Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings Monday practice news: Red Wings demote Nyquist, send Mrazek to GR, Emmerton clears waivers

Updated 23x at 4:32 PM: And now we wait for the Red Wings' medical evaluations during/after today's practice to determine the team's remaining cap-and-23-man-roster-compliant moves...

This is not super news:

Ugh:

The Wings kind of had to make this move to hedge their bets as Nyquist's waiver-exempt status expires in 2 games. But it still sucks.

I guess the other "Gus" is close to returning...

Update #0.5: Yay?

Update #0.75: Per Pleiness:

Quick update from Wings practice.

Wings GM Ken Holland just texted and said Gustav Nyquist and Petr Mrazek sent to Grand Rapids.

Nyquist simply in a numbers game with the Wings’ roster size.

If he plays two more NHL games the Wings don’t have the option of assigning him to the Griffins without having to clear waivers.

Cory Emmerton, who was placed on waivers by the team Sunday, isn’t on the ice either.

Petr Mrazek also has been assigned to GR. Jared Coreau in other goal opposite Jimmy Howard.

Update #0.8:

Via RedWingsFeed, here's Khan's note about Nyquist:

The Detroit Red Wings have assigned forward Gustav Nyquist and goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Grand Rapids Griffins, general manager Ken Holland said Monday.

Nyquist's demotion has nothing to do with his performance, it's all about getting cap compliant.

Even after putting center Darren Helm on long-term injured reserve and waiving center Cory Emmerton, the Red Wings needed to clear some cap space, because of backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson's groin injury.

Nyquist clears $950,000 off the cap. His stint in Grand Rapids could be short, however.

Nyquist was the Wings' best player during training camp and the exhibition season. He's too valuable to bury in GR.

Update #1:

I thought the Wings demoted Coreau?

Nyquist could be back as soon as this afternoon, assuming that Tootoo and/or Eaves hit the LTIR.

Update #1.5: Here's St. James on Nyquist:

Faced with balancing their budget by this afternoon, the Detroit Red Wings took the option of sending Gustav Nyquist to the minors.

General manager Ken Holland said goaltender Petr Mrazek also was sent down, though that was expected.

Holland also said forward Darren Helm will be put on long term injured reserve. Helm makes $2.125 million, and Nyquist makes $950,000, enough to trim the roughly $3 million the Wings needed to come in under $64.3 million by 3 p.m.

Cory Emmerton was put on waivers Sunday; if he clears, he'll be sent to Grand Rapids. That also will clear the three roster spots the Wings needed to be compliant.

Update #2: Is the CBC Windsor pissed off at the Wings for targeting Ontarian hockey fans?

A growing number of Canadians are becoming Detroit Red Wings season ticket holders. The Wings vice president of marketing, Robert Mattina, said 10 per cent of the team’s season ticket base is Canadian.

“It has increased over the last four or five years. We made a concerted effort to develop more marketing and promotion through the Canadian triangle,” he said. “We made a concentrated effort to expand.”

That triangle includes Windsor, Sarnia and London. The combined population of the trio of cities is approximately 638,000 — slightly less than the 703,000 people that call Detroit home.

“It’s strictly that we have a whole market that is hockey fans. It just made great sense to market where the fans are,” Mattina said. “If you look at London, it’s halfway between Detroit and Toronto. We have lower priced tickets, we have a great product and when you include traffic it’s easier to come to Detroit than it is to Toronto.”

There may be the odd Montreal Canadiens or Chicago Blackhawks fan living in Windsor, but for the most part, the city that is a five-minute bus ride from Joe Louis Arena is split between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

For the first time in 15 seasons, the two teams are in the same conference. NHL realignment has moved the Wings and Leafs into the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The two teams haven’t been in the same division since the 1997-1998. The Leafs and Wings split a pre-season home-and-home series on the weekend.

“The energy in this building seemed not quite like a playoff game, but close to a playoff game,” Mattina said of a Friday night meeting the Wings won at the Joe.

Update #2.25: it's official?

Update #3: Ugh.

And Emmerton apparently cleared waivers:

Farewell, Cory Emmerton.

Update #4: This much is interesting...

If you find yourself in Big Rapids, MI on Ocober 9th, per the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner...

Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill will return to Ferris State for a speaking engagement on Oct. 9. Blashill, a Ferris State alumnus and former goalie with the Bulldogs, will speak 7 p.m. at the Big Rapids High School Auditorium.

Blashill's presentation will be free, and is part of the Sports Speakers Series by the Sports Leadership Institute at Ferris State.

Blashill will share his story and video highlights of the championship season with the Big Rapids and Ferris State community. He will be introduced by his longtime friend and mentor in Ferris State hockey head coach Bob Daniels.

Blashill guided the Griffins to their first Calder Cup after becoming the ninth head coach in Griffins history last summer. He moved to Grand Rapids after serving as an assistant coach for the parent Detroit Red Wings in 2011-12. He also coached at Western Michigan and the Indiana Ice of the USHL.

The former goaltender spent four seasons at goalie for Ferris State. He earned the Bulldogs' Rookie of the Year award in 1994-95 and a spot on the CCHA's All-Academic Team for 1996-97. He also garnered the Ferris State University President's Award for three consecutive years for the highest grade point average on the Bulldogs.

