did, that would not have addressed all the flaws in this line-up. Unlike the Wings, the Penguins are in a position to go all in. Detroit requires more than just a pair of aging veterans past their best-by date, who would’ve marginally improved Detroit’s playoff chances at best.

The Wings are more likely to be interested in the fact that, going forward, the cap's going down from $70.2 million to $64.3 million, and if you head over to Capgeek.com, you'll find out thatbetween a quarter and a third of the NHL's teams are going to have an incredibly hard time getting down to the $64.3 million mark even if they don't sign any of their unrestricted and restricted free agents-to-be. The cap compliance buy-out market will significantly improve the number of available free agents who will have few choices in terms of employment with teams that are willing to acquire their services for anything less than deep discounts.

Do I like the concept of the Wings standing pat as a fan? Not really, but I don't believe that the team's focused on doing anything unless it can genuinely find long-term solutions to its need for a big top-six forward who can score goals and its need for a top-pair defenseman.

Those players aren't available right now, at least not without endangering the team's abilty to re-sign its own UFA's and RFA's-to-be, and at least not without endangering the team's long-term future. The Wings won't sell both the barn and the horses in the stable for one stud horse.


  • MLive's Brendan Savage has posted a round-up of the Wings' power rankings status(es);


  • MLive's Jared Purcell found the bobbleheads Fox Sports Detroit placed around Downtown Detroit to celebrate "April in the D," which Fox Sports Detroit should commemorate with a, "Who will replace Larry Murphy" contest, starring contestant Larry Murphy;


  • "I am Rogue's" Jordan DeSaulnier reports that Wal-Mart stores will stock copies of the Hallmark Channel's Mr. Hockey: the Gordie Howe Story on May 7th, 3 days after the fim premieres on the Hallmark Channel (Saturday, May 4th);


  • The Grand Rapids Griffins have opened registration for their youth hockey camp, which begins on August 29th;



  • And finally, the Wings posted the one good part of Sunday's game vs. Chicago--the warm-up--on its YouTube channel:


Update #2: MLive's Ansar Khan duly noted that Carlo Colaiacovo's return...complicates...things on the team's blueline...

“He’s got to get in here and grab his piece,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “At this time of the year, we're not in the business of trying people out. You start in a position and if you’re not going, someone else is going to take your spot.''

The Red Wings have a surplus of defensemen. Kyle Quincey hopes to return from his fractured cheek bone this week. Brian Lashoff will be back on Thursday following a one-game stint with Grand Rapids due to the 23-man roster limit. And the club wants to get Danny DeKeyser into a game soon. With nine defensemen, Babcock has plenty of options.

Colaiacovo logged 19:46 in Monday's 3-2 victory over Colorado, his first game since Jan. 21. He had missed 33 games with a sprained left shoulder. He saw some time on the power play and on the penalty kill.

“I thought he was good,'' Babcock said. “He moved the puck, he executed. We just got to keep him healthy so he can help us. I like what he brought today and I thought he made our whole team quicker because of his ability to move the puck.''

When is DeKeyser going to "get into the lineup?" Soon...

“He’s coming to a program where things are going to be a bit different, yet we just have to get him in the lineup,'' Babcock said. “The reason we didn’t play him this weekend is because he has been off from practice since (Sunday). And we want him to be skating and comfortable for when he does go in for his first game.''

And Kyle Quincey hopes to do the same:

“It’s going to take a while to get used to, but every day it gets better and better,'' Quincey said. “The visibility is tough, especially when the puck is in your feet and it’s even harder when you’ve been off for two weeks.''

He hasn't been able to eat a lot of solid foods since the injury on March 15.

“The nerve hasn’t come back,'' Quincey said. “Once that does I will start having feeling in my teeth and gums and lips. It’s not too bad. I just dice up the food pretty good. The blender is getting a lot of use.''

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Vladimir16's avatar

The Wings are going to need every single draft pick they have between now and then to come anywhere near replenishing both their roster and their system to the point they need to get to in order to be able to afford finishing touches on the roster via trades and FA.
Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/02/13 at 03:37 PM ET

Soooo…. why hasn’t Holland (and probably won’t) moved White and Flip for picks?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/02/13 at 03:58 PM ET


This team will be fixed in the offseason one way or the other, but not at the deadline this year.

