The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/02/13 at 01:55 PM ET
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;
- Today is the last day to vote for the Miller Lite Red Wing For a Day contest's finalists;
- 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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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.