And Olympia Entertainment made a big shake-up today:

Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. announced today veteran real estate development and management executive Steve Marquardt has been named Vice President of Olympia Development of Michigan and John Hahn, former Senior Director of Communications for the Detroit Red Wings, has been named Vice President of Corporate Communications at Ilitch Holdings, Inc.  Both appointments are effective September 30, 2013.

Marquardt brings 25 years of industry experience in development and management of global real estate portfolios to his role at Olympia Development of Michigan.  He most recently was Vice President of Real Estate, Facilities and Administration at Compuware where he managed 100 properties in 35 countries and led the design, construction and leasing of the $400 million, 1 million square foot headquarters building in downtown Detroit and the subsequent development of Campus Martius Park.  Prior to Compuware, Marquardt was Director of Facilities for Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor where he tripled the organization's real estate footprint and led human resources, finance and IT functions.

"We are a growing organization with a long history of notable investments in the community including the renovation of the Fox Theatre, development of Comerica Park and now the proposed Detroit Events Center and surrounding district. Steve is a proven, highly experienced real estate professional who has successfully led and managed several large-scale development projects in downtown Detroit.  His experience aligns well with the historical and future development work of our company—investing in projects that have a positive and lasting impact on our community.  We've got a great team at Olympia Development and Steve will be a terrific addition to it," said Christopher Ilitch.

Hahn brings 29 years of public relations experience, including 16 with various Ilitch companies, to his new role as Vice President of Corporate Communications at Ilitch Holdings.  As Senior Director of Communications for the Detroit Red Wings, he managed communications and community relations activities for the team through three Stanley Cup Championships, as well as serving dual roles at the Detroit Tigers in 2001 and Olympia Development in 2013.

Update #4.5:

Update #5:

His name is Drew *#$%@& Miller. Or Gustav *#$%@& Nyquist. Sheesh.

Update #5.5:


Update #5.75: Khan on Emmerton's demotion:

They will place center Darren Helm (back) on long-term injured reserve. Right wing Patrick Eaves and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson also will be placed on IR, either long-term or short-term.

Emmerton filled the Red Wings' fourth-line center spot the past two seasons, but he would not have had a place in the lineup once Helm returned because Joakim Andersson solidified his place in the lineup with a strong rookie season. He will center the third line until Helm returns.

Emmerton, 25, was the club's top pick in the 2006 draft (41st overall in second round). He is a decent checker and penalty killer but has limited offensive potential.

Emmerton had five goals, eight points and a minus-1 rating in 48 games last season and appeared in all by one playoff game (one goal, one assist, minus-1). He has appeared in 121 games over parts of three seasons, with 12 goals, 19 points and a plus-1 rating.

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan states the obvious:

The Red Wings must make decisions Monday on goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin), and forwards Patrick Eaves (ankle, groin) and Jordin Tootoo (bruised shoulder) -- whether to put them on long-term (10 games) or short-term (seven days) injured reserve.

Update #5.8:

Update #6:

Update #6.25:

Update #7: ESPN's writers have made their awards and Stanley Cup picks, and four of 12 are picking the Wings to make the Stanley Cup Final...And lose to LA, LA, LA and Chicago.

Update #8: Via RedWingsFeed, Anthony Mantha was named the QMJHL's "First Star of the Week" for a remarkable week's worth of scoring:

The first star of the week is awarded to Val-d’Or Foreurs forward Anthony Mantha. The first round pick of the Detroit Red Wings recorded 3 assists last Wednesday for a +/- of +2 in a 7-4 win  against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. On Friday, in a road game in Blainville-Boisbriand, he was named the third star of the game with an assist. Saturday, in an 11-2 win against the Quebec Remparts, he scored 4 goals, on only 8 shots, for a total of 5 points, which tied his career high in the QMJHL in terms of points and goals. For his exceptional performance he was named the first star of the game. Moreover, he is the 5th player in the history of the club to score 4 goals or more  in a road game (the record is still held by Jerome Bergeron with 5 in 2000-01). So far in the 2013-14 season, he has a total of 8 goals and 6 assists for a total of 14 points in 5 games, which places him in first place in the League scoring,  tied with Christopher Clapperton of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Cameron Darcy of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.


Update #9: Now whe know why Nyquist was sent down:

Update #10: Via RedWingsFeed, Griffinshockey.com's Alan Cross looks at the "Next Wave" of Wings prospects:

Making his debut between the pipes this season is goaltender Jared Coreau, who spent last year with Northern Michigan University of the CCHA. Clocking in at a massive six-foot-four and 208 pounds, Coreau started in all 38 games for the Wildcats in his junior year and posted a 15-19-4 record with a 2.70 goals against average, a 0.919 save percentage and one shutout. If size indeed matters, Coreau is sure to impress.

“He’s a huge guy so there’s not much net to shoot on when he’s in there. His skating is very good for his size,” said [Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff] Blashill. “He has to continue to improve his game, but what I like about him the most is that his college coach, who coached in the AHL and NHL, says that he’s got the right mentality to continue to get better. I think that’s the biggest key.”

The Griffins’ blue line has been virtually reinvented from last year. Richard Nedomlel, who served as a “black ace” for Grand Rapids during the first round of the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs, brings an even bigger frame to buffer the Griffins’ back end. The largest player on the team, he stands at six-foot-five and weighs in at 231 pounds.

“Nedomlel is another big guy who plays very physical,” said Blashill. “He’s a fairly tough guy and he set the tone right away in the prospects tournament. He has good abilities and has really improved his feet over the past few years. He is someone we think has a chance to become a good player.”