Like it was fixed last year in the offseason?

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


You wanna move players like White and Fil for picks, go ahead, but that’s all you can really do.

My concern is that they don’t even do this.  We shall see.

Posted by Django on 04/02/13 at 03:56 PM ET

That’s exactly my concern as well.  In my mind,  as a GM, the only reason to do nothing at the deadline is if your team “as is” has a good chance at the Cup.  Otherwise you should be looking to improve your team whether it’s for this year, or future years.  Standing pat with a middling team at the deadline just seems pointless.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 04/02/13 at 04:05 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I am sick of hearing how he did nothing because the “prices were too high” if that’s the case, become a seller.

yup.  buy low, sell high comes to mind.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 04:09 PM ET


The cap compliance buy-out market will significantly improve the number of available free agents

The cap compliance buy-out market will provide the Wings with a list of players that 29 other teams would rather pay to not play for them.  How many top four defensemen and top six scoring wingers does anyone think will be on that list?

If Detroit wants even more Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves-type players (because they don’t have enough bottom-six forwards) then they’ll have their pick.

If Detroit wants to get better they need to look beyond the bargain bin.

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 04:09 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

That’s completely wrong.  The problem with your position is that you must assume a) the transactions made now fix anything substantively anyway, b) they’ll fix the issues next year and c) they won’t just create more, larger problems that will need to be fixed down the road.

you completely ignored my point and talked about everything but.  all I’m saying is you don’t NOT do things JUST because you can’t fix everything at once.  sure, there are other reasons not to do things, as you just listed…but one that should not be on the “don’t do it because” list is “can’t fix it all at once.”

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 04:11 PM ET


This team will be fixed in the offseason one way or the other, but not at the deadline this year.

Like it was fixed last year in the offseason?

Or the trade deadline before that.  Or the offseason before that.  Or the trade deadline before that.  “We’ll spend to the cap!”  “We’ll put the best team on the ice we can so our captain can have another shot at the cup before he retires!”

Oops .. “Prices too high.” “We like our team.” 

The time to buy, to go all-in as Pitt and Boston have this year, was 2-3 years ago.  Today, it’s time to sell.  Why can’t Holland see it?

Posted by jkm2011 on 04/02/13 at 04:12 PM ET

jpellek's avatar

Like it was fixed last year in the offseason?

Different circumstances, if you read my whole post. Options will be available this year with buyouts, and I’m sure teams will be open to cutting more salary in June as opposed to April through trades. What contracts did they have expiring last year besides Stuart and Lidstrom retiring? You have Cleary, Fil, White, Miller, Brunner and Howard all heading to UFA status. Kindl, Nyquist, Andersson, Smith are all RFAs. There will be a lot of roster turnover. Couple that with a buyout or two for Samuelsson or Bertuzzi or Cola, and its a big deal.

Posted by jpellek on 04/02/13 at 04:12 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Like it was fixed last year in the offseason?

or the year before

or the year before that

and the year before that…

I’m thinking I’m seeing a trend… hmm

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 04/02/13 at 04:14 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

The cap compliance buy-out market will provide the Wings with a list of players that 29 other teams would rather pay to not play for them

maybe that describes some of them, but what describes some of them is also “no matter how good you are we simply can’t afford them.”