Nedomlel’s size alone should give any opponent a cause for concern. However, the defenseman’s track record has proven that he’s also capable of producing numbers. He was Detroit’s 8th choice (175th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but before joining the Griffins he played defense for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. In three seasons with Swift Current, he played in 210 regular season games and amassed 84 points (17-67—84).

Two more defensemen thrown into the mix this season are Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul, who were drafted second and third, respectively, by Detroit in 2011. Last year, both defenders were named to the First All-Star Team for their leagues – Ouellet for the QMJHL and Sproul for the OHL - and Sproul also nabbed the OHL’s Max Kaminsky Trophy as defenseman of the year.

“I think Ouellet and Sproul are two guys who have high-end ability. They did a really good job against the other teams’ best players in the tournament, and we expect them to be able to step in and do a real good job this year.”

One of the most highly touted prospects this year comes in the form of forward Martin Frk, who had a tremendous 2012-13 campaign with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Posting an astonishing 58-6-3-1 regular season record, the team secured both the President’s Cup and the CHL Memorial Cup. Frk’s accolades were abundant: he tied for second on the team in regular season points (35-49—84), tied for second in the league with postseason scoring (13-20—33) and opened the playoffs with a franchise-record eight-point game (5-3—8). Whether Frk’s impressive resume assures him success while with the Griffins remains to be seen.

“He’s going to have to learn how to create the same offense from juniors in tighter areas with tighter checking, and that will just be a process. And for him to improve, he’ll have to just make sure that he doesn’t get too frustrated and stays with it,” said Blashill. “But he’s real highly competitive and he’s going to be a very good player. In the end, how quickly his adjustment will be, we’ll see.”

 

Update #11: The Free Press's Helene St. James posted the first quotes from Ken Holland:

"We like Gus, and he'll be with the team sooner or later, but unfortunately, we've got some difficult cap issues, and we're going to start out the way we're going to start out, and we'll sort it out as we go," general manager Ken Holland said.

Forward Darren Helm, who is still battling a sore back dating to last season, in addition to being bothered by a pulled groin, has been put on long-term injured reserve. Helm makes $2.125 million, and Nyquist makes $950,000, enough to trim the roughly $3 million the Wings needed to come in under $64.3 million by 3 p.m.

Forward Cory Emmerton cleared waivers after being placed there Sunday and was sent to Grand Rapids. That adds up to three forwards removed from the roster, putting the Wings at the maximum of 23 men.

Nyquist was the only forward who could be sent down without being exposed on waivers. It's not ideal — Nyquist clearly belongs in the NHL — but it also isn't permanent. Forwards Patrick Eaves (knee) and Jordin Tootoo (shoulder) and backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin) are all expected to start the season on short-term injured reserve. Gustavsson won't be ready by Wednesday, when the Wings open the season against Buffalo, so either Jared Coreau will serve as the backup or Petr Mrazek will be recalled from the minors.

"They all go on IR effective to when they were hurt," Holland said of Eaves, Tootoo and Gustavsson, "so we could take them off Wednesday morning if we want."

Holland said the goalie situation is a little tricky — Coreau is staying on the roster for now because his $925,000 salary cap hit is higher than Mrazek's $790,000. However, Mrazek could well end up being the backup to Jimmy Howard when the season begins.

"The way Coreau played in camp, we're OK putting Coreau on our roster tonight at 5 o'clock," Holland said. "We'll reassess as the week wears on."

Meanwhile, in the life of Darren Helm...

Update #11.5: Meanwhile, in Buffalo, per the Canadian Press...

Injured Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno did not practice with the team Monday and head coach Ron Rolston said it's unlikely he'll play in Wednesday's season opener in Detroit.

"I don't see it Wednesday," said Sabres head coach Ron Rolston. "I think he'll probably be in a position tomorrow where he can practice but I don't think one day's going to help in terms of being ready."

Foligno sustained an upper body injury on Sept. 22 against Toronto. He skated on his own prior to the team's Monday practice.

Update #12: SIGH:

Update #13: Here's the Macomb Daily's Pleiness offering a tale about Nyquist's demotion..

“We like him, he’s a guy we want on the team sooner than later, but unfortunately, we’ve got some difficult cap issues and we’ll start out the way we start out and sort out as we go,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Nyquist signed a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $950,000 this past offseason to stay with the club.

“Obviously, adversity is not about the decision made, it’s about how you handle it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Choose your attitude right. Justin Abdelkader had the same thing happen to him, (Jonathan Ericsson) had the same thing happen to him. It’s not the first time that’s happened here. I’m sure he’s very, very disappointed. But I know him good, he’ll go down and be a real good pro and he’ll be prepared when he gets the opportunity.”

With the signing of Daniel Cleary to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million that put the Wings at 26 players under contract for this season, three over the roster limit. And 17 of those are forwards, which they only expect to carry 14. On Sunday, Darren Helm was placed on long-term injured reserve and Cory Emmerton was placed on waivers, leaving one spot left to be cleared. Emmerton, who was passed up on the center depth chart by Joakim Andersson, cleared waivers and will also be assigned to the Griffins.

“Cory’s come a long way, but really what got a little bit in his way is Andy got a little bit in his way,” Babcock said. “That’s just the way it is. We felt Dan Cleary was a guy we needed on our team. We’re in a cap situation that isn’t friendly until you get things worked out.”

Holland said that Patrick Eaves (sprained MCL and ankle), Jordin Tootoo (shoulder) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) will all begin the season on injured reserve.

“They all go on IR retroactive to when they’re hurt, so we could take them off Wednesday morning if we want,” Holland said.

And here's Pleiness on Tatar:

“I know the chance is coming, so just have to wait for a spot and when it’s open just grab it and hold it,” Tatar said after practice.

It appears Wings coach Mike Babcock will sit Tatar in the season opener, opting to go with a more veteran look as Joakim Andersson will center Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary.

“I’m out of the lineup right now, but I don’t know what will happen to the Wednesday, so just wait for a chance,” Tatar said. “I’m the youngest guy in the locker room, so I wait and when chance comes I’m going to grab it and hold it.”

Tatar, 22, was the American Hockey League MVP last season, scoring 16 goals to go with five assists in 24 games.

“I like him,” Babcock said. “I think he’s a good player. He’s a very usable player, has a knack for the net. But early going in the season, tie goes to the veteran not to the kid. That’s just life. It’s amazing how that works. We’ll get it worked out.”

Update #13.5:

Update #14: Here's the Macomb Daily's Pleiness on Helm:

“I don’t know when I’m going to be ready,” Helm said. “This gives me the opportunity to relax – not relax – but keep my mind off being ready now. It was kind of getting close to some pressure put on me, this takes some pressure off and get better at a little slower pace, might be better for my body.”

Helm participated in another full practice on Monday, centering a line with Drew Miller and Mikael Samuelsson.

“I need to string together a few of those before I feel like I, ready to play,” Helm said. “I’ve only played four periods in the last 18 months. This will give me some time to get a little bit of a training camp, I guess, give me an opportunity to get ready, get in some skates, do some stuff after.”

Players placed on short-term injured reserve (minimum seven days) provide no cap relief, but it does open up a roster spot, while long-term trips (minimum 10 games and 24 days) provide cap relief. Helm’s recovery from a back injury was put on hold when he suffered a groin injury before training camp began.

“I’ll be playing this year, I’m confident in that,” Helm said. “Fairly small improvements throughout the whole process of injuries that have gathered up but I do feel it has gotten better than last week or so. Every day I keep doing a little more. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be 100 percent and ready to go.”

Helm, who played one game last season, has yet to be cleared for contact due to his back.

“I’m doing pretty much everything that everyone else is doing, maybe a little lighter weight,” Helm said. “That’s another thing I need to build up before I get playing. I don’t think a week or two will give me that opportunity to be at that level. Long-term will give me a chance to take some pressure off myself and go at my own pace and be ready.”

Update #15: Here's MLive's Khan on Nyquist and Emmerton heading to GR:

"Obviously, adversity's not about the decision made, it's about how you handle it,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “Choose your attitude right. Justin Abdelkader had the same thing happen to him, Big E (Jonathan Ericsson) had the same thing happen to him. It's not the first time that's happened here.nI'm sure he's very, very disappointed. But I know him good, he'll go down and be a real good pro and he'll be prepared when he gets the opportunity."

The Red Wings were able to get under the $64.9 million salary cap and trim their roster by assigning center Cory Emmerton to Grand Rapids, after he cleared waivers Monday, and placing center Darren Helm (back) on long-term injured reserve. Helm, who has been skating with the team but hasn't been cleared for contact, must sit out a minimum of 10 games and 24 days.

The Red Wings also sent backup goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Griffins, opting to keep Jared Coreau on their roster for now. But Holland indicated that has more to do with some complicated cap issue. He said Mrazek and Coreau might trade places before Wednesday's season opener against Buffalo at Joe Louis Arena. Not that it matters much, since Jimmy Howard obviously is starting.nCoreau said he believes he is being sent down before the opener.

Holland said goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and right wings Patrick Eaves (sprained MCL, ankle) and Jordin Tootoo (bruised shoulder) also will be placed on short-term injured reserve. Eaves, who hasn't skated since he was hurt on Sept. 19, and Gustavsson, who was back on the ice for the first time since Sept. 21, albeit after practice, don't appear ready to return soon. Holland said Tootoo is close to returning.

By clearing waivers, Emmerton will provide depth in Grand Rapids.

"Cory's come a long way,'' Babcock said. “But really, (Joakim Andersson) got a little bit in his way. That's just the way it is. We felt Dan Cleary was a guy we needed on our team. We're in a cap situation that isn't friendly until you get things worked out."

Babcock said he could plug Drew Miller into the fourth-line center slot in a pinch but that he hasn't spent “one second'' thinking about that, since he is waiting for “the smoke to clear.''

Update #16: Here's Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji's notebook:

"Obviously a long-term injury is a tough decision for any player," Babcock said. " [Helm]'s not available so we just continue like we did last year. He hasn't been available forever. It's not like we're missing anything. We're hoping to make a trade here coming up and get him back."

With as much time as he's missed, Helm knows he can't rush.

"I don't know when I'm going to be ready," Helm said. "This gives me the opportunity to relax – not relax – but keep my mind off being ready now. It was kind of getting close to some pressure put on me, this takes some pressure off and get better at a little slower pace, might be better for my body."

...The Wings also have a few players on short-term injured reserve: goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Patrick Eaves (ankle) and Jordin Tootoo (shoulder). Tootoo did participate in Monday's practice.