I think what people are missing when they talk about Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc is that they’ve been close and improving for the last few years.  the Wings haven’t.  it’s a different plateau.  in 3-5 years the Wings will be at the top again and the Pittsburgh’s/Chicago’s of the league will be falling off, running into the same troubles the Wings are now.

that’s the point to the cap and parity - the ebb and flow of all the teams, even though it’s not on the same schedule.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 04:15 PM ET


If we are talking about buying out colo and Sammie, what makes you think that the other buyouts out there are going to be any better?  Top talent will be shopped for trades before buyouts.  There are teams out there with significantly more space then we have now.  Bottom dwellers might make out pretty well just before buyouts.  Otherwise if we can’t afford the players now, how do you think we will afford them after we resign our players.  And where are we going to get the roster spaces.  Some people have to move.  Hopefully with $‘s attached.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/02/13 at 04:16 PM ET

d ca's avatar


We’ve got 46.4ish next year if we don’t re-sign anyone. So if Howard gets 5, Brunner gets 2.2, Nyquist and Andersson each get 1.2, Kindl and Smith get 2 and 2.5 respectively that gets us at 60.5ish

FYI, Unlike others, I think the analysis is pretty good.

I’d like to see them bring that number for Howard down to 4.5M and add a few years.I think Brunner might get slightly more than 2.2M. And I think if Glass Plate Colaiacovo gets 2.5M, than that is the floor for both Kindl and Smith: pay them a little more—just make sure you lock them up for a max year deal before Doug Wilson throws them an offer sheet that turns your cap strength into a weakness.

But don’t forget the Wings have two cap compliance buyouts to use:
Colaiacovo 2.5M and Samuelsson 3.0M are the two options I hope are exercised.

Posted by d ca on 04/02/13 at 04:19 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Otherwise if we can’t afford the players now, how do you think we will afford them after we resign our players

because the lower cap means the market dictates lower salaries.  someone making $5 million per year might get bought out and then only be able to command $4 million per year.  there’s less total out there, so everyone has to accept less (or not play, or go to Russia or Europe).

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 04:21 PM ET


maybe that describes some of them, but what describes some of them is also “no matter how good you are we simply can’t afford them.”

I don’t buy that at all.  The very best you can hope for is guys like Gomez and Redden, guys who used to be top shelf and were paid top shelf prices but haven’t delivered.  Redden isn’t going to be anyone’s #1 defenseman anymore and Gomez isn’t going to be anyone’s #1 centre either.

Nobody’s going to be buying out a top pairing defenseman or a winger who can put pucks in nets.

The guys that we all think/hope Holland buys out are the exact same type of guys that everyone else will be buying out.  The injury-prone or greatly overpaid players are the ones who will get bought up.

LA isn’t going to be buying out Drew Doughty or Mike Richards any more than Detroit is going to be buying out Zetterberg or Datsyuk.

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 04:27 PM ET


Paulin Miami beach.  The problem is KH will have a large number of our players locked up for term in amounts that will appear as overpayments by the time the market adjusts.  With no cap to spend and no more buyouts left.  Can’t even afford the lower pricing.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/02/13 at 04:39 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

what appears to be happening is that the Wings managed to avoid being a part of the cap-parity-era a few years longer than everyone else.  now that other teams have successfully molded into the new framework, having started a few years before the Wings, it now looks like the Wings are in a dire position.  they are, it’s just that they are going through it later than many other teams.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 04:43 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

Sell sell sell!

Posted by gt500x on 04/02/13 at 04:51 PM ET


Options will be available this year with buyouts

Yeah, all thos #1 defensemen and top-six scoring wingers who are going to be flooding the market, right?

What contracts did they have expiring last year besides Stuart and Lidstrom retiring?

They had Stuart, Lidstrom, Helm, Abdelkader, Hudler and Holmstrom.  And Quincey.

And last off-season they had a $70M cap to look forward to rather than this year when the cap will be going down by $6M.

They had enough room that the were willing to bring in Suter & Parise for a combined $15M

I think the analysis is pretty good.

On thing I think people need to remember is that everyone’s cap hit wasn’t what they were actually paid.  Giving Brunner $2.2M+ would be nearly tripling his salary (for a great start that really tapered off quickly), and Nyquist, Andersson and Smith all played half a year in the AHL so they really made a fraction of their cap hits.

I don’t think there’s any way that Smith goes from $800k to $2.5M based on a half-season of NHL play, or that Kindl gets that kind of a raise based on a half-season of being an NHL regular. 

Andersson and Nyquist only have to be qualified at 660k and 787k each…I can’t see why either of them would get a huge raised based on a partial season of NHL play either.