"For me personally it’s coming along very well, I think quicker than we expected," Tootoo said. "Today’s practice was pretty intense for me. Added a little physicality in there for me and it felt good. I’ve just got to be professional about it and go about my business."

Gustavsson did some on-ice work for the first time in several days after his teammates had finished practice.

"It was an opportunity to go on the ice for the first time in a few days," Gustavsson said. "What I did felt good. Hopefully keep going in the same direction tomorrow and I can take the next step and then we'll see how many steps I need to be 100 percent."

Update #17: Meanwhile, in the corporate and community relations department, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:

Maria Lushima started her third week as a DTE Energy employee in style. The Russian-born hockey fan couldn’t believe the email communication that colleagues received when they arrived for the start of the work week on Monday morning.

“I saw it in the morning and I just came downstairs … immediately!” said Lushima, who is a huge Pavel Datsyuk fan. “I’m still shaking. I’m so excited.”

The employees were treated to a visit by four Red Wings, who greeted them in the atrium of the company’s headquarters in downtown Detroit.

Forward Johan Franzen and defensemen Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Danny DeKeyser distributed hundreds of pocket schedules, signed some autographs and posed for a few photos with the employees as they arrived to work. In return, the players received plenty of well-wishes from their fans, who were obviously pleased to see their Hockeytown Heroes in-person.

Update #18: Per the Wings' Facebook page:

Only 2 more days til we start our run at the Cup, Hockeytown!

JUST RELEASED: A very limited amount of tickets for Opening Night have just become available! You can purchase them at the JLA Box Office or by calling 313-471-7575. Come rock The Joe at our first game in the East!

Update #19: The Free Press's St. James posted a video interview with Helm:

Update #20: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan added quotes to his report:

Goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin), and forwards Patrick Eaves (knee, ankle) and Jordin Tootoo (bruised shoulder) will go on the short-term injured list (seven days), while Darren Helm will start the season on the long-term injured list (10 games).

"I don't know when I'll be ready," Helm said. "This takes the pressure off and I can get better at a slower pace."

Update #21:

Update #22: 3 of 7 Yahoo sports writers are picking Pavel Datsyuk to win the Selke.

Update #23: The Wings finish 7th in ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's power rankings...

7. Detroit: Key to the season for me is a productive second line (Alfredsson-Weiss-Franzen). I think they'll get it.

And Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika believes that the Wings are one of the ten teams most likely to earn a Cup:

8. DETROIT RED WINGS: The Wings had to win four straight to make the playoffs last year. But they made it for the 22nd straight season, and they took the eventual champions to overtime of Game 7 in the second round. They added Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, and now they’re headed to the East, a move that should invigorate them with easier travel and more Original Six matchups.

Some think the Wings will have to adjust. The Wings are built on skill; six of their seven division rivals were among the top 11 teams in fighting last season. But the Wings feel the rest of the new Atlantic Division will have to adjust to them, and a player from a former Western Conference rival said: “They’ll win that division – easily.”

Maybe. The youngsters will have to keep growing the way they did last season and in the playoffs – guys like Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Smith and Joakim Andersson.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

MoreShoot's avatar

How does Nyquist ever make it back to the club if Tootoo/Sammy are never traded (and they won’t be).  Is he sitting around waiting for an injury?

Posted by MoreShoot on 09/30/13 at 11:43 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nyquist makes it back to the big club if Eaves or Tootoo hit the LTIR. And I firmly believe that Tootoo will be traded.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/30/13 at 11:44 AM ET

Avatar

So once again because of our GM’s fondness for re-treads like Cleary and Sammy, a deserving prospect who has done nothing but earn his keep and outplay the two said individuals gets rewarded with a trip to the minors.  Brilliant.  So much for the best players getting rewarded.  I know everyone will say “relax, he’ll be back” but the point is this should not have happened to him in the first place.  He is NHL ready, he has done everything they have asked, and there is no reason for him to be in Grand Rapids other than the fact that Holland can’t help himself to old broken down vets.

Posted by bababooey on 09/30/13 at 11:56 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Somewhere Garth’s head just grew in size.

Impossible, I know.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 09/30/13 at 11:57 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

If Tootoo or Eaves hit the LTIR, the Wings can bring Nyquist back today.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/30/13 at 11:57 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Nyquist was my last round fantasy hockey pick. I guess he’s not going to be on Kenny Holland’s fantasy team, yet Samuelsson is.

I think I can take this guy.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 09/30/13 at 12:05 PM ET

perfection's avatar

right. and then after he plays two games, this is moot forever.

people really do need to relax. the Wings are just using Nyquist’s exemption status to their benefit. it’s a little loophole. It’s not going to affect Gus and in the long run, it’s not going to affect the team negatively. He’ll be back asap and will be a mainstay for the entire season and many years to come. This is absolutely nothing. Babies need not cry over this. The season’s about to start. There will be so much more to cry about soon enough (blown knees, blown games, etc.)! 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/30/13 at 12:08 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

When the season starts, we can stop crying over this. Until the starts, this is all we have.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 09/30/13 at 12:24 PM ET

Avatar

people really do need to relax. the Wings are just using Nyquist’s exemption status to their benefit. it’s a little loophole. It’s not going to affect Gus and in the long run, it’s not going to affect the team negatively. He’ll be back asap and will be a mainstay for the entire season and many years to come. This is absolutely nothing. Babies need not cry over this. The season’s about to start. There will be so much more to cry about soon enough (blown knees, blown games, etc.)!

The point is that it should never have happened.  He has outplayed Cleary, Samuelsson, and every other “bubble” player, he gets sent down only because he was waiver exempt.  I don’t think it’s fair is all, all because Holland can’t rid himself of his mistakes from the last few years of signings.

Posted by bababooey on 09/30/13 at 12:25 PM ET

Avatar

I’ll wait and see what the roster and lineup looks like Wednesday night then complain my ass off if necessary.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 09/30/13 at 12:30 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Meh, I can’t get too upset about a cap-related procedural move.

That said, I could go the rest of my life without ever reading or hearing the phrase “NHL-ready” again.

“NHL-ready” means “AHL-bound” on this team.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 09/30/13 at 12:36 PM ET

Avatar

I’ll wait and see what the roster and lineup looks like Wednesday night then complain my ass off if necessary.

There is no plan though, essentially they are hoping guys get injured so that they have breathing room to operate.  There really is no thought or plan to this.  I thought the Wings were going to go on a youth movement this season, get rid of the deadweight and give the younger players more prominent roles.

Posted by bababooey on 09/30/13 at 12:49 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Nyquist makes it back to the big club if Eaves or Tootoo hit the LTIR. And I firmly believe that Tootoo will be traded.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/30/13 at 11:44 AM ET

The thing though, is you need a willing trade partner.  Given the surplus of players out there, and the diminishing cap, I just can’t see anyone taking on Tootoo.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/30/13 at 12:52 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Being sent down now is irrelevant. It was a paper move that was bound to happen so they can get the injured players on LTIR, then before Wednesday, put the lineup back where they want it. I’m actually a little surprised they didn’t make a paper transaction with DeKeyser as well, but I’m not sure if the assignment means they cannot practice with the team, in which case, it makes more sense that DeKeyser wouldn’t be a “victim” of a paper transaction, because you really need this young D getting every second of practice in.

If Nyquist isn’t one of the 12 forwards on the bench on Wednesday, I will whole-heartedly admit that the Dan Cleary signing was a mistake. But as I have said all along, why do we have to try and predict the future? Why can’t we simply let this stuff play out?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/30/13 at 01:25 PM ET

Avatar

Nyquist won’t be up because tootoo coming back soon. don’t see them waiving him for nyquist bc bert/sam injury prone but maybe will.  agree on dek. looks like long term Ir for eaves. either way tatar not playing bad move. those that say cleary didnt affect him one bit obviously wrong.

Posted by jkm2011 on 09/30/13 at 01:42 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Well if this is in fact the end of the story between now and Wednesday, then I’m willing to throw myself into the “pissed off about the Cleary re-signing” crowd. Tatar being #13 sucks, but is one thing that I could live with early in the season. Nyquist clearly deserves to be one of the top 12 forwards come Wednesday evening when the puck drops.

Mostly, I’m just shocked that Eaves isn’t going on LTIR. Obviously, that wouldn’t be a long-term solution to the roster crunch, but every day counts when it’s early in the season and you know injuries are always around the corner for every team.

Moreso than the Cleary signing, how about the Tootoo and Samuelsson signings a year ago? Samuelsson I understood strictly given the player he is, but the combination of multi-year, decent-sized cap hit, and NTC made no sense. Tootoo never made sense, unless he was strictly signed to help put butts in the seats because KH expected the team to struggle for a couple years. Even so, Tootoo has always been an ECHL-level hockey player, so the money just made no sense.

Obviously, that is with complete hindsight, and it doesn’t take into account any of the things that Holland, his team, and Babcock knew at the time that we just don’t know and probably never will.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 09/30/13 at 02:52 PM ET

Avatar

those that say cleary didnt affect him one bit obviously wrong.

Let me back up your point with numbers.

By my quick-and-dirty calculations, if the Red Wings hadn’t signed Cleary, they could have gotten themselves both cap and roster compliant /without/ using LTIR and without waiving Emmerton by sending Nyquist and DeKeyser down in paper transactions.

Then, putting Helm on LTIR and Eaves and Gustavsson on short-term IR would have provided both the cap and roster space necessary call up DeKeyser, Nyquist, and Mrazek immediately the next day, with about $100k to spare.

Once Eaves is ready to come back, you free up his roster spot by waiving Emmerton, not only making the spot available but giving the Wings an extra $533,333 in operating space in the process. Once Gustavsson is ready to come back, you simply demote Mrazek.

Would have been a lot simpler this way. It also means Nyquist and Tatar are pretty much guaranteed to be in the lineup right from the get go, as opposed to Tatar quite possibly scratched and Nyquist quite possibly spending the first handful of games in the minors.

Of course, you don’t get Cleary, though whether or not you consider that much of a loss depends on what you think of his game.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 09/30/13 at 03:00 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I can’t agree more with everyone super pissed about Tatar being scratched. Babs says “tie goes to the veteran” but assuming we watched the same preseason I’m not sure how you can possible call Sammy and Tats a “tie”.

I’m ok with the procedural move with Gus, again he’s only two games from no longer being exempt, so right when he’s called up it’s permanent basically. 

If Nyquist isn’t one of the 12 forwards on the bench on Wednesday, I will whole-heartedly admit that the Dan Cleary signing was a mistake.