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 05:10 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The with GS are 3 points out of 4th place, and there are cries to sell off the team before the deadline. Sell for what? Picks? Picks can’t play right now.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/02/13 at 05:20 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Damned autocorrect - that should say Wings, not with GS.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/02/13 at 05:22 PM ET


Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper 48s

Look for #Rangers to dump some $ before 3pm. The plan is 2 extend Clowe at some pt and parameters r understood for a new deal. #TradeTracker

gaborik on daa moove

Posted by diesel44 on 04/02/13 at 06:38 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

We don’t need Gaborik. We should be sellers!

Posted by gt500x on 04/02/13 at 06:55 PM ET


Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/02/13 at 03:37 PM ET

I am so sick of this kind of knee jerk response made by HinHD. Why don’t you leave? You continually show you lack of empathy and GOD complex all in a single swoop.

Your logic here is seriously flawed. Because you lack empathy you fail to see that PaulinMiami is upset because he feels there isn’t enough change happening to his favorite team while he sees other teams making moves, scoring players or gaining assets for the future. None of this Detroit is doing (as of this writing). Then you get all Dick like with your high and mighty “knowledge” that no one else has (probably because you are the sole keeper of that steaming pile of shit).

“Broadly, yes, it’s pretty stupid to make asset-intensive short-term acquisitions when the short-term improvement is dwarfed by the long-term cost.” - This is exactly what Pittsburgh just did. They have to resign 10 players, including Iginla, while currently operating over next year’s cap by $1 million.  Then the season after next they have to resign Malkin who is already making as much as Crosby and likely will get a raise.

this means it’s pretty stupid to add one or two guys this year which might make the 2013 [team] marginally better - Again, let’s look at Pittsburgh. Did the recent addition really make a team that has won 16-17 games in a row better? I’d wager with a team on a winning streak like that any addition made them marginally better.

The problem with the Wings is that they have a lot of players in a log jam. Fans either want to win now or start the future. Neither are really happening. There are no big moves to shake up the roster; bringing in an elite player. There are no minor trades of bottom six players to make room for guys playing in the AHL that people think are ready for minutes in the NHL. It seem Holland et. al. are satisfied with squeaking in the playoffs rather than committing one direction or the other.

It’s not a matter of injuries. The time is now. Management knew that most of the injured players would be healed by this time. They know they have some good players in the AHL who need a chance to prove themselves. Management is failing to make a commitment.

If,as you say, the NHL isn’t the same anymore because of the salary cap then why aren’t the Wings making a commitment to winning it ALL now or making room for some promising youth? The teasers aren’t enough. Nyquist up and down. Tartar up and down. Now Lasloff is down.

I’d give Holland maybe a 50% chance at being able to get the Wings back into the top 5 on the NHL within the next 3-5 years assuming he doesn’t get any top 12 picks and has to cobble that club together with middle-round picks and FA acquisitions. - seriously try making a bolder prediction. Stick your neck out there rather than hide behind a bunch circumstantial statements that could support your claim either way it goes.

Maybe if Detroit can trade for a guy who is already signed for multiple years or something, maybe then.  But for an ostensible rental player?  Dumb suggestion. PaulinMiami did not make this claim at all. Because you lack empathy you are putting words in his post that do not exist there likely because you are a jaded tool that only feels good about himself when belittling other people.

Please, take a vacation. Go away from this website. You really need to sort out what is important in your life.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/02/13 at 08:39 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Please, take a vacation. Go away from this website. You really need to sort out what is important in your life.

Posted by howeandhowe on 04/02/13 at 08:39 PM ET

Ummm… pot meet kettle?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 09:41 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

But for an ostensible rental player?  Dumb suggestion.

yeah, why bring in a player for a fraction of his annual salary, see how he does, and then re-sign him over the summer if he does well.  that’s silly to try a player out like that.  we should wait until someone is available and sign them to a multi-year cap-trouble deal without knowing how they’ll perform on the ice with the Wings.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 10:07 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

that whole “rental” Kocur thing.  what a bust that was.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/03/13 at 10:07 AM 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.