I think with the Cleary signing in particular, you should reserve judgment until the last game of the season, not the first. Hell, if Nyquist is down for the first month of the season, we still make the playoffs and Dan Cleary is a monster again in the spring, his signing would of course not be a mistake. If Gus is down for that long and then we don’t make the playoffs or something… that’s obviously a different story. But I do think Babs sees Cleary’s value in his versatility and his ability to step it up to another level in the playoffs. Kind of hard to gage that assessment until after the playoffs. 

But I’m kind of appalled that Tatar is not starting on the 3rd line. I’m in full agreement that he did everything he could possibly have done and what’s more, actually makes the team better than Sammy does. And I have to think Babs knows that. It seems obvious. This seems like some crazy uppercase-C Coaching. I guess my sincere hope is he’s just giving Sammy the chance to play himself out of the lineup so Tats can come in on a permanent basis without leaving a sullen veteran in the locker room who thinks he never got a fair shot… god I hope it’s something like that.

I just want there to be real hockey already so there’s actual ground to stand on in these discussions. I mean what if Sammy goes on a pt per game tear? We’d all be the dumb ones. You just don’t know until they play the games.

But they talk about that 10 game mark, what’s the odds that by the 10th game Gus and Tatar are playing on the same line night in and night out? I definitely believe by the time the playoffs start they sure will be.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/30/13 at 03:35 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s entirely possible that “The Veteran” who by default won the tie is actually Todd Bertuzzi in this situation.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/13 at 03:40 PM ET

Avatar

Synopsis of the comments:

People who hate Holland: Holland sucks!

Normal people:  This is no big deal.

Samuelsson I understood strictly given the player he is, but the combination of multi-year, decent-sized cap hit, and NTC made no sense.

An NTC is a value add, so when it gets included it usually offsets a value in some other area that the team was unwilling to give, like an extra year or more money.

And it’s not like Holland does a whole lot of trading anyway.  If he signs a guy to a deal that typically means he likes the guy at that number, which makes trading a player a bit counterintuitive.

Sammy was signed because the team lost Hudler and they needed more offense, as their offensive struggles sans Bert and Sammy last year demonstrated.  I don’t begrudge that deal just like I wouldn’t have begrudged Hudler getting the same deal from Detroit, but the Tootoo deal… wow.  That one was bad from the jump because everyone should have known right away he wasn’t going to play enough to earn it.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/30/13 at 03:45 PM ET

The Meal's avatar

Wings skated with these lines: 40-13-8, 93-90-11, 71-18-44, 20-43-37 (21 working in). Helm obviously not ready, so they’ll need 4th line C.

— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) September 30, 2013

Joakim Andersson switched jersey numbers from #63 to #18 this off-season (9/4/2013) for folks who missed that tidbit.

Posted by The Meal on 09/30/13 at 03:49 PM ET

perfection's avatar

true. but I thought Bert outplayed both Cleary and Sammy in the preseason and deserves to be out there. He’s also the toughest guy on the roster. 

but my opinion is obviously not relevant to the coaches decision, especially a coach who still sees Sammy as adding value to the 2nd PP by virtue of his right handed shot, a notion I very much disagree with. I’d take Smith/Kindl all day over Sammy.

I would simply swap Tats for Sammy and move Bert down and Tats to the third. I don’t mind that lineup to start things off. And once Gus is up, I’d like to see he, Andy, and Tats united for that third line and then if we remain healthy, simply rotate in Sammy, Bert, and Cleary - regardless of their play, hopefully to try and keep at least a couple of them healthy until the playoffs. That could give us three really solid, stable scoring lines and then a fresh fourth line of savvy veterans who can score. 

So once guys get put on IR, will we have the space to bring Sheahan or Glendening up for the 4th line center spot? Holland sure implied that was the plan, but that could have been meant for after Gustavsson returns.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 09/30/13 at 03:49 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I find it amusing that almost all the vitriol regarding the Cleary signing goes to Holland when it it clear that Babs wants Cleary on the team.

We felt Dan Cleary was a guy we needed on our team

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 04:03 PM ET

Avatar

The only thing I can rationalize is that the Wings want to showcase guys like Sammy and Tootoo early in hopes of working a trade. Hard to trade a guy who’s benched or on IR.

Posted by IMOrthodox13 on 09/30/13 at 04:04 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

John Scott will be on Buffalo’s opening day roster, right?  On the fourth line?  The line that goes up against Samuelsson?

Just making sure.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/13 at 04:18 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

It’s entirely possible that “The Veteran” who by default won the tie is actually Todd Bertuzzi in this situation.

I think Babcock was referring to Cleary, not Bert. But whoever he was referring to, it sucks to see Tatar in the press box. But ya gotta love the kid’s attitude. If nothing else, that should score a few points for him with the coach.

...the Wings are just using Nyquist’s exemption status to their benefit. it’s a little loophole. It’s not going to affect Gus...

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand

Right. Having to play in GR because Ken Holland screwed the team with the Sammy and Tootoo signings and because he and Babcock have a man-crush on Danny Cleary certainly won’t have any effect on Gus. Heck, he’s probably happy he’ll be in the AHL until there’s a permanent solution to the roster situation.

What’s so great about being in the NHL, anyway? As long as he’s getting paid the same, there won’t be any effect on him at all.

Sheesh.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/30/13 at 04:22 PM ET

Avatar

I find it amusing that almost all the vitriol regarding the Cleary signing goes to Holland when it it clear that Babs wants Cleary on the team.

It’s Babcock’s job to tell Holland who he would like on his team.  It’s Holland’s job to decide if already having 16 forwards under contract means he should stop signing fowards or not.

Babcock can want to trade for Chris Pronger’s broken, dirty husk, it’s up to Holland to put his foot down and say no.

Posted by Garth on 09/30/13 at 04:23 PM ET

calquake's avatar

It’s Babcock’s job to tell Holland who he would like on his team.  It’s Holland’s job to decide if already having 16 forwards under contract means he should stop signing fowards or not.

Babcock can want to trade for Chris Pronger’s broken, dirty husk, it’s up to Holland to put his foot down and say no.

Posted by Garth on 09/30/13 at 04:23 PM ET

That’s the funniest thing you’ve said in a while.  You obviously don’t understand how the relationship between a GM and Coach works on a very successful team.

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 04:29 PM ET

Avatar

It is bert on margin not cleary for sure not likely sam. cleary andy bert bad pairing. no speed or forecheck or shooter. tats in game 2

Posted by jkm2011 on 09/30/13 at 04:48 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Did the Wings use all of their compliance buyouts? Has that time period for buyouts come and gone.


Damn bettman and this this #!!### salary cap. We should be talking hockey and the day before the season were all trying to figure how teams can shave $500,000 off of the payroll to be cap compliment.

Posted by Down River Dan on 09/30/13 at 04:49 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 04:29 PM ET

Speaking of funny, it’s cute that you think the mark of a good GM is to just go out and make deals, willy nilly, based on the whims of their coaches, consequences be damned.

Posted by Garth on 09/30/13 at 05:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m going to laugh if the Wings go with the Freep’s idea and just play Miller as the 4th line center between Tatar and Samuelsson.

I like that idea more than I like Glendening or Sheahan playing there.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/13 at 05:02 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Speaking of funny, it’s cute that you think the mark of a good GM is to just go out and make deals, willy nilly, based on the whims of their coaches, consequences be damned.

Posted by Garth on 09/30/13 at 05:01 PM ET

Oh yes, because we all know the deals made were willy nilly and based on the whims of Babcock.  Man you crack me up.

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 05:30 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Oh yes, because we all know the deals made were willy nilly and based on the whims of Babcock.

Honestly, Cal, it would almost be better if some of Holland’s decisions had been of the “spin the wheel and do what the wheel says” kinds of things. But it’s obvious they thought long and hard before they signed Sammy to a two-year deal at $3M with a freaking NTC. Same goes for giving Tootoo a three-year deal at $1.9M per. And they thought all summer long before handing Cleary $1.75M when they already had 16 forwards under contract.

So, the bottom line is they made thought-filled (if not thoughtful) decisions in those three cases. IMHO all three of them were really, really dumb decisions. And contrary to what some believe, it is affecting guys like Nyquist and Tatar – two guys who deserve to be on Andy’s line on Wednesday.

Nyquist (apparently) will be in GR and Tatar (apparently) will be in the press box. And the reason is Holland made three bad contract decisions, knowing full-well what the consequences of those decisions would be. That’s what pisses me off the most.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/30/13 at 07:13 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/30/13 at 07:13 PM ET

I don’t disagree with some of the things you state.  My point is that some of the jokers around here who think they know more about running a hockey franchise than Holland are delusional.  Can you imagine what the team would be like with Garth (nothing personal) running it?  Tell me you would rather have him or other critics running the team.  All I hear is criticism and whining, nothing constructive.  At least you take the time to make your case.

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 07:23 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Can you imagine what the team would be like with Garth (nothing personal) running it?  Tell me you would rather have him or other critics running the team.

Hell no, Cal. Everyone knows I should be running this team. smile

I think a lot of the negative things that are being said are the result of pure frustration over what’s happening to Nyquist and Tatar (just look at the Chief’s post). We’ve waited a long time to see these two get their chance. And we saw what they’re capable of last spring in the Calder Cup.

To have that taken away from them (and them from us) because of Holland’s signing of a guy who can’t hit the net to save his soul and a guy who sat out the entire playoffs last spring is, well, anger-inducing.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/30/13 at 07:38 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 05:30 PM ET

I’m sorry, but “you already have 16 forwards, don’t sign a broken-bodied 17th” forward isn’t constructive?
“Give the youngsters a chance instead of putting yourself behind the 8-ball both in terms of both roster and cap size” isn’t constructive.

If I could afford to buy the Florida Panthers I would’ve already traded their 1014, 2015, and 2016 first round picks for Cleary, Samuelsson and Tootoo, but I don’t have that kind of money, so instead I’m going to comment on the deals that the Red Wings actually did make.

Posted by Garth on 09/30/13 at 07:48 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The Panthers didn’t exist in 1014, Garth.

Boy do you look silly now.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/30/13 at 08:02 PM ET

calquake's avatar

The Panthers didn’t exist in 1014, Garth.

Actually I believe they were called “The Invading Hordes” back then but I could be wrong.

Posted by calquake on 09/30/13 at 08:20 PM ET

The Meal's avatar

I know Sammy was signed prior to the 2012-13 season, but had the details of the 20% contraction of the salcap been determined at the point that KH had extended that offer?  At the time I know the thought was how to replace Hudler’s production (which was actually significant in the ‘11-‘12 season) and I also know it weighs like an albatross right now, but there was some logic behind it at the time.

I mean the Wings thought they had enough space to get Parise and Suter at the time.  What’s $3M (and a NTC, puke…) for Sammy?

Posted by The Meal on 09/30/13 at 10:31 